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”

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”

A different view of swarms

Beekeepers spend a lot of mental and physical energy trying to prevent swarms. A hive that swarms is less productive in making honey than a hive that doesn’t, particularly if the swarm occurs during a honey flow. But, maybe we should stop, take a moment, and consider the good that a swarm can do. First,Continue reading “A different view of swarms”

From the Sloops in Oak Ridge: Swarming

We’ve all been watching our hive populations explode and we’ve been doing a variety of manipulations in an attempt to keep our colonies more or less intact. I began expanding my healthier colonies beginning Feb. 5 – starting with expanding the brood areas, adding supers, and rotating boxes every 7 – 10 days.