VT Bee Blog

Welcome to the Vermont Bee Blog...

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.

VBA Members are invited to submit their thoughts, articles and images. Simply login to the site and click the Submit an Article button to join the conversation. livemarks

Irene's Aftermath

We've heard reports of Vermont beekeepers losing hives to flooding and falling trees as a result of Tropical Storm Irene. This picture, from VBA Librarian Bill Marcinkowski shows his hives at Dog River Farm in Northfield. More pictures are available here. billm4

If you've experienced losses in your apiaries we'd like to hear from you. Simply write your stories and send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . (Include pictures if you have them.)

Or, if you are a VBA member you may login to the VBA site and choose the "Submit an Article" link at the left side of the page to submit your story directly. Again, please include pictures if you have them.

Any information and images received will be posted here and forwarded to Vermont State Apiculturist Steve Parise at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

3 hive bodies ????

Hello, recently I stumbled on to a site, I think Canadian, where the writer indicated that he has used three deep hive bodies, instead of two, on his many hives and because of that has not had any swarming in many years. Unfortunately I cannot find the site again. Does anyone have any opinion on this ???? It makes sense because it would eliminate the possibility of crowding. Also does anyone recognize the web site, if so let me know. Thanks Peter

8/31/11 I found the web site with the info on 3 deep hive bodies and additional ventilation. It is beeworks.com. The author has redesigned the hives to a square configuration instead of rectangular and has added special ventilation to the top of the hive. Very interesting reading. If you access the site look at the D E Hive details section. Finally I will be able to sleep tonight. I don't intend to build square boxes but the three hive bodies and additional ventilation might be worth a try next spring. I hope everyone is recovering from the Hurricane, a real mess. Peter

Mite Treatment with MAQS.

Hello everyone. I discovered, with the help of Steve Parise, that I had some mites in my hives. I ordered some MAQS, Mite Away Quick Strips, and thought I would let you know how things went. I placed the patties in the hives a week ago. I have not disturbed the hives since placing, per the directions.

I did have a small amount of bearding on one of the hives the following day but the bees kept coming and going as usual, this was expected. There are questions as to whether the paper has to be removed after the treatment. It is apparent that the bees take care of this themselves, there are little white specs of paper, and a few bigger pieces on the ground in front of the hives.

Pretty cool. Anyway, as advertised I do not see any apparent harm to the hives and am confident that the formic acid has taken care of the infestation. Due to the possibility of thunder storms today I have not looked in the hives, perhaps tomorrow.

If I do discover a problem I will update, however I do not expect any problems. Perhaps the MAQS will be the answer to the Mite problem.

New Beekeeper Lessons

New Beekeeping Grant Lessons Learned

New beekeepers have lots of lessons to learn and experienced beekeepers have even more lessons to learn: beekeeping is all about learning. In the spring of 2010 through the spring of 2011 the Vermont Beekeepers Association worked with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets to procure funds from the USDA Specialty Crop Development Block Grant to fund new beekeeper's start up costs for 17 Vermonters.

One of the requirements of this grant was for the new beekeepers to share the top five things that they learned. These are compiled below in no particular order. I think you'll agree that these beekeepers have a sense of humor and learned quite a bit in their first year.

--Kim Greenwood