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.
- Published on February 16, 2014
- Written by Jeffrey Hamelman
This photo was sent in by Jeffery Hamelman. It was taken by a friend of his, Mary Holland.
- Published on February 8, 2014
- Written by Kim Greenwood
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:
- Published on December 30, 2013
- Written by Kim Greenwood
Going Sweetly Into Winter
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.
Start Planning Now for Bees in the Spring! Scott Wilson VBA Secretary December 21, 2013 With snow on the ground and a cold north wind blowing it is the perfect time to start planning for your next season bees. This is written for the new beekeeper to giv
- Published on December 22, 2013
- Written by Scott Wilson
Start Planning Now for Bees in the Spring!
December 21, 2013
With snow on the ground and a cold north wind blowing it is the perfect time to start planning for your next season bees. This is written for the new beekeeper to give a broad overview of the tools/equipment needed, resources available, and purchase timing with respect to a Langstroth Hive.
Start your research early. Keeping bees is not a set and forget type of hobby. Bees need to be managed just like any other agricultural endeavor. Education and knowledge is helpful but “hands on” training provided by a mentor is the most valuable. There is not one seasoned beekeeper alive who would deny this.
Research: Ideally seek out your local or state bee club. Every state has one and in Vermont it can be found at http://www.vermontbeekeepers.org. Look for mentor programs, classes or training for beginning beekeepers. You will most likely find lots of people who would love to talk to you about getting started in beekeeping. This is how my wife and I got started and it has proved to be immensely profitable. We were given great advice, had people to call when we had questions leaving us feeling that much more capable. There are also beginning beekeeping classes offered by local beekeeping supply houses like Betterbee, beginning beekeeping courses at Champlain Valley Union High School, and various online resources. Be wary of the internet. If you see something on YouTube validate it with a local beekeeper just for good measure