Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Europe is taking the lead on harmful pesticide use !

Check this out !


I know that a lot of visitors to my blog are from the EU and today I am proud of you guys!

Now, we just need our FDA to get on the stick and get these chemicals regulated here.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Providing Water for your Bees !

 I use a 4 gallon chicken water can to provide water for the bees in my yards - especially if no open water sources are available nearby.  Notice the little blocks of wood in the trough.  As you may not know, bees do not know how to swim!  Many usually die by drowning.  To prevent this, I use blocks of wood or broken up granite rocks for them to land on as they drink.

I also add a few tablespoons of livestock mineral salt to aid with their nutrition.  They seem to really love this mixture and are lined up every day to get a drink.  Check out these close up pictures.

 I zoomed in a bit more on this picture ...
Notice their tongues sticking out onto the blocks of wood.  The wood seems to 'wick up' the water and makes it easier for them to drink.
As you can tell, it was a beautiful day here in Spokane with temperatures around 65 degrees F or so. 

Have a great  day !

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Question concerning Russian Honey Bee Temperament 

Over at Permies.com, there was a question regarding if Russian Honey bees were more aggressive or not.    Here was my reply to that:

Well, having many Russian-American friends I can say that they take a great deal of pride in their homes and work! A bit of respect seems to go a LONG way with these folks AND the bees! 

I generally don't notice a behavior pattern that would indicate more or less aggressiveness. However, when I open the hive up for an inspection or split or whatever I do three things: 

1. I move very calmly and control my breath. I know this sounds 'Buddhist' but it works. CO2 seems to piss of the bees. Turn your head smoothly to breathe - Never breathe on them directly. 

2. Use cool smoke from your smoker on the main entrance of the hive and as you open one side of the inner cover. Just a little puff. 

3. THEN, give them a gentle misting of your sugar feed from a fine sprayer. If it is cold (>60 degrees) - give them bit of powder sugar instead. 

This only takes a few seconds and it seems to make your work go a bit smoother and less aggravating to the bees. They appear to me to be distracted by eating. 

Give these methods a try and let me know how you worked out. 

As far as 'racial profiling' of the Russian Bee? I don' think it is necessary or has any advantage. 

...just like with humans! 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Top Bar Hive - US Navy Style !

I built this top bar honey bee hive in the shape of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).  Having served our nation's reserve navy for 10 years, I thought this would be a nice tribute to the men and women who currently serve.

Note:  I installed a plexi-glass view port on the starboard side.

The entrance is a sliding draw in the shape and color of the landing deck.

The sunny day brought out the flight ops - in full force.  Too many sortees to count!

Have a great NAVY day !

IS1 Will Olson, USNR 1990-2000

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Interested in learning more how Europe is doing with CCD and Neonicotinoid based pesticides?

I have quite a few folks from Europe visiting my blog and I am curious how their colonies are doing - after the ban has been in place.  I would suspect that overall colony health would improve.  

Please let us know - we are very interested in this present danger to our business, the environment and honey bee colony health.

For more info: