I finally got a chance to do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I got to sit down and talk with a real South African beekeeper about the impact of varroa mites, and their current indifference to them. Enjoy!
I recently learned that in many countries, eating honeybee and wasp brood is common. I found a beautiful section of newly drawn and capped drone brood in a spacer on a hive I was working, so I decided today was the day to try it. My American friends think I’m crazy for doing this. They may be right, but you only live once. Wasp brood is next.
In this episode, I speak with Casie Berkhouse, a biology instructor and beekeeper from Northern Pennsylvania. This episode, like most others, is unedited and completely unscripted. As always, I’d love to hear your feedback! Leave me a message. I will definitely get back to you.
This time of year, this question always comes up in every beekeeping forum. The video below shows what honeybees look like when returning from Spotted Jewelweed. No, there isn’t someone out there marking billions of bees.
This is similar to the conversation I’ve had many times with people wanting to get into bees. To see where I’ve been the past 3 months, visit me (PA Swarm King) on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/rodriguezbruce
If you’re from the East coast of the United States, you know about the recent invasion of the spotted lanternfly from China. It is causing all kinds of problems here. I live at ground zero for the pest, as it was first discovered just a few miles from here. Some places, they fly across the road while you’re driving like an Alfred Hitchcock movie. I recently noticed my bees lapping up their sugary waste products, which rain down from the trees and collect on leaves below. Spotted lanternflies are very similar to aphids, only much larger. The excrement of aphids is called honeydew, and bees have been known to collect it and produce a honey-like substance. It seems that lanternfly waste is similar in composition, because I discovered my bees collecting it excitedly, along with bumblebees and butterflies.
While inspecting some colonies today, I could see the uncapped “nectar” of these bugs. It was as black and shiny as motor oil, and filled every available cell. This is a brand new thing for me, so time will tell how this odd source of sugar affects the bees, and whether spotted lanternfly “honey” will be a hit.
OH MY GOODNESS! (Full disclosure: These are not my pictures.) I had no idea that artichokes looked so beautiful when left to bloom. It is obvious why honeybees seem to love them. Artichokes are in the same family as thistle, so I assume their pollen and nectar supply is similar, as in very good. Now I just have to get a hold of some seeds or young plants. Has anyone ever let artichokes flower before?