Prepwork For Packages

So, you bought bee packages and your finalizing your beekeeping planning to get a good running start when they get here.  Love it!  You rock!

Now, by now you’ve probably been wondering about how many boxes you need to have ready for your hive stack.  Someone tells you you don’t need a lot, these are packages after all and everyone knows that package bees don’t produce surplus honey the first year.  Except when they do…

When it comes to bees, I like to hedge my bets and quote James Bond.  “Never say never.”  Bees have a funny way of changing our minds for us.  They also have this ornery tendency to not follow “the rules” even though the books clearly state they should do something or not do it in general.

Bee colonies live in a constant state of flux.  They move in fluid synchronization with Nature, taking the lead from the environment around them.

Because bee colonies are so tied to the environment, I prefer to think of things not in terms of possibilities but in probabilities.  It’s possible that a package bee colony can produce a bumper crop in it’s first year though it usually is a low probability.  There are a lot of typical factors to inhibit the likelihood.

At the same time, given the right circumstances, the environmental factors could set up to increase that probability greatly.

How does this go with having enough boxes?  I believe that like bullets, you can never have enough hive boxes, just in case the probabilities change and the bees change your mind for you.

Better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them.  It’s one of those paranoid best practices things.  So there’s nothing wrong with being a good bee scout and always being prepared.

When that odd season comes along and changes those probabilities on you, you’ll bee glad you did.

You Bee You

Big Bear is talking about his goal as a professional apiarist, beekeeping coach and instructor to help beekeepers bee successful on their own terms.

My job is to help people bee better.  By that I mean to facilitate successful beekeeping through education, skills training, access to useful resources, and experienced assistance. My goal is …

Source: You Bee You

Nosema ceranae: Kiss of Death or Much Ado about Nothing? @ Scientific Beekeeping

Here at the Bee Smart beekeeping project, it is one of our goals to help facilitate a successful beekeeping experience.  Being that here in the U.S. are coming into our Spring season, if not already then very soon, it’s time to start looking at the things which can cause bee colonies to die at this point after having made it so far through the Winter.

Note that there are two most widely known types of Nosema, Nosema apis which has been here for a very long time, and Nosema ceranae which is the newer kid on the block of the two but every bit the troublemaker.

The linked article below by Randy Oliver at makes a terrific presentation of the situation which rather than trying to re-invent the wheel, we’d rather just point you in the direction of the wheel.

Randy mentions a chemical treatment in the article for situations calling for treatments in IPM plans that include such types of treatments.  However, Organic/treatment-free beekeepers want to pay very close attention to the things that can be done to help prevent Nosema from taking hold in the colony.

If you’d like to find out where the Beehooligans stand on dealing with Nosema after reading this article, head on over to our Forums on this website and sign up then browse through the sections and see where the discussion is.

This is more than a mere academic debate, as beekeepers worldwide are forced to make expensive management decisions, including very expensive antibiotic treatment and the sterilization of contaminated combs.

Source: Nosema ceranae: Kiss of Death or Much Ado about Nothing? @ Scientific Beekeeping