Hive maintenance

Bee Fondant vs. Sugar Blocks

Once the temperatures start dropping, the bees will have a hard time processing even the heavy sugar syrup.  So I start adding bee fondant to the hives and that works pretty well for me. A lot of people use sugar blocks, but I started making and using bee fondant after a talk by NC Master …

Hive inspection

Getting Bees Ready for Winter

The temperatures have been down in the 30s at night so once again, it’s time to get the bees ready for winter.  There’s really not a lot to do to get the bees ready.  By now, I’ve removed any unused equipment and have been feeding as much as possible.  I’ll start adding bee fondant to …

Hive inspection

Goodbye Purdue Ankle Biters

In previous posts [ here ] and [ here ], I talked about how my Purdue Ankle Biter bees like to rob from dying neighborhood hives that had been infested with varroa mites, and then would bring mites back to their hive where the virulent mites would destroy the hive. I had been doing sugar …

Action, Recommendations

Protective Measures of Beehives During Hurricanes

The following message from Dr. David Tarpy at NCSU addresses keeping bees safe in the event that hurricane Irma comes your way. Hi everyone, With uncertain track of hurricane Irma, there are some important considerations for beekeepers who may be affected by the heavy rain and winds. Please further disseminate to your local network of …

Hive inspection

Varroa Bombs – Take Two

If you saw my post on Varroa Bombs from this spring, you read about how my Purdue hive likes to rob from a neighbor’s hive when they are sick and dying. Well, they did it again. When I did the sugar shake on this hive on June 29th, they had 2/300 varroa mites. On August …

Action, Beekeeper Support

Register Your Hives

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has joined other states in partnering with FieldWatch, an online mapping service to help prevent crop damage and bee deaths due to accidental/unintended pesticide drift. FieldWatch is currently operating in fourteen states and one Canadian province: Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, …

Musings

Bananas, Stings, and Humility Take Two

This is a picture of my husband John. John eats a banana every day. You’ve probably heard about how the banana smell closely mimics the scent that bees mark you with when they sting you. It’s a smell that means, “Sting this animal here!” to other honey bees. We’ve known for years that because John …

Hive inspection

Summer Mite Count Checks & Congrats Bobby!

Bobby Byrd is a new beekeeper this year and he just received his NCSBA Master Beekeeper Program Certification. So, congratulations Bobby! Bobby has been working with me quite a bit in the bee yard this spring and today we did sugar shakes on 2 of the 6 hives to check on mite load in the …