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Bee Behavior and Biology

I’ve ordered these articles to help you better understand bee behavior.


Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 13d

First published in: American Bee Journal, October 2016

Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 13d The Impacts of Parasites and CO2 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ October 2016 Winter is the most stressful time for the honey bee colony, and during times of stress, some parasites find opportunity in the hive. How can a beekeeper help his/her bees? The honey bee […]

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Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 13c

First published in: American Bee Journal, September 2016

Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 13c The Winter, and Hive Design Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in September 2016 I begin the process of writing most of my articles thinking that I’ll cover the subject in a single piece. Next thing I know, I’ve got so many notes that I realize that […]

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Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 13b

First published in: American Bee Journal, August 2016

Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 13b The Winter Continued Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ August 2016 In the previous article I summarized the basic mechanics and physics of the winter cluster. But I still had some “leftovers” worthy of further discussion… The Optimal Size of the Winter Cluster I showed in Part […]

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Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 13a

First published in: American Bee Journal, July 2016

Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline Part 13a The Physics of the Winter Cluster   Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ July 2016 Updated in blue: 21 March 2019 In cold-winter locales, the temperature becomes too cool for workers to forage, and there is no nectar or pollen to be had anyway. In response, the […]

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Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 12

First published in: American Bee Journal, June 2016

Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 12 Late Summer Through Autumn Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ are June 2016 I took a slight detour in my last article to address the “other bug” that we keep in our hives—the varroa mite. I plan to soon return to the mite. But first, let’s get […]

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Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 11

First published in: American Bee Journal, April 2016

Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 11 Varroa and Late Season Collapse Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in April 2016 I’m writing this article shortly after moving my hives to almond pollination. The supply of strong, healthy hives was short this season, but that came as no surprise. I’d heard reports from all […]

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Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 10- Summer Downsizing and Varroa

First published in: American Bee Journal, March 2016

Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 10 Summer Downsizing And Varroa Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in March 2016 At this point in time, the desperate intensity of spring buildup has long since passed, swarming season is over, and the colony has had its chance to use the main honey flow to put […]

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Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 9b

First published in: American Bee Journal, February 2016

Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 9b The Regulation of Bee Longevity Randy Oliver Scientific Beekeeping First Published in ABJ in February 2016 In the first part of this article, I looked at the regulation of the lifespan of the long-lived “winter” (diutinus) bees. Now it’s time to turn to the question of why “summer […]

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Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 9a

First published in: American Bee Journal, January 2016

Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 9a The Regulation Of Bee Longevity Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in January 2016 CONTENTS The Business Model Of The European Honey Bee The Phases Of Colony Life Cycle It’s All About Most Efficient Use Of Resources Reversing The Question The Regulation Of Aging The Honey Bee […]

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Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 8

First published in: American Bee Journal, October and November 2015

Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 8 The Main Honey Flow Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ Oct and November 2015 The moment has now arrived for our honey bees to earn their name. Unlike other insects in temperate climates, the honey bee maintains an elevated body temperature throughout the frigid winter. It does […]

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Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline – Part 7b

First published in: American Bee Journal, September 2015

Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline – Part 7b Minimizing Swarming Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in Sep 2015 CONTENTS The Beekeeper’s Dilemma The Reproductive Urge It’s Not Just Crowding Cues And Thresholds Involved In The Swarming Impulse The Condition Of The Broodnest And Amount Of Open Comb Backfilling Availability Of Empty Drawn Comb […]

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Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline – Part 7a

First published in: American Bee Journal, August 2015

Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline – Part 7a The Swarming Impulse Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in Aug 2015 CONTENTS The Swarming Impulse Terminology Reproductive Swarming And Emergency Swarming The Effect Of Swarming Upon The Colony Predicting Swarming Issuance Of The Swarm Acknowledgements References One of the main challenges of keeping bees for […]

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Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline – Part 6

First published in: American Bee Journal, July 2015

Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline – Part 6 Hiccups in Colony Linear Buildup Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in July 2015 CONTENTS Return To Playing Catch Up Real World Hiccups The Effect Of Cold Weather The Effect Of Rainy Weather Spring Starvation From Too Little To Too Much Brood Survivorship Adult Survivorship Take […]

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Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline – Part 5

First published in: American Bee Journal, June 2015

Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline – Part 5 Egglaying, Adult Survivorship, and Modeling Colony Growth Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in June 2015 CONTENTS Some Questions Begging For Answers Survivorship Of The Workers A Simplified Mathematical Model Question: Why Does The Population Stop Growing After 10 Weeks? Population Top Out Playing Catch Up […]

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Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline – Part 4

First published in: American Bee Journal, May 2015

Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline – Part 4 The Linear Growth Phase Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in May 2015 What got me going on this series is the question of at what rate can I expect my colonies to build up. I’ve now discussed the concepts of “recruitment” and “attrition,” the constraints […]

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