Friday, March 27, 2009
I just read an article, published by the BBC on March 5, 2009, regarding Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD has been blamed for the recent disappearance and/or failure of honeybee hives around the world. According to the article, in the U.S. alone, over TWO MILLION hives have been lost! There are dozens of theories about the exact causes of this phenomenon, but no hard evidence as of yet. The basic gist of the article is that some scientists believe that there is no one direct cause of CCD and that it may be, in fact, due to multiple events including rise in parasite populations, agriculture methods, etc. In fact, large population declines may be a natural part of honeybee populations.
I think this article demonstrates the lack of information that science has with regard to honeybees and the complex relationship to the environment honeybees have. So, if science can't solve the problem, what can?
I think good honeybee management practices by beekeepers, even hobby beekeepers, is a start. Taking good care of hives, educating yourself on pest and disease management, and promoting beekeeping within your community is something every beekeeper can do.
Here's a link to the article: 'No Proof' of Killer Bee Theory
Saturday, March 21, 2009
It really matters where your bees call 'home'. If you bees aren't happy with the location, you won't be maximizing their efficiency. In this episode, I discuss how to choose the right location for your hive. And, even if you can't keep bees on your own property, I'll share with you some ideas on how to find someone who will 'host' your hives.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Finally, after a few days of technical difficulties, The Beekeeping Podcast is now available for download on iTunes. Search for "beekeeping" or click here to subscribe on iTunes. You can always listen online by clicking here.
However, from time to time, it keeps disappearing. Therefore, if you don't see it, just click on the link above to subscribe via iTunes.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
In this episode I discuss why good record keeping is important for beekeepers.
Be sure to record your observations, the weather, ideas, notes, photographs, videos, and anything else related to your beekeeping. You'll really enjoy looking back on it one day and see how far you've come.Listen Now:
If you would like to keep a blog about your beekeeping, you can sign up for a free blog here.
To subscribe via iTunes: Subscribe in iTunes
Thursday, March 12, 2009
In this episode, I share my thoughts on beginning beekeeping kits, the differences, and I give my recommendation for purchasing one.
Beginner kits range in price from about $130-$300
There are significant differences between beginner kits. The main differences are in the type (wood or plastic) and amount woodenware (number of brood chambers and supers supplied) and a veil or suit. Other more minor differences will be in the accessories (i.e. smoker fuel, included book, or tools)
If you're on a limited budget, then a simpler kit is fine. Realize that you want to harvest honey have to add on at some point soon. If you're serious about beekeeping, by all means, get a deluxe type kit and go for it! You'll save a little money and have everything you need (except bees) to get started today...
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
In this episode of The Beekeeping Podcast, I share my thoughts on my Honeyflow Chart, give an update on my hives, Genesis and Exodus, and also do a brief book review of A Book of Bees by Sue Hubbell.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Today's temperatures got into the mid 60's so I took advantage of the mild weather and went out to the hives. Although it was extremely windy with strong gusts, I decided to feed the bees an extra supplement of syrup to keep them from starving. We've had a pretty good winter here, as predicted in my previous post about the Woolly Worms.
The winter recipe for syrup that I used is 2 1/2 quarts of water and 10 lbs of sugar. I used a total of 30 lbs of sugar. Each hive feeder was filled to the brim. Hopefully, this will be enough to carry the bees until the first bloom, which, according to my chart, should be the maple trees.
Both hives had plenty of activity with bees coming and going. The bees on top of the frames were a little lethargic, but that's to be expected.
One very interesting observation I made was the amount of dead bees outside of both hives. The 'undertaker bees', the ones responsible for carrying out the dead inside the hive, were very busy.
Below are two pictures, although not as clear as I like (I've made it a point to take better pictures this year)
Here is Genesis: Lot's of activity.
The work of the 'undertakers'.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
In this episode of The Beekeeping Podcast I recommend five things that a beginner beekeeper can do to get started off right in beekeeping.
Here They Are:
1. Join a local beekeeping club
2. Buy or borrow 'Beekeeping for Dummies'
3. Order equipment catalogues from equipment suppliers
4. Find a beekeeping mentor
5. Attend a local beekeeping class, seminar, or workshop.