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Let’s Talk About Losing Bees

Like many beekeepers, we lost bees this winter. New packages failed to build up in a normal way last summer and were unusually slow to build comb and put away stores into fall. In September, aggressive yellow jacket predation weakened them further leaving them unable to carry themselves through the cold.

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What To Know As Spring Unfolds Into Summer

If April is the beekeeping equivalent of planting time, then May is when our efforts start to germinate.

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Propolis: Bee Glue that Heals

Honeybee propolis is a brown or reddish resinous substance made by bees to protect the hive against animal and bacterial invaders. The word “propolis” is a compound of the Greek words “pro” and “polis” and translates to, “Before the city.” Bees use propolis as a building material to fill gaps and crevices, varnish combs and shape entrances, sometimes creating fantastic gobs that supposedly aid ventilation in the hive.

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How to Talk to Vegans About Honey & Bees

I have yet to meet a beekeeper—commercial or hobbyist—who doesn’t adore his or her bees. There is a beauty and a romance to beekeeping that begins with the sun, and, if you are lucky, ends in a bonanza of the best tasting honey you have ever known.

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From Point A To Point Bee

When I sell bees to a new beekeeper, the question of moving bees often comes up. I get questions like, “Why do you move them after dark?” or “Can I move them again once they are set?” or “Why do they have to be moved at least two miles away?” These and other questions about the subject are not easily understood and can be very confusing to beginners. Yet, the more we learn about bees the easier they are to understand.

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Deep Winter & Preparing For Spring With Bees

By Tom Theobald As I said in the last article, we share a long and intimate history with the honeybee, much further back than most would ever imagine. There’s little …

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Harvest Time

Extracting, or the honey harvest, is going to befall almost every beekeeper if their efforts are successful and the site of those activities can vary from a garage or the family kitchen to large facilities specifically designed and built for handling the harvest. Many of the new hobbyists may quickly find that harvesting honey in the kitchen can be a test of spousal relations.

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Package Bees

Spring is one of the busiest times in beekeeping, as it is with much of agriculture, but it is also a very rewarding and intriguing time. In effect it is “planting time,” when the scene is set for the coming season, and what takes place in March and April can often have an irreversible influence on what comes over the next several months.

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Bee Patient: How Angry Honey Bees Taught Me to Take a Deep Breath

By Phillip Meeks, Virginia – Let me say this up front: I’m not naturally a patient person. I tend to wring my hands and pace the floor if it looks like my family …

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Supering up for a Honey of a Summer

In the beginning beekeeping classes, I encourage new beekeepers to go into their hives at least every seven to 10 days to see how things are going. While a healthy colony of bees in a healthy environment will follow a generally predictable course, growing in population as spring advances, swarming, building again, then capitalizing on the summer honey flows, there are a lot of variations on this theme and a lot can go awry in a relatively short time. Problems tend to propagate themselves if not dealt with early, a small problem uncorrected becomes a bigger problem, then an even bigger problem, then a disaster. The beekeeper’s role is to keep things on course.

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