The county where I live just erected these signs not far from my house. I’ve always known bears were in the area, but somehow the signs make them seem more immediate, more of a threat. So far, no bears have attacked my apiary, but you never know. There is a first time for everything.
Well, sort of. Susan, a beekeeper in Pennsylvania, sent these pictures of her hive after a local bear had a meal. I have seen photos of dozens—maybe hundreds—of bear damaged hives over the years, but I have never seen one where the bear was so respectful of the equipment. Usually the hive is in splinters, […] Read more
When I asked for photos of your beehives, Brian Dennis of Northamptonshire, U.K. sent images of his beehives after they were trashed by vandals. Quite a few of you wanted to know “the whole story,” so I asked Brian to tell us the details. Here is his sad story: When the farmer on whose land […] Read more
Many predators kill honey bees but most of the incidental attackers have been upstaged by Varroa mites and CCD. For example, the second edition of Honey Bee Pests, Predators and Diseases edited by Morse and Nowogrodzki, devoted ten pages to various fly predators, but most recent texts on bee health ignore flies completely. Still, beekeepers […] Read more
This photo by beekeeper Jeremy Gibbons shows a crab spider with one of his honey bees. I like it not only because it shows the capture, but because I think of borage as such a peaceful, bee-friendly plant. Since I never associate borage with violent death for bees, the image is full of contradiction. The […] Read more
So what is it with crab spiders? Why must they bite the head off their victims? Other predators are not nearly so insulting: Wolves take a chunk out of the middle, alligators take an arm or a leg, and snakes choke down the whole thing at once. But crab spiders have no tact. “Crab spider” […] Read more