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Are We Misusing "Annual Survival Rate" as a Measure of Beekeeping Success? (updated)

Are We Misusing "Annual Survival Rate" as a Measure of Beekeeping Success? (updated)

Here's a topic that I have not seen addressed anywhere. Regarding survival rate, it seems that the unspoken assumption (and maybe this is just me) is that we are hoping/striving for 100%. In other words, a 100% survival rate is the ultimate, and theoretically achievable, goal. It is assumed, perhaps, that if we could provide "perfect" conditions for honey bee colonies then they would all survive, at least for several years. But is that truly the natural ideal? Have honey bee colonies around the world ever had a through-to-next-spring survival rate of even close to 100%?  Even before the industrial revolution? ...

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Now is the time to order Bee Tree Preservation Hives for Spring 2019

Now is the time to order Bee Tree Preservation Hives for Spring 2019

Now is the time to order Bee Tree Preservation Hives for Spring 2019. Why? 1) I always recommend setting out Bee Tree Hives in the fall. This allows them to over-winter in your area, gassing-off the human/construction odors and absorbing the natural odors of the earth in your region. Honey bees are highly sensitive to odors - scent is an integral part of their colony life and communication - and, in a Preservation Hive, we want their hive cavity to smell as natural and indigenous as possible. 2) Bee Tree Preservation Hives make ideal bait hives. They are what I...

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Beautiful Eco-Floor Contents

Beautiful Eco-Floor Contents

This photo is looking down into an eco-floor that I am putting under a Preservation Hive.  I'm setting up this hive as a bait hive to capture a swarm this coming spring.  I harvested these contents from the rotting, hollow cavity of a fallen tree.  The contents are about eight inches deep.

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The Horizontal Log Hive - 3-Month Update

The Horizontal Log Hive - 3-Month Update

This colony has been so joyfully industrious this summer ! They have been a wonder to be with and to watch. I used a hollow log to build a hive for a swarm this year.  The log is about 5 feet long, about 2' in diameter, and has a hollow core that is about 14" in diameter (so the walls are 4 or 5 inches thick).  I put an access panel on one end, and three screened vent holes on the same end.  (The bees have shown me that they will typically propolise the screens to control the amount of...

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Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping Beauties

These two natives spent the night on this sunflower.  I discovered them very early in the morning and then snapped this photo just before the sun warmed them up enough to fly off.

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