Thrips: The Insects Hidden Within Dow Gardens

August 4, 2022

While walking through the winding paths of Dow Gardens, we, the interns from Michigan State University (MSU) St. Andrews research facility, were determined to find and record the wide diversity of pollen that surrounded us. What we didn’t realize when collecting samples, however, was that there was a hitchhiker we often brought with us. When examining the flowers we collected,…

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After Work Adventures in Beekeeping

July 1, 2022

Usually our bee blog follows the escapades of the honey bees of Dow Gardens and their beekeepers. This edition, however, is brought on by a rare opportunity provided by social media. We see it all of the time, people trying to figure out how to co-exist with ‘creatures’ great and small. Of late, there have been NUMEROUS bear sightings in…

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Spring Adventures in Beekeeping

June 17, 2022

I cannot believe it is June 15th already! Seems like just yesterday we were anxiously awaiting spring and today it is 95 degrees in the shade. That said, we decided an early morning inspection was necessary because of some situations we have happening in one of our hives. The Dow Gardens beekeepers (and bees!) have been BUSY or should I…

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“Take Your Losses in the Fall”

October 21, 2021

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 the hive have time to…

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As Summer Winds Down

September 10, 2021

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 dramatically with each hive. This…

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What is all the BUZZZZ?

June 14, 2021

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 purchase bees or repopulate with…

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April 28, 2021

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 a new population of bees…

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March 24, 2021

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 know if we will ever…

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It’s Getting Hot in Here

March 4, 2021

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 blooms? Often the answer to…

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Fall Season “2020 Style”

November 24, 2020

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 simple enough. This year, like…

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