Italian bees don’t necessarily come from Italy


This will be amusing to those who know something about beekeeping. The Washington Post has published a photo essay under the headline: How Italian honeybees in Main are helping to sustain our food supply. The photos are very good. They were shot by  Andrees Latif of Reuters. The story’s editor at the Post is Nicole Crowder, editorContinue reading “Italian bees don’t necessarily come from Italy”

BCBA members show off bees during Blount Farm Tour


More than 850 Blount County students and teachers saw first-hand what beekeeping is like during the Blount Farm Tour earlier this month. That exposure to bees came through the efforts of Blount County Beekeepers Association members Harlen Breeden, Pat Breeden, Darlene Parton and Charlie Parton. They were helped by UT grad student Heather Lowry, whoContinue reading “BCBA members show off bees during Blount Farm Tour”

The joys of goldenrod


To most Americans, goldenrod is a weed. To Europeans, however, goldenrod is a much-prized plant that gardeners go out of their way to cultivate. To many people in ancient times and a growing number in the 21st century, goldenrod is a medicinal herb that has many uses. To honeybees, goldenrod is a major source ofContinue reading “The joys of goldenrod”

Remember: Provide water for your bees


Bees need water just about all year long — especially in these final hot, dry days of summer. Water is vital for a number of functions the bee must perform, particularly cooling the hive, so it’s up to the beekeeper to make sure the bees have a good source of clean, fresh water close toContinue reading “Remember: Provide water for your bees”

BCBA’s booth at the Maryville’s Farmers Market, August 0214


Beekeepers from the Blount County Beekeepers Association got to show off some of their equipment, honey and bees to the folks at the Maryville Farmers Market. The beekeepers included Harlen Breeden, Bill Manuel, Charlie Parton, Jose Ashbrook, Christy Ridley and Heather Lowery, one of John Skinner’s graduate students who brought a four-story observation hive. Thanks very muchContinue reading “BCBA’s booth at the Maryville’s Farmers Market, August 0214”

The ‘waggle dance’ explained: video by bio-tracking lab at Georgia Tech


Most of us know about the “waggle dance” the bees do to tell other bees about pollen and nectar sources outside the hive. But how exactly does that work? The video below explains it about as well as any we have seen. It comes from the bio-tracking lab at Georgia Tech University.     Remarkably, allContinue reading “The ‘waggle dance’ explained: video by bio-tracking lab at Georgia Tech”

Tew: Beekeeping is different from what it was 30 years ago


Beekeeping is different from what it was 30 years ago, and bees seem to need a lot more “babysitting.” Beekeeping expert and author Jim Tew made that point at the beginning of his second presentation to the Blount County Beekeepers Association on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. (Read our article published just after his presentation.) BelowContinue reading “Tew: Beekeeping is different from what it was 30 years ago”

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”

Beekeeping expert Tew talks about bees and their environment at August BCBA meeting


Jim Tew told Blount County beekeepers that the environment for bees is a complicated one, and not every plant a bee visits is good for it — and some plants can be downright dangerous. “So much of this (the environment for bees) is so complicated, that it’s a wonder that bees can do anything at all,”Continue reading “Beekeeping expert Tew talks about bees and their environment at August BCBA meeting”

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”