Category Archives: Ecology

Should you feed a tired bee?

Feeding bumblebees that are resting in a garden has become a thing. I’ve seen some twitter tweets with concerned citizens gallantly virtue signalling their good deed – giving a bee a drink of sugar water. Here’s a sample: You can … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Save the Bees, Strange, Odd Stuff | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Minding the June Gap

I ran this piece last year, but it’s worth repeating. After the natural spring bouquet has begun to fade, honey bees may become hungry. The hives are (usually) strong with lots of brood. If there is a long gap between … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Ecology, Honey Plants | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Celebrating Pollination Week

National Pollinator Week is coming, June 18-24. You have less than two weeks to get your affairs in order.  I’m not always sure what a person is supposed to do when National (fill-in-the-blank) Day/Week/Month is celebrated. Well, it’s pretty obvious … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, or lack thereof, Ecology, Outreach, Save the Bees | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Peak Dandelion

For a lot of temperate-climate beekeepers, dandelions are the peak of the spring season.  Their bloom marks the point where hives are finally getting much stronger, nectar is pouring in, and the dandelions’ massive gifts are giving a fine boost … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Climate, Ecology, Honey Plants | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Pollen Specks

Yesterday, I saw the first pollen of the year carried by bees in our area.  It’s almost May! Local bees have been without fresh pollen for over six months.  The pollen specks which I saw were pitifully specky. If you … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Climate, Ecology, Honey Plants | Tagged , , , , | 6 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

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

Busy as a Bee

I try to write at least one blog post every week. It’s not hard to find material. Honey production, honey chemistry, queen breeding, nectar sources, apitherapy, famous beekeepers, colony management, bee diseases, and on and on – it’s easy to … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Outreach | Tagged , | 10 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

Better Bees

Hungary, where I am today, has a long beekeeping history. Honey bees have been part of the ecology for thousands of years. Here, they are indigenous species whereas in the Americas (and Australia, New Zealand, and much of Asia), the … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Climate, Culture, or lack thereof, Ecology, Genetics, Science | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments