BeeWeaver Buzz's blog

Books for a New Beekeeper

Finding the right book for your self is hard.  Even harder if you are trying to learn something new.  One of our beekeepers, Emerson Arehart, read many beekeeping books and came up with a short list and summary to help you get started learning about bees... spring will be here before you know it!

Books for a New Beekeeper

Blowing Smoke

There are all sorts of gadgets now for beekeeping.  Frame spacers, hive carriers, frame holders, bee brushes, cappings scratchers, frame cleaners, and the list goes on and on.  For most beekeepers, many of these items are unnecessary, and can even complicate what is in reality a very simple process.  Some of the gear is never needed and other items only become handy if your apiary grows to the point you are a sideliner.

Dylan Bee Stung

The Beekeeper's Thrill

Preface to Andrew Shahan's first blog entry with BeeWeaver:

Blog posts are not something that I had time for in college so I never tried to develop a personality that people would be interested in reading about. But, in the past few years I have collected a libraries’ worth of feelings, life lessons, experiences, and emotions tied to beekeeping. This is the identity that I have been building for years without ever realizing it, and now I hope to share it with you.

Andrew and his father, John, getting into some bees.

The New Beekeeper

As BeeWeaver gears up to take orders for spring 2012 bees and queens, I am reminded of how much beekeepers have changed in the last 2 decades. When I began answering phones and taking orders in 1994 nearly every customer had kept bees for decades, had 5 or more colonies, lived in rural areas, were well over 50 years old, and about 99% were men.

Stung by Heat and Drought in Texas


That smoky smell isn’t from my bee smoker… sadly our part of Texas is on fire.  Even if some parts of the prairies, hill country, big thicket, and south Texas brush aren’t a part of what is or has been on fire - it is burned by the record drought and heat.  Burned up from no rain and temperatures over 100 degrees for almost that many days.  Every Texan, Texas animal and Texas plant has felt the effects of the worst heat and drought in history. 


A Bee finds one of the few flowers around in a drying lake bed

Bee Venom... the Good and the Bad


Four Bees


Every beekeeper, whether they have 1 hive or thousands, has a story of how they started.  Some noticed their vegetable gardens were void of pollinators.  Some remembered that their grandfather had bees and they decided to experience it for themselves, and pass the knowledge onto their grandchildren.  Some are looking for a way to earn extra income for their farm.  A few grew up in a beekeeping family and decided to take the bee industry into the next millennia. 



Bee Mystery Solved?

BeeWeaver's thoughts... The paper by Bromenshenk et al., recently published in PLoS One, adds to earlier work suggesting that CCD is characterized by bees which are infected with multiple pathogens. The new and controversial result presented by this group is that a virus never before identified in honey bees, the Invertebrate Iridescent Virus (IIV), may be correlated with CCD. They used proteomic and bioinformatic techniques to generate the new findings. The methods description is not very detailed but I'll describe what the general approach they employed.

Plant and Design your own Bee Garden

Wildlife-loving gardeners across the world enthuse about planting butterfly gardens, but relatively few think to design and plant a bee garden. Designing and planting a bee garden will bolster the health of your garden and help conserve one of earth's treasures. Why Design and Plant a Bee Garden There are over 3,500 species of bees native to the United States. Unfortunately, their numbers are declining. In fact, the entire world is experiencing a shortage of bees. Why is this a problem? Bees provide the much-needed service of pollinating plants.


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