Short, in-depth review of all things honey bees with hosts, Kim Flottum and Jim Tew
"Winter Is Coming" aka Planning For Winter
Winter Is Coming... are you ready? Perhaps a better question is, have you prepared your bees for the coming winter? If you start now, you MAY be ready, depending on what part of the country you live. In this episode, Kim and Jim discuss what you should be considering as you see snow on the seasonal horizon.
Combining (Joining) Weak Colonies
There are two times of a year when a beekeeper must decide on how to 'save' two weak colonies: The early spring and now - going into winter. Typically, this involves combining two weak colonies or joining a weak colony with a stronger one.
In this episode, Kim and Jim discuss the ins and outs of this decision-making process!
Dealing With Neighbor's Yellowjacket Problems
Beekeepers are very often asked to help friends or neighbors that have “bee” problems…. honey bees, carpenter bees, yellow jackets, hornets, bumblebees and the like. But most of us aren’t exterminators. We don’t have the tools, the experience, or the time to help.
In this episode, Kim and Jim discuss options for these questions!
Dealing With 'Wet Combs' After Extracting
When you finish extracting your honey crop, you have frames that have sticky, gooey honey in the cells, and on the frame surfaces. So how do you clean up this mess so when you go to store the supers with these frames in them for the winter, they will be safe? Kim and Jim take a look at dealing with these wet combs so they get clean and are easy to store for the winter, no matter where you winter.
Ugly (Mean) Bees
What do you do about ugly or mean bees? It can be difficult to determine which colony in a beeyard with several colonies is the one, or maybe one of several, that has scouting guard bees meet you at the gate when you go to a beeyard.
If you can determine which colony is the one with the problems, why is it behaving so aggressively? Several reasons come to mind – something is bothering it at night, maybe a skunk for several nights, then you come along and they’ve about had it with being disturbed.
Or, you caught a swarm. Where did those bees come from? Did you make a split, keep the mother-queen and let the other half raise their own queen? Who she mated with could result in a mean colony due to genes.
Sometimes, it’s just because a big colony has more bees, more guards, more foragers…just more bees. So, a big colony is going to be more of everything…more bees, more honey, more guards. More mean.
What do you do? Worry about the neighbors? Wear heavy duty equipment? Work them at a different time of day? Have a second, isolated beeyard?
Do mean colonies make more honey than gentle colonies? Sometimes.
We welcome Betterbee as sponsor of today's episode. BetterBee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer service, continued education and quality equipment. From their colorful and informative catalog to their support of beekeeper educational activities, including this podcast series, BetterBee truly is Beekeepers Serving Beekeepers. See for yourself at www.betterbee.com
Honey Bee Obscura is brought to you by Growing Planet Media, LLC, the home of Beekeeping Today Podcast.
Music: Heart & Soul by Gyom, Walking in Paris by Studio Le Bus, original guitar music by Jeffrey Ott
Copyright © 2021 by Growing Planet Media, LLC
How Are My Bees?
Every spring we beekeepers buy packages and set up nucs. Come summer, we start to look at what is going right and what may be going… well… not so right. Or at least, something is going but we’re not quite certain just what!
In this episode, Kim and Jim discuss the hives they started this past spring and compare notes. They’re only 30 miles apart and you might think weather and time have treated them equally and… you would be surprised.