Yes my friends, it’s here. This first step back is a humble little episode, hosted by yours truly. There are plans to make this more…companionable as it picks up steam again.
You will be able to listen to the full episode here on the embedded player in this post and you can listen through the whole lineup of Bee Smart podcasts on the Podcast Page of this website. (eventually they’ll all bee there, I am still adding them in one at a time).
This episode discusses the return of the podcast and the timely topic of Honey Bee Taxonomy.
This is honey bee taxonomy week. As an interesting sideroad for All Hallow’s Eve I thought we’d visit the Smithsonian Institute taxonomy page on the “Killer Bees”. (Click on the photo to visit their page and read the very interesting article.)
Africanized honeybees are descended from stocks that evolved in the tropics and, as such, are ill-equipped to withstand prolonged cold winters. They are believed to be limited to tropical and subtropical habitats.
This week, our general topic will center on the taxonomy of honey bees. what is taxonomy you ask? No, it’s not having to pay a fine to the government for having bees.
Taxonomy is the scientific classification of living things in order to identify and organize where they fit in related to other creatures.
Why is taxonomy important to those involved in apicultural pursuits? Beecause we are often very concerned about genealogical traits of colonies that will have the most success in the places we keep them.
Knowing where bees are originally from, the traits and genetic lines they descend from and how any and all of that relates to their success in various other locations is important to everything from pollination traits, defensive traits foraging and honey production traits and the types of pests and illnesses they have been adapted to as they evolved in the place they originate. Queen rearing is very much affected by knowing what bees are and from whence they came.
Scientific research that is always ongoing makes great use of taxonomy to locate and identify new species and sub-species of bees all the time.
It’s always a good thing to learn and know about taxonomy where bees and beekeeping are involved. Check out the new puzzles coming up this week that focus on honey bee taxonomy. The Crossword puzzle will post on Wednesday and will have the downloadable PDF with a wordlist on it. The answer sheet to the Crossword and the Wordsearch versions are already available for our supporters on our Patreon supporter webpage
The next episode of the Bee Smart beekeeping podcast featuring those Beehooligans will also talk some about taxonomy and how it is useful for beekeepers of all levels of experience.
Of course, we’ll bee sure to get some posts up with even more useful information along this line as well as we get through the week. The objective here is always to help folks Bee Smart.
Do your hives stay out near a wooded area where skunks hang out? Next time you go out to check your hives and the bees are behaving just absolutely nasty, check them out. Does the population of the colony seem weak? Are there scratch marks near the entrance? There’s a pretty good chance that a skunk has been terrorizing your hive by scratching at the entrance and eating your bees. No wonder they’re so nasty. Gee thanks you striped punk.
Those late Summer pests, Wax Moths, lay their eggs in the wax of the combs. the larvae emerge and eat the wax from the brood sections of the hive. This is because they (the wax moth larvae) get most of their nutrition from various impurities found in brood comb wax and in order to get to that junk, they eat the wax too.
Trying out some topical changes here at the Bee Smart beekeeping project. You may have noticed the new weekly puzzle on Wednesdays. It has a theme. That’s due to the idea that each week here will loosely focus on a particular subject.
This week’s subject is pests of beekeeping. Notice that we’re just talking about pests, not diseases or poison.
Nasty little critters like Varroa mites and Small Hive Beetles (SHB). Wax moths, ants, skunks, even dragonflies.
There are many pests that seem intent on taking down bees. We’ll spend this week talking about some of them in these posts, in the puzzles and maybe a video.
Some pests are persistent threats nearly all year long. Others are seasonal or unique to certain conditions. I won’t try to cover everything in this post, way too much ground to cover in a year let alone one week or one post.
However, we’ll spend this week getting to know a bit more about some of the troublemakers that keep making bees lives harder than they should be. They can make beekeepers jobs harder too.
Thanks for stopping by to see what we’re up to and please come back often. We’ll try to make sure we have something fresh ready every day.