I frequently hear this argument for the “do nothing” form of beekeeping. Unfortunately, it is not a logical argument. For starters, bees did manage just fine without us for millions of years, but now they have “us” and that’s the problem. With “us” came pesticides, air pollution, contaminated water, habitat destruction, climate change, freeways, monocultures, […] Read more
Hydroxymethylfurfural is the main reason that high-fructose corn syrup is not good for bees. Also known as HMF, hydroxymethylfurfural is a chemical that forms when high-fructose corn syrup is heated. It is known to damage honey bees by causing ulceration of the gut. Lately it has become one of the suspects in the deaths of […] Read more
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.