VT Bee Blog

Welcome to the Vermont Bee Blog...

Thoughts about beekeeping and beekeepers in Vermont along with links to local and national stories of interest. While most articles are public, VBA members who login to the site will have access to additional articles and features.

VBA Members are invited to submit their thoughts, articles and images. Simply login to the site and click the Submit an Article button to join the conversation. livemarks

Summer Meeting July 12, 2014

Mark your calendars for a fine summer day with VBA in Bennington.  The VBA Summer meeting will be held July 12, 2014 at the Grace Christian School. We are very excited to have researcher and author Tom Seeley as our guest speaker. Tom will be discussing "Honey Bees in the Wild" and "Swarm Intelligence in Honey Bees".

While winter is winding down, why not read one of Tom's books to get you thinking? Honeybee Democracy is available free from the VBA library by visiting here: http://www.vermontbeekeepers.org/members-only/library


Birds and the Bees

This photo was sent in by Jeffery Hamelman.  It was taken by a friend of his, Mary Holland.

Chickadee on hive-1

Studying Clover and Bees in Vermont

VBA is working with the UVM Extension to promote the use of more pollinator plants that would enhance food resources for honeybees and other wild pollinators.   As part of this initiative, the VBA would like to promote hay and pasture crops that are more ‘bee friendly’ without sacrificing forage quality that dairy and other livestock farmers are dependent upon.  However, there is a need to conduct field trials on farms to actually determine the feasibility of various mixtures and management practices that would help the VBA meet these goals while dairy livestock farmers still meet their feed goals.   Read more about the project here:

Enhancing Nectar Production with Clover - Innovative Methods to Utilize Alsike and White Clover in Vermont Hay Fields

Going Sweetly Into Winter

Going Sweetly Into Winter

Going Sweetly Into Winter image

Illustration by Adelaide Tyrol

As the landscape settles into winter, one of the things we notice (and likely enjoy) is the virtual absence of insects. As small, cold-blooded creatures, insects cannot stay active at low temperatures; they quickly chill, their metabolism stops, and they freeze to death.

To escape an icy demise, insects in northern latitudes employ many tactics for winter survival, such as overwintering as freeze-resistant eggs, or fortifying their bodies with natural antifreezes and hiding in protected crevices. 

Not so the honeybee, a familiar, non-native insect that made its way to the Americas via settlers in 1622. Honeybees are native to Africa, and adhering to their warm-latitude origins, remain active all winter. Individually, they’d stand no chance against months of subfreezing weather, but as a collective, they’ve developed several extraordinary ways to survive in cold northern climes.