Thursday, September 18, 2014

We Move the Bees From Ohio to Tampa, Fla. , Day 1- VIDEO

It has been a year since we did this move from north the south to allow the bees to build up on the Brazilian pepper that is so abundant in south Florida, and which blooms in early October.  I have built my little apiary up to about 30 colonies, and Jerry from Rock Hill Honeybee Farms has made a major investment in expansion by purchasing 100+ two-story hives coming out of spring almonds from David Mendes in Maine for the blueberry pollination.  Then Jerry truck his bees to Maine and Ohio for more contracts, did several splits as the bees were doing beautifully, and his apiary is now north of 400 colonies.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Study Links Neonicotinoids to CCD

It's getting harder and harder for Bayer to continue to deny the link between neonicotinoids and bee decline, especially with this new study from Harvard. Unlike the "facts" from Bayer -- which claims insecticides are perfectly harmless when it comes to bees -- Harvard has used actual field studies to come to their conclusions.  Mother Jones called the report a "smoking gun" that targets the neonics imidacloprid and clothianidin as causes of Colony Collapse Disorder.

The study tracked the progress of 18 hives beginning in July 2012. Twelve hives were fed sublethal amounts of pesticides via sugar syrup over 13 weeks, and the other six hives were kept as controls. According to the report, all 18 hives exhibited similar behavior throughout the summer months, but during the winter, bees from six of the 12 contaminated colonies failed to return to their hives, demonstrating classic behavior of CCD. On the other hand, none of the control hives displayed signs of CCD, but one showed symptoms of nosema. 
What's exciting about this study is scientists were able to replicate Colony Collapse Disorder through the experiment. Previous tests -- like the ones cited by Bayer -- have just occurred in laboratories and often only focused on bees in one stage of life. The Harvard study actually administered the insecticide to full colonies from July through September and monitored their response.

Monday, January 13, 2014

February Weekend Bee Class Scheduled

As the days are getting longer the thoughts are leading to new spring hives. Come join us at our home in Georgetown for beekeeping instruction, beekeeping fellowship, and some new techniques.  The class runs from 1:00 to 4:00 February first and second.  We provide instruction, food and adult beverages, as well as a basic hive, veil, and instructional manual.  If the weather cooperated we will also play with the bees on my roof. We've successfully introduced countless folks to the joy of beekeeping with this weekend.  The cost is $300 and includes the equipment described.

We only have room for six. Please email me at if you are interested.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Making Swarm Lure At Home, An Experiment - VIDEO

The Juice
Jerry and I are headed down to Florida tomorrow to check on, and potentially move our bees from Davie to Vero Beach into the citrus groves.

Our luck in Davie has been mixed.  The fire ants and wax moths have been a continued problem, and several of the hives have succumbed to these pests.  The build-up we had hoped to capture during the brazilian pepper flow in September/October failed to materialize in a meaningful way, meaning back-filling with corn syrup, an adventure on its own with Dadant in High Springs, Florida (a six hour drive each way for us) the only supplier.  Jerry has been down since (without his Tonto) and saw modest improvement after the syrup feeding and substantial pollen patty supplementation, but Tuesday will prove out where we are after these last four months.