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Author Archives: Dave Strickler

In Support of the Draft

My guess if you were able to talk to a bee, they would be a big supporters of drafts. Not the military kind, but the cooling kind. You see, while it’s cold in the winter and they huddle in the hive to keep their queen warm, they also have to deal with the summer’s heat … Continue reading »

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How to Become a Beekeeper – Part 1

This is gonna be a big topic, but I wished I’d known more before I started, so here is my attempt at helping others… Summary Learn all you can, but form your own opinions Decide what type of beekeeper you want to be Start with a nuc, not a package Give the bees a natural … Continue reading »

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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 »

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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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