16 October 2009

Bees fight back against CCD: some honey bees toss out varroa mites

News like this and other updates from The Beekeepers Connection, a group on Linked In

14 October 2009

Apis Mellifera

Beautiful site, http://www.apis.me/blog/, with fascinating info on different hive types.

National Hive, by Peak Hives

Neat video, from Peak Hives (www.peak-hives.co.uk).

12 October 2009

Peak Hives

Here's a gratuitous plug for http://www.peak-hives.co.uk/.

I particularly like this site as (a) the owner reads this blog and (b) there is a pleasing disconnect between the skep site logo and the beautiful handmade hives.

Bees stopped play

09 October 2009

Vanishing of the Bees

The Vanishing of the Bees is the latest in a flood of bee films (http://vanishingbees.co.uk/)

Stretching credulity, Liam Gallagher presents a short promo on the plight of bees, complete with yoof swagger, Mockney and strange hand movements (see http://vanishingbees.co.uk/blog/liam_and_the_bees/).

08 October 2009

The Last Beekeeper

The bee population is steadily declining. Sure, bees can sting, but they also pollinate plants and fruit-bearing trees. Meaning we can't harvest our crops and grow successful gardens without them. "If all the bees die, what do you have to live for?" asks beekeeper Matt Hutchens.

The Last Beekeeper, produced by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, follows the lives of three commercial beekeepers in South Carolina, Montana, and Washington. Over the course of a year they struggle to come to terms with the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or European honey bee colony abruptly disappear. CCD threatens crops and world food supply along with the livelihoods of beekeepers.

PS I was at school with Fenton, four million years ago (although only ten years ago for him, looking at his picture).

07 October 2009

Ask two beekeepers, get three answers.

You see, it would all be so much easier if (a) I remembered what I had already learned and (b) beekeeping was more science than art.

Max (apiary warden) and the bee inspector (David Rudland, I think) noted that the bees had particularly bad infestations of varroa. Part of the problem was that I had put the Apiguard trays on top of the crown board rather than on top of the brood box. This, I am told, makes it less effective. I know pefectly well that the Apiguard should go on the brood box. D'oh.

The second part of the problem was that some beekeepers think it makes no difference - it's purely whether the bees actually take their medicine, not whether it's on the crown board or brood box.

Ask two beekeepers, get three answers.