Archive for the ‘news’ Category

Winners of T-Shirt contest picked


Finally picked the winners of the T-shirt contest, then realized as soon as I announced the winners I would have people wanting shirts. So I’ve already got the shirts set up on Printfection! Now, I just need to finish the video and post!shirts-screencap

Sailors Beeswax holder


I was in a museum near Monterrey, CA over the holiday break.  I saw something odd that I wanted to share.Albatros beak beeswax holder IMG_1070 IMG_1071 IMG_1073

For those of you who don’t live in the US, an albatross is a bird found near oceans. The beek makes for a useful wax holder.

Swarm Traps that catch bee swarms under them


A fellow beek from Poland read my swarm trapping book and built a trap. It caught bees, but under it.  I’ve seen this happen before.  I’m interested in seeing if we, as a beekeepers, can figure out the common denominator of why.

polish trapHas anyone else built a trap that caught bees under it?  How large was your entrance hole?  How large was the swarm?  How big was the trap?

I’m looking to see if there is a trend. In his photo, and from his video I see a undersized hole and a huge swarm.

If anyone else has caught a underslung swarm, please comment below with the:

  • How large was your entrance hole? (i.e. 1″ diameter)
  • How large was the swarm? (ie. small/medium/big/huge/it-carried-off-the-trap)
  • How big was the trap? (about 6 frame / 8-frame / 10-frame (langstroth)

thanks!  Doing my part to save the world, as we all should.

Honey plant blooming during sarm Texas winter


I was out in a field north of Houston and saw Indian Blanket blooming on Dec 8.  Also known as Firewheel, this is the main honeyflow plant during APRIL in Texas.  So I took a picture to show you how bitter cold our winters can be. :0)

Beekeeping Fan Store Added


So I’ve been wanting to put out some T-shirts that help promote beekeepers in our society. You know – cool shirts beeks would love to where. The problem is, I’m just an engineer and my aesthetic aptitude scores show I’m in the bottom 2% of the nation. I mean hey, you’ve seen the shirts I wear in the videos. Nuff said.

So I want to try to tap into my audience. I’m looking for any artist out there who’s got really cool ideas for a Beekeeping shirt.  I think I’m going to make a contest. Get artists to put forward their shirt designs and let my YouTube audience decide the top designs. Then I’ll submit the designs to my Printfection store for folks to get their cool Beek shirts.  ( I chose Printfection over Cafe Press solely on quality reviews)

Any comments on this plan?

oh and the current Printfection account for the shirts is here –

NY Swarms in the news

“One swarm covered the side-view mirror of a Volvo station wagon in a lot by the Hudson River, trapping a family of three inside. Another humming cluster the size of a watermelon bent a tree branch in front of a Chase Bank on the Lower East Side, attracting a crowd of gasping onlookers. And for several hours, thousands of bees carpeted a two-foot-tall red standpipe on the patio of a South Street Seaport restaurant, sending would-be outdoor diners elsewhere. “

Free Webinar by Dr Seeley on bee swarming today!


ForestConnect Webinar Series
How Honeybees Choose a Forest Home
Thomas Seeley, Cornell University
Department of Neurobiology and Behavior
May 16, 2012  (my mt – Hey! I don’t know the exact time, I think you have to register first!)
Early Alert – register here ( )if you haven’t
previously registered.

How Honeybees Choose a Forest Home. In the late spring and early
summer, when a honeybee colony becomes overcrowded in its hive, it will
cast a swarm. When this happens, about a third of the worker bees stay
at home and rear a new queen, thereby perpetuating the mother colony,
while the other two-thirds of the workforce – a crowd of some ten
thousand – rushes off with the old queen to set up a daughter colony.
The migrating bees travel only about 100 feet before coalescing into a
beardlike cluster hanging from a tree branch. Here they will remain
bivouacked for a few days. During this time, several hundred of its
oldest bees will spring into action as nest-site scouts, explore about
30 square miles of the surrounding landscape for potential nesting
cavities in trees and buildings, locate a dozen or more possibilities,
and democratically select a favorite for their new dwelling place. We
will see how can a bunch of tiny-brained bees, hanging from a tree
branch, can make such a complex decision and can make it well. Presented
by Dr. Tom Seeley, Cornell University Department of Neurobiology and

This webinar has been approved for 1.0 credits of Society of American
Foresters CFE category 2.

Once registered, you will receive connection details the Tuesday before
the webinar.

First Swarm of 2012


I’ve heard reports of the first swarm of 2012 on Feb 29.  I think our season is 2 week ahead of our normal schedule here in Texas.  So if you are going to be swarm trapping, you should put your traps out 1-2 weeks before your first known swarm. For Texas, that date just got moved up to about Feb 20 for next year.

The bloom is already out in the Texas Hill Country. I saw Henbit, and wild Mustard in late January. Irises blooming in February and mayflies out in late February, so it looks like a weird Spring.  Right now my bees are bringing in plenty of pollen and aren’t eating much pollen patties.  Pollen is yellow and a little bright red. (no idea). Mountain Laurel and dandelion is being worked.

I’ve already seen Bluebonnets out and our major honeyflow plant, Indian Blanket, shows up after Bluebonnets. So that may show early and stay a while.

Swarm Trap Book makes top 100


Maybe not top 100 for all of Amazon, but it really does well under “Insects and Spiders”

A definative guide to swarm traps for the beginner

I’m not sure if I should be proud or just laugh at myself. Still a book over 80,000 is good on Amazon. So I’m happy being at 23,000, It is a vote of confidence by beekeepers that my swarm trap book is useful and worthwhile.

Spring is a comin’ to Texas


Just spent a week out in east Texas, I see several things blooming already, mainly the wild mustard. These early blooms are very important for protein sources for new bees. So I’m getting ready for some spring craziness.

I’d recommend putting on 1/2 lb of pollen patties for those in Texas as the drought really knocked our hives in the teeth last year.  As much as I dislike feeding, last year and this spring will be an exception for me. If the bees don’t eat it within 4 days, don’t give them more — they likely are getting better pollen in the wild.

I do have expectations that this spring will provide a honey crop. The rain has restored soil to normal levels according to NOAA soil moisture maps, which means nectar in flowers. My main problem was that I lost half my hives and am down to 5.  But I expect to split a good bit this spring and make videos of that, too.