The mites before Christmas

151222 Mars Jupiter Before

Mars and Jupiter before treatment on Dec 22, 2015. (c) Erik Brown

There were mites before Christmas
when all through the hives,
The honey bees struggled
in a fight for their lives. Continue reading

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Hey-bee it’s cold outside

151206 BroodMinder 2

Placing a BroodMinder sensor on top of Mars on December 6.

I received my BroodMinder “Health Telemetry Sensor” devices this past week. It was a good week to have temperature and humidity sensors, as it’s been colder here with some hard frosts overnight multiple days in a row. Mind you, this is Virginia, so it’s been warm with the bees flying in the afternoons. This weekend we’re expecting temperatures near 70 (21 C), so don’t feel too bad for me or the bees.

I thought I would share some initial experience with the device and some changes I’ve already made to the hives as a result of the readings. Continue reading

Bees With A Smile

keeping-bees-with-a-smile1

I recently finished Fedor Lazutin’s book Keeping Bees With A Smile. It is a rather fascinating read about keeping bees naturally in the depths of Russia, where the winters really are six months long. I have to thank the Happy Hour at the Top Bar blog for recommending the book. I really enjoyed the different perspective on beekeeping and discussion of a hive style I was not at all familiar with. Continue reading