Spring is one of the times when you may have to feed your bees sugar syrup. If you are new to beekeeping it helps to understand why, when, what, and how to feed. I will try to cover the main points. If your bees have used up their winter stores of honey, they may need […] Read more
News reports insistently tell us that bees pollinate one-third of the world’s food supply. But what does that really mean? First of all, that estimate varies with the researcher, but it usually includes all animal-pollinated crops, not just those pollinated by bees. These animal pollinators include many types of insects as well as birds and […] Read more
When I first wrote about painting bee hives, I filed it under “infrequently asked questions,” but it has turned out to be one of my most popular posts. Because of that, I decided to add several details that I didn’t mention before. New beekeepers want to know if they should paint the ends (or edges)—the […] Read more
When I was first introduced to the study of insecticides in agriculture there was a clear delineation between the systemic kind and the contact kind. Most pesticides work by poisoning the target organism when it touches or ingests the poison—that much is pretty much the same in either case. But the big difference is that […] Read more
Can anyone identify this bumble bee? The photo was taken March 24 in western Washington in a garden patch of Vinca minor.
Pollenkitt is a sticky covering found on the surface of pollen grains. It is also spelled “pollen kit” or “pollenkit” and is sometimes called “pollen coat.” It is found in some plant families more often than others, but it is especially common in plants that are pollinated by insects. Because of this, scientists believe that […] Read more