Finishing the Season

Well winter finally caught up to us after milder than normal summer and fall months. Our bees were winding down but it became serious business for them after mid-October now into November rain and colder nighttime temperatures. We should now shut down for any further manipulations with a couple of exceptions. We can still arrange …

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September in Apiary

August was definitely NOT  a month for much hive examining. Temperatures were hot and hives full of bees (and maybe supers had some honey).  September is a critical juncture in our annual mite fight – take samples NOW. A nice resource is the August BetterBEE Buzz (a bee supply newsletter) “Winter Bees and Varroa Mites”. …

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WATER FOR BEES

We typically think of honey bee foraging as gathering pollen and nectar from flowers. However, they also forge for propolis and water. As the bee nutrition studies at OSU by Ramesh Sagili and postdoc Priya Charkrabarti demonstrate, the nutritional requirements of honey bees are quite complex. It turns out that maybe nectar and pollen doesn’t …

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INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

Spring is the busiest time of the year for the beekeeper. Bee populations develop rapidly and changes happen very quickly in the beehive.  It is a challenge for the beekeeper to stay ahead — to anticipate, not merely re-act.  We often have to make decisions based on relatively little information. It is probably  the toughest …

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Save the Bees

Dr Marla Spivek in October American Bee Journal discussed  some examples of “double-edged swords” beekeepers are facing. One was the conundrum of individuals starting beekeeping to save the bees  but then they don’t properly  care for their bees. New beekeepers don’t initially know how to care for their bees but also some individuals who start …

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Thinking of Birthdays

The more I study beekeeping, the less I know, until, finally, I arrived – I know pretty much nothing. But, even though I know nothing, I still have plenty to unlearn. [Apologies to Charles Martin Simon] Okay, as one or two of my beekeeping friends might remember (and facebook  reminded you), I share a December …

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WVBA managements as related to losseS

Twenty -two WVBA PNWhoneybeesurvey respondents supplied information about some managements they utilize for the PNW loss survey www.pnwhoneybeesurvey.com Respondents could select multiple options and there was always a none and other selection possible. One of the 22 survey respondents had over 20 colonies and had a heavy loss (68%) and as an outlier was removed …

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Robbing

In August a beekeeping word that comes to mind is robbing. If not already done, we might rob our bees in August,  when we harvest surplus honey. If we take too much, colonies might not survive winter. Other robbers are out there too – bees from other colonies might rob a colony. Skunks and/or yellow …

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