VT Bee Blog

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Thoughts about beekeeping and beekeepers in Vermont along with links to local and national stories of interest. While most articles are public, VBA members who login to the site will have access to additional articles and features.

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Start Planning Now for Bees in the Spring! Scott Wilson VBA Secretary December 21, 2013 With snow on the ground and a cold north wind blowing it is the perfect time to start planning for your next season bees. This is written for the new beekeeper to giv

Start Planning Now for Bees in the Spring!

Scott Wilson

VBA Secretary

December 21, 2013

 

With snow on the ground and a cold north wind blowing it is the perfect time to start planning for your next season bees. This is written for the new beekeeper to give a broad overview of the tools/equipment needed, resources available, and purchase timing with respect to a Langstroth Hive.

Start your research early. Keeping bees is not a set and forget type of hobby. Bees need to be managed just like any other agricultural endeavor. Education and knowledge is helpful but “hands on” training provided by a mentor is the most valuable. There is not one seasoned beekeeper alive who would deny this.

Research: Ideally seek out your local or state bee club. Every state has one and in Vermont it can be found at http://www.vermontbeekeepers.org. Look for mentor programs, classes or training for beginning beekeepers. You will most likely find lots of people who would love to talk to you about getting started in beekeeping. This is how my wife and I got started and it has proved to be immensely profitable. We were given great advice, had people to call when we had questions leaving us feeling that much more capable. There are also beginning beekeeping classes offered by local beekeeping supply houses like Betterbee, beginning beekeeping courses at Champlain Valley Union High School, and various online resources. Be wary of the internet. If you see something on YouTube validate it with a local beekeeper just for good measure

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Winter Meeting January 28, 2014

Mark your calendars, you won't want to miss the winter meeting.  As always, it's the Tuesday of the Vermont Farm Show - this year on January 28, 2014 at the Champlain Valley Expo.  Taylor Ricketts of UVM will be wowing us with pollinators in the morning and Mike Palmer will delight us with beekeeping how-tos in the afternoon.  Watch for more information and an agenda posted on the website within the next month or so.

Lending a Helping Hand

On Saturday 10/13/2013, eleven VBA and Franklin County Bee Club members had the opportunity to pay it forward, lending a helping hand to Mike Palmer. With Mike’s upcoming trip to the United Kingdom to speak at the National Honey Show, he was behind in the winter preparation of his hives at several bee yards. With great pleasure several club members were able to donate some time to help Mike and his bees.

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Zombie Fly Discovered in Vermont Honey Bees

zombie bee watch zombee1

State Apiculturalist Steve Parise has confirmed that Zombie Fly Apocephalus borealis has been detected here in Vermont.  This fly is native to North America.  This fly attacks its host by injecting eggs into the abdomen; the emerging fly larva eats the insides of its host.  This results in "Zombie" like behavior of the host. 

The honey bee sampling was taken from an observant beekeeper in Burlngton.  The affected honey bees were sent to San Francisco State University for testing.  John Hafernik, a researcher and professor of biology at San Francisco State University has started a website tracking the discovery of infected honey bees in the United Stated.  "Zombee Watch"

A Burlington Free Press article was recently published about the Vermont beekeeper and his experience in detecting the Zombie Fly.  Killer 'zombie fly' maggots found in Vermont honeybees

For additional information about Apocephalus borealis, please click this link:  Apocephalus borealis