Late Season Swarms

I had several large, late season swarms that are uncommon in Ohio.  Two of the colonies did not successfully requeen.  I am uncertain what this late season biology means for the bees and their colony survival.  Any thoughts?



More Autumn Yellowjackets than usual

I don’t sense that they are problem, but there are definitely more yellowjackets attacking my colonies that in past years.  They enter the hive freely and once inside, I can’t tell what is ongoing.  There are few dead ones out front.  When possible, I will photograph the yellowjacket events.


Grandkids and Stings

My 2-year old grand daughter was stung by a Yellowjacket.  At this moment she is napping, but when she awakes she still will not like any stinging insect.  Not much I can say to change her 2-year old mind.


Yellowjacket sting on my 2-year old grand daugher
This 2-year old does not care for stinging insects – any stinging insect

If you are primarily a gardener who keeps some bees….

If you are primarily a gardener who keeps some bees, could I ask you opinion?

From a gardener’s perspective, does present-day beekeeping equipment meet your needs?  Is it the right size, the right color, they right style?  Can too many bees be too much of a good thing?  I’ve spoken to many gardening groups and have been told that the common beehive is not always well-suited for the garden environment.  If you agree, what changes do you suggest?

Chicken waterer used to water bee colonies

From GM:  My father made his money with chicken eggs and as such he had automatic poultry waterers. Reading your article it seems to me they would be good for bee waterers as they basically need no attention to the keep water available to the bees. His were about a 6′ trough with a float controlled inlet from a pressure (home well) water source. They come in different sizes. Here is one source

    The only problem I can see is getting the right size for the needs of the hives. I would put sand up to the level of the water. Sand has more pore space  thus more water surface than gravel,( check with the civil engineering department at the college), and no chance for drowning. These waterers would have the same need to be raised above predator available level and covered with 1/2″ hardware cloth to keep out the birds.