Varroa mites can decimate your honey bee colony. They weaken the bees, decrease lifespan, and lead to high viral loads. What can be done? Every major honey bee organization recommends taking regular mite counts to assess the health of your colony. An increasing mite load can spell disaster for your hive - increasing disease and … Continue reading What if you are Doing Mite Counts Wrong?
Getting started with honey bees? There is much to learn! Read on to find books that will help you become a better beekeeper. Before we get started, it's important to note that beekeeping is best learned in a "hands-on" environment. Most beekeepers are helpful people and will gladly share their knowledge with you. However, beekeeping … Continue reading The Best Beekeeping Books for Beginners
Honey bees are model workers and important pollinators, but are they invasive? Should we be trying to save them or should we be forcing their eviction? As beekeepers, we get asked a zillion questions about bees. Over the years, the most common questions have centered on how to "save the bees." Just recently, that tone … Continue reading Are Honey Bees an Invasive Species
This article is part of our "trees for bees" series where we feature trees/shrubs that are excellent pollinator forage We raise honey bees in the sand prairie of Minnesota. It's a harsh landscape and many of the traditional "bee plants" struggle, so we look to native trees and shrubs to provide a lot of our … Continue reading Gray Dogwood – A Native Shrub For Pollinators and Birds
From the very first day we walked the land, I have been looking for bees. And they were scarce. I would occasionally see a bumble bee and I did see a honey bee or two - but not very many. Any flowers at the property were usually devoid of life. Maybe it was because the … Continue reading If You Build It – They Will Come….. Attracting pollinators and breeding a better berry
Quick Rundown: ~ 11 acres of prairie planted the end of May 2017 followed by dry hot summer. No noticeable germination of prairie seeds in 2017. Spring 2018 was very dry but the early summer was quite wet. Black Eyed Susan came out in full force by mid summer 2018 followed by spotted bee balm. This … Continue reading Black Eyed Susan is Dominating our Prairie – Uses, Plans, and Lessons to provide adequate honey bee forage
2017-2018 was an odd year - we had almost no snow all winter and then *bam* we had a few feet in April. Trees don't really like that. None of our newly planted trees survived the winter. Most of our fir and spruce windbreak experienced windburn but has since put on new growth and seems … Continue reading Tree Updates – Progress on the Site