Beehives are property worth stealing – here and elsewhere


If you have a beehive or two, it’s property that is becoming increasingly valuable — and worth stealing. We’ve had a couple of incidents of beehive thefts in this part of East Tennessee, and the problem could grow more serious in the coming months. It’s a growing problem in California (according to a recent articleContinue reading “Beehives are property worth stealing – here and elsewhere”

EPA pushes decision on neonicotinoids to 2016, maybe 2017


Well, you can’t accuse the Environmental Protection Agency of making a snap decision. The EPA announced that a recommendation on the use of neonics won’t come until at least 2016 — and maybe 2017. That’s the good news, I suppose. The earlier project was 2018. Jim Jones, the agency’s head of its chemical safety andContinue reading “EPA pushes decision on neonicotinoids to 2016, maybe 2017”

Casting swarms – it’s what bees do


What is the purpose of a colony of bees? Pollination? Wrong. Bees do this by accident. They don’t realize how much they’re helping humans and wouldn’t care if they did. Making honey? Wrong. Bees make honey because this is a stable food source. The fact that humans like honey is again irrelevant to the bees.Continue reading “Casting swarms – it’s what bees do”

World Series time: bees and baseball


For baseball fans — and that would include me — there are two seasons: winter and baseball. That’s like beekeepers. We have winter, and then we have the rest of the year. The baseball season is about to end. The World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals begins to night.Continue reading “World Series time: bees and baseball”

Bee boxes: one size can fit all


When I was exploring getting into beekeeping, I was standing in the barn of a friend who had kept bees for more than 30 years. The barn was full of “bee equipment,” and my friend was trying to explain some of it to me. I remember one thing he said. “If I had to startContinue reading “Bee boxes: one size can fit all”

The joys of buckwheat, part 4: What Langstroth had to say


Lorenzo Langstroth, father of modern beekeeping, recognized the value of buckwheat to his honeybees. Buckwheat furnishes an excellent Fall feed for bees. As those of you who follow this blog regularly will know, I am a huge advocate of growing buckwheat to supplement the natural diet for honeybees. (See the previous posts: here, here, andContinue reading “The joys of buckwheat, part 4: What Langstroth had to say”

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”

New thoughts about old comb


If you look at most any list of “best beekeeping practices,” you will probably find this item: Remove old comb from the hive and replace it on a regular basis. It’s one of those items that gives people like us — who are trying to be good beekeepers — a guilty conscience. We may removeContinue reading “New thoughts about old comb”

Bee bacteria could be substitute for antibiotics


Scientists are Lund University in Sweden are finding that 13 lactic acid bacteria found in raw honey are possibly powerful agents in combatting infections, particularly those infections that have grown resistant to commonly used antibiotics. People have known about the healing power of honey on open wounds for hundreds of years, but just why itContinue reading “Bee bacteria could be substitute for antibiotics”

Bees need water: a video by Jim Tew


We recently posted a short piece on the fact that bees need water, and it’s up to the beekeeper to make sure they have it. This is a good follow-up to that post — especially since it reminds us that bees need water, no matter what season of the year. The video below has ourContinue reading “Bees need water: a video by Jim Tew”