Transferring established packages from the USDA to our rooftop hives at The University of Maryland

Sadly we lost 2 of our three rooftop colonies this winter, and the third is very weak. So we decided to establish some new colonies as replacements. Usually when you are starting new colonies in the spring you buy packages, or nucs, but this year  Bart Smith from the USDA generously offered us three of his new hives that he had established from packages a few weeks earlier. Left USDA hives with several week old established packages. Right rooftop hive bodies. We brought our hive bodies over to the USDA, and removed 3-5 new frames from our hives to make room for the 3-5 frames…

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Growing Concern Over Chemical Synergism in Beehives

Honeybees are hoarders, they accumulate good things like different types of nectar and pollen, but like hoarders there are some unintended consequences to bringing in all of that forage. That consequence is the accumulation of different pesticides.  We also add to their pesticide load when we treat for diseases. A study of hive samples in 2007-2008 found as many as 39 chemical residues in a hive, an average of six residues across hives, and the presence of at least one type of chemical in 98 percent of hives! To me this poses the question: how are the bees coping with these chemicals? We know that…

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EAS Meeting Follow Up

  WOW beekeepers know how to throw a conference! I recently returned to Maryland after attending the eastern apiculture society meeting and it was really fun. Andrew and I talked to tons of people at our booth about BIP, but we also got to enjoy several of the talks and other activities offered at EAS. Sometimes people would come by the booth just to say something nice about BIP. I really enjoyed talking with people who were already participating in some of our initiatives, such as the management survey, or our Tier 4 pilot program. It helps get through some of the more tedious tasks…

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Bee Mimics

                At a glance can you tell who the imposter is? Honeybee mimics like the drone fly, shown on the above left, have been able to fool many people, especially when you just glance at one out of the corner of your eye.                  But why does this fly, and other mimics go through the trouble of imitating another organism? How can we easily tell what’s a bee and what’s not? And why would we want to do such a thing anyway? As it turns out mimics of many types exist for many reasons.  These include protection from predators, which would be referred to as…

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Be Involved. Be Included.Bee Informed.