All Dressed Up and No Place to Bee

150220 Bee Suit2Well, the good news is that I have managed to purchase the hives, equipment, and clothing I believe is needed to have bees in the spring. The bad news is that it is February in Virginia, with snow on the ground and cold in the air. So the best I can do is take some pictures and keep reading and learning. Here is a picture of me dressed for the bees in my new bee jacket. I was planning to purchase a full-body suit, but am told I would roast in the full heat of summer around here. So a jacket it is.

This past week in bee school we learned about bee diseases and pests, from the tiny viruses to the dreaded mites and the much larger skunks and bears. Continue reading

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Song of the Queen Bee

Beekeeper Chris Hewitt

Chris Hewitt inspecting a frame in one of his many apiaries. This image is captured from an AT&T Real Stories video (click the image to see it).

I had the privileged of spending some time with beekeeper Chris Hewitt yesterday. Chris is in his 9th year of beekeeping, and one of 13 beekeepers in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Russian Breeders program. I have ordered two nucs from him for my Langstroth hives, and he invited me to visit his home apiary. We spoke and toured his house and yard for over two hours, and with his permission I thought I would share some of the highlights. Continue reading