A Year for Swarms

This has been the spring to start colonies by hiving a swarm. The mild winter meant fewer overwintering losses (see results for WVBA backyard beekeepers posted here and on www.pnwhoneybeesurvey.com) together with our mild spring, providing abundant pollen and nectar foraging conditions, has resulted … Read more about A Year for Swarms

WVBA Winter losses

At the March and April WVBA meetings I distributed paper copies and directed members to a web-based survey document as a continuing effort to define overwintering success. This was the 7th year of such survey activity. I received 230 responses from OR backyarders, keeping anywhere from 1 to 50 … Read more about WVBA Winter losses

The Beeman Ag in the Classroom

At April WVBA meeting I challenged beekeepers to join the 2015 AG IN THE CLASSROOM (AITC) Literacy Project designed to help better improve literacy of Kindergarten through 6th grade students along with their knowledge of agriculture. Oregon is generating a buzz this year by offering as a component … Read more about The Beeman Ag in the Classroom

Keeping Better Records

Knowing your bees is part of having a successful and satisfying beekeeping experience. Is this the season to do something about improving colony records? Or will you continue to use the ‘brick’ method? Hivetracks is a better way to keep hive/apiary records. And Hive Tracks is launching a series of … Read more about Keeping Better Records

Some holiday reading

One of the books I took to Bolivia to catch up on my reading was Bernd Heinrich’s newest The Homing Instinct, his 16th book; I professionally reviewed his Bumble Economics book several years ago. The book was a gift from my beekeeper hosts when I talked to the Maine beekeepers in … Read more about Some holiday reading

Feeding and Treating WVBA Bees

At September WVBA meeting I discussed feeding and treating as a follow up to Rich’s comments at August meeting on fall preparations. Not all beekeepers want to feed and fewer care to treat. The risk of not doing either is a colony that may not survive winter. If bees are natural and wild animals … Read more about Feeding and Treating WVBA Bees

August is for Mite monitoring

August is not a month for much bee work. It is too hot and colonies can be a bit testy. Keep water nearby and give them some supplemental shade in the afternoon if you are concerned. August however is for mite monitoring -  the month to determine how the bees are doing with keeping a lid on varroa … Read more about August is for Mite monitoring