Category Archives: Diseases and Pests

You thought bees were vegetarians?

Well, looks like another sacred truth has been shattered. Bees eat beefy little microbes as part of their regular diet. Never again will I stand in front of a class of new beekeepers and implore them to marvel at the … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Diseases and Pests, Ecology, Pesticides, Save the Bees, Science | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

At least one of these bees is a laying worker

At least one of the bees in the picture above is a laying worker. Can you spot her?  I can’t. But if you read this post to the end, you will have the answer – and a really nice bonus, … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Diseases and Pests, Queens, Science | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Are you listening to your bees?

Experienced beekeepers approach their hives as one might enter a church or temple. With quiet respect. Once there, we listen. That’s an important part of our role.  The listening beekeeper knows in an instant if the colony is queenless or … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Diseases and Pests, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The $3 Billion Vacation

I’ve heard ‘three billion dollars’ as the ‘permanent’ cost of giving 700,000 US government workers an unexpected 35-day vacation. There were also thousands of consultants furloughed because of the federal shutdown.  According to economists, who mostly look at lost income … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, or lack thereof, Diseases and Pests, Strange, Odd Stuff | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Causes of Winter Losses

Spring teased us today. It looked good for a few minutes. The sun was shining and we could imagine that someday it could be Cancun-warm here. But we will get another layer of snow tonight here in western Canada. Nevertheless, … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Diseases and Pests | Tagged , , | 9 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

Crazy Russian Hacker lost all his bees!

My son is a fan of a YouTube sensation who calls himself the “Crazy Russian Hacker.” Taras Kulakov came to America from the Ukraine as a child refugee. He’s 30 now. A few years ago, he began making fun videos … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Diseases and Pests, Movies, Outreach, People, Save the Bees, Strange, Odd Stuff | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Have you lithium-chlorided your bees yet?

A friend (Thanks, Thomas!) sent a note this morning about a new mite treatment. It was developed at the University of Hohenheim, Apicultural State Institute, Stuttgart, Germany. Findings were published in Nature.  So, I am guessing that the science – … Continue reading

Posted in Diseases and Pests, Save the Bees, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , | 21 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

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