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Author Archives: Dave Strickler

The Socialists in My Backyard

Yeah, I’m OK with the Socialists in my backyard. To be candid, I’m more than OK with it, I put them there, I’m giving them free room and board, and I hope they stay. Thousands of Socialists in my backyard, and I’m helping them out. I must being going insane. Honey bees are socialists – … Continue reading »

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Polystyrene Hives – Your Kidding, Right?

For many years now, some beekeepers have been using hives made from polystyrene. The compound is lightweight, rigid, and is a pretty good insulator – all good things for a hive. But it’s styrofoam. The stuff that the crappy little coffee cups and the containers from McDonald’s food comes in. The stuff that won’t biodegrade. The … Continue reading »

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It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humidity

In the winter, people make a big deal about sealing up their hives. “The bees will freeze!” is often the battle cry. “You don’t know how cold it get’s on my property” is another one. As much as I hear this, I just have to smile. Like the old weather adage says, “it’s not the … Continue reading »

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Spreading the Love of Bees

My brother-in-law just started beekeeping last weekend. He’s been interested for some time, but last summer he came to visit, saw my hive, and clearly started thinking about it. A year later, he’s got a hive, a nuc, and he’s off and running. Beekeeping is a funny hobby. It’s about helping bees flourish and learning … Continue reading »

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Review: Mann Lake HD620 – A Good Hive Tool

I’m a guy, and that means I like tools. It doesn’t mean I’m any good with them, it just means I’m genetically disposed to like them. So to that end, I’m going to start the occasional review about tools and equipment I use in my backyard apiary. With beekeeping, there are dozens of tools and … Continue reading »

Categories: Newbee, Tools | Leave a comment

Correcting Crazy Comb

Yesterday, I had one of those surreal experiences as a beekeeper that makes this crazy hobby worth it. From my last post, you know the bees have started to build comb into a new box on top of their brood nest. While I’m thrilled they are doing this, the comb in they brood nest below … Continue reading »

Categories: Bees, Spring | 4 Comments

Potato Chip Comb

Now I know bees do what they want. This is the nature of, well, nature. You can’t make a colony do anything – you have to give them an easier path to do what you want, and hope for the best. But bees are bees, and sometimes they do weird stuff. I’ve seen crazy comb where the … Continue reading »

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Winter Loss Survey 2012 – 2013: Preliminary Results

Each year The Bee Informed Partnership works with the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and produces one of the best reports on how managed bee colonies (not the feral ones) are doing. 6,287 beekeepers were surveyed who are running 599,610 colonies or about 22.9% of the 2.62 million colonies in … Continue reading »

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Raising Nucs

I recently took and advanced beekeeping class from Dean Stiglitz of Bee Unto Others and the book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping. It was a great class, and I came away with lots of questions answered, and as with any good teacher, my mind full of followup questions well after the class. One topic Dean covered … Continue reading »

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EU Bans Neonicotinoids

In a milestone victory for environmentalists and beekeepers, the EU has banned the use of neonicotinoids for the next two years. While still controversial, neonicotinoids are believed to be one of the links to CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) that is responsible for killing off almost half of the bees populations found in industrialized nations. While Bayer … Continue reading »

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