February 2020 The Journey Begins
I have always been curious about bees. Since getting my Boy Scouts Eagle award in 1969 the natural world has fascinated me. For a year and a half I majored in Biology at Furman University. So it is not much of a stretch to find myself a bee keeper, with the help of my daughter Molly.
My goals are to first and foremost continue to enjoy the natural world. We are blessed with such an amazing place to live and play! Secondly, I want to enjoy some honey. Mmmmmm. And finally, as a member of the pest control community I want to more fully understand what makes a healthy pollinator community, and how Integrated Pest Management can contribute and not deter humans and animals living well together.
Let the journey begin.
April 2020 Learning about the Bees
Let the learning begin. Today I officially passed the well-known Penn State Beekeeping course. It is a tough. Additionally, I joined the Guilford County Bee Keeper's Association. I also installed my first two packages of bees in two hives in my back yard. With Covid-19 quarantine in play now, I did not have the access to my mentor at Triad Bee Supply as I expected. John Pledger, owner, is a stand-up guy with years of experience in beekeeping. We did corresponde a few times via text, which was helpful. Molly and I set up our two brand new hives and installed from a package a queen and about 10,000 bees in each. Will the queen take to her new home? Will being stung be a part of this process? How frequently will I need to inspect each hive? So many questions.
August 2020 Checking for Varroa Destructor Mites
With beekeeping comes the responsibility to check for and possible treat the dreaded Varroa. This pest has been a part of United States beekeeping since 1987, when the pest was introduced from Eastern Europe or Asia.