Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
As soon as I brought them home, I opened the entrance. A few tumbled out and the rest of the colony looked damp. I noticed fecal material on the frames and soon around the floor below the observation hive.
I thought the bees were in the process of dying, Then, Suddenly! They were gone! Here's what their domicile for the last 3 weeks looked like after they absconded. You would move out, too. Look at all the brown spots—bee poop.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
If you missed the Symposium, too bad. It had all the advantages of Eastern Apicultural Society Conventions (meet other beekeepers, listen to lectures, see exciting bar graphs, and win door prizes) and none of the disadvantages (it was free, short (no need for hotel rooms and good for attention deficit people like me), and not as complicated (everyone sat in one auditorium-no simultaneous lectures). That ends the most complex sentence that I have ever written since sixth grade.
Lunch with the famous author/beekeeper Ross Conrad The Natural Beekeeper
Some people naturally know how to follow the crowd and at lunch time almost everyone disappeared. I still don't know where they went, but it left a few of us wandering around, like scout bees returning to the swarm only to discover that the swarm has just left. This left Vince, Mary Ann, Ross and me. We found a picnic table, sat down and started talking. Never mind what we discussed. It was esoteric bee stuff: things like genomes, adjuvents, and things.I did learn that Ross manages around 50 hives.
Suddenly, we were surrounded by hundreds of screaming school kids. We had inadvertently taken one of the lunch tables belonging to an Alfred summer camp program. Someone remarked that there were no adults among the children. I, who had a college course called Human Growth and Development explained to the others that camps usually hire counselors who aren't much older than the children, and indeed, if you looked closely there were slightly older children, one at each table and others standing nervously around trying to ignore us.
Suddenly, my view of Ross was obscured by a large beekeeper who sat down between us. It was Lash LaRue, a fellow bee club member of mine and nephew of the movie star and comic book character:
At that point the conversation turned to railroads and bullwhips.
Here's how Ross and I differ in our approached to chemical free beekeeping: Ross actually takes care of his bees. Mine are essentially wild bees kept in manageable boxes.
I didn't ask how many colonies he lost last year so I can't compare our strategies.
New website for some of my publications: www.makingbeehives.com We're still waiting for the web goddess to set up the online pay program.
To my one reader (everyone else, stop reading here): See you next week, Sweetie Pot.With good timing, you can help me remove some bees from a house in Pulteney. XOXOX
Saturday, May 22, 2010
The Avoca School had a swarm on the gymnasium wall at ground level. In their panic, they called 2 beekeepers. When I arrived, beekeeper #1 was already there, trying to brush bees into a hive body. Because the swarm had split into two areas, I offered to scoop up the bees in the second area. My area contained the queen and the bees were soon filing into my swarm box and exiting Matt's hive body.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Saturday, May 15th: cool and breezy. Not an ideal bee day but I'm not keeping up with them very well. I opened the first colony. A couple bees seemed annoyed. The phone rang and as I talked for the next 20 or 30 minutes, a lone bee kept batting at my head, until I walked away into the woods.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
This site provides results from a test using an applicator that is more complicated than Earl described at the last meeting but the other numbers and quantities look the same.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I believe its the absolute simplest hive you can make, except for top bar hives. It's a standard Langstroth style hive you can make in less than 2 hours, including the frames. Catch a swarm in the morning, build a hive and install the bees in the afternoon. It's a perfect bait hive because if a swarm moves in, you can set a regular super on top or transfer the frames to a regular hive without messy cutting. The plans are available right now in the online edition of Bee Culture and will be in the April paper edition whenever it comes.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Combined meetings of the
I sneaked in as the lone representative of the Steuben County Honey Bee Association. I felt a little furtive, like a robber bee, expecting at any minute that one of the people would notice I smelled different and they’d started pinching and biting me as they pulled me out of the meeting.
Having customers at work right up to the last minute and locating the meeting with faulty online directions, I arrive late and sat in back. There were approximately 180 attendees, including some vendors
Driving home, I couldn't remember anything I’d learned. ;(.
But I had a recorder! :), and have a poor quality but mostly audible record of Dr. Larry’s Lecture.
Arriving late, I missed the title, but it was about breeding bees for health and mite tolerance—moving away from medicating hives.
Here are a few new pieces of information I learned:
1. In mating, queens fly low and far, up to 6 miles (is this radius or diameter? Either way it’s counter intuitive.) Drones fly high and near.
2. Queens mate with 13 drones on average and can vary from one to (highest known) 45 drones.
4. What about those bees surviving in the wild?
Dr. Connor says you don’t know how many times that hive has died and been reoccupied with a new swarm.
Mite tolerance may, as suggested by Dr. Tom Seeley, be the result of their isolation.
My un-medicated bees aren’t in isolation. Maybe they should be. If bees in the wild have mite tolerance and disease resistance and if your bees mate with wild drones, that means you will have some degree of tolerance/resistance already in your bees.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
I stopped treating my bees in 2002. No Apistan, Coumophos, Apiguard, Amitraz, formic acid, or Sucrocide. No Fumagilin-B, Terramycin, or Tylan. No open or screened bottom boards. No grease patties or Mite-A-Thol. No IPM. No voodoo, secret rituals, or chants.
In 2002, I had 12 colonies. In 2010 I have 12 colonies. I haven’t always had 12 colonies. In 2003 I had 0. They all died of American foulbrood.
Though the coming year, I am going to reveal my amazing colony management secrets to my reader. That’s you Bob. Thanks.