December 20, 2014

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...]

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...]

2010 Apiary Program Summary

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

In 2010, 621 Maine beekeepers registered 6,975 hives. The registration numbers reflect an increase of approximately 150 hobby beekeepers since 2008. There are more than 1,000 beekeepers with 8,000+ hives estimated in Maine. The estimate is based upon the number of beekeepers who attend beekeeping workshops, the number of individuals enrolled in beekeeping short courses and the current membership … [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...]