This is not a “How You Should Keep Bees” site; rather, I’m a proponent of “Whatever Works for You” beekeeping.  I’m a “data over dogma” guy, and I implore my readers to correct me on any information at this website that is out of date or not supported by evidence. - Randy Oliver

Beekeeping Through the Eyes of a Biologist
  1. My first letter to the EPA

    Letter to Linda pdf

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  2. Selective Breeding Progress Report 2023

    Selective Breeding Progress Report 2023 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ September 2023 In 2017 I proposed a simplified method for commercial queen breeders to select for varroa-resistant stock, and then undertook a demonstration project to see if it would work. After six years of strong selection, we appear to be making substantial progress! […]

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  3. Drones and Varroa: Part 2

    Contents Testing Hypothesis #2. 2 Let’s Do the Calcs! 11 Conclusions 11 Why Would Mites Prefer  Drones?. 12 Acknowledgements. 12 Citations and Notes 12     Drones and Varroa Part 2 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ November 2023         In the May issue of this journal, Dr. Zac Lamas presented some findings of […]

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  4. Drones and Varroa: Part 1

    Contents The Proposed Hypotheses 2 Monitoring of the Mite Infestation. 3 How Best to Obtain a Representative and Consistent Sample?. 3 Testing Hypothesis #1. 4 Field Observations. 5 Results. 9 The Take Home. 15 Citations and Notes 16     Drones and Varroa Part 1 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ October 2023   […]

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  5. The Status of Our Industry Regarding Varroa Management and What Can We Do About It?

    The Status of Our Industry Regarding Varroa Management and What Can We Do About It? Part 2 First Published in ABJ August 2023 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com   CATCH UP Last month I wrote about the options (legal or unapproved) that beekeepers are taking to deal with varroa as it evolves resistance to amitraz. In this […]

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  6. A Study on Bee Drift and Mite Immigration: Part 6

    A Study on Bee Drift and Mite Immigration Part 6 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ July 2023     In our 2018 study in the California foothills, we confirmed that bees indeed drift from collapsing colonies to other hives, even to those at considerable distance. And that drifting can result in a substantial […]

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  7. How to use Randy’s Handy mite wash cup

    Tips for Using the XXX cup for Monitoring Varroa TAKING THE SAMPLE Use an 18-quart dishwashing tub and a stainless-steel half cup (125 mL) measuring cup (for measuring live bees, a deep cup is more accurate than a shallow cup). Take the bee sample from a frame (or frames) adjacent to the broodnest, but not […]

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  8. First year beekeeping

    Updated 8 Jan 2023.  I continually update this page, so please refer to the current version.  For mite treatment options, search “Varroa Mite Management” Beekeeping in a Nutshell I’ve attempted to distill 50 year’s of beekeeping experience into a short set of instructions for starting out with bees in the Sierra Foothills.  This page provides […]

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  9. The Status of Our Industry Regarding Varroa Mgmt and What Can We Do About It?

    Contents Introduction: A Reality Check on the American Beekeeping Industry’s Varroa Control Predicament 2 The Lead Up. 2 The Elephant in the Room.. 2 Our Conundrum.. 3 Our Predicament 3 A Personal Note. 4 Rationalization and Lack of Unreasonable Risk. 4 How the EPA Can Help Us 4 Our Current Arsenal: The Registered Varroacides 5 […]

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  10. Natural Beekeeping: A Reckoning

    There is a great deal of argument about how “naturally” we beekeepers should manage our colonies.  But the mere act of “keeping” bees implies that it is unnatural.  Truly natural “beekeeping” would be to set out empty cavities (hives or other hollows) for swarms to move into (but not more cavities than would “naturally” exist […]

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