The responsibilities of a beekeeper


Jim Tew’s presentations to the Blount County Beekeepers Association meeting on Monday provoked my thinking about the responsibilities we take on when we call ourselves beekeepers. So just what are those responsibilities? To my mind, there are three: Providing a home for the bees . . . . . . as long as they willContinue reading “The responsibilities of a beekeeper”

The joys of buckwheat, part 3: The crowd


If you want to dig into a beekeeping subject with some depth and with people from around the globe, try BeeSource.com. It’s an online bulletin board where thousands of people go to contribute, discuss, learn and even argue (though always civilly). After writing about buckwheat on this site (HERE and HERE), I posted something aboutContinue reading “The joys of buckwheat, part 3: The crowd”

A panacea for hives with queen problems from Michael Bush


Michael Bush, author of The Practical Beekeeper, and strong advocate of non-chemical beekeeping (and someone we have quoted here before), says there is a single solution to almost all queen problems in a hive: There are few solutions as universal in their application and their success than adding a frame of open brood and eggsContinue reading “A panacea for hives with queen problems from Michael Bush”

Year-around (almost) blooms for the bees


Providing our bees with abundant, natural nutrition is by far the most important task of the beekeeper — far more important than hive inspections, equipment, medications, or any of the other things we spend a lot of time with. What if we could provide that natural nutrition all year long — or 10 months outContinue reading “Year-around (almost) blooms for the bees”

The joys of buckwheat, part 2: the video


Late summer is a tough time for bees. A lot of their honey is gone (because we’ve taken it), and there isn’t much to feed on. One of the solutions to this dilemma is buckwheat, a subject that we wrote about just a couple of weeks ago. A good amount of buckwheat is now in bloomContinue reading “The joys of buckwheat, part 2: the video”

Re-queening: Five reasons not to do it


Almost all of the Sacred Texts and Tribal Elders of Modern Beekeeping will give you this straightforward piece of advice: You must re-queen at least every two years to keep up the honey production. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? But let’s think about it in a different way for a moment. There are some veryContinue reading “Re-queening: Five reasons not to do it”

The joys of buckwheat


During these late summer months in East Tennessee, we typically think there is not much available for the bees as far as sources of nectar and pollen. That doesn’t have to be the case. If you have any kind of a garden (or just an open area), buckwheat can provide great benefits for your beesContinue reading “The joys of buckwheat”

Reducing your hives? Think about starting at the bottom


Does this scenario sound familiar: You extract your honey, and you put your wet supers on top of the hives to let the bees clean them off. Once they’re finished — and they do their usual beautiful job of getting the honey and straightening the comb — you go back in and take those supersContinue reading “Reducing your hives? Think about starting at the bottom”

Key question for beehive location: Any good restaurants around here?


Most people believe — and some research has shown — that the best place for a hive is in full sun, not in the shade. Hives can survive in the shade, of course, but full sun has been associated with a lower Varroa mite population. So if you have a choice, choose full sun. More importantly, hives should be close to a lot of sources of nectar and pollen, so the bees can have plenty to eat.

Bushfarms.com worth a look for beekeepers


Michael Bush, a beekeeper in Nebraska, thinks we should change our attitudes and our practices about beekeeping. He has written a number of books including The Practical Beekeeper: Beekeeping Naturally. He has also put together many of his thoughts into a website that you can find at this address: http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm Bush thinks that many beekeepersContinue reading “Bushfarms.com worth a look for beekeepers”