Blog: All Things Bees

All Things Bees - Blog is a blog of The Carolina Bee Company .

Keeping Backyard Bees with the Best of Intentions

Yesterday, for the first time, we blogged for a different online venue. Mother Earth News and Grit operate a contributor-run blog called "Keeping Backyard Bees". And for our first installment, we wrote about procrastination and getting behind before we even get started.

Here's the first paragraph (you can read the rest here):

Have you cleaned up your old equipment?

Have you cleaned up your old equipment?

Do your bees need supplemental feed?

Do your bees need supplemental feed?

The outside world thinks that a farmer or beekeeper’s season starts when the flowers begin to bloom or the last frost passes. Where we live, that last frost date is right around tax day in mid-April, but really a beekeeper’s “Spring” begins when that first flower blossoms (early to mid-February for us). It is not uncommon for someone to walk up to us and make the statement, “Well, you guys have nothing to do until Spring, right?” Yup. Nothin’ to do…Ha!

...read on...

...

Have we turned the corner on CCD?

This New York Times opinion piece states, "Scientists I’ve spoken to in both academia and government have strong reason to believe that [Colony Collapse Disorder] is essentially over."
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/25/opinion/colony-collapse-are-bees-back-up-on-their-knees.html

Whoa. Could this be true? I.e., Have we finally turned the corner on CCD? And if we have, WHY have we? More attention? Better practice? More adaptive bees? Improved nutrition? Less stressful migration? More mindful pesticide application? Reduced toxicity in the environment? More diverse diets? A combination of all these forces? Or.... ???

It would be great news if CCD seemed to be on the decline. That being said, the author of this article, warns that we need to remain vigilant. Even if we have turned the corner on CCD, we are still losing 30% of our bees a year... which is a horrible "new normal." And while our honey bees are still dying in huge numbers, most other pollinators are also suffering.

Interesting article that will indubitably spark some debate. What do y'all think?

 

 

A Great Episode of North Carolina Weekend

The Honey Hole, West Jefferson, NC

North Carolina Weekend is a great regional interest show. This particular episode is particularly awesome with a series of stories we really enjoyed. The first story focused on a historic home in Raleigh (the Joel Lane House).

We are suckers for historic homes, but the second story was of particular interest for the obvious reasons. It highlights a really neat bee-focused business in the mountains of NC (West Jefferson). The Honey Hole sells bee-knickknacks, beekeeping supplies, food, and of course honey. They even run a honey extraction service for the local beekeeping community. What a neat business.

The rest of the show focuses on NC Wine and more.

Great stuff. Monica has contacted them to see if we can perhaps sell our products at The Honey Hole. We'll see! Wish us luck. Seems like a great venue.

Video: North Carolina Weekend episode for Sept 4, 2014

Joel Lane House, Raleigh, NC

What is This Weed?

It looks like a dandelion. Sort of.

The leaves are similar. The seed heads (blowheads) are very similar.

The flowers are non-existent, or just something We have never noticed, or it blooms at some odd time.

The biggy though: This sucker is 6 feet tall. Yeah. 6 feet.

Neat plant. We just wish to know what it is.

UPDATE: After some debate on Facebook and Google+, no answer ended up being a slam dunk, but the consensus suggests this is something in the thistle family or in the Cichorieae tribe that includes lettuces, chicory, dandelions and others. I have this sneaking suspicion if I could a couple folks out here to put hands on the plant, they would know it in a heartbeat. Plant identification is so difficult via pictures and drawings.

These leaves are about 1ft long.