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The Polar Vortex landed a blow to the Mid-West where Five Feline Farm is located. Many of the beekeepers in this area report a significant loss of colonies over the harsh winter. One beekeeper described opening a hive to find bees appearing frozen in place. The entire colony dead. Our losses are not confirmed at […]Read more »
Two years ago we added bees to the Chiot’s Run Family. We picked up 10,000 ladies from Dave, a local guy who sells them. He knows what he’s talking about, these were the hives in his front yard. On our way home Mr. Chiot’s looked at me and said, “This has the makings of a horrible nightmare. […]Read more »
Tired of buying compressed smoker fuel, I looked for alternative fuels that would work better and were available around me. I have already used pine needles but after some research found oodles of natural materials ripe for the picking in my backyard. The variety of materials that you can use is only limited by your […]Read more »
Honeybees work. They work all spring and summer to store up enough pollen and honey for their colony to survive the winter. However, sometimes, their best efforts are not enough and they can end up starving to death if their supplies run out. As you have read, in the early spring and late fall when […]Read more »
Why the smoker? A necessity for preventing bee stings, even more than wearing your trusty bee suit, the smoker disrupts the bees’ normal cascade of defense when they perceive a threat. Smoked bees will flee from the source of smoke (you!) rather than advance in a defensive reaction.The result is less flight and stinging behavior. […]Read more »
Winter survival of honeybees is one of my most frequently asked questions from people curious about bees. With the extreme cold temperatures hitting most of the East Coast, this topic has come up again and again. A healthy full-size colony, with an adequate supply of honey, and a strong healthy queen, can survive extreme temperatures. […]Read more »
We recently checked back on our hive after installing the new beetle jails to replace the beetle blasters. As I wrote about earlier, I haven’t been entirely satisfied with the beetle blasters and was looking for alternatives. In the comments to my post, many other beekeepers have shared their own strategies there for trapping small hive […]Read more »
Moving from Beetle Blasters to Beetle Jails: Small Hive Beetle Management Small hive beetles are a pest and a terrible nuisance, but as we learned oh so painfully, they can destroy a weakened hive if they become established and do as they are wont to do: reproduce prolifically. I’ve never had a sadder (or more disgusting) […]Read more »
What is robbing? When I wrote this in July, my area’s (southeast Georgia) nectar flow has stopped and all that is available to the bees is some pollen. With foragers going out and returning empty handed, or finding nectar that is sub-par, I find that my hives get a little hot this time of year. When […]Read more »
I love the fact that bee keeping supplies are becoming mainstream in most local feed stores. When we first started beekeeping we’d either have to trek a 2 hour trip to the nearest hive supply company or order things online with often hefty shipping costs. We pretty much have everything we need for our […]Read more »