July 30, 2015

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...]

Kenya Top-Bar Hives: We should not be setting “new-bees” up for certain failure

Brood Comb in a (Kenya) Top Bar Hive in Maine

8 Dec 2011/Jan 2012 Thank you, thank you, thank you Anne Frey for your very informative article with your opinion on the Kenya top bar hive (The Bee Line, vol. 29, #5). It is something I have wanted to write about for some time, and I eagerly waited for your article — well done! Now I can share my views along with yours and other documented facts. I too have communicated with Tony Jadczak … [Read more...]

Time to Consider the Big Honey Show at EAS 2012 in Vermont

"Queenline" Jar for Honey Show Entry

How do your honey, candles, mead, photos and baked goodies stack up? Bring your entries with you to EAS in Burlington and show them off! In past EAS conferences, sometimes the Honey Show has been skipped or pared down, but this year, Mike Palmer is going all-out. He is gathering sponsors and judges and is determined to have every category possible filled with as many entries as possible. Let’s … [Read more...]

The Honey Exchange Grand Opening

Beekeeping Supplies at The Honey Exchange

by Jim Frederick, urbanjunglehoneybees.wordpress.com The Honey Exchange held its grand opening on September 10th, when owners and beekeepers Phil and Meghan Gaven welcomed dozens of people into their shop on Stevens Avenue in Portland. The store, located in a bright yellow 1800s house in the historic Deering Center neighborhood, offers a unique blend of beekeeping supplies, honey and … [Read more...]

Open-Feeding “Pollen Substitute”

Open-Feeding "Pollen Substitute"

Many years, we have a warm spell after the first frost and the bees can fly, but find nothing in the “field.” In the absence of nectar and pollen, our bees start foraging for alternative sources of carbs and protein. Bees pick up sand, sawdust, birdseed, or maybe even soda in some cans in a recycling bin on a neighbor’s back porch, etc., to bring home to the hive. Pretty soon the neighbor’s back … [Read more...]

Hosting the 2011 American Honey Princess

2011 American Honey Princess Allison Adams helps the WMBA ambassador beekeeping at the Fryeburg Fair.

  We had a lot of interest in Bee Schools at the Fryeburg Fair this year. (Perhaps an opportunity for bee school in the Naples-Bridgeton- Fryeburg area!) Allison Adams is the American Honey Princess this year. She did a terrific job speaking with people at the fair and was a great ambassador for beekeeping — very knowledgeable and well spoken. She is from Plano, Texas, and this was … [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...]

Beekeeping Then and Now – My Experience

Lawrence Furbish enjoying his new apiary, back in Maine.

by Lawrence Furbish, York County Beekeeper My first exposure to beekeeping came in the early 1950s when my dad kept bees on land we owned down behind the Country Club in Sanford. I was too young to help him, but I remember several things: his bee veil, long canvas gloves that came up to his elbows, and the smoker. I also remember him getting called when a package of bees he had ordered … [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...]

My First EAS

About 20 Mainers attended the annual Eastern Apiculture Society meeting in Warwick Rhode Island - July 25-29.

by Ian Munger Have you ever read a bee article and wished you could ask follow-up questions? Just how much brood do you need to make that nuc? What is the best way to package and sell your honey? Can you write-off that lost colony on your taxes? Have you ever wished your local monthly meeting was a little bit longer? Do you love to talk about bees with anyone who will listen? EAS provides … [Read more...]