BeeWeaver News and Articles

News

Vanishing of the Bees
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Saving the Honey Bees: Hour of Decision
CNN News
BBC News: Infections link to bees decline
Trouble - Bad Winter

BeeWeaver Instructions

Introducing BeeWeaver Queens
Introducing Queens
A BeeWeaver Queen and her daughters

Make sure your hive does not have a queen. Remove the cork from the candy end of the queen cage. Wedge the queen cage between two of the center frames with the screen on the cage exposed downward toward the bottom of the hive so that the bees can access the queen through the screen. The bees must also have access to the hole in the candy end of the cage. Be sure the candy end of the cage is slightly lower than the area of the cage occupied by the queen. Take care to make certain that the queen cage is securely embedded in wax or is secured to the top of the frames. If the cage falls to the bottom of the hive the queen may not survive. The queen must be placed in the part of the hive where the bees are clustered. Close the hive and wait one week before opening it. After one week open the hive. The queen should be out of her cage and she should have eggs laid in one or two of the combs. If she is not out of the cage, release her by taking the screen off.

Hives that have been queenless so long that all of the brood has hatched out do not accept queens very well. If possible, such a hive should be given one or two combs with brood in them from another colony before introducing the new queen.

When you are re-queening, you may install the new queen immediately after killing the old one or you may wait as long as four or five days before installing the new queen.

To increase the chances of the new queen being accepted into your hive you may choose to smear wax, honey, and/or propolis onto the screen of the queen cage from the hive you are installing her into. The queen will walk on the hive products and smell more like a hive member than a stranger when she is released.

Hiving Package Bees
Skip  hiving his first package

Have your hive ready before the package bees arrive. Be sure the hive has been provided with honey or sugar syrup for feed. The entrance of the hive should be reduced to a width of about 2 inches by stuffing grass or newspaper into the entrance slot. Do not close the entrance completely because the bees might smother.

Take the cover off the package, remove the feed can, and remove the queen cage. This procedure is made easier by prying the can up with a hive tool, then gently banging the package down on the ground to dislodge the bees from the can and the queen cage. Look in the queen cage to make sure the queen is alive. If the queen is dead, telephone us immediately for a replacement. Remove the cork from the candy end of the queen cage and hang the queen cage, candy end down, between two of the center frames in your hive. The bees must have access to the screen on the queen cage. At this point, you may remove four of the outside frames and set the package of bees into the hive with queen and can removed, then cover the hive and allow the bees to crawl out.

Another method is to turn the shipping cage bottom up, over the hive and shake the bees into the hive making sure some of them fall between the frames where the queen cage is hung. Cover the hive and do not disturb it for at least a week. After one week the queen should be out of her cage and should have eggs laid in one or two combs. If you have started the hive on foundation only, the bees should be drawing out two or three sheets of the foundation. Starvation of the bees is the biggest hazard to successful establishment of the package of bees. Continue to feed them, taking care not to get robbing started, until you are sure the bees are producing enough honey to maintain themselves.

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Honey Bee Facts

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Australian Honeybee Imports

IAPV/CCD
CCD/IAPV and Australian Link

CCD research - Do the facts warrant a moratorium on Australian imports?

Research recently reported in Science, which most of you have probably heard about, identifies an association between Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) and some CCD samples. You may want to read the paper for yourselves if you haven't done so already. Some people think that the paper proves that IAPV causes CCD and that IAPV entered the US in imported Australian bees but neither has been proven. Others have already made up their minds about the issue of whether Australian bee imports have anything to do with CCD, and whether curtailing Australian imports would reduce the threat of CCD, but for those of you who still have open minds, I'd like to confuse the issue with a few key facts.

First, let me begin by saying that while I am as concerned as anyone about the health of US honey bees, and I want to get answers to what is causing CCD, and what we can do to stop it, I do not personally support a moratorium on Australian bees. Of course you can dismiss my opinion by noting that since the regulations have been changed to allow Australian imports (a change I initially resisted) I have been involved in importing Australian package bees and queens, and it is in my own pecuniary interest to keep Australian imports flowing. You can say that, but I hope you read on, because I want to protect the US industry as much as anyone, and I have the interests of the whole beekeeping industry at heart. After all, many beekeepers have used Australian packages to successfully restock or strengthen hives that perished or were weakened by CCD or other problems. And I also breed and sell US queens and packages too, so I would not knowingly shoot myself in the foot just to import a few Australian packages or queens. However, I favor implementing meaningful changes to US laws and regulations to better protect the US beekeeping industry when and if the science demonstrates that imports of foreign bees pose a risk of introducing pathogens or parasites that are not already in the US. If the data demonstrate that there are pests or pathogens present in honey bees from Australia that we do not have here, then changes to current regulations may be warranted. But I believe that our current international treaty obligations require us to look and prove that exporting countries have risks not present in the US if we want to exclude imports. Consequently, immediate, systematic collections and evaluation of honey bee samples from across the country should begin, so that we know the current extent and distribution of various organisms of interest. We also must persuade Congress to fund and USDA to conduct a National Honey Bee Pest and Pathogen Surveillance program to conduct on a regular basis in the future.