“Take Your Losses in the Fall”

This is a phrase I have been hearing all too often this year. The concept is, as you evaluate your hives for their preparation for winter, if you identify major issues, you have to decide whether or not to take drastic steps such as requeening so late in the fall. Is it worth it? Will…

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As Summer Winds Down

It has been a busy summer at Dow Gardens with programs being back in full swing. We have kept on top of our beekeeping, but I regret that we haven’t shared more of the journey on this blog. We have managed to maintain all 4 hives through the summer, however, the status and progress varies…

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What is all the BUZZZZ?

I am sure you all have times when it is so busy, that you don’t even know where to start. That is how I have felt with starting the season with a variety of hive situations. It is HARD to keep track of all of the details: If the hive didn’t make it, do we…

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NOW WHAT?

When I last reported in, we had one hive that was still hanging on (but not strong)…well, Elly stopped by and determined that we had lost the last hive too. She and her fearless volunteer, Alex, then ventured out the next day, on March 25th to clean the dead out and prepare the hive for…

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SOMETIMES LOVE JUST AIN’T ENOUGH

It is with sorrow that I share with you our loss of one of the Whiting Forest hives. It was just 3 weeks ago that we had two live hives, so as the weather started to turn warm, it was NOT a good sign that there wasn’t any activity outside of the hive. I don’t…

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It’s Getting Hot in Here

For the beekeeper, winter is filled with anxiety. Did I do everything I could to help them be ready for winter? Were the mites and other pests under control? Did we secure the hive well enough to protect from predators and cold? Do the bees have enough resources to make it through until the spring…

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Fall Season “2020 Style”

Last fall, preparing a hive for winter was new to me, but consisted of making sure the hive had been treated late fall for mites, stores of honey and pollen were plentiful, putting a mouse guard (made of ¼ inch hardware cloth) to prevent nesting invaders, and capping up the hive for the winter. Seemed…

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Predators and Pests

While I wouldn’t say I am perfectly comfortable tending a hive, I am getting more comfortable and confident that I can identify an issue if I come across one. Varroa mites are only one of those issues. We know that mites significantly reduce the health of a population and more so at this time of…

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Sometimes things go right and sometimes they go awry

On Wednesday, July 29th we pulled the honey off the Dow Gardens bee hives. We used fume boards to drive the bees down out of the honey supers. This was a much calmer approach than our method of blowing them out of the supers with a leaf blower – last year’s technique. We took our…

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The Hive Mind

Michigan State University recommends before you begin beekeeping, you should at minimum read a book, attend a seminar, be hands-on in a hive, and find a mentor. One of the best things a beginning beekeeper can do is to get a mentor. Work with someone with more experience and knowledge, asking questions, get experience dealing…

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