Beekeepers are a funny bunch. I reckon we are quirky mostly due to the amount of time we spend crouched or bent over with our bums to the wind talking and listening to bees.
Put four of us together in a room and soon there will be a buzzing conversation regarding the past season: how our colonies performed, which strain of bees (Italian or Carniolan) should we be using over winter, varroa eradication, AFB control, the bloody wasps and finally how well the honey harvest went. I can assure you that for each beekeeper, the answers to these questions are liable to differ. Beekeeping is comprised of many factors and one size definitely does not fit all. That is the fun part of getting together with other beekeepers, gleaning from each other diverse perspectives and methods.
Bees are endlessly fascinating.
Bees are so fascinating and, personally, the more I learn, the more I want to know.
Knowledge is a vital beekeeping tool. By keeping up with the latest beekeeping news, inventions, products, and science, you place yourself in the best position to take timely action appropriate to changing conditions and challenges.
Unfortunately, beekeepers who fail to seek out new knowledge and information are missing out on one of the best parts of beekeeping: learning about bees and their care.
Nowadays, many backyard beekeepers appear satisfied with not understanding clearly what they are looking at or for when inspecting their hives. This type of beekeeping attempts to get by with a limited knowledge of bees and by allowing nature to mostly take its course; hives are only occasionally opened to make sure that there are still bees inside or to take some honey. Such beekeepers might have a passion for bees, but due to their lack of knowledge their bees are doomed – posing a real risk of spreading disease and threatening the wider beekeeping community.
On the topic of incrementally increasing knowledge, I recently had the opportunity to talk to two beekeepers who have invented an innovative, chemical-free tool, HiveGate, for the protection of bees against wasps. HiveGate significantly reduces the number of wasps entering a hive, is chemical free and enables the natural defence psychology of bees to be enabled. In trials undertaken in high wasp areas, it has provided 100 per cent protection of beehives.
I am so pleased with the results that I have now inserted HiveGate into all my hives. On Saturday, May 11, at 10am, Beetopia will be holding an open day to demonstrate how to insert HiveGate. The inventors will be on site to answer any questions. The open day is free of charge and everyone is welcome.