Within a hive there are three types of bees. The queen, drones, and worker bees. There is only one queen in a hive, is female, and lays eggs to produce more bees. About 15% of the hive population are drone bees which are male and their only job is to mate with a different queen. Finally about 85% of the bees are female worker bees and they do all of the work around the hive. They take care of the brood, clean and defend the hive, and gather pollen and nectar.
There are numerous factors to consider when determining where to place your hive(s) which include they physical location, bee needs, and human needs. A good starting point is to do an internet search to determine if your local community has set guidelines for maintaining hives. Allouez Wisconsin, for one, has a number of rules to be followed.
- South facing is optimal – early morning wake-up to start foraging
- Shade in the PM – so the hive doesn’t overheat in summer
- Access to water – needed to make honey
- Good air ventilation – so the hive doesn’t get damp
- Wind block – can be man-made or natural to help hive survive the winter
- No obstruction in front of hive – bees like to exit and fly up
- Slight lean to the front – so rainwater can drain out
- Pollen and Nectar Sources – for honey production
- Level side to side – bees don’t care but could hurt honey production
- Accessible by vehicle or cart – honey and equipment are heavy
- Permission – check local ordinances and neighbors
- Accessible from the back of hive – best to work from the back of hive
- Weeds and Mowing – keep the hive weed free and trimmed
The following video discusses the most basic bee equipment that a first time beekeeper will need. You will learn about different personal protection gear, gloves, hive tools, bee brushes and smokers.
There is promising research coming out of Finland which, if successful, will be the first insect vaccine. American foulbrood is a devastating disease that requires killing all of the bees and burning of all equipment to prevent the spread to other colonies. The vaccine is edible and is passed from the queen to her offsprings. Read the full article here.
Purchase your tickets by January 12, 2020 for the movie “The Pollinators” and it will be shown in Green Bay at Marcus Bay Park Cinema on January 23, 2020.
Watch the Movie Trailer
Overview: Much of the food on our tables comes from the intrinsic act of pollinating the flowers that become the fruits, vegetables and nuts we eat, but agricultural practices, pesticides and politics are making that simple act of nature more difficult everyday. Honey bees pollinate one third of the food we eat, yet alarmingly honey bee populations in this country have fallen by half since the 1940’s and continue to decline. Honey bees are threatened by indiscriminate pesticide use, disease, industrial scale mono-culture farming and powerful corporate lobbying interests that work to influence the EPA and USDA, who are our gatekeepers for a safe agricultural system. Our very food system is under threat and rests on the wings of these tiny insects and the commercial beekeepers that move them from farm to orchard pollinating crops that native pollinators can no longer adequately accomplish.
This film will follow migratory beekeepers and their bees throughout a growing season, joining them as they stop to pollinate the myriad plants and trees that depend upon honey bees to grow and produce our food. Much of the work moving bees is done at night when the bees are in their hives so few people actually get to see what these beekeepers do. Throughout the journey we will meet farmers, scientists, chefs and academics to give perspective to this complex food system that we all depend on. We will explain the problems of modern large scale agriculture, offer ideas on how it can be improved and learn about these pollinators that are a subculture of agriculture and a vital cornerstone of our entire food system. It’s a cinematic road trip that will result in a feature length documentary film about the importance of pollination to our food system, the complex interrelationship between migratory beekeepers, their bees and the agriculture system that needs these migratory honey bees in order to grow the food we eat.
Ever wonder what your bees encounter in your apiary? This site will tell you how they’re doing in regards to floral sources, the amount of pesticides the may encounter and nesting sites for native/wild bees. You can also become a citizen scientist and help to gather information on bees in your area
Have you done your MITE CHECK yet?
Learn why integrated pest management (IPM) is important to keep your bees alive and how to apply it to your hives.
Below are the first two seminars (of a six part series) created by the University of Minnesota to help us manage Varroa with a plan.
- Managing Pests with a plan – https://www.beelab.umn.edu/sites/beelab.umn.edu/files/ipm_final_1.mp4
- Managing Varroa Destructor with a Plan –https://www.beelab.umn.edu/sites/beelab.umn.edu/files/managing_varroa_destructor_with_a_plan_-_version_2.mp4
A great resource to help bee keepers with IPM – HONEY BEE HEALTH COALITION released an information sheet for hive management decisions related to American Foulbrood (AFB) and European Foulbrood (EFB).
During the May 2109 meeting of the Brown County Beekeepers Association attendees were treated to two informative talks related to honey bees. The bee clubs goal is to provide timely, accurate, and interesting education at each meeting. All persons interested in bees and beekeeping are invited to attend.
Kaelyn Sumner Pulaski FFA Student Advisor. She presented her science fair project that she will be taking to state level. Her goal was to determine if location or geographic location impacted glucose levels in honey. She had over 60 honey samples from all across the United States and even one from Canada. One of her biggest challenges was finding the correct dilution of the honey to determine glucose levels. Surprisingly, she found that geographic location did NOT impact glucose levels in honey. Thank you for your work and for sharing with our club. Kaelyn will be presenting her project to State – Wisconsin Convention as one of the five top projects.
Slava Strogolov CEO of Strong Microbials Inc. presented information about Honey Bee nutrition using pre-biotics and strong microbials to promote bee health, reproduction and longevity. He explained the positive impact of using pre-biotics on Foul Brood, Chalk Brood, other diseases and pesticides and insecticides. Attendees had the opportunity to buy his product DFM.
Honey and Cheese Tasting Event for Club Members and family
BCBA is holding a Honey and cheese tasting event !
Kent Pegorsch, president of the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association (WHPA) will give a presentation on the different Wisconsin flowers and nectar sources. Every participant will receive a flavor wheel and color chart from the American Honey Tasting society (AHTS) as we taste various honey samples side by side. We’ll then pair the sweet flavors of the honey with different types of artisan cheeses supplied by Nala’s Framagerie in De Pere. Wine can be purchased separately.
When: Tuesday June 11, 2019
Where: Nalas Framagerie, 2665 Monroe Rd De Pere
Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm
Cost: $20.00 per person – $10.00 age 12 and under
Limit: 20 people due to space constraints at Nala’s – ONLY 3 OPEN SEATS AVAILABLE! (as of 5/4/2019)
Contact: Julie Mazzoleni -Vicepresident@browncountybeekeepers.com to register and/or bring your payment to the next Club meeting on Wednesday May 15th.