Our Bees Are Infected with Varroa Mites!

 

You can’t believe how many different ways there are for a honey bee to die.  Beekeeping is a life affirming activity that is often filled with death.  Skunks and wild turkeys view bees as flying pieces of candy and will happily eat your bees as they fly from the hives.  Mice and snakes try to make homes inside your hives, and the bees don’t care for this.  Infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi abound.  One particularly nasty bacterial infection called American Foulbrood is so deadly that a beekeeper must immediately destroy the diseased hive and burn the all their equipment so the infection doesn’t spread.  As nasty as American Foulbrood is, it doesn’t top the list of threats to honey bees.  Ask any beekeeper what enemy #1 is, and they will all say varroa mitesContinue reading

USDA Discontinues Honey Bee Tracking

Honey bees have the perfect self-governing system.  All the bees gladly subjugate themselves to an omnipotent queen.  When a queen falters, the members of the colony rally together to produce a new queen.  Every action a honey bee takes from the moment of birth until the moment of death is done for the good of the colony.  Honey bees are sophisticated, selfless creatures.  Humans occupy a higher rung on the taxonomy chart, but in my opinion, it is the honey bee that is more virtuous.  For this reason, I become annoyed when honey bees are used for political purposes and that is what happened this month. Continue reading

A Year of Bee Blogging

This week is the one year anniversary of  the Married With Bees blog.  In one year, 35 posts totaling over 35,000 words have been written.  What is more astounding is that some people actually read some of those posts.  The site had 4,000 page views and 1,700 visitors from all over the globe.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to read any of my posts.  The fact that anyone besides my parents reads this blog is a miracle to me.  I think my parents are required by law to read what I write.  The hospital made them sign a paper when I was born. Continue reading

Part II: Troubles with the Monarchy

Last week I wrote about the ongoing drama in the bee yard.  If you missed the post, you can check it out here.  When I wrote the last post, we had eight colonies of varying sizes and only four of those colonies had queens.  These numbers are not great.  Just when things were really starting to look bleak, we had a few positive developments. Continue reading

Troubles with the Monarchy

The last six weeks were not good for the bees.  Our queens kept vacating their thrones, and we were left struggling to keep our colonies healthy while they tried to make new queens.  We have all the elements of a hit HBO series within our bee yard: restless queens, villains (in the form of small hive beetles), sexual intrigue (Will the virgin queens get mated?) and oppressive natural forces in the form of never ending rain.    Continue reading

How Do You Celebrate World Bee Day?

May 20 is World Bee Day.  I don’t know the proper custom for celebrating this holiday.  A magical bee fairy doesn’t come and visit children at night and leave presents.  Although, you may want to stand by your kids beds while they sleep and make a buzzing sound.   When they wake up you can yell “Surprise!  It’s World Bee Day.”  The purpose of World Bee Day is to draw attention to the plight of all bees not just the honey bees, who I believe have much better publicists than the other bees.  World bee day seemed like a good day to write a post about the status of our honey bees. Continue reading