At The Beekeeping Meeting

As we’ve talked about before going to your local beekeeping association meetings is a great way to increase your knowledge and stay up to date on developments and research in beekeeping.  The meeting this week with the Puget Sound Beekeepers was full of great information as usual and included some very interesting research on how bees communicate.

The meeting started with an overview of different diseases, how to deal with them and some basics of fall management for beginners.  It went on to a talk by Daniel Najera on Logical Decision Making in Honey Bees.

All the topics were excellent and presented well and we’ll be writing up more information about all of this in future blog posts but to start here’s a few little hints, tips, tricks and info about beekeeping that we gleaned from last night’s meeting:

  • Sacbrood, Chilled Brood, Stonebrood and Chalkbrood and usually a problem only when there are other issues in the hive for example a week hive or another disease, pest etc
  • Some treatments for some diseases need warm weather to work.  This can be tricky as many of us have honey supers on when the weather is warm.  Those will need to be removed for many treatments as some treatments can not be on the hive while honey for human consumption is also on the hive.
  • When it comes to fall management in the northwest it’s best to check your hives early in September while the weather is warm and before the serious rains start.  You may not live in the northwest but your final hive inspections need to happen before the weather gets nasty in your area.  Don’t count on a warm day late in the season to do your final winter prep… that day may never come!
  • In these last hive inspections decide if your hives show signs of disease and treat them.  Combine weak hives so the bees have a chance to make it through the winter and make sure your hive has good ventilation.  Ventilation is more important to bee health than preventing drafts!  Bees can eat more honey and keep warm but they aren’t good at getting rid of moisture and that moisture can be a real killer.

Have you gone to a beekeeping meeting lately?  What did you learn?

Photo by Jessica Dally

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