Sitting inside thinking about the recent rains beating down on the hives, it occurs to me that I’ve not written about my experience using markers for writing on and identifying hives.
This may appear as an advertisement of some sort but I assure you it’s simply a suggestion for those that are tired of marking and numbering hives only to realize weeks or months later that your notes or numbers have long since faded away. I tried everything to simply number my hives so I could match up my notes with the hives. I tried permanent markers, sign markers, and every marker I tried let me down. It seems the sun and the weather is a lot more brutal and persistent that I realized.
At first I tried to use permanent Sharpies for labeling hives. They make a clear and nice looking mark for stencils and labels but they faded in sunlight lasting only a couple months in daily direct sunlight, rain, etc. I moved on to their marker designed for Signs (also designated permanent) with disappointing, similar results. Then my friend showed me a really permanent marker he uses to label his hunting equipment and other outdoor property. The trick to finding a really permanent outdoor marking pen is in the name. If it says SOLID marker then you are getting real paint and not ink. I can’t remember the name of the one my friend originally showed me but since that first Solid Marker Pen I have started using Deco Color ID: Solid Stick. The ID Solid Stick is the perfect paint marker for most surfaces and is thermal resistant to extreme temperatures from -10°C to 200°C. This paint stick is opaque, water proof, fade resistant, dries in 5-7 minutes, and can be used indoors or outdoors. Use it outside on glass, tires, concrete, garbage cans, street address identifiers, PVC Pipes and plastic tubing/sheeting and much more! Indoor uses include sporting gear, toys, bicycles, boots, pots and pans, ect. Available in 5 colors: Red, Yellow, Blue, Black and White. They are available at Hobby Lobby for under $5 which is a little more expensive than I’ve found online but worth the price. They are truly permanent it seems. I started using them two years ago numbering hives. Last year I started using the hive tops as my notebook making notes, writing dates, hive status, etc. and so far the numbering and writing looks the same as the day I first wrote on the hive covers. In fact, the paint pen is so permanent the only way to remove the marking is to paint over older notes. Truly a product that works.
Henry County, Kentucky, USA
|Death||14 Jan 1915 (aged 82)
Shelby County, Kentucky, USA
Christianburg, Shelby County, Kentucky, USA
In beekeeping, the Demaree method is a swarming prevention method. It was first published by George Demaree (1832–1915) in an article in the American Bee Journal in 1892. Demaree also described a swarm prevention method in 1884, but that was a two-hive system that is unrelated to modern “demareeing”.
As with many swarm prevention methods, demareeing involves separating of the queen and forager bees from the nurse bees. The theory is that forager bees will think that the hive has swarmed if there is a drastic reduction in nurse bees, and that nurse bees will think that the hive has swarmed if the queen appears to be missing and/or there is a drastic reduction in forager bees.
The Demaree method is a frame-exchange method, and as such it is more labour-intensive than methods that do not involve rearranging individual frames. It requires no special equipment except for a queen excluder. In this method, the queen is confined to the bottom box below the queen excluder.
The method relies on the principle that nurse bees will prefer to stay with open brood, and that forager bees will move to frames with closed brood or with room for food.
In the modern Demaree method, the queen is placed in the bottom box, along with one or two frames of brood (but containing no open brood), as well as one or two frames of food stores, and empty combs or foundation. A queen excluder is placed above the bottom box, thereby restricting the queen to the bottom box but allowing bees to move freely between the bottom box and the rest of the hive. The original hive, along with all open brood, is placed above the queen excluder. The method works best if the nurse bees are remove far away from the queen. The distance between the queen and nurse bees can be increased by placing the brood nest at the very top of the hive, with the honey supers between the brood nest and the queen excluder. If any swarm cells are present, these must be destroyed by the beekeeper. The relative absence of queen pheromone in the top box usually prompts the nurse bees to create emergency cells. After 7–10 days, the beekeeper destroys the emergency cells, and then either removes the queen excluder (thereby ending the “demaree”) or repeats the process a second or a third time until the swarming impulse is over.
The Demaree method makes it possible to retain the total colony population, thus maintaining good honey production. The technique has the advantage of allowing a new queen to be raised as well.
- American Bee Journal, 1892, page 545
- American Bee Journal, 1884, page 619
I posted this last year and, with the start of our season coming soon, I can’t help but repost. I few years ago I assessed my colonies preseason and found they needed a mite cleaning. The difference in their appearance and performance was notable. They were the prettiest bees that spring – vigorous and prolific. Since then I make a point of getting my bees off to a good start early in the spring buildup. Enjoy.
To a carpenter with a hammer everything is a nail. And so it is with me. Registered Nurse with close to 30 years of inpatient hospital unit management, a few graduate level Public Health courses, and 60 years of observation. And so everything looks like a health care management problem (well not everything). Anyway, I thought I’d preface the following comments with a warning that this is just my perspective.
There is a beekeeping saying, “Take your losses in the Fall.” That doesn’t necessarily mean let them die. It typically means combine hives as needed. The economist in us tries to take the least hit possible and combine all of the weaker hives thus at least salvaging one hive out of the mess. My limited experience has been that combining 2 or even 3 weak colonies in the fall still results in a loss. Better to add each of them to a strong hive and take the hive numbers hit right then in the fall. But from a public health or infectious disease standpoint how can we do this safely? If the queen is simply weak that’s one thing, but if an infectious agent or Varroa is the issue you may be causing yourself more anguish by combining an infected hive with a good strong colony. For example, if you were in a hospital room how would you like it if the person in the next bed was being admitted because he/she was weak with a highly infectious disease? Hey, anyone want to share a room with a TB patient? Back to beekeeping… My beekeeping answer is to treat first, pinch the queen, then combine them and even then only if I suspected they were not sick. If they appeared to have succumbed to an infection and are in steep decline then I wouldn’t add those sick bees to another hive, period.
I got to the point of cringing with every Varroa lecture at conferences. But somewhere along the way after looking at the evidence left in my own combs, hives, and other symptoms, I became convinced of a few things. Varroa explains most of the unexplainable. I think successful beekeepers treat early and often. Nowadays, if a hive crashes, I suspect Varroa first. Yeah, maybe they absconded but it was probably secondary to Varroa infestation. Maybe they were robbed but it was probably after they became weak and crashed due to Varroa. I believe Varroa to be the primary cause in most cases. The other events are secondary but that’s what we can see so that’s what we believe happened. We humans are visually oriented to a fault.
But how does it happen so fast you may ask? Ever worked on a hospital ward or lived in a dormitory type housing situation where a flu outbreak occurred? How many sick individuals did you see prior to the epidemic putting everyone in the bed with symptoms? Probably just a few. That’s how it happens. A few sick individuals carrying a potent virus and BAM! Overnight everyone is vomiting with fever and diarrhea. The viri take over and, in the case of bees, a seemingly healthy colony crashes suddenly and we find ourselves perplexed. But why are we perplexed, have we not seen the flu virus in humans close schools? Or cruise ships turn around to return to port after a sudden virus puts all of the occupants in their cabins too sick to continue. Have we been too long without a world plague to have forgotten the infectious disease process?
If you’ve ever read a death certificate it states cause of death. It also allows the physician to state medical factors affecting death. So, cause of death may say “esophageal hemorrhage” but the medical factors might state, “chronic alcoholism.” And so it is with Varroa. Cause of death is “robbing” or “abscond” while the chronic illness would be listed as “Parasitic Mite Syndrome with high virus loading.”
Moving on, so when a colony crashes and robbers come in to clean up the honey guess who takes home something they didn’t ask for? Your other colonies, that’s who. Once the robbing starts the Varroa get distributed among the other hives.
First, in my opinion, you may not want to get into beekeeping if you’re not willing to treat for Varroa and use IPM methods – it’s just too difficult. But then, that’s me. I also take my kids to the doctor when they are sick and don’t let my dogs walk around with ticks in the hope they build a resistance. If you want to be treatment free at least give the bees a chance and buy property 5 miles away from the next closest beekeeper, get clean survivor bees to start, aggressively utilize IPM methods such as screen bottom boards, splits, queen caging, small cell, sugar shakes, and artificial swarms. You’ll be extremely busy but I do believe it can work for some people. For others it becomes an exercise in frustration and disappointment.
Me? I’m going to treat them early and often after a preseason mite level assessment to establish a baseline. I also monitor mite counts post treatment to ensure the treatment was effective. As a primary offense to prevent outbreaks, I treat every spring before honey supers go on the hives. Then, typically, I do a series of 3 weekly OA treatments in June after pulling supers. During the long hot summer, if a colony starts to weaken I treat that single hive after assessment. If a hive collapses and gets robbed everyone gets a treatment. During December broodlessness everyone gets a single vaporization or dribble. I primarily use OA but I may replace one of the seasonal treatments above with a different method. That’s the two pronged plan of 1) Primary preventative treatment and 2) Aggressive Secondary post infection treatments. That’s what you do when you visit your health care provider – expect preventative measures first, and predictable, effective treatment when you get sick.
Hey, look at your hands right now. How many bacteria and viri do you see? Count them. You can’t but if you get sick you may have wished you had washed your hands a little more frequently. Prevention first, but if you get sick take your medicine!
It’s viri spread by Varroa killing our bees. You don’t see the viri, rarely see the mites that spread the viri, and frequently don’t see the symptoms until it’s too late. Good luck managing your bees’ health.
Trained as a nuclear physicist, world renowned bee expert Eva Crane is easily one of the most intriguing and accomplished figures who have found their way onto the Land Library’s shelves. Her sudden shift from quantums to bees came on the occasion of her wedding in 1942. Among the wedding presents that day was a […]
I have a recurring cold! Achooo!!
Credit goes to the cold weather that is here to stay for quite some time. Whenever I get cold I remember the list of things I need to take care of : Vitamin C, zinc supplements , drink lots of water and most important to keep WARM!
Apart from the above mentioned things, another thing that I find comfortable during these cold months is a hot cup of honey-lemon-ginger water in the morning.
Add grated ginger in hot water along with lemon juice and honey and your morning “tea” is ready! Once you get used to this morning routine it is hard to go back. This warm water not only helps in releasing congestion but the ginger in it also helps in digestion and honey soothes the throat.
Throw in a black tea bag in the liquid and you have a rich lemony black…
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One of the first things that will present itself to us in the spring (actually late, late winter) is swarms. And they are great fun too (unless they are your bees). There are many ways to capture swarms such as trapping and climbing ladders. But one device I have learned to appreciate more than any other for getting me up where I need to be is the extendable pole bucket swarm catcher. A couple years ago we featured an article in our local bee association newsletter and linked to this blog which has some nice pictures. I made mine after seeing someone else’s and they aren’t difficult to build using an old bucket and a painter’s pole. Oh, the reason I’m posting this today is because this is a great winter project and one you don’t want to be wishing you had built when you see that swarm hanging in a tree.
Swarm trapping can be fun. For beekeepers it satisfies the same urge fishing does for fishermen. A lot of care goes into choosing and selecting the equipment and bait in hopes of finding the right combination which will most closely match the criteria the bees are looking for in a new home.
After several years of swarm trapping I think I have my preferred trap design down pat. A double 5 frame nuc, with old propolised frames only in the upper box (one frame with old comb, and four with starter strips coated with beeswax), bottom box is empty, bottom board with small screened drainage hole is attached, 1 1/4″ entrance hole with bird excluder (nail) and with closure disk for quickly closing the entrance for moving, main entrance blocked (screw used as handle if it needs to be removed), ratchet strap holds it all together. It’s not heavy and easily to transport. I’ll place this now and bait it with my secret recipe scent attractant in about a month. Placement of traps are 75 to 200 yards away from the main bee yard and along tree lines. Height is best at 12 – 15 ft. but I’m not keen on lugging ladders through the woods so I keep them at manageable heights. Scout bees will give the swarm trap a through inspection with points given for correct cavity size, correct entrance size, odor, dryness, height, and location. The more of these you satisfy the more points you earn and the greater the likelihood they will choose the trap.
Before there were nail guns, powered screw drivers, exterior screws, star and hex bits, and more, there were specialized nails developed for a wide variety of applications.
Long ago, and remember when we talk about Langstroth hives we are talking mid 1800’s, there were multiple options in the ranks of the simple nail. Common nails and spikes, crate nails, cigar box nails, cooler nails, egg case nails, box nails, and more – all fine tuned for the job by shank and head size for a particular job.
Box nails, which we use for hive bodies, are slimmer than common nails of the same penny size and have a slightly blunted point which helps avoid splitting. Along the way, a 7d box nail was deemed ideal for the material and dimensions of bee boxes. It may even have been sold as a bee-box nail. It’s probably still the best nail for the job, but newer fasteners and power-nailers have lessened the demand, making it harder to find.
If you order your hive bodies from one of the major bee supply companies they typically will not come with nails. However, you may be able to order them as a separate item along with your boxes. What you’ll get is the traditional 7d box nail used for ages before the advent of modern fasteners found in big-box hardware stores.
However, what I most typically use is a substitute for tradition. Pictured are 6d, 2 inch, galvanized nails. The galvanization brings the shank size up a bit and provides a little protection from the elements. And they are easy to find in any hardware store. To pay homage to the 7d of yesterday, I usually take a few minutes to look for it on the shelves but I’m always disappointed.
Sometimes a board visually speaks to you and announces it is going to reject your attempts to apply a nail to it. I used to use soap on the nail to ease the boards objections, and the inevitable, but I now have a new helper – beeswax! Often we don’t know if our efforts help or not, but when a nail completes its task without incident we can assume credit with having eased the board’s objections to becoming a box.
I’ve noticed some prebuild boxes are now being assembled with staples. Perhaps in response to inquiries, we’re told the staples (or nails for that matter) are for holding things together until the glue dries. This may be true and I’ve started stapling the lighter, 5-frame nuc boxes but I’ll not risk my well being to a heavy, deep, 10-frame box joint coming undone sometime in the future while 30,000 bees are inside. So while I use a generous dab of waterproof Tightbond III on the hive body joints, I also appreciate the security and tradition of a nailed joint.
Every year I hope to have extra wax for candles and such. However I end up using all of it adding extra wax to the foundation for the benefit of the bees. The extra wax entices the bees to build their comb as well as encourages them to build it uniformly within the confines of the frame.
On the right are 15 sheets of unwaxed plastic foundation. In the middle, 15 sheets factory waxed. On the left , 15 home waxed using a minimal amount of wax but covering all cells. But regardless of the amount of wax, the aroma difference of the home waxed far exceeds the factory wax. So fragrant the bees were landing on me to investigate while I coated the foundation today.
Below is a nice enticement to appreciating the art in The Life of the Bee by Maurice Maeterlink and illustrated by E.J. Detmold. The text can be read online here: The Life of the Bee by Maurice Maeterlink. And more on the illustrator at: Edward Julius Detmold
The Life of The Bee by Maurice Maeterlinck
(Translated by Alfred Sutro)
Illustrated by E J Detmold
George Allen & Co Ltd
Illustrated edition 1911
The Life of The Bee by Maurice Maeterlinck is a wonderfully eccentric book written in a variety of genres. It is informed by the author’s years of experience studying the complex behaviour of bees. Yet this intricate factual account is suffused with epic drama and wildly poetic philosophical digressions.
Maeterlinck, in telling the story of the bee, explores the subjects of life, death, truth, nature, humanity, and everything in between.
The story of the bee becomes almost a mystic parable to describe all human experience. It has the added charm of being one of the most beautifully illustrated books in our collection. Edward Detmold’s paintings perfectly reflect the sentiment and beauty of the writing.
Below I have gathered together some of Detmold’s illustrations and selected a few memorable passages from the chapter entitled, ‘ The Nuptial Flight’ which presents the tragic sex life of the heroic male bee. I hope you enjoy them.
‘Most creatures have a vague belief that a very precarious hazard, a kind of transparent membrane, divides death from love and that the profound idea of Nature demands that the giver of life should die at the point of giving. Here this idea, whose memory lingers still over the kisses of man, is realised in its primal simplicity. No sooner has the union been accomplished than the male’s abdomen opens, the organ detaches itself, dragging with it the mass of the entrail, the wings relax, and, as though struck by lightning , the emptied body turns on itself and sinks into the abyss.’
(Part V THE NUPTIAL FLIGHT 87 –page 166)
‘Nor does the new bride , indeed, show more concern than her people, (for the poor male Bee ) there being no room for many emotions in her narrow, barbarous, practical brain. She has but one thought, which is to rid herself of as quickly as possible of the embarrassing souveniers her consort has left her,…She seats herself on the threshold, and carefully strips off the useless organs…’
(Part V THE NUPTIAL FLIGHT 89 –page 173)
‘Prodigious nuptials these, the most fairy-like that can be conceived, azure and tragic , raised high above life by the impetus of desire; imperishable and terrible, unique and bewildering, solitary and infinite. An admirable ecstasy, wherein death, supervening in all that our sphere has of most limpid and loveliest, in virginal, limitless space, stamps the instant of happiness on the sublime transparence of the great sky;…’
(Part V THE NUPTIAL FLIGHT 90 –page 174)
An interesting article which helps explain the science of honey and cooking with honey. Enjoy this article by A.V. Walters at tworockchronicles blog.
Honey is a foodstuff of almost mythical proportions. It is one of a handful of foods that, left in its original form, never spoils. Honey has been known to last literally thousands of years—and still be edible and sweet. Honey will crystalize—a condition that may put off the uninformed consumer—but crystalized honey is still good. If it offends, you can simply warm it gently and it will resume its liquid amber loveliness.
Read more of this interesting article here: Honey, Cooking, and The Science Behind The Sweet — tworockchronicles
There is no good reason to open your hive during periods of extreme cold. None. Even if you suspect they have died, for whatever reason, opening the hive can typically wait.
Honey bees will form a protective spherical cluster, the outermost bees rotating with the inner bees, to warm themselves. The bees shiver to generate heat and the outer bees form an insulative layer. Being cold blooded, all bees exhibit some degree of slowing down when they are unable to warm themselves sufficiently. As the temperature continues to drop a protective physiological mechanism called torpor begins: a semi-hibernation, reaction to the cold, that reduces their metabolism and allows them to conserve energy and survive by significantly slowing down their physiological processes. Dependent on cluster size this may affect a larger percentage of the bees surrounding the core of the cluster. The role of the beekeeper is to allow the colony to conserve what heat is available by not opening the hive. In a case where it is known the colony is running out of food wait until the hive and bees have warmed enough to move about and only then briefly open the hive enough to insert frames of honey or other food. During extended periods of cold weather it may take a few days for the bees to warm up and begin to move about freely.
Honey bees’ ability to survive winter temperatures is related to both the formation of a winter cluster as well as physiological mechanisms. Another physiological mechanism involves a sugar within honey bee hemolymph called trehalose. Trehalose acts as a protection to cells and enables the bees to come very close to freezing yet recover without ill effects after warming.
…monosaccharides in honey bee diets are fructose and glucose but the most common circulating sugar in hemolymph is trehalose which is a disaccharide consisting of two glucose molecules.
…organisms, can survive freezing at low temperatures by replacing most of their internal water with the sugar trehalose, preventing the crystallization that otherwise damages cell membranes.
…”), microscopic multicellular organisms, can survive freezing by replacing most of their internal water with the sugar trehalose, preventing it from crystallization that otherwise damages cell membranes.
Yesterday some of my colonies were flying – some seem more cold tolerant than others and fly when the temps get to the upper 40s. Anyway, there was a fair number of bees hitting the dry pollen substitute from about noon to 4pm. I went out to do some work just before dark and while out decided to replenish the pollen feeders. I found a couple dozen bees inside that had missed the last opportunity to return to their hives and were in a state of torpor inside the feeders. Wanting to refill the feeders I dumped them and the leftover pollen substitute onto a baking pan before refilling the feeders. My thinking was I’d place them somewhere protected until it warmed up today. Most of the bees looked like popcorn after I dumped them – covered with pollen sub.
So after I refilled the feeders and placed them back on their poles I went to retrieve the baking pans to separate the pollen sub from the bees. They were gone. Everything was gone.
Then I spotted the culprit slinking off. My dog Buster had eaten the pollen sub and the bees. I wonder if he found them tasty? He’s still here his morning and seems no worse for it.
Both my son and daughter have inherited my sense of re-purposing and conservation. My son continues to get a kick out of the fact that nothing in the bee operation goes unused – it all gets recycled in some way at some time.
Pictured is a melting block of beeswax. From nectar or sugar the bees create wax which is used to build comb. The comb is used to rear brood or store honey. Wax cappings are removed and saved when honey is harvested. Even the brood frames are eventually removed, scraped, and the wax melted down. The block in the picture made the above trip from bee to comb to wax cappings and eventually into a block of wax, to the SC State Fair and back to the barn. Now, it’s being melted down for application to foundation for use by the bees this coming spring. The cycle is complete.
As many of my beekeeping friends might remember, I started December vowing to answer to, and identify myself as, “Lorenzo” to reservation takers, waitresses, and others. I am pleased to report that this has worked out well, with the exception of that overly serious State Trooper, so I am extending the practice another month. But Lorenzo Langstroth’s birthday month has come and gone and it is time to pick another beekeeper to honor. I encourage anyone so inclined to participate in this exercise of giving and responding to the name of a famous beekeeper for the month. Who knows when a question on the Certified Beekeepers test may become a simple remembrance due to your participation in this venture. So, with no further delay, during the month of January I will give and respond to the name, “Johann” in honor of Johann Dzierzon born January 16th, 1811. Apparently he also went by the name “Jan” so try each out from time to time to see how that flies. Try it out, it’s pronounced exactly as it’s spelled. Hey, I’m not sure it matters.
Dzierzon came from a Polish family in Silesia. Trained in theology, he combined his theoretical and practical work in apiculture with his duties as a Roman Catholic priest, before being compulsorily retired by the Church and eventually excommunicated.
His discoveries and innovations made him world-famous in scientific and bee-keeping circles, and he has been described as the “father of modern apiculture”.
In his apiary, Dzierzon studied the social life of honeybees and constructed several experimental beehives. In 1838 he devised the first practical movable-comb beehive, which allowed manipulation of individual honeycombs without destroying the structure of the hive. The correct distance between combs had been described as 1½ inches from the center of one top bar to the center of the next one. In 1848 Dzierzon introduced grooves into the hive’s side walls, replacing the strips of wood for moving top bars. The grooves were 8 × 8 mm—the exact average between ¼ and ⅜ inch, which is the range called the “bee space.” His design quickly gained popularity in Europe and North America. On the basis of the aforementioned measurements, August Adolph von Berlepsch (May 1852) in Thuringia and L.L. Langstroth (October 1852) in the United States designed their frame-movable hives.
In 1835 Dzierzon discovered that drones are produced from unfertilized eggs. Dzierzon’s paper, published in 1845, proposed that while queen bees and female worker bees were products of fertilization, drones were not, and that the diets of immature bees contributed to their subsequent roles. His results caused a revolution in bee crossbreeding and may have influenced Gregor Mendel‘s pioneering genetic research. The theory remained controversial until 1906, the year of Dzierzon’s death, when it was finally accepted by scientists at a conference in Marburg. In 1853 he acquired a colony of Italian bees to use as genetic markers in his research, and sent their progeny “to all the countries of Europe, and even to America.” In 1854 he discovered the mechanism of secretion of royal jelly and its role in the development of queen bees.
With his discoveries and innovations, Dzierzon became world-famous in his lifetime. He received some hundred honorary memberships and awards from societies and organizations. In 1872 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Munich. Other honors included the Austrian Order of Franz Joseph, the Bavarian Merit Order of St. Michael, the Hessian Ludwigsorden, the Russian Order of St. Anna, the Swedish Order of Vasa, the Prussian Order of the Crown, 4th Class, on his 90th birthday, and many more. He was an honorary member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. He also received an honorary diploma at Graz, presented by Archduke Johann of Austria. In 1903 Dzierzon was presented to Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. In 1904 he became an honorary member of the Schlesische Gesellschaft für vaterländische Kultur (“Silesian Society for Fatherland Culture”).
Dzierzon’s discoveries concerning asexual reproduction, as well as his questioning of papal infallibility, were rejected by the Church, which in 1869 retired him from the priesthood. This disagreement, along with his public engagement in local politics, led to his 1873 excommunication. In 1884 he moved back to Lowkowitz, settling in the hamlet An der Grenze, (Granice Łowkowskie). Of his new home, he wrote:
In every direction, one has a broad and pleasant view, and I am pretty happy here, despite the isolation, as I am always close to my beloved bees — which, if one’s soul be receptive to the works of the Almighty and the wonders of nature, can transform even a desert into a paradise.
He died in Lowkowitz on 26 October 1906 and is buried in the local graveyard.
Johann Dzierzon is considered the father of modern apiology and apiculture. Most modern beehives derive from his design. Due to language barriers, Dzierzon was unaware of the achievements of his contemporary, L.L. Langstroth, the American “father of modern beekeeping”, though Langstroth had access to translations of Dzierzon’s works. Dzierzon’s manuscripts, letters, diplomas and original copies of his works were given to a Polish museum by his nephew, Franciszek Dzierżoń.
In 1936 the Germans renamed Dzierzon’s birthplace, Lowkowitz, Bienendorf (“Bee Village”) in recognition of his work with apiculture. At the time, the Nazi government was changing many Slavic-derived place names such as Lowkowitz. After the region came under Polish control following World War II, the village would be renamed Łowkowice.
Following the 1939 German invasion of Poland, many objects connected with Dzierzon were destroyed by German gendarmes on 1 December 1939 in an effort to conceal his Polish roots. The Nazis made strenuous efforts to enforce a view of Dzierżoń as a German.
After World War II, when the Polish government assigned Polish names to most places in former German territories which had become part of Poland, the Silesian town of Reichenbach im Eulengebirge (traditionally known in Polish as Rychbach) was renamed Dzierżoniów in the man’s honor.
In 1962 a Jan Dzierżon Museum of Apiculture was established at Kluczbork. Dzierzon’s house in Granice Łowkowskie(now part of Maciejów village was also turned into a museum chamber, and since 1974 his estates have been used for breeding Krain bees. The museum at Kluczbork houses 5 thousand volumes of works and publications regarding bee keeping, focusing on work by Dzierzon, and presents a permanent exhibition regarding his life presenting pieces from collections from National Ethnographic Museum in Wrocław, and Museum of Silesian Piasts in Brzeg
More at: Source: Wikipedia Entry
Have you ever wondered what solitary bees do if they emerge from overwintering into an environment without flowers? We often worry about how flowering plants would fare without local bees to pollinate them, but what about the other way around? – = ? Here’s another question you might not have considered: […]
Bee Time: Lessons From the Hive is more or less officially out. Hard copies have arrived in most bookstores and can be found for sale on the usual websites; the e-book will be available 6 October from Amazon and Harvard Press.
Read full article here: The Book is Out! — Mark L. Winston
This summer, I became immersed in the world of honey. It began with my reporting on a magazine story about backyard beekeepers, which then led to lessons in how honey is made and why it’s been a treasured food for millennia. Did you know there are more than 300 documented varieties of honey in the US alone? Or that the University of California, Davis developed a tasting wheel to categorize the hundreds of flavors that can be detected in these many hues of honey? All this research, of course, ended up with me back in my kitchen, testing recipe after recipe. I write today to share this, my favorite new honey recipe. Think of these fritters as tasty, hearty hush puppies, good enough to make into a meal. The honey flavor is subtle, yet a perfect complement to the corn and pork.
Read entire article with recipe here: Corn Fritters with Honey-Bacon Drizzle —
Worried? Go listen!
As winter progresses the bees will typically move to the top box, work your way around the box. You should hear a sound that resembles static – not quite the rumble one would expect. If you don’t hear anything don’t go wild banging but use your free hand to deliver a gentle rap to the side of the hive which usually increases their buzz for a couple seconds.
My WordPress friend Erik recently posted the blog post below, which I believe fully explains and illustrates much of what beekeeping entails. Set goals, make plans, assess your progress, and above all, “Bee… or bee not, there is no try.”
If one is to take up the avocation of beekeeping one should devote the effort required to succeed, and by doing so, expect success. There are a few shortcuts which may make you more efficient but many which will cause failure. Above all, do all of what needs doing and in a manner which leads you to expect success.
It has been bitterly cold the last two weeks (at least by Virginia standards), often below 10 F (-12 C) overnight, and that is without the wind. As a young beekeeper, I worry that my hives will not handle the cold well. One or two may already have died out, for all I know. Unfortunately it is still January so we must wait. Nothing to do but publish my beekeeping goals for 2018.
Setting goals can be tricky, especially short term ones. You want something achievable, yet interesting. New, but building on past success. Perhaps a stretch goal as well to challenge yourself.
Read the full article by visiting Bees with eeb here: Bee… or bee not, there is no try — Bees with eeb
It was The Bee’s Knees yesterday. Today, it’s honey. To get you into the mood, have a listen to this racy little number
Now, let’s reach for the honey.
Honey just never goes bad. That’s because when those busy little bees are flapping their wings to turn the nectar into honey, excess moisture is drawn out. That, and a bee enzyme, creates a substance in which bacteria and other bugs don’t grow. Which is why they found edible honey in some of the ancient Egyptian tombs.
Read full article at: Echoes of Honey — soulgifts – Telling Tales
‘Bees During Prohibition’ 1920 to 1933.
Celebrating the Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition – Dec. 5th. 1933
1931- ‘Bootleggers Destroy Apiary’
Image: Beekeepers across America frequently found themselves keeping bees in the same remote locations where moonshine stills were hidden. This still is located in Southern Georgia where beekeepers set up apiaries to collect Tupelo Honey.
Moonshiners needed to place their stills in remote areas near a reliable source of water. Beekeepers also needed to situate apiaries near water and in remote areas where forage was abundant. This occasionally placed beekeepers in direct conflict with moonshiners. In 1931, revenue officers destroyed three whiskey making outfits in the swamp behind an apiary of 85 colonies owned by Mr. Scott of North Carolina. Although Mr. Scott did not know the stills were there, the bootleggers piled up thirty- seven of his colonies and burned them and turned most of the other hives over on their sides. All this was done because the bootleggers suspicions that Mr. Scott had given information as to the location of the stills. -Raleigh, North Carolina -Bee Culture Magazine, 1931.
(click to enlarge to full size) The British Black Bee (Apis mellifera mellifera), or European Dark Honeybee, was common until the beginning of the 20th Century. Fully adapted for the cooler climate she was responsible for the pollination of the wild flowers you see in the British Isles today. Sadly a virus practically wiped the […]
Sassafrasbeefarm: Listening to a Randy Oliver lecture he mentions the book, The Rambunctious Garden. It speaks to our ever changing environment and one way of looking at it as we become more and more global. I did end up purchasing the book for my daughter for Christmas. I can’t wait until she’s finish and I can borrow it. 🙂 Enjoy the review.
Last month in a post entitled Making the Case for Saving Species, I reviewed an article written by Emma Marris about doing all we can to prevent species from going extinct, even when the approach is not a popular one – like introducing rust resistant genes into native whitebark pine populations. Intrigued by Marris’ words, I decided to finally read her book, Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild Word, which had been sitting on my bookshelf for several months and had been on my list of books to read for at least a couple of years before that. At only 171 pages, Marris’ book is a quick read and comes across as an introduction to some sort of revolution. Its brevity demands future volumes, which are hopefully on their way.
Read entire review at awkwardbotany: Book Review: Rambunctious Garden
2 1/2 cups of flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinn.
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 cup orange juice
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinn.
3. In a large bowl (separate), combine sugar, honey, oil, eggs, & orange zest
4. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with orange juice, mixing just until incorporated
5. Pour batter into prepared pan
6. Bake 40-50 minutes or until cooked through.
Read more and entire recipe here: Honey Cake — Farm, Garden and Beyond
If you love honey, you will love cheese and honey even more. This paring will linger with you like a deep romance. As the holiday season approaches it is not too late to find a honey for your cheese board.
First things first. With honey, I always like to start local. There is nothing that pleases me more than to support the bees that pollinate the flowers in my neighbourhood in London. Also as a member of the London Beekeepers’ Association, I am proud to support small scale artisan beekeepers from my home city. However, it is not always easy to get local honey as demand far outstrips supply
Read the entire article here: Honey and Cheese Pairing — Honey Hunter
Time to build your swarm traps. Re use the worst of your used or recycled frames covered in the smell of a hive. Strips of foundation, wax or plastic painted with last years wax for increased odor. If you have a frame of partially drawn comb place it in the center of the trap. They will be attracted to the scent and availability of the drawn comb. A few drops of lemongrass oil on a Q-tip placed in… a partially closed baggie placed on top of the frames helps. Entrance should be 1.5 square inches and box size should be about the size of a deep Langstroth (38 – 40 liters). Don’t break a leg trying to position the swarm trap high in a tree. Be safe, place it as high as is comfortable – if it is a well built trap and meets their needs they will choose it.
IS there a connection between how a honey bee collects its nectar on a summer’s day, and the performance of your investment portfolio?
Bees make investment decisions every day, expending much time and effort searching for returns, which in their case is nectar from flowers. The link between investment and bees was explored by ecologist Leslie Real of Indiana University back in 1991 in a study that monitored honey bees’ behaviour to better understand attitudes to risk. This study will be unknown to most investors but offers some valuable insights.
During the experiment bees were given their own investment choice to make: Either feed from blue flowers which always contained 2ml of nectar without fail, or gorge on yellow flowers, which were randomly mixed so that one in three contained a triple payoff with 6ml nectar.
Read full article here: Bees teach investors handy lessons
The turkey’s been stuffed. The first snow has hit the pavement. Ambitious merry folk in white-trimmed red-felt hats are already weighing down conifers in their living rooms with glass globes and tinsel. Yes, ’tis the season when one naturally begins to wonder, “Hey, where do all the bees go in winter?” Good question! After all, […]
If you’re itchy for signs of life over the winter, lord knows you can’t open the hive! But given the right “ear”, you might be able to hear the crunching sounds of life within those four wooden walls. This week, during Albuquerque’s wicked cold snap, I borrowed a “mechanic’s” stethoscope from a local computer hardware […]
All beekeeping is local. These chores are for the Midlands of South Carolina or a similar climate where the bees are flying a least a few hours most days of the year. Even then, do not open the hive deeply or excessively during the winter months. A brief peek inside, looking downward through the frames, is okay on days the bees are flying.
1) Continue to assess stores by tilting your hives from the back to check for weight (hefting the hive). You may peek into the hive if the weather is warm and the bees are flying. Check honey supply and feed with a candy board, sugar bricks, fondant, or thick sugar syrup if below one-half super. Whatever you choose, the food must be placed close to the cluster or on top for them to access the food during cold weather. If you saved frames of honey you may add these (after thawing), placing them close to the cluster.
2) Long periods of temperatures below 50F will keep the bees inside and clustered. If you’d like to check on them place an ear against the side of the hive and give a knock to the side of the hive. You should hear a roar. An alternative method is to use a stethoscope which you can use to determine exactly where in the hive the cluster is located.
3) Continue to clean, repair, paint, and construct new equipment. Clean up and repair any deadouts. Learn from your deadouts.
4) Eagerly look for the start of Red Maple blooms by monitoring the sides of Interstates and roadways.
5) Colony population starts increasing as you continue feeding this month, especially if using artificial pollen. Population will rapidly accelerate when Red Maple blooms. Be prepared for a decrease in the amount of stores as the population expands and they start to feed more larvae.
6) Check for pollen stores and pollen coming in. If none, consider feeding pollen substitute.
7) Moisture control: Frequently check for excessive moisture on the underside of the telescoping cover. If wet, consider adding an empty box above with an absorbent material such as sawdust in a burlap bag or a quilt. Increasing ventilation will also lower moisture inside the hive.
8) If dwindling or queenless combine bees with another colony.
9) Our first reported swarm of 2017 was on February 14th. This year, consider building a nucleus hive or a portable hive for swarm captures. Build a swarm trap to capture your own swarms (and your neighbors).
10) Order package bees and queens for delivery mid to late March or as early as possible for your area.
11) Read a good beekeeping book. Mid-State Beekeepers Association is fortunate to have an excellent library and books available for checkout at meetings.
12) Register for a spring conference or other beekeeping educational opportunity.
13) Renew your association membership. Attend local meetings.
14) ‘Tis the season to be grateful. Be thankful to have a local beekeeping association with hard working volunteers serving the membership and community. Thank a club leader or volunteer; offer to lend a hand.
The above are general guidelines for the average bee colony in the Midlands of South Carolina. We all have hives that may be outperforming the average. We also have colonies that underperform the average. Use your judgement in making changes suggested here. Beekeeping is an art as well as a science. Only you know the many, many particulars associated with your physical hives as well as the general health and population of your colonies.