Everybody wants to rule the hive
Most parents worry about their kids. When my oldest daughter was four I asked my father when you stop worrying about your children. He replied that you never do. It made me pause.
As well, apparently, with a small bee yard. Although perhaps the possibilities are not quite so dire, you still worry. Is the queen well? Will the hive swarm? Do they have enough food? In recent weeks I have worried that four of my now five hives might not have a viable queen. The bees, to their credit, are teaching me patience. Continue reading
Dancing Queen: watch that scene
This is the second of two posts about the VSBA 2015 Fall Meeting. See the intro post for a short summary of the meeting, and the prior post for a discussion of Dr. David Tarpy’s talks. This second post is about the sessions given by Dr. Ernesto Guzman on selective breeding and the use of natural oils and nutraceuticals in a hive. Continue reading
The Buzz about Bees
I finished reading Jürgen Tautz’s book The Buzz about Bees, Biology of a Superorganism. A number of sources touted this as an excellent book, and I was not disappointed. The book presents the case for treating the entire colony as an organism. Center to Tautz’s argument is that a bee on its own cannot reproduce; the unit of reproduction is the colony itself via swarming and requires the workers, the drones, as well as the queen. Continue reading
Long Live the Queen
We’ve been experiencing the joys and challenges of beekeeping. Overall I am reasonably happy with our progress. For our two Langstroth hives, one is booming and one has a new queen. The top bar hive continues to perplex me, though it seems to be doing well. Read on for the recent hive report.
Bee! I’m Expecting You!
I hadn’t planned to be assembling deep frames at midnight. There I was, though, 12:05 in the morning pounding nails into my newly glued frame. When the phone rang earlier that evening, I had no idea that 24 hours later I would have three hives and my first bee sting of the year.
Born to Bee Wild
Bee School has been snowed out the past two weeks, so I was happy to attend the March meeting of the Prince William Regional Beekeepers Association yesterday. The topic was Swarm Prevention and Control, and the room was packed with 50 or 60 people. Continue reading
Song of the Queen Bee
I had the privileged of spending some time with beekeeper Chris Hewitt yesterday. Chris is in his 9th year of beekeeping, and one of 13 beekeepers in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Russian Breeders program. I have ordered two nucs from him for my Langstroth hives, and he invited me to visit his home apiary. We spoke and toured his house and yard for over two hours, and with his permission I thought I would share some of the highlights. Continue reading