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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Today while boiling sap I made this for my sister. It is rosin for her violin bow.

Today was very warm and sunny so my honey bees were having a great time doing what bees do. A hive is like a little city. There is different aged groups for each job. There is a ruler,there are police There are cleaners/undertakers, food gatherers, nurses, and bums(there are no bums this time of year they killed them all last year before the winter!).

The light brown circle in the center are young bees that will hatch soon, this is known as capped brood.

I had five hives going into winter these are the two that survived the winter. This is sad. We need the bees they pollenate much of the plants we grow. Why are the bees dying in such great numbers in recent years? This is my take on the issue. 22 years ago a new bee pest came to the U.S.A known as the Verroa mite. This caused a lot of bee loses back then too, instead of breeding for mite resistant bees they quickly came up with a pesticide. This ''worked'' for a time but then the mite became resistant, so it was time to cook up another chemical! This bad way of keeping bees still sadly continues these days some use off label drugs and pesticides some are trying to do better and use less harmful miteicides that are legal to use in bee hives. What some beekeepers don't know is that the pesticides stayed in comb this makes the bees sick. Also there are only a few major queen bee breeders and all the stock is related so this makes for a narrow gene pool.Ad agricultural pesticides to all this and it dose not look good. But there is still hope.
Here is a picture of that hope. Look close at the lower center do you see a bee with a greenish dot on her. This is the queen bee, she is very genetically diverse. Her mother came from the U.P. of Michigan she and her hive had to go three winters without chemicals before it was considered for a breeder hive.

This is honey the bees stored last fall
A cluster of bees on their comb

1 comment:

Ms.Patricia said...

I did not know that about Verroa mites! All I knew was the bees were fading off and it was very sad. I guess you could say I am uninformed when it comes to bees.
Thank you for this post, I learned a lot about bees!