September 8-15th is the Pollinator Partnership’s second annual Mite-A-Thon and you are invited to participate!
The Mite-A-Thon is a Tri-national (Canada, United States, and Mexico) effort to raise awareness about honey bee colony Varroa infestations levels in North America.
Mite level data including apiary location, total number of honey bee colonies, number of colonies tested, local habitat, and the number of Varroa mites counted from each tested colony is to be uploaded to the following website: www.mitecheck.com
The underlying goal of this initiative is to encourage beekeepers to simply monitor for Varroa Mites in their honey bee colonies.
Long hours make for long days, days of the week means nothing as they all blend together and our timeline follows how ever long it takes to finish that field or bin for the night.
I love it, it’s what we are geared for!
The last of first pull is in my hot room, 170 drums extracted and the crew has the long weekend off. Second pull starts on Tuesday. We’ve been making our way around assessing hives and to identify problem queenless hives. I’ve noticed a lot of Queen replacements, very little swarming and short on honey stores. We’ve been stripping empty boxes as we go. Just a little more rain these boxes would be full…
The queenless units get a Queen Cell to spark up life again. I’m finding 2-3 per yard. We might be early on some of these units but if there happens to be a new queen running around inside she will simply tear down the cell. Otherwise the cell will begin to reinstate a functional nest again.
I will decide after this weekend of syrup gets set out or not. Hopefully a weekend rain will spark up a nectar flow which will provide surplus for the hives to sit on until September.
Building nucs, pulling honey. These nucs are cooking. The slow down with our honey flow has resulted in a lighter honey pull off the later nucs, but the development is impressive. I have not seen these hives for quite a while. The boxes overhead provided me with the ability to build them out without needing to spend much attention towards them
It’s interesting how we all seem to hold true to our opinions and refuse to look outside of our blinders. I have gotten a tremendous amount of feedback on this blog post, typically positive but I find the negative feedback interesting. It has come from both points of view which they seem to have cherry picked through what I have said to either argue against or support their own argument. I find this conversation interesting.
I feel this is one of beekeepers most important issues. This is the point in time where our industry is either going to remain managed in the “natural state”, or transform into the intensively managed industry just as the rest of agriculture has gone. The major issue with having our industry transform is that it needs outside investment and support to allow it to happen. And right now as that shift is pushing at our industry, we are floundering because that support needed is lacking.
I know beekeepers who read that last comment are all spitting curses towards my name. But shake your head, it’s happening and it’s up to us to either adjust or act accordingly to preserve our craft as it was inteneded to be.
Investment, RnD, technology advancements, momentum to transform issues into solutions, systems development to create profits. Without all this we will fail as we are forced to adapt. Our industry has none of that.
Our Beekeeping industry has been completely forgotten as the rest of the world has moved on. Society had transformed farming into what we now know. Beekeepers have resisted that transformation as we all fight to hold onto the natural state of our craft. Beekeepers are truly the sightseer of agriculture and its interaction with nature around it.
We as beekeepers need to own our own voice. We can’t let agenda driven lobby groups drive our narrative. Our voice has been hijacjed and because of that, our voice has become one who is against agriculture. This is wrong, our voice needs to be one of balance. We as beekeepers understand the balance between nature and farming which is needed. The solution is not a one side or the other, it’s BALANCE.
We need agriculture to flourish. We thrive on the success of the farming community. But we also need places within the landscape which support the natural world. We as beekeepers need to support farmers and their management and farmers need to acknowledge everything else around it. Society needs to wake up and smell the flowers. This is not a responsibility solely of the farmer. Society needs to put their money where their mouth is and SUPPORT positive efforts.
As we all argue on how and why everything around us is changing, perhaps by simply putting the effort towards the small things, change what we can with our behaviour in those very small ways which will translate into a very small tangible achievements. Afterall, this is all about changing our behaviour, and to do that, we actually need to change what we do. And with all those small actions, we might begin to see real change as all those small acts create something big, and work at this problem from the bottom up.
Job number 1, support biodiversity and let’s try to keep our insect population thriving. To do that, let’s focus around the edges.