January 27, 2024
Olive Free Library – West Shokan 10AM – 4PM
Snow date – February 3, 2024
Note: This is a free seminar, and in fairness to others, we hope you are committed to show up if you enroll.
Why it is important to start right!
Our current estimate is roughly 3,500 – 4,000 packages of bees are imported into the Hudson Valley each year. After talking to so many of these purchasers roughly less than half of these survive their first winter. These packages come from Georgia, California, Texas, Florida, and generally points south. These providers do their best to assure good quality bees and queens but given the scale of operations some things must be overlooked in the process. There is little reason to bring packages into the Hudson Valley at the end of March. Many of the purchasers are first year beginners who know little about bees, have no drawn comb, and have no experience in feeding and caring for their new colony.
Packages were designed to be disposable bees shipped from the southern states to Canadian prairies. These bees, until recently, were expected to raise a crop of honey and after the harvest they were left to face the severe winter and perish. As the price of bees has increased, folks started figuring out ways to over winter their bees and have largely started to raise their own acclimated bees. The package bees are largely comprised of bees returning from their pollination runs in the almond valley of California. Three pounds of bees are shaken off into a box and supplied with a mated queen, some sugar syrup, and sent off to try to succeed in a new climate and location. The exposure from disease vectors of the migratory hives to the genetic cesspool of under inspected colonies, has done more to set back the bees than perhaps any one other factor. These bees return home and are built up to where they can be packaged and shipped out.
What this workshop will cover
Our goal is long term sustainability through education, and breeding improvement. For this workshop we will focus on how to start beekeeping in a sustainable way. Becoming self-sufficient in expanding your apiary with quality acclimatized stock is key to success. In addition to covering the basics of honeybee biology and colony management, we will provide insight on the best options for keeping healthy bees in the Hudson Valley region.
- Honeybee caste and races
- Stock selection
- Bee stings / Apitherapy
- Bees and neighbors
- Protective gear
- Hive design
- Predators and pests
- Hive placement
- Installing bees
- Signs of a healthy hive
- Diseases & Treatments
This free seminar is provided by Hudson Valley Hives BeeGroup and the Olive Free Library.
The format will be pretty informal. There will be a presentation and plenty of hands on demonstrations. Open discussion and questions are highly encouraged. Please register so that we can get a feel for how many folks to prepare for and be able to contact you if things change (weather, etc).