Greetings Hello,

Our 1st BeeGroup meeting of 2024 is upon us. We will meet next Tuesday (3/19) starting at 5:45PM at the Olive Free Library in West Shokan. I'm looking forward to hearing your winter results and plans for the season. As always, please bring your questions for open discussion with the group.

I hope everyone has been able to get out and check their bees. The winter has been mild and the bees have accelerated their spring buildup, so it is imperative you make sure they have the stores they need. Starvation is a real concern right now and it is heartbreaking to loose a hive at this point.

Queen 16 Days, Worker 21 Days, Drone 24 Days...Capped at 9th Day...

Please check the Resources section below...

If you have any topics, ideas, selling bee equipment, or questions, feel free to contact us at BeeGroup@HVHiives.com.

Keep on BZZZzzz'n...

Why did my hive die?

Diagnosing a dead out is often a challenge and we force an answer to ourselves even if it is inconclusive. It is OK to step back and say "I don't know". Changing your bee management based on a false diagnosis can be worse than doing nothing. Even if you are pretty confident in your diagnosis, I still highly recommend sending a sample of the dead bees to Beltsville Bee Lab for a FREE check for varroa and nosema. Nosema is something the average beekeeper can't check and often "out of sight, out of mind". The varroa count also gives you a feeling of the effectiveness of your varroa treatments. Simply collect a handful of bees (100 or more) from the dead cluster and put them in a ziplock bag (I carry some in my pocket this time of year). You don't want rotting or decaying bees, or bees off the bottom board if you can avoid it. I have done some trials of sending samples from the cluster and the bottom board of the same hive and the bottom board sample always have higher mite counts. This makes sense, as varroa die they fall to the bottom board. Mark the ziplock in some way. When you get back into the house cover the bees in rubbing alcohol until you are ready to mail them out. You can't ship the alcohol through the mail, so drain the excess off before shipping. Pro tip: If you have more than 1 sample you are sending, write the identification of the sample on a piece of paper, in PENCIL, and place it in the bag. If you write in pen or marker the alcohol residue will make in illegible, even if written on the outside. Inevitably one of the bags will leak. It can take a month or 2 to get the results back, but still great information to know. You can also send comb to be tested for AFB I believe, but I never have. You can get all the details here -> ars.usda.gov/northeast-area/beltsville-md-bar

Overwintered Nucs


I still have a few 5-frame overwintered nucs for sale $200/ea. Contact me if interested.

Bill & Britta start their beekeeping adventures in Germany

For those that wondering how Bill and Britta are doing in Germany, here is Bill capturing their 1st swarm.

Bees In the News...

Honey Found Better Than Antibiotics for Colds, Coughs

I’ve long been a big fan of natural remedies, so when our young kids were feeling under the weather with a cough or a cold, I would give them a teaspoon of raw honey in warm tea or water. Not only would the cough be quelled, but they’d often sleep better. So between raw honey and this homemade cough remedy, we’ve never needed an OTC cough remedy.

Click here to continue reading.....

Bees Reveal a Human-Like Collective Intelligence We Never Knew Existed

The humble bumblebee is proof that brain size isn't everything. This little insect with its wee, seed-sized brain has shown a level of collective intelligence in experiments that scientists thought was wholly unique to humans.
When trained in the lab to open a two-step puzzle box, bumblebees of the species Bombus terrestris could teach the solution to another bee that had never seen the box before.

Click here to continue reading.....

Photos of the Month...

Please consider sharing your photos for the newsletter. Send them to BeeGroup@HVHives.com


Critical Thinking Beekeeping
Rob Overton presentation to Wake County Beekeepers
Click here to watch

Commercial Queens-Nosema and Low Sperm Count
Click here to watch

Constructive Beekeeping - Ed Clark, 1918
Link to Book, PDF

SABA (Southern Adirondack Beekeepers)
Lots of great information from this Club's website, many articles, and many lectures and seminars by various people in the worlds of beekeeping. Lot's of knowledge to be had here and worth your while.

Very good Case Study on the Collapse of a Hive and what the signs are. You need to see this. Very good photos. Opens a PDF in a new window .... https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NvP-olm7vwMxPVH-Oi1CNHH70Wq913ym/view

Bee Biology
Basic Bee Biology from the University of Georgia
Pictures of Bee Anatomy
Honey Bees Identification, Biology, and Lifecycle
Honey Bee Biology, Part 1: The Digestive System

NY Bee Wellness: https://nybeewellness.org/

Beltsville Lab: If your bees die, God Forbid!, please send a sample to the Beltsville Lab in Maryland. The analysis is free and they will email you the results. They check for Nosema and Mites. I sent a sample down a month ago and my hive was loaded with mites -- in December! Please share results with Rob,Tom and the BeeGroup so we can help keep tabs on what is happening in the 'hood. Thanks! CLICK HERE for details on how to submit a sample.

Fat Bees Skinny Bees
Talks about nutrition for your bees. This will impact how your bees can fight off disease and ultimately survive.
Click Here for the Powerpoint.
Click Here for the Manual.

For Honeybee information, videos, podcasts and workshops please visit the links below. Workshops are being updated as we speak!

Dave Cushman Beekeeping Website maintained by Roger Patterson.
Go to Dave-Cushman.net

With Special Thanks for providing the Venue: Olive Free Library

A Quick Reference Guide to Honey Bee Parasites, Pests, Predators, and Diseases https://extension.psu.edu/a-quick-reference-guide-to-honey-bee-parasites-pests-predators-and-diseases

Welsh Beekeepers Association Bee Disease Guide: It is important for all beekeepers to be familiar with the appearance of healthy worker brood, in order to recognise abnormalities which may indicate the presence of disease.

Honey Bee Healthy Recipe

NOSEMA: Treatment Procedure. Don't forget to treat for Nosema! Click Here for procedure.

HONEYBEE LIFE CYCLE - Very Important to know. This is the building block of understanding your hives.
Click Here for video...
Click here for chart and discussion.

Queen 16 Days, Worker 21 Days, Drone 24 Days...

These are a Few Videos that You May Find of Interest (I particularly like the Skep video!

Tony Jefferson – “Never Waste a Queen Cell”

Small Scale Queen Rearing - Roger Patterson

Well-mated Queens Produce the Busiest Bees by Heather Mattila

Reading a Hive - Kirsten Traynor

Skep Beekeeping in the Heathland - 1978

Biology of the Honey Bee

NY Bee Wellness - Diagnostics

Hive Inspection Protocol

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