Welcome to the end of beekeeping winter. With March around the corner beekeepers everywhere are thinking about spring and flowers and nectar and bees. It is common practice to worry about weather, flower blooms, hives, and equipment when you are a beekeeper, and I am no exception. Did we prepare for winter well enough to see the bees through this part of the season? Will the flowers bloom soon enough, or should I put some food in the hive? Do I have enough equipment for the year, and is it ready to go?Continue reading
The mites before Christmas
There were mites before Christmas
when all through the hives,
The honey bees struggled
in a fight for their lives. Continue reading
Happy is the bee that the sun shines on
The cold is slowly coming to Virginia. Most of our days have been warm enough for the bees to fly, with only a handful of fall days colder than 50 degrees (10 Celcius). A couple frosty nights here and there but again most nights well above freezing. Tuesday I finished some winter preparations on the hives, and it was in the mid-50’s. The top bar hive was especially buzzing for a good 15 or 20 minutes, with dozens of bees checking out the bee yard.
According to Jürgen Tautz in his book The Buzz about Bees, so-called orientation flights generally occur only when a queen is present. So I’ll take this activity as a good sign. Continue reading
CCBA Honeycomb: The Appetite of Laborers Works for Them
The post continues my summary of the presentations at the CCBA Conference this past weekend. The prior post discussed the presentations from Tom Seeley, this post shares the two presentations from Vermont beekeeper Michael Palmer. I should state up front that Palmer gives these presentations around the world, and both are available on YouTube. While I knew of him as a beekeeper, I was not familiar with his theories and found the sessions quite enjoyable. Continue reading
We Crave a Different Kind of Buzz
Here we are just past the winter solstice, with each day now slightly longer than the previous, and I am thinking about bee time. There are many types of time, and bee time is perhaps slower than most. So my decision in September to pursue the art of beekeeping did not result in any immediate change. Bee time does not allow for this.