Summer starts – lots of new beekeepers!

Had call to go to a new yard and treat with OAV for a freshly installed package that was showing strong signs of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV). It was way cool to see these new folks so determined and meticulous in their care of their new bees! They’d collected samples – all they could find – from in front of the hive of wings showing ‘wadded up panty hose’ for wings, placed ’em in a jar and kept them on hand for when I arrived. Several dozen! Yea, that’s bad. Built ’em one of the ‘beverage heater vaporizers’, ran out after work, did a treatment and am waiting to hear back on what the mite drop looks like. Just after the treatment I did see 3 mites at the entrance. I’m hoping for a slaughter! I also hope we got to them in time. This could be one of the heaviest loaded colonies I’ve seen.

Have also had a few more ‘bee’ calls. Mostly looking for cut outs and removals. 2 new members of the group, Michael and Danny, have excelled in their willingness to dive in and take care of things! They not only have the enthusiasm, but the skills and tools to get things done. They’re gradually gaining on controlling the feral hives in town.

Still getting lots of folks asking for honey. That’s a good thing! Once this batch of new keepers get established and are able to start sharing with their friends, folks will have locally sourced, community honey. Mmm, this may not be such a good thing for some of our smaller commercial ventures. Those guys make their money by selling to the community – more competition could well decrease their market base. Yea, it’s competition and generally we like that sort of thing. Just don’t want to see any of ’em run off.

Also had the pleasure of giving a presentation to the students at the Wood’s Learning Center. Great bunch of bee learners!! Good questions, enthusiasm and sharp. Those teachers over there have been doing a great job sharing not just life sciences, but beneficial insect basics. Something that’s been apparently lacking in our public education for some time. (evidenced by the general eagerness to spray indiscriminate toxins for pests.) Great time and I’m eager to do more!

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