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Dear reader,

I know last month I said Spring was almost here and now a month later the weather hasn't gotten any better.   As tough as it is for us to wait, it is even harder on the bees.   I have heard an uptick of losses the last month,  most likely due to starvation,  so it is key to make sure your bees have enough food.

Good news is that today and tomorrow are forecasted to be quite warm so it is a good opportunity to get into your hives. 

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

Please whitelist our email address to ensure proper mail delivery from Hudson Valley Hives.

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BeeGroup Meeting - Best Novice Varroa Plan

Our next meeting is next Monday, Aprii 16th. We will meet downstairs at 6:30PM at the Olive Free Library.

Since varroa mites are the leading cause for loss of hives, I want to go over what I think is the best plan for novice beekeepers who are just starting out. If you have less than 3 years keeping bees and struggling to overwinter, you really need to focus on a proven plan that is straight forward with limited variables. We are seeing too many people not make it past that 3 year mark and giving up. I know everyone wants to go 'treatment-free' and I admire that aspiration, however, it is not something that happens easily despite what you read or hear. The best treatment-free beekeepers that I know, who have been keeping bees for decades see anywhere from 30-60% winter loss and all have seen 100% loss at times. So before you can start the transition, you need to learn how to get bees through the winter first.

Don't just take my work for it, speak with anyone in the BeeGroup that has been keeping bees more than 3 years and you will find that they have a focus on varroa control. Or as Leslie told a new beekeeper at Worldwide Beekeeping Forum - "My words of advice are find an experienced mentor and don’t let anyone tell you that you can get away without treating for mites. Dealing with mites will make or break your beekeeping experience."

So this month I would like to review what I believe is the best/easiest method for beginners. It is not the most economical, but for those with a couple of hives it is well worth it. It also works on a well defined time table that is not affected by weather conditions. This makes it ideal for beginners who are still trying to learn to read a hive.

We will still have plenty of time for general discussions and questions, so come prepared :-)

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Get Ready for Swarm Season!

I know we haven't even had the opportunity to do spring inspections of our hives yet,  but swarm season will be here before you know it.   Now is the time to get those swarm traps out so they are in place and ready when it starts.

Here is a blog post  I did a while back about the importance of swarm traps and what I have learned through the years.  It also provides a link to my plans so you can build your own. 

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Beekeeping Blog

Check out my latest blog in the "Beekeeping For Everyone" series.

Beekeeping For Everyone! - #12 - Let's Make Splits & Queens

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Bee Improvement Podcasts

Check out the latest podcast on spring management

Bee Improvement Audio Library

 

 

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Hudson Valley Hives is a beekeeping group that meets at the Olive Free Library on a monthly basis and discuss all things beekeeping. The meeting is driven by members questions and sharing experiences with the goal of spreading timely knowledge among fellow beekeepers. It is very informal and we welcome anyone interested to participate. If you are just thinking about getting started in beekeeping, a new beekeeper, or a seasoned beekeeper, you will benefit from the group discussions.  There is no membership fee. The Olive Free Library graciously provides a meeting place for our group and we encourage you to make a donation to the library if you find the BeeGroup helpful.

• What: Bee Group

• Where: Olive Free Library, West Shokan

• When: 3rd Monday of the Month - 6:30PM

Have family or friends that might be interested in beekeeping? Forward this email so they can Subscribe to our Mail List.

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