Wing Veination of Bees, Wasps, and Fly

Lately, we’ve been looking at wing veination, or the shape of the veins on the wings, of bees, wasps, and flies. It’s been neat to see the differences and we thought we’d share. Some scientists (not us) can tell the race of a honeybee by its wing veination. This tricky fly looks like a bee […]

Honeybee Pests: Opportunistic Ants

Ants usually aren’t a problem for honeybees, unless the hive is situated right on top of an ant pile. Ants are a very minor bee pest. They are opportunistic and will consume honey left behind in an empty colony. The ants pictured moved into a hive after the bees died. They were picking up a residue […]

How to make beeswax lip balm

I love beeswax lip balm! For me, the following recipe is the perfect texture, and I love how it lingers and moisturizes long after applying. It’s soft, but not too soft. It’s not too oily, either. It’s just right. I use it on my cracked, winter hands and Stan used it today to lubricate a jig […]

DIY Powdered Sugar Roll Jar

Testing your bees for varroa mites is important to do both spring and fall. One way to do this is using the powdered sugar roll test. We like this method because it is fairly accurate, and does not kill the bees. To see how to do the test, see this post. Part of the sugar roll test […]

Deformed Wing Virus

We love when we get very timely email questions about bees! Here is one that I started to answer via email, but then realized that many of you will benefit from the answer and created this blog post. Thanks, Diane, for the question and the photo! Diane’s Question We have this strange thing going on with […]

Varroa Mites 3: Treatment Options

Use the percentage of mites from the sugar roll test to decide on treatment methods as part of integrated pest management. Here are a few of many treatment options to decrease the varroa mite load. Some of them work better than others. 1. Delay treatment Sometimes this is the best method, especially if mite loads are […]

Varroa Mites 2: Powdered Sugar Roll

A powdered sugar roll is a great way to estimate how many mites are in a honeybee colony. Knowing the mite load can help beekeepers more sustainably manage varroa mite load in bees. We prefer this method to the alcohol wash as the bees will survive this process. In this post, we’ll show you how […]

Varroa Mites 1: Prevention

Varroa mites are a parasitic mite affecting honeybees. Mites poke a hole in the bees to drink bee blood. They move from bee to bee, drinking blood and transmitting disease. Mites feed on both adult bees and brood. An adult mite enters the cell of a larvae and then is sealed inside the wax cell. The mite […]

Gift Ideas for the Beekeeper in your life

Looking for a great gift for the beekeeper in your life? Here are a few great suggestions that could fit most budgets, with approximate prices. 1. A new hive tool ($7). These things come in handy and you can’t have too many. See our amazon affiliate store for one example. 2. A subscription to a […]

Honeybee Wax Scales

To make wax, honeybee workers consume nectar or honey and digest the sugars. The sugars recombine to make the complex carbohydrate known as “Beeswax.” Scientists have not fully analyzed the components of beeswax, as it is intensely complex. Bees excrete wax between scale layers on their abdomen. Colored photo of wax being excreted from abdomen […]

Honeybee Photography Contest via Facebook

Here are the beautiful entries for our honeybee photography contest. WOW! There are so many beautiful entries! The photo credit is below each photo. By Jennifer McNamara By Hannah Stoehr By Cris Voss By Jennifer Andrews Begay By Derek Haynie By RaKell Montgomery Sutch By Margot J. Hakanson By Julie Peterson Riley By Angela Kennedy […]

7 Years Ago. . .

7 Years Ago today, Stan asked me to marry him! And I’m so glad he did. We were engaged about 8 weeks before we married. Aaand I was going through some photos on the computer today and came across these. He proposed with bees on the driveway. He spelled the words with honey and beeswax and […]

Crazy Vegetables

                  Here are some crazy garden vegetables we’ve harvested over the years. We love it when we come across them! It makes us laugh. Enjoy!             Crazy Tomatoes Bunny Pancakes   Egg with calcium deposits What is that lurking in the refrigerator? This […]

Observations and Bee Experiment

Summer of 2014, with experimentation and research online, we’ve changed our thinking about foundation a little. We want to use the middle bar frame to promote foundationless frames instead of plastic or wax foundation. We think it’s more sustainable, less expensive, and will decrease some disease transmission. Stan has been raising queen bees this fall. […]

Honeybee Pests: Dragonfly

Yesterday, Stan put out his hives for new queens to be mated. The first worker bee came out of the hive for an orientation flight. All of a sudden, a dragonfly swept out of the air and ate her, and Stan snapped a picture. We think it’s rare to have a photo of a dragonfly eating […]

Bee-Quick

While searching about beelining boxes, we came across this article. Did you ever wonder if there are any SPORTS related to beekeeping? Well, there is! Yes, competitive beelining is an actual sport. Or was in 2004, at least. Like on ESPN at 2:00 in the morning. Crazy! Now Stan wants to do it, of course! […]

Beelining

Stan has been tinkering with his Beelining box again today. It’s pretty cool. For those who don’t know, Beelining is a method to find feral honeybee colonies. You catch some bees in a specialized “beelining box,” then fill their tummy (honey sac) with sugar water.  This makes them want to fly back to their colony […]

Hands-On Beekeeping Course Photos

Here are some photos of the hands-on beekeeping class on March 14. Derek Haynie, the expert photographer, took these pictures. Thanks, Derek! We’re looking forward to the next class installment on March 21. Here is the class gathered around a few of Stan’s hives. The goal for today was to see workers, drones, the queen, […]