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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 »
While many plants are known to be bee magnets, honeybees and bumblebees will pass them all by when germander blooms. An herb garden is traditionally a busy place, with bees buzzing from plant to plant, their fuzzy little bodies perfect for trapping pollen and transporting it to the next flower. But declining bee populations means […]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 »
There are generally two ways in which you can raise Mason Bees. You can go at it with a hands-off approach and let nature take its course or you can take some quick and easy additional steps to ensure a healthier Mason Bee population. Any help really that you’re willing to provide will be appreciated […]Read more »
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 »