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HopGuard section 18 approvals

For those of you interested in HopGuard, I just received notification from Mann Lake Ltd. that Section 18 approvals have been issued in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Arkansas and Mississippi are supposed to be next. HopGuard is a naturally occurring food-grade alternative to chemical pesticides. It has been found safe to use even in queen-breeding […] Read more

Rotate brood combs for a healthier nursery

After repeated use, old brood combs become very dark—nearly black. The inside diameter of each cell also becomes smaller because the cocoons of each succeeding generation are glued to the cell walls. Even though the cells are polished by nurse bees before new eggs are laid, some of this cocoon material remains. Pesticides and disease […] Read more

The essence of beekeeping is not in the hive

I have an entire shelf filled with nothing but bee books. I have another shelf filled with nothing but books on gardening and field crops. So far, none of this is surprising. What is surprising, though, is that most of the bee books hardly mention plants and most of the plant books barely mention bees. […] Read more

Wednesday word file: sonication

Sonication—also known as buzz pollination—is a method that some bees use to release pollen from stubborn flowers. Plants such as tomato, potato, blueberry, and cranberry have flowers that do not easily release their pollen. Bees capable of sonication grab onto these flowers and vibrate their flight muscles (without moving their wings) until the pollen is […] Read more

Monday morning myth: bees don’t like crimson clover

This is simply a case of mistaken identity, but it is pervasive. I hear this at least once every year, and just recently one of the bee journals printed this statement, “Red clover (crimson clover) is generally considered poor bee forage.” The problem with that sentence is that the author couldn’t decide if he meant […] Read more