April 16, 2014

Spring Management

State Apiarist Tony Jadczak shares his report of Maine apiaries for 2 010.

Wintered honey bee colonies should be checked by early or mid-March for the amount and position of honey stores. Remove the outer cover and note the position of the cluster. In moderate temperatures, strong hives will often have bees present on the inner  cover, chewing and/or drinking the water from the insulation material that was placed above the inner cover the previous fall.  In cold … [Read more...]

Queen Introduction

Queen Bee

Reasons to Requeen: Failing queen – poor brood pattern (skips), drone layer, queenless colony,Poor performance/behavior- low production, susceptible to disease and mites, excessive swarming, aggressive behavior, nervous festooning behavior. Stock Improvement- hygienic and mite resistant strains, Making Increase- nucs, splits Ordering Queens: Source- Order from reputable bee … [Read more...]

Reflections on 2010

A honeybee found with deformed wing virus and Varroa mites.

The past year presented several valuable lessons to beekeepers. For example: bees should be managed according to weather conditions and plant phenology, not calendar date; monitoring Varroa is crucial since mite populations can explode under certain circumstances; and the timing and choice of Varroa treatment can have variable outcomes. Also, reading pesticide labels is imperative!   In … [Read more...]

Propolis, Propolis Everywhere

image of propolis from: http://www.beecausepollinationproject.com/blogs/news

The 2010 honey harvest is complete and many beekeepers report a good summer crop and a disappointing fall harvest. In many areas of the state the honey flow shut off like a spigot during the early part of August due to the drought conditions during the summer. Plants resumed nectar production after some late summer rain, but it was too little, too late. In general the goldenrod honey flow didn’t … [Read more...]

Normal Allergic Reactions to Insect Stings

NORMAL AND ALLERGIC REACTIONS TO INSECT STINGS I.    Normal, non-allergic reactions at the time of the sting Pain, sometimes sharp and piercing b. Burning, or itching burn c. Redness (erythema) around sting site A white area (wheal) immediately surrounding the sting site Swelling (edema) Tenderness to touch II.    Normal, non-allergic reactions hours or days after itching … [Read more...]

Honey Bee Etiquette

Sagadahoc Beekeepers Open Hive

by Tony Jadczak, Maine Department of Agriculture 1. Situate hives away from lot (property) lines and occupied buildings. 2. Locate hives away from roads and areas frequented by pedestrian and animal traffic. 3. In populated areas, uses fences and hedges as screens to conceal hives and to elevate the bees’ flight path.  Vegetation and fences also serve as windbreaks. 4. Do not situate … [Read more...]

The Bee Hive in Winter – 2009-2010

Maine State Bee Inspector Tony Jadczak

by Tony Jadczak, Maine Apiarist Unlike the majority of northern insects, honey bees cannot survive freezing and do not hibernate. In fact, the reason honey bees gather and store surplus honey is for con- sumption during the winter months when flowers are absent and temperatures are too cold for flight. The bees store honey above and around their cluster and move up into the honey reserves … [Read more...]

Swarming Reviewed

Snelgrove Board (from beebitz.com)

During the last two years, there have been “swarming issues” among many new and seasoned beekeepers. In both 2006 and 2007, beekeepers reported swarms from hives established with packages and nucs during late May-June even though there was room for colony expansion. A number of beekeepers reported that the new hives issued swarms before the bees had moved into the second hive body. In both 2006 … [Read more...]

2006 Inspection Report

State Apiarist Tony Jadczak shares his report of Maine apiaries for 2 010.

Apiary Inspection- In 2006, 479 Maine beekeepers registered 7,476 hives. 52,107 hives managed by migratory commercial beekeepers entered Maine primarily for blueberry and apple pollination. Hives were also used to pollinate canola, cranberry, small fruits, squash and buckwheat. Honey bee colonies entered Maine under certification from AR, FL, GA, KS, LA, MS, SC and TX. In 2006, 5,672 hives were … [Read more...]

Inspector’s Comments – April 2006

Tony Jadczak, Maine State Bee Inspector

True to form, “March came in like a lion and went out like a lamb”. Honey bees were gathering pollen in the southern half of the state during the last week of March when temperatures reached the upper 50’s and lower 60’s. The sight of incoming pollen is possibly as welcome to northern beekeepers as it is to the bees.   During April, bee management concerns monitoring the hive’s food … [Read more...]