Blog : Sonny Reeder

Don’t Miss The Mite Treatment Window

By Sonny Reeder / August 13, 2014

If you are planning to treat your bees for mites, do not wait until late fall.  By late fall, the mites have typically already done their damage and the bees are too weak to tolerate a treatment.  Your treatment will have the best effect in late summer, when both the bee and mite populations are at their highest.

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Facts About Honey Bees

By Sonny Reeder / August 12, 2014
  • There are three types of bees in the hive – Queen, Worker and Drone.
  • The queen may lay 600-800 or upto 1,500 eggs each day during her 3 or 4 year lifetime. This daily egg production may equal her own weight. She is constantly fed and groomed by attendant worker bees.
  • Honey bees can fly at up to 15 miles per hour.
  • Honey bees’ wings stroke 11,400 times per minute, thus making their distinctive buzz.
  • Honey bees are the only insect that produce food for humans.
  • Honey bees will usually travel approximately 3 miles from their hive.
  • Honey bees are the only bees that die after they sting.
  • Honey bees are responsible for pollinating approx. 80% of all fruit, vegetable, and seed crops in the U.S.
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Don’t Wait Too Long Without A Queen

By Sonny Reeder / July 10, 2014

Get into the habit of looking for young brood and eggs whenever you inspect your colony.  If you see evidence that your colony is without a queen, you need to act as quickly as possible to secure a replacement queen.  Otherwise, you will either lose the entire colony or end up with a colony of laying workers, which is very difficult to deal with.

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Make Sure You Use Enough Smoke

By Sonny Reeder / June 8, 2014

For some reason, beginning beekeepers seem to get a little shy with their smoker.  If you want to calm your bees, you need to get two to three full puffs of smoke into the entrance before working the colony.  Then use a little more after you open the lid or separate the boxes.  If you don’t smoke the bees enough before opening the lid, you will find that no amount of smoke will calm them down later!

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The Beekeeper’s Year – January

By Sonny Reeder / January 1, 2014

The Bees. The queen is surrounded by thousand of her workers. She is in the midst of their winter cluster. There is little activity except on a warm day (about 45-50 degrees) when the workers will take the opportunity to make cleansing flights. There are no drones in the hive, but some worker brood will begin to appear in the hive. The bees will consume about 25 pounds of stored honey this month.

The Beekeeper. Little work is required from you at the hives. If there is heavy snow, make certain the entrance to the hive is cleared to allow for proper ventilation. If a January thaw presents itself (in January or February) you provide supplemental, emergency food for the bees such as fondant (on the top bars) or granulated sugar (on the inner cover). This is a great time to catch up on your reading about bees, attend bee club meetings, and build and repair equipment for next season. Order package bees (if needed) from a reputable supplier.

Time Spent. Estimate less than an hour.

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