Category Archives: Science

A Bee ID Expert

How well do you know bees? Not just honey bees, but all the other ones – masons, carpenters, diggers, sweat, cutters, bumblers, and the other many thousands of species. If you are like most of us, not so well. There’s … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Outreach, Save the Bees, Science | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Prolonging the sweet taste

Most nectar-supping insects land on a flower, take a bit of nectar, then fly off. But bees are different. They hang around the flower, sometimes gorging for ten seconds or more, if there’s enough nectar. Why the difference? Scientists think … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Science | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Package Bee Population

Yesterday, I wrote about bee populations in a hive that starts as a package.  The original bees slowly die while the number of new bees, arising from eggs laid by the package’s queen, rapidly increases. In yesterday’s example, the immigrant … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Queens, Science | 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

Why your honey gets hard

One thing that puzzles a lot of new (and used) beekeepers is the way that some honey granulates while other honey doesn’t.  There are a number of things that affect crystallization rate, including ‘seed’ floating in the honey (dust, previous … Continue reading

Posted in Honey, Science | Tagged , , , | 4 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

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

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