As you may or may not know, I am in the process of setting up a teaching apiary at Scatter Joy Acres in the Florence area of Omaha.
Along with my Bee Smart Crew, we will be doing the work of setting up and operating a productive honey and beeswax producing apiary. This allows includes opportunities for area beekeepers and beekeepers-to-be to have a place to get actual “hands-on” training and experience doing beekeeping things with guidance and supervision of experienced apiarists.
You can come down to Scatter Joy Acres this Saturday February 17th starting at 1pm to be an Intern or Apprentice and get some quality training and practice in.
You decide if you will mostly just watch and learn (an Intern) or if you will get hands-on (an Apprentice). To participate as an Intern for one session is only $7.50 per intern. To participate as an Apprentice for one session is only $15.00 per apprentice.
Everyone wins here. You get valuable experience and instruction for a very reasonable price while Scatter Joy Acres gets an apiary on site to provide educational experiences and raise money.
This month we are building and repairing bee hives.
Afterwards, you can take advantage if already being there and support Scatter Joy Acres by taking a tour of the farm and visiting the animals that have been rescued. (Only $5.00 which helps them keep things going).
Over on my professional services website, I post more specifically on more esoteric topics specific to professional apiculture theory, concept, etc..
I like to post there going into more on the what’s and why’s of apicultural things over there. Here at Bee Smart, the goal is to provide more applied information that can be used across the beekeeping spectrum.
Mostly what I cover over there is more classroom based content rather than “in-the-field” as this website is focused on. In response to a question from a client of mine wanting to know what real purpose packages serve in apiculture, I wrote the following post.
Thriving colonies are healthy colonies and that’s the primary goal.
When first got serious about apiculture, Roger Morse became one of my first beekeeping “Notables”. Mr Morse’s work has been truly influential in modern beekeeping.
He was one of the first researchers to delve in-depth into the Varroa mites. Not only that, he had a good look at Small Hive Beetles as well. Closely connected to Cornell University, he has authored numerous research articles on any number of topics relating to beekeeping and was a contributor to that time of apicultural information, “ABC’s and XYZ’s of Beekeeping”, and the monthly beekeeping magazine, “Bee Culture”, among others.
He was influential to several of those we currently count on for new and important research. People like Tom Seeley, author of “Honeybee Democracy” for example.
The writing and presentation style of Roger Morse was persuasive to say the least. At least to me. I find his writing in particular to be familiar, friendly even.
One of his books in particular number among my favorites, “The New Complete Guide to Beekeeping”.
Cornell University press euligized Roger Morse and provided us with a far too brief but well done last look at his work.
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.
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.
So, you talk a big game about being down for the environment and how you got our beneficial pollinators backs. Do you put your money where your mouth is though? Do you go further than money and put your actual effort into it?
If you’re a beekeeper, then you have the creds. You are making it happen. But for everyone who isn’t a beekeeper, what about you?
Now, not everyone who is interested in bee conservation wants to be a beekeeper. Just like not every beekeeper is solely focused on honey bees. We have apiarists who manage mason bees, bumblebees, honey bees and more.
A person concerned about the environment and beneficial pollinator bees doesn’t have to be a beekeeper either. But if not a beekeeper, what can you do to “bee real” in the bee conservation effort?
You can do any, some or all of the things listed below.
Big Bear’s List of Ways to Bee Involved
Become a hobby beekeeper or professional apiarist.
If you already are or are just getting started, YOU ROCK!
Hire an Apiarist to manage an apiary for you.
Just Beecause you don’t manage the bees yourself doesn’t mean you can’t have bees and have your own honey and beeswax to use for home or business purposes.
Provide support to research into keeping bees alive, healthy and thriving.
For ground level research, you can’t go wrong by supporting Randy Oliver at his website. He does awesome work not only doing the research but by making it accessible directly to hobbyists and apiarists himself.
Provide support to education and training efforts that increase awareness, teach and train people about bees and beekeeping.
Offer a location for a hobby beekeeper or professional apiarist to establish an apiary.
If there’s one thing bees and beekeepers need most, it’s quality places to set up and maintain an apiary.
Buy from a local beekeeper.
Whether it’s honey, beeswax items, or any of the hundreds of delicious and awesome things made from honey and other hive products, supporting local beekeepers means supporting local bee conservation.
Check your local Farmers Markets. Not only are beekeepers there selling their stuff but all kinds of local growers whose crops got help from pollinating bees are too.
Implement an IPM plan in your lawn care and gardening activity.
Integrated Pest Management is perhaps the best way to prevent our beneficial pollinators from being unnecessarily exposed to toxic pesticides.
The Label Is The Law! Mix and apply ANY pesticides you use exactly as the label describes. Not more, not different. You don’t need to dump a gallon of weed killer on a single dandelion.
Bee an advocate for bees and beekeeping in your community.
There are many cities and towns that don’t appreciate, understand or “get” all the benefits to bees and beekeeping locally. Even if you don’t intend to have your own hives, you CAN bee a proponent for bees and beekeeping at town council meetings, neighborhood associations, city, county and state elections, etc…
So, this list above is a good start.
Whatever you do, DON’T just be someone who talks about environmental and bee conservation issues but doesn’t actually do anything about it. The world is full of fakes and phonies. We and the bees need you to Bee Real.