Winter Survival Tips That Work For Me

Virginia bees can survive bad weather, and sometimes even bad beekeeping. I don't use scales to weigh my hives. Instead I record the number of fingers it takes to pick up one end or the other of each hive. If in November it takes 9 fingers to pick up the front or side of a hive but only 4 fingers in January I have good reason to be concerned and address food reserves. Using my FGMO and wax paper technique all summer, seems to have knocked down the Varroa mites to the extent I have not seen any evidence of their presence. Hive beetles, that is

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Questions & Answers (beware - opinions)

 Socratic method - We are always learning and our learning is driven by our curiosity and questions. Answers may satisfy questioning, but more often another question arises and the cycle of question and answer continues. This method of learning is called the Socratic method and is a classic approach to broadening one's knowledge. A novice's questions are a gold mine since they inform the new mind to unknown facts and reinforce accepted answers, but here is the 24 carat gold. The accepted answers must continue to reflect reality and are open to constant re-valuation. The novice, in partiular, doesn't know their validity and will ask for proof, another question.

This article airs the beekeeper's questions and the answers (opinions) offered by more experienced beekeepers. We should all learn from this Socratic dialog.

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Bob's Observations on 2014-15 Winter

With the number of the losses we have this year, I'm sure there are many beekeepers concerned about their management skills. I'm writing this to encourage beginners to hang in there since many of us so called experts have also lost many bees. What is very important at this point is to examine your lost colonies and try to determine the cause of their demise. There are many things to look for, including combinations of causes. The following is a short discussion of common and possible causes that may have led to colony lost.

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