August 2, 2014

Significant Outbreak of American Foulbrood (AFB) in the Bowdoinham Area

American Foulbrood (AFB)

Attention Beekeepers In The Bowdoinham Area I have found a significant outbreak of American foulbrood (AFB) in the Bowdoinham area. Hives weakened by the disease were robbed by other hives in the area. There are few registered beekeepers in the area. Please be on the lookout for AFB and questionable or abnormal brood patterns (see examples at right). If beekeepers in the area would … [Read more...]

Inspector’s Comments, Fall 2012

Tony Jadczak, Maine State Apiarist

Over the years, my sons, assistant inspectors and commercial beekeepers alike have commented that I only get enthusiastic working bees when we encounter “bad stuff.” I immediately refute such comments, but must confess that they are true to an extent. Bad stuff like American foulbrood, pesticide kills and bears irritate rather than excite me, while the sight of bees hauling in nectar is exciting … [Read more...]

Varroa Treatment Comparison

Apiguard

Maine beekeepers are thinking about their bees and parasitic mite controls, spurred by the arrival of this year's beekeeping supply catalogs, coupled with the recent snow melt after January's rain and wind event. Already, there are reports of hive mortality and requests for information and post mortem inspections. So far, most of the inspections reveal mortality due to Varroa and several cases … [Read more...]

Inspector’s Comments: Back to the Future

Good News: HopGuard Approval in Maine

By now, a number of Maine’s beekeepers have had the opportunity to meet and inspect their hives with David Smith. Dave’s service is available due to a coordinated effort by Walt Whitcomb, Commissioner, Maine Department of Agriculture; Caudwell Jackson, Deputy Commissioner; David Lavway, Director, Division of Animal & Plant Health and Senator Russell Black, Wilton. Dave started on June 11th and … [Read more...]

Pollination – A Primer from the Maine State Bee Inspector

Main parts of a mature flower. ILLUSTRATION: MARIANA RUIZ VILLARREAL

Spring has sprung in many parts of the US, and thousands of hives have been rolling across interstate highways during winter months to service a variety of crops in southern and western areas. Springtime in Maine is only weeks away and soon gardeners, farmers and beekeepers will be thinking about planting, blooms, bee management, pollination and the weather. With all of the recent media … [Read more...]

Fall Finale

Now is the time to gather and properly store any remaining beekeeping equipment, dead outs and sort through honeycomb.

Maine beekeepers are on the “home stretch” for the 2011 season. By mid-October, colonies with queen issues should have been united or culled, had Varroa treatment, and fed sugar syrup when needed. Fortunately, most hives have heavy brood nests and large populations of young, fat, fuzzy bees this fall. Varroa populations are low and symptoms of viral infections are minimal in contrast to this time … [Read more...]

Déjà vu?

R. S. Torrey Maine State Beehive, Bangor, 1859. Torrey’s hive was even referenced on the reverse side of a Civil War Toke

Periodically, I have the opportunity to rediscover my beekeeping library. Usually these encounters happen during winter, but this July, opportunity knocked when Matt Scott stopped by. Matt was preparing a lecture on the history of Maine beekeeping for the Bridgeton Historical Society and was in need of references and hive patents for his talk. Maine has several noteworthy beekeeping authors and … [Read more...]

Mite Away Quick Strips in Maine

MiteAway Quick Strips (MAQS)

The Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS) were registered (Section 3, General Use) on May 25, 2011. NOD was notified and the registration was posted on the Pesticide Control Board web site that day. Our (department's) goal was to have it registered by 6/1/2011 for several reasons that include the registration queue based on chemical co-application date, and the fact that formic acid can be very hard … [Read more...]

When Disaster Strikes

Hive Lost to Nosema

In late winter, beekeepers often find themselves thinking about their bees. Apprehension is most common when the previous fall had dismal honey production and when houses creak and snap on bone-chilling nights during January and February. Unfortunately, there isn’t much northern beekeepers can do during the dead of winter. At best, newspaper can be added on top of fiberboards of live hives that … [Read more...]

Nuc Transportation & Installation

Cumberland Couunty Beekeepers club hives and nuc

Prior to nuc pickup, the empty hive (i.e. bottom board, hive body, five or six frames of foundation and/or comb, entrance reducer, inner cover, outer cover, empty hive body, sugar syrup, feeder) should be assembled and prepared for installation. The hive should be located at the apiary site in accordance with the MSBA’s “Best Management Practices for Beekeeping” found at mainebeekeepers.org. In … [Read more...]