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Mason bees look for tiny holes in the wild to lay their brood. Bee friendly places might be holes bored into trees by other insects or the stems of dried reeds and other plants. Ideally, the hole should be around 8mm (around the width of a pencil) and 3-4 inches deep. The female bee will […]Read more »
Markus Imhoof outlines many of the problems facing beekeepers today in his book More Than Honey: The Survival of Bees and the Future of Our World, which Imhoof had originally produced as a documentary. His slant is strongly pro-bees and anti-pesticides and, in conjunction, anti-commercial agriculture. In particular, I found his interviews with a large […]Read more »
We’re starting to experience temperatures in the 30’s here in Michigan. The trees in our yard are bare of their leaves and it’s starting to look like winter. The sky has that long shadowy dreariness where even at the sun’s peak there’s still a hint of dusk. In the winter, moisture is the bee […]Read more »
We have decided what to do with the top bar hive for winter. We last examined it in mid-October to check out how much food it had. There are 14 or 15 full-size combs drawn out. The four in front had each had brood, but were mostly empty when we examined them. There was honey […]Read more »
Making nucleus hives or “nucs” is a good way to expand your apiary without spending a lot of money and without the worry of introducing Africanized genetics from packaged bees. (Now that Africanized bees inhabit our more southern states, this is a concern.) You also will be creating queens that are best acclimated to your […]Read more »
For Northern beekeepers, it is way past the time to prepare for winter, but in the southeast, we still have 90° F days and the goldenrod is finally in full bloom! The weather this year has been a complete downer with it raining almost every day from 03 June until 09 September and then Hurricane […]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 »
I’ve had a terrible time with mites in my beehives this year and not just varroa but tracheal mites as well. I do not use medications or chemicals in my beehives at all so I searched far and wide for a more natural way to help them out. I know many beekeepers who use and […]Read more »
We all know that bees can sting. Perhaps, after making honey and pollination, stinging might be what bees are most known for. It may seem obvious that bees protect themselves by using their stinger, but in reality, the sting is a bee’s last resort. When a bee stings, it kills the bee. The stinger […]Read more »
In addition to keeping a hive of bees in my backyard and a flock of chickens, I have quite the vegetable garden, mini orchard, and space devoted to native plants. When I began planting native plants, I specifically looked for natives that were useful not only to my backyard hive but also for the plethora […]Read more »