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A Bee Keepers Story

Bee Keeping is Interesting Work

My Bee Keeping Story

My name is Hugh Jones and I am the owner of a niche pest control company called Mosquito Squad. 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. We are very focused on protecting pollinators. There is a misconception that mosquito remediation causes large scale bee mortality. However, when performed correctly the reality is we can treat for mosquitoes/ticks and protect pollinators at the same time.

Let the journey begin.

April 2020: Learning about the Bees

Let the learning begin. Before I purchased hives and bees, 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 wanted to learn everything I could about how bees live and thrive. I 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 correspond a few times via text, which was helpful. Molly and I set up our two brand new hives and installed from a package of 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 and much to learn.

August 2020 Checking for Varroa Destructor Mites

With beekeeping comes the responsibility to check for and possibly 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. This mite is a parasite that invades hives in the late summer and early spring. It attaches to the honeybee and sucks the fat bodies out of the bee sometimes causing death. It can also pass along a virus that cause deformity in the wings of the bee that inhibits flying. Both of these things can cause destruction of the whole hive and can be transmitted to other hives as well. You must be a responsible bee keeper and check your hives to make sure you do not have an infestation of the varroa mites or you might lose your hive and possibly damage others close by. The varroa mite is a much bigger threat to honeybee life than pesticides in the environment.

End of Summer 2020

Unfortunately, we did not see much honey produced in the hive, but this is not uncommon for an immature hive in its first year. It was a wonderful year learning the ins and outs of responsible bee keeping. We are looking forward to a thriving hive in 2021 and hopefully see some honey.

Every Season Going Forward

We have a great time raising bees every season since we started. Sometimes we get to enjoy the fruits (honey) of our labor of love. Sometimes not. It is always an experience and we always learn something new.

If you have any questions about bees, bee keeping, and how Mosquito Squad takes special care to use our products responsibly and protect our pollinators, please call us. We would love to talk with you.