Greetings Hello,

Our May BeeGroup meeting is next Tuesday (5/21) starting at 5:45PM. We will continue our summer tradition of hands-on meetings in members apiaries. This month we will be meeting at Gina's House. 514 Krumville Road, Olivebridge NY 12461.

We will be helping Gina re-queen a hive and discussing the methods to safely re-queen hives and make splits.

Bring your bee jacket, Veil, gloves, etc. I will have extra protective gear for those who don't have any yet.

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.

Bee Blessed!

Let's Talk Queens!

"The quality of a queen determines the fate of her colony. While poor queens may show promise in favorable conditions, it's their resilience in adversity that truly defines their worth." - Dr. Malcolm T. Sanford

It’s springtime and a lot of folks are eager to expand their apiary by doing splits. Splits are very popular since they are “almost free”. Problem is, a good portion of those doing splits use the “walk away” method, because it’s easy and cheap, without thinking it through.

Bees will rear queens in three different circumstances. Swarm queens, supersedure queens, and emergency queens. Swarm queens are reared when a colony is booming, resources are plentiful, and the colony is ready to initiate a natural split. Swarm queens are reared out of desire and not out of need and are also reared vertically in queen cups. Since swarm queens are initiated by bee when conditions are optimal, the results are arguably the best quality queens.

Supersedure queens are reared when the colony is unhappy with the performance of the queen and decide to replace her. Supersedure does not consider availability of resources or drone population for proper mating. Supersedure queens are reared from eggs of an unacceptable and/or failing queen, therefore results are marginal at best. You will find some folks that say supersedure queen are perfectly fine. Even poor-quality queens can perform well when conditions are ideal, they will start to fail when conditions start to decline which is often in the Fall when it is the worst time to have a hive go queen-less. I have also personally experienced, and heard from many beekeepers, of hives that will perpetually supersede the queen. This leads me to believe that whatever quality of the queen the bees do not like is being passed through genetics.

Emergency queens are the worst case for the bees and the mode that a lot of beekeepers choose to raise replacement queens. They assume that since the bees can raise an emergency queen it must be OK. I believe emergency queens are a rare situation in feral colonies and a last-ditch effort. They have no laying queen, and the colony will perish if the situation is not rectified. There is no current queen so one is raised from eggs laid in worker cells. What differentiates a queen from a worker is the food that is fed to the larvae on or around day 3. This happens to coincide with the bees needing to get the larvae from the horizontal cell to the new vertical cell they build on the face of the comb. To get the larvae to the correct position, they float it out on thinned out royal jelly. Does this thinned out royal jelly have the same nutritional value? Right at the critical time of a larvae being either a worker or a queen. Queen larvae increases 1500 times in weight in 5 days from hatching to pupation (C.C. Farrar) so a decrease of nutritional value in thinned royal jelly is most likely detrimental. Also, there may not be an abundance of resources for the bees to produce quality royal jelly and they are forced to just do the best they can. Out of necessity, they will attempt to raise multiple emergency queen in hope that one is successful. Any larvae that may be a little older (more than 3 days and didn’t continue to get feed straight royal jelly) will most likely be the first to hatch and attempt to kill all the younger, perhaps better quality, unhatched queens. Therefore, you are much more likely to get an intercaste queen, traits from both worker bee and queen, that will not perform well long-term. Even though you will read in many books that bees will always choose the right aged larvae when making queen cells this is a myth. Perhaps they will choose the best larvae available, but this does not allows mean a proper larvae will be used. Case in point is a hive with a laying worker. They will continue to attempt to raise queens from infertile eggs even though there is ZERO change of a viable queen.

Are “good enough” queens OK, or do you want the best queens?

Next time you plan to do a split, either wait until you have some nice swarm cells, rear yourself some quality queens, or truly think through the long-term costs before you write off purchasing a quality queen as too expensive. Any beekeeper trying to deal with a late Fall/Winter queen failure would gladly drop the money if given the chance for a do-over.


Enjoy beekeeping in your own way!

Bees In the News...

FDA testing finds percentage of imported honey adulterated with other sweeteners

The FDA has released a report on an investigation into imported honey and the intentional adulteration of it for economic gains.

The report from the Food and Drug Administration includes information on 107 samples from 25 countries. The FDA collected the samples in import status, which refers to products collected at ports of entry or other locations where they are held prior to being released into domestic commerce.

Click here to continue reading.....

Our Better Nature: Put the Brakes on Honey Bees – Our Future Depends on It

Honey bees are causing grave – and in some cases irreversible – harm to the environment.

In addition to being a reliable source of honey, not to mention personal satisfaction, backyard beekeeping can be a rich learning experience for the whole family. And yet at the same time, honey bees are causing grave – and in some cases irreversible – harm to the environment. It’s imperative that beekeepers learn about the threats to native pollinators posed by honey bees and actively work to mitigate the damage as much as possible.

Click here to continue reading.....

Joke of the Month...

Photos of the Month...

Submitted and credited to Sharon Fletcher
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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