Before beginning mowing season

Beekeeper Bob Schwartz asks homeowners to consider the following before starting up the lawn mower.   Honeybees, in particular, use the early blossoms to start spring buildup. The better the buildup, the better the garden pollination. Few gardeners realize just how many visits to the various blossoms it takes to make fully developed vegetables. If you have ever seen an improperly shaped strawberry, cucumber or an undersized watermelon, think about this. It can take as many as 15 visits to each watermelon blossom to optimize complete pollination, about nine visits to a cucumber blossom, and six visits for a strawberry.

- - Smithfield Times, Vol 98 Num 12, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Pesticides blamed for bee losses

At the end of the 2014 growing season, a series of articles appeared in The Smithfield Times concerning the issue of honey bee health and the agricultural use of pesticides.

Articles listed here.

Bee Informed Partnership - 2015 Survey

The Bee Informed Partnership is an extension project that endeavors to decrease the number of honey bee colonies that die over the winter. The project proposes to help beekeepers keep colonies alive by initiating several levels of surveys. These surveys will document which management practices beekeepers use and the degree of loss suffered by those beekeepers. Using methods developed by human epidemiologists, they will compare the effectiveness of different management practices by calculating and comparing the losses suffered by those that did or did not use a

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Highlights from North Carolina State Spring Meeting, March 6 – 8, 2014

(Notes and comments by Bob and Betty Schwartz)

Thursday - March 6, 2014

Keynote speaker was Honorable Dan O'Hanlon, a retired judge, spoke on how to raise queens and save the world. He was WV Beekeeper of the Year for 2011.

Christie Hemingway, of Gold Star Honey Bees, Author of The Thinking Beekeeper, about top bar hives. Her hives have glass windows behind closable doors.  One of the pros that she promoted was the new foundation created in the top bar hive eliminating the use of potentially contaminated foundation due to recycling of wax. I was personally somewhat skeptical of this logic since contaminated comb has even been found in feral colonies. Another point that she stressed was the importance of the bees regulating cell sizes for their needs. 

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NUC Construction Plans

Everyone should have NUCs standing by to help in managing your bee yard.  Michael Bush makes a strong point of having NUCs readily available whether purchased or self made. His recommendations are posted at his web site.

 John Brown has designed an inexpensive and efficient way of constructing NUCs.  He has drawn a cutting diagram to show how to maximize parts for three NUCs from one sheet of plywood.  It is downloadable here.  Photographs showing construction features will follow.