We are carrying out a multiyear bee-breeding project as part of an effort to reduce the need for mite treatments in honeybee colonies. This short post is specifically directed towards our fellow beekeepers. We hope to 1) give you a summary of the study we’re carrying out and 2) tell you about the precautions we’re … More Bee-Breeding Project: Information for our Fellow Beekeepers
We’re scaling up our bee breeding project this year. You can find out more by reading the initial proposal here or watching the video as we installed our first colonies on YouTube. Anybody following the news knows that honeybees are in crisis. Bees are a critical link not only in the human food chain but … More Thanks to Our Bee-Project Sponsors!
We just installed twenty hives as part of our bee breeding research project. In short, a mite is the leading cause of colony collapse disorder. Unfortunately the standard treatment involves repeated application of chemicals to the hive, some more harmful than others. Beekeepers in Africa, Sweden, Wales, and other locations have been breeding bees that … More New Video: No. 19 — Installing Bees for Research Project
The Low Technology Institute is expanding its focus on honeybee research. In the next months, you’ll see blog posts describing the on-going and upcoming projects we are carrying out. Subscribe to our blog below to make sure you never miss a post. Varroa-Mite Tolerant Bee Breeding We’re selectively breeding isolated bee colonies in order to … More We’re Expanding our Bee Research. Join us!
In the last report, we found that the institute bees survived the “polar vortex” -30°F (plus windchill) temperatures but the research hives, which were split heavily and smaller in size, did not. It is now reaching flying temperatures most days (>50°F) and the bees in all four institute hives have been out. Institute Hives … More Bee Report — Early Spring is Here
After the polar vortex visited us with -30°F temperatures, we warmed up to the mid 40ºFs, and I took the opportunity to check on our bees. At this time of year, the bees are not hibernating, as many people think. They form a cluster around the center of the hive and shiver themselves together to … More Bee Report — Midwinter Check
The bees are preparing for winter. Last week I went into the hives to consolidate winter stores and check on the health of the colonies. We have four hives on the institute property and four hives around the village as part of our mite-tolerant breeding program. The four hives on the institute property were split … More Bee Report — Tucking the Bees in for Winter
Things are going well for the bees. The institute currently has four hives as part of its mite-tolerant breeding program. To increase the number of hives going into the winter, about a month ago, I split our two original hives into four: I pulled the queen, two frames of brood, and two frames of honey, … More Bee Report — Study Hive Splits and Bee Vacuum
It is now July and Varroa destructor mite populations are likely on the rise, so it is time to start testing the hives regularly. Of all the testing methods, some of which require the beekeeper to kill off drone brood or euthanize a sample of bees, the “powdered sugar roll” (PSR) seems to be the … More Bee Report — Mite Testing
Last month I split out my hives and used on-the-spot queen rearing to raise new queens for three young colonies (read about this process in Part I and Part II). It takes about 23–30 days for a queen to grow from an egg (3 days) to larva (5 1/2 days) to pupa in capped brood … More Bee Report — Update on Splits