A number of viruses affect honey bees and are significant factors in ongoing problems with colony collapse disorder (CCD) and colony losses during winter. Varroa mite (Varroa destructor), which itself can weaken colonies, can also transmit viruses to honey bees, further reducing hive strength. A recently published research study identified a new virus issue in honey bees. Continue reading
The US Postal Service does work on Sundays, at least at the sorting stations. I got a call at 8 AM last Sunday informing me that the six packages of bees I had ordered could be picked up any time. I jotted down directions an excitedly hit the road to pick them up. Continue reading
As livestock is an important component of sustainable farm design, I felt it important to establish livestock at Two Fish Farms this spring. Honeybees seemed the ideal choice, as larger animals require investment in fencing for pasture and outbuildings for winter protection, as well as more regular daily maintenance than honey bees.
This spring, I’ve been constructing horizontal top bar hives (HTBHs) for the farm as I’ve had free time.
I invested in two packages of bees, and the farm invested in another three packages of bees. Packages are being sourced from Wolf Creek Apiaries and are expected this week. Continue reading
Steller Apiaries in Jackson, Michigan hosts horizontal top bar hive (HTBH, aka Kenyan top bar hive) building workshops the first Saturday of the month February through April, and my sister and I attended the March workshop.
We’d already taken Steller’s introductory course on HTBH beekeeping and put deposits down on starter nuc colonies from Steller, so we were anxious to get our first hives built.
Keith and Jessica Steller are both very friendly and knowledgeable, and are a great resource for alternative beekeepers in southern Michigan. Continue reading