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The CCD connection: what I believe about colony collapse disorder

Hardly a day goes by when someone doesn’t mention colony collapse disorder to me, either in person, in an e-mail or comment, or on the phone. “I hear they found the cause of CCD!” is a statement I’ve heard dozens of times over the last few years. I’ve deliberately avoided writing about it—partially because I […] Read more

Migratory beekeeping and honey bee health

We often hear that migratory beekeeping is bad for honey bees. But why, exactly, is this so? I’ve put together a list of the most commonly cited reasons. Migratory beekeeping disrupts the natural rhythm of the colony. Like most things in nature, a colony has a life cycle. It begins to expand in late winter, […] Read more

A beekeeper’s winter “to do” list

No, you cannot sit back and relax. Now is the time to get ready for next bee season! And bee-lieve me, there is plenty to do. Here are some suggestions based on my own plans. Clean, repair, and paint honey supers. Although you’ve got lots of equipment in the field, your honey supers are probably […] Read more

A tip for torrential rains: hive shelter

Last night brought the first really heavy rains of the season to western Washington. It reminded me that beekeepers should keep their hives tipped slightly forward so rainwater doesn’t run into the hive. This is especially true if you are using a solid bottom board. If you are using a screened bottom, the water will […] Read more