A Question & Answer About Fall Feeding

I got a question yesterday from someone who entered an invalid email address into my Contact form. I responded but the message bounced back to me. So in case you’re reading this, Bob, this one’s for you.

Question:

I added sugar syrup feeders to my hives today. Have I waited too long? Would it be better to put sugar over the top bars instead? I plan to start winterizing my hives this week. Thank you. Your site has been a great help to me as new beekeeper.

— Bob
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Tom Seeley at the National Honey Show

UPDATE: Those those tuning in for Tom Seeley, after you’ve registered (for free), you can view his conversation here:

https://thenationalhoneyshow.co.uk/tnhs2020/info-page/c7f2ee44-ac00-4b86-899b-77ccc5792021

The vast majority of the people who read this blog or watch my beekeeping videos are overseas, but I nevertheless always recommend for new beekeepers in Newfoundland to get on the old Twitter box once in a while and type #beekeeping in the search field to find out what’s going on in the world of beekeeping today. You never know what you’ll find.

Today, for instance, I learned that Tom Seeley is giving a presentation at the National Honey Show in a few days.

If you don’t know about the National Honey Show, you should. Some of the biggest heavy hitters in the beekeeping world give presentations at the National Honey Show, all of it backed up by years of experience or solid science or both. I’ve devoured these presentations since I found them about 5 years ago. I particularly like Clarence Collison’s presentations, but they have presentations by Mike Palmer, if you can stand his grumpy attitude, Tom Seeley, James Ellis, Heather Mattila, Shona Blair — people who know their stuff.

This year, most of the presentations, it seems, can be attended online FOR FREE. It’s worth checking it out and registering if you can:

https://www.honeyshow.co.uk/

This kind of thing may be for people more willing to take a deep dive into beekeeping science, not necessarily the casual beekeeper, and those of us with day jobs might have trouble attending, but I think all the presentations will eventually show up on the NHS’s YouTube channel. So bookmark it and come back to it if you can (I’m always checking the channel for new videos). Like I’ve said many times, the best beekeeping info shouldn’t cost you a thing if you know how to use the Internet. It’s easy.

A Mystery of Dark & Light Honey Comb

Do frames of dark comb always produce dark honey? I’ll give you one guess.

This isn’t the first time I’ve made crushed & strained honey in my kitchen. But it’s the first time I’ve crushed combs that were this different from one another — so dark and so light. I’ve harvested honey by the individual frame before because sometimes each frame of honey in a single hive can come from such a different nectar source that the final liquid honey in each frame has a completely different colour and flavour. (That sentence seems longer than it needed to be.) I was expecting something like that this time around. But that’s not what happened.
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Garage Honey Extraction

I extracted some honey in my garage over the past couple of days. I’d like to say there’s a precise method to my extraction process, but like everything in beekeeping, there isn’t — and don’t let nobody tell ya no different (just like Sling Blade would say). Now let’s take a gander at how it all went down:

00:00 — Intro to the extractor. Everything is sanitized, from the extractor to the stainless steel honey filter to the honey bucket. The garage might look rough, but it’s well ventilated and there are no chemicals or gasoline or any toxic fumes floating around.

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Online Varroa Workshops

I’ve heard from a number of Newfoundland beekeepers who support the Varroa Action Plan released by NL Beekeeping Association and are interested in the upcoming workshops on how to detect, treat, and prevent the spread of Varroa, but can’t do it for one reason or another.  Fortunately there are plenty of instructional videos about Varroa online that might be as informative for beekeepers who won’t be attending the workshops.  Here are a few:

From the University of Guelph and the Ontario Animal Health Network.

Varroa Monitoring Method – Part 1 – Varroa Population Dynamics:

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When Honey Bees Go Bonkers

The Wailing Wailers recorded a cover version of “I Made a Mistake,” by The Impressions, sometime in the ’60s, and if it wasn’t for copyright laws, it would be the soundtrack to the following video:

Something I’ve learned from beekeeping over the years is that’s okay to make mistakes, even big ones. If you’re not open to making mistakes, you never really learn or get good at anything.