As of May 20, 2018 I’m not too impressed with the nectar harvesting being carried out by my bees. It looked to be a good year back in March but with April I had my doubts. Lots of swarm captures and cut-outs and the splits and nucs I’d made did well. I’ve three hives at the home yard that I use to make splits and nucs and they are also doing well. But the hives in the two yards in the field just aren’t laying down the additional supers I’d hoped for. The disparity between new queens and old queens from last fall’s replacements don’t seem to show much difference in nectar returns. I’m about to retire four of them where the new queens just didn’t take hold or the old queens are failing. I often pull the old darker brood frames in such hives replace them with new foundation/frames. I carry out this procedure in the spring and fall months rather than limp through the summer or winter with weaker hives. It is easier to replace them with younger stronger hives. This is where I utilize the nucs I’d made earlier in the spring.
One or two other beekeepers in the CENLA Beekeeping Club seem to be experiencing the loss of honey returns in their hives as well. I hope most of you out there are doing better. I’d hate to see the dearth of honey returns experienced last fall throughout Louisiana carry over into this spring.
Though the CENLA Beekeeping club created hundreds of oxalic acid towels this last March 14th [see the last newsletter] I chose not to make any for myself and am still using the fumigation method in the spring and summer months. I’m into the second week of fumigation and will finish up this next week, two weeks before I harvest what little honey I can from the hives in June.
With this letter, I don’t have much to present. I do have a short follow-up message from the CENLA Beekeeping Club’s March oxalic acid field day and May meeting. I’d like to recommend that you to return to last year’s BBB’s archival section and review my “A Year in the Life of a Beekeeper, an annual synopsis by the month of what I do throughout the year in my apiaries.” The section on Internet Sites You Might Find Useful is material that I receive from Keith Hawkins, Nola Decote and/or the Lake Area Beekeeper’s Club’s membership – they are real go-getters and seem to fill the internet waves with lots of great information. [I usually never make the time to go search out this stuff on my own. What with fixing lawnmowers, rebuilding hot tubs, building a bee house, and dying of heat stroke I don’t get around much anymore.] Enjoy.
I missed the last club meeting this May but I did hear from some of the members the following:
Question #1: “How long should we keep the oxalic acid-treated towels in the hive.”
Answer #1: From my notes of the talk I gave November 2017 at the club and from the information I presented at the March field day, the answer is: “Within three to four weeks after placement, the bees should have removed most of the towels. After four weeks, any remaining towels can be removed.
Question #2: “Where should we place the towels?”
Answer #2: One towel per nuc/brood box. If there are two brood boxes, then place one towel on top of each brood box.
Questions #3 and #4 that should have been asked are, have you sampled for mites prior to and following treatment? If you haven’t then you really can’t know what the consequences of your treatments are accomplishing!
I’d ask the readers to reference Randy Oliver’s website, www.scientificbeekeeping.com for additional information.
Ideas for Beekeeping Meetings – by Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter Extension Agent
One of the challenges of preparing for the monthly meetings of the SW Louisiana Beekeepers is presenting fresh, timely, relevant topics. SWLA Beeks has an advisory group to help with ideas for these meeting. This group has a mix of experienced and beginning beekeepers. After seven years of bee meetings, SWLA Beeks has covered these topics and wants to share these ideas with fellow beeks in Louisiana:
- A Primer on Beekeeping and the Law, Mr. Erik Fain, Attorney & Beekeeper
- A Year in the Life of a Beekeeper, Tim Haley, Cenla Beekeepers
- Africanized Bees, Dr. Dennis Ring, LSU AgCenter
- Apitherapy and Medicinal Benefits of Honey, Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter
- Australian Flow hive, Mr. Harvey Kieffer, Lake Area Beekeepers
- Basic Beehive Set-up, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beekeepers
- Bee Biology, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks & Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter
- Bee Botany, Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter
- Bee Box Set-up: Langstroth & Top Bar Hive
- Beehive Maintenance, Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter
- Beekeeping 101, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- Beekeeping as a Sideline Business, Dr. Steve Payne, LBA
- Beekeeping Basics, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- Beekeeping Equipment, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- Bee yard Field Trip, Hebert Honey Farm
- Brood Box Management, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- Building a Swarm Trap, David & Kenny McReynolds, SW LA Beekeepers
- Club wide Equipment Order
- Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)
- Common Mistakes of a Beginning Beekeeper & How to Avoid Them, Mr. James Laughlin, East Texas Beekeepers
- Communications between Farmers & Beekeepers, LSU AgCenter slideshow
- Construction of Top bar Hives
- Fall Maintenance, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- Feeding the Bees, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- Gardening for Pollinators, Dr. Allen Owens LSU AgCenter
- Getting Started in Beekeeping, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks & Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter
- Handy Resources and References for Beeks, Keith Hawkins LSU AgCenter
- Hive & Accessories for Beginners, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks & Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter
- Hive Inspection, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- Hive Pests, Dr. Dennis Ring, LSU AgCenter
- Hive Products and Packaging, Paula Hebert, Hebert Honey Farm
- Honey & Biscuits, Annual Honey Extraction at Hebert Honey Farm
- Honey Bee Squares Game, Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter
- Honey Grading & Nutrition, Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter
- Horizontal Langstroth Hive, David & Kenny McReynolds, SW LA Beekeepers
- How to Have a Safe Bee yard Visit, Dr. Dora Hatch, LSU AgCenter
- How to Order Package Bees, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- Income Taxes, Mr. Leonard Wilfert, CPA & Beekeeper
- Inspection & Preparation for the Nectar Flow, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- Louisiana Beekeeping Association, Mr. Jimmy Dunkley, LBA
- Louisiana Honey Plants, LSU AgCenter Slideshow
- Louisiana Pollinator Cooperative Conservation Program, Mr. Randy Fair, LBA
- Louisiana State Rules & Regulations, Mr. Allen Fabre, State Apiarist, LDAF
- Master Beekeeper Program, Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter
- Planning for Honey Bee Nuisance Calls & Emergencies, LSU AgCenter Slideshow
- Processing Honey & Wax, Richard Paula Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- Queen Night: Raising Queens & Requeening, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- Raising Queen Bees, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- Removing Bees from Walls and Structures
- Splits and Swarming, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- Splitting Hives, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- Supering, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- Swarming and Capture, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
- The New Flow hive: Fad or For Real? Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter
- Why Bees Abscond & How to Prevent Absconding, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks & Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter
- Why Pollinators Matter, Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter
- Winterizing, Richard Hebert, SW LA Beeks
If this article helped with your bee meetings, please contact Keith Hawkins, County Agent, 337-463-7006 or email@example.com . Also, feel free to share your ideas with Keith.
A different Dimension of Loss – the great insect die-off. A Guardian.com article worth reading.
7 Plants to Help Honey Production – Blains Farm and Fleet Website Article:
The seven plants are: Sunflowers, Goldenrod, Cosmos, Coriander, Mint, Lavender and Coneflowers. For more information regarding honeybees at their site, follow these links:
For more beekeeping tips, you can visit the beekeeping section of our blog.
Posted in: Beekeeping, Gardening Tagged: Beekeeping, Bees, Flower Gardening,
Gardening, Honey, Planting Flowers, Plants and Flowers
A new publication on How the Urban Heat Island Effect and Flowers Affect Wild Bee Communities provided by Steven Frank” (firstname.lastname@example.org); Associate Professor, North Carolina State University, Department of Entomology (http://ecoipm.org/)
Beeinformed.org has some great articles such at the one below. In addition, check out additional article located on the right side of the page.
Honey Bee Viral Prevalence Map
From the Lake Area Beekeepers, here are links to various articles/publications:
- A good article on “overwintering success”: