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Zombie bees

A parasitic fly was recently discovered to be infesting honey bees– the press wildly extrapolated it into being the cause of CCD.  I’ve kept in touch with the researchers in San Francisco, and with beekeepers in the affected areas.  The study is ongoing. The fly is a native parasite that normally parasitizes bumblebees and paper wasps. […]

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What Happened To The Bees This Spring?

First published in: American Bee Journal, June 2013

Part 1: Environmental and Biotic Factors Setting the Stage The Lead Up The Drought Lack of Good Forage Varroa Diseases Other Indicators of Impending Collapse An Unexpected Chill Feedback from Brokers The Silent Majority Beekeeper Management Part 2: The Contribution From Pesticides The Lynch Mob Debunking The Myths The Precautionary Principal See For Yourself Be […]

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Mite Management Update 2013

First published in: American Bee Journal, August 2013

Monitoring Mites by Sampling Frame-to-Frame Consistency of Samples Mite Recovery of the Alcohol Wash Sticky Boards Natural Mite Drop vs. Alcohol Wash Discussion Experimenting with MAQS Strips References and Footnotes Randy OliverScientificBeekeeping.com It’s that time of year again to get a jump on varroa mites before it’s too late.  This raises two questions: how to […]

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Reflections on the Honey Bee Health Summit

First published in: American Bee Journal, August 2013

(And Other Random Thoughts) Randy OliverScientificBeekeeping.com  Reflections of the Honey Bee Health Summit (And Other Random Thoughts) Into The Belly of the Beast Plant Breeders Drop the Demonization Let’s Be Logical Take Home Sound Bites Colony Health The Varroa/Virus Complex Pesticide Issues Agriculture and Nutrition Toxins Sentinel Apiaries Weighing the Costs and Benefits The Varroa/Virus […]

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Winter Colony Losses

First published in: American Bee Journal, September 2013

A Pesticide-Free Control Group 2011/2012 Beelogical Trials Discussion What Makes Dinks Dinks? The Midwinter Assessment (Size Matters) Another Trial The Winter Turnaround So What To Do With Dinks? Spread of Infection From Hive to Hive Coming References   Randy OliverScientificBeekeeping.com For nearly a decade now beekeepers have been experiencing a higher rate of overwintering losses […]

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Queens For Pennies Powerpoint Presentation

You can download the linked Powerpoint presentation below for a slide show to go with my article Queens for Pennies. Updates:  I tried the headband magnifier with the built-in LED lamp; I prefer a plain headband magnifier with a camping headlamp. When you try the Chinese grafting tool for the first time, make sure that […]

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Small-scale Queenrearing

This page is not a finished product, but due to requests, I’ve posted a rough version.   The Oliver “foolproof method” of queen  rearing Step-by-step oliver modification  of the “Modified Swarm Box” Starter/finisher colony Click the link below to download my Powerpoint presentation, minus my voice.  It is a large download and may take some […]

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Updates

I’m currently running a large-scale field trial of commercial pollen supplements, and have updated http://scientificbeekeeping.com/pollen-supplement-formula/ to reflect.

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The Short Version

The Major Problems Facing Bees and Beekeepers Number one is varroa.  Varroa changed the virus dynamics within the colony.  If either the bees or the beekeeper don’t keep the varroa infestation rate down to fewer than 5 mites per 100 bees, colonies start to suffer.  At about 15 mites per 100, viruses go epidemic, and […]

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