Category Archives: Bee Biology

Package Hive Update

Three weeks ago, we installed two packages in our backyard.  We started with mostly new equipment, though we had six drawn, white-comb, deep frames for the bees to nest in right away. I considered using 100% foundation and letting the … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Babysitting the queen

A friend left town for a few days. She had two queens, in cages, which she’d acquired for her hives. As it turned out, she used one of them but her second hive wasn’t strong enough to split. That meant … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Queens | Tagged | 3 Comments

Oh dear, a virus ‘jumps’ from plants to bees

The bane of the bee is varroa. We warn new beekeepers that varroa will kill their bees faster than they can say “varroosis“ five times.  Varroa kills. Thirty years ago, the mites weren’t as bad as they are now. In … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Diseases and Pests, Ecology, Science | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

2017: The Year in Bee Review

As 2017 draws to a close, let’s look back at the year’s best beekeeping stories. With lower honey prices in 2017, some beekeepers left the business and colony counts fell a little.  Back in 2016, I reported that honey bees … Continue reading

Posted in Apitherapy, Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Culture, or lack thereof, Diseases and Pests, Friends, History, Hive Products, Honey, Honey Plants, Killer Bees, Movies, Outreach, People, Pesticides, Pollination, Queens, Save the Bees, Science | Tagged | 6 Comments

The Man Who Discovered that Bees Can Think

You probably know that Karl von Frisch figured out how honey bees use their waggle-dance to communicate. He won the Nobel Prize for that and for other studies of bee behaviour. I think it was well-deserved and his experiments withstood … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Culture, or lack thereof, History, People, Science | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Wax Worms Biggly in the News

The folks who write my favourite business magazine, Economist, have a freebie on their website. They are giving away a 50-page book,  Ten Things We Learned in 2017. You’ll like the second story in their feature: “How plastic-eating caterpillars could … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Diseases and Pests, Ecology, Science, Strange, Odd Stuff | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Unseen Pollinators

If you are interested in ecology (and especially pollination), there’s a great piece you’ll want to read on Jeff Ollerton’s website. Dr Ollerton (University of Northampton) has just released a comprehensive paper on pollinator diversity in Annual Review of Ecology, … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Ecology, Pollination, Save the Bees | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Why are Hives Damp in the Winter?

Last time, I wrote about my over-wintering misadventures with wet hives. In many parts of the world (I’m looking at you, England.), the biggest winterkill comes from moisture, not disease or starvation. During the winter, water may collect under the … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Science, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

How Well Do You Know Your Bees?

How well do you know your bees?  Most of us have neighbours who think that every wasp, bat, and unicorn that appears in their backyard is one of our pesky honey bees. I guess it’s understandable that people of small … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Save the Bees, Strange, Odd Stuff | Tagged , | 3 Comments

95th Birthday for “The Man Who Made Killer Bees”

This week, we should celebrate Warwick Estevam Kerr, the man who made the killer bees. September 9th is his 95th birthday. Just like his bees, Kerr comes from hot, tropical Brazil. And just like his bees, Dr Kerr has been … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Culture, or lack thereof, Genetics, People, Science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments