November 24, 2014

Remember That Swarm Trap?

The remnants of a undetected colony who had moved into a swarm trap last season

Remember that great contraption you built in the hopes of catching and hiving a swarm? Well, make sure you check it carefully from time to time for inhabitants! Jacky discovered unexpected contents in his mentoree’s swarm trap which had been left out over the winter. Apparently, the beekeeper’s swarm had indeed moved in sometime last season, but its activity was never noticed. Not … [Read more...]

Varroa Destructor, the Pest

Varroa Destructor - Adapted from illustration by B. Alexander

The Varroa Destructor seems to have come to Maine in 1987, the year after the Tracheal Mite. Both created devastation in the beekeeping world and caught beekeepers off-guard. At that time it was referred to as the Fall Dwindle. It took a closer look to see that the die-outs were coming from a pesky little parasitic mite. The Varroa is now known to suck the blood-like body fluids, hymolymph, from … [Read more...]

Plant Buyer, Be Wary

Plant Buyer, Be Wary

by Amy Campbell, Master Gardener There is nothing more fun for me as a gardener than to poke around nurseries in the spring looking for plants! It was gardening that got me into beekeeping because I thought bees would be perfect companion animals in the flowery landscape. Several years later, it is my interest in bees and my learning about some of the problems associated not only with honeybees … [Read more...]

Promoting Pollinators to Our Local Communities

National Pollinator Week 2011

by Sam(antha) Burns, UME Master Gardener, Somerset Beekeepers President With National Pollinator Week just around the corner, this is a good time to take a moment to think about all of the creatures who are so crucially important to the diversity of life we experience on this Earth. Plants and pollinators have evolved together over the last 130 million years; today 80% of the flowering … [Read more...]