Hi from Australia! With my first nucleus arriving next month (October, which is spring in Australia) I'd been trying out lots of beekeeping podcasts to brush up on what I'd learned this past winter in a weekend-long beekeeping course. I am also from NJ (Chester) although my family and I now live in the hills outside Adelaide, South Australia. I'm really enjoying your podcast, the music, and your style of presenting. Many thanks for all the excellent information. I have two bits of feedback, if you're interested: I listen to a lot of podcasts, getting ready for work in the morning and on my long commute to work and home. I really appreciate when podcasts alot their music segments or ads either 15 or 30 second time slots, so that one can skip over them if they want to, without missing any of the podcast itself. Not sure if this makes sense. Also, I find that while your music plays in stereo, things go mono when you speak. You may have fixed this in your later episodes which I haven't gotten to. Anyway, just friendly feedback. Keep up the great work and I look forward to following you as I catch up to your most recent episodes. Kind regards from the land down under, Danielle Duvoisin
Hello Kevin, I've been downloading your podcasts for about 9 months now and listening to them on the way to work. I thought I should offer my gratitude for your efforts. I downloaded quite a few back episodes and have been working my way up. I'm about 6 episodes from being up to speed. I currently have 11 hives in Wake Forest, NC and a 3rd yr. beekeeper, NC certified about a year ago. I sell honey and make about 8 varieties of mead as well. Anyway, thanks for keeping me company on the way to work! I am always reading books, publications and perusing podcasts to become a better beekeeper.
Hello Kevin, Just found your site! Tremendous amount of work you have put in, really nice site. I am just going through and exploring it now. Thanks for all the info, was especially interested in making a log hive. Also was wondering if other bee keepers in my area are making trips to Mann Lake bee supply? Thanks for a great informative site! Dave + Ann
Build a pvc hive stand. With 12" cross pieces. There's more like 16 - 2" pieces, vers 12 of them. Although 1-3/4" would have worked because the sockets are about 7/8" deep. According to the drawing, the front and rear cross pieces are different lengths. 11" and 12"
Hi Kevin, Love the podcast. Thank you for all the work you do to put the podcast out.
My daughter Lilly and I are still enjoying your podcast. We have three hives now and I just noticed on your "about" page that you are a sim racer. That was funny because I have raced online with the old papyrus games since the days of 56k in the late 1990s. I am on iracing now and see that you are too! Small world! Thanks again for the podcast. Jamie Privette
Much like binge watching episodes of Netflix back to back seasons of a person's favorite show, I've managed to listed to 23 episodes over the past week. Really enjoy hearing your progress over the first few years. Looking forward to listening the the rest of your podcasts Kevin. Keep up the great work
Kevin. Re. your 11 April bit about warm versus cold configuration, a number of us are using the warm approach in our part of Canada where we have long, fluctuating cold-wet winters and springs. But it's using the D.E. Hive modified vent kit with its very British style hive stand/landing board. David Eyre is British immigrant living in Ontario for 30+ years and now semi-retired from beekeeping. He makes certain claims about how his approach to ventilation boosts honey production, which are unproven here. https://www.beeworks.com/mod-kit-details/ He runs his frames warm in 11 frame square boxes, but the mod kit is for vent box, outer cover, inner cover, and hive stand for Langstroth dimensions. My Google searches have produced no robust evidence supporting the merits of one way over the other, but you will find endless debate on the subject on the internet. I have yet to find a peer-reviewed study of air circulation within hives in relation to colony thermoregulation and health that compares these different approaches. In any event, those of who are using the D.E. mod kit are happy with it. I like working the hive from the back, and I use circular rapid feeders which are very easy to fill without disturbing the ladies. Take note of the ventilation in his inner covers. You can e-mail me if you want more info on this. I enjoy your shows! Keep up the good work! Thank you.
Hi Kevin, I'm listening to your podcast in Canada and although our climates vary I have absorbed a wonderful amount of knowledge from your podcasts. I will be getting my first honeybees this may, 2 hives of Carnolian bees. I'm excited and a little broke now, having made all my purchases over the winter for the setup. I'm hoping they like it here as we are within flying range to a huge cranberry marsh and we also have a huge flower garden, vegetable garden and fruit trees. I look forward to the podcast all week! It's great to have you as a mentor of sorts. Julie
Just a quick note to let you know how much I appreciate your efforts. New to beekeeping and lost my one hive last year to yellow jackets, but looking forward to beginning this year with three nucs that should be ready any time now.
Hi Kevin, my 3rd year UIB. ( under the influence of bees) Been listening to your podcast over a year, enjoy all the info, ideas & music. Your discussion about British National hives in Ep. 108 made me realize a mistake I may have made. 1st year I tried a Top Bar but modified it to accept frames lengthwise. Mostly deep frames with mediums close to the sloped edge and a couple TB at the edge & a top cover. Then continued with TB as normal. Amazingly the bees had no problem with the change in direction. But I see now that compared to the National Hive, you might say it was set up "the cold way ". My TB failed during a mild 2015 winter at 1200 ft elevation in the Sierra foothills. I've decided to use standard Langstroth hives and last year multiplied 3 hives into 6. My TB acts as a swarm trap. I would send some pics of the TB mod. but can't find your email / contact listed on your website. Keep up the good work. Keith
Hey Kevin! Glad to see our group seems to have found the podcast! I have been mentioning it at every meeting and including it in our club communications. Keep up the good work!
Hi Kevin, I'm brand new to this new world of beekeeping and have just been to my first beginners lesson. Could you direct me to any podcasts you've done covering beginners or starting out? I've been listening to many of your pods for guidance and must say they are fantastic even if sometimes a little advanced for me! Thanks man. Fin
Hi Kevin. I love the the podcast. It introduces me to many new ideas in beekeeping. You have mentioned a microfiber cloth available from Amazon.com several times. I think you referenced someone you heard of recommended them. Do you have a link to purchase the cloths so that I get the correct one?
Hi Kevin, First thanks for the podcast. Excellent source of information - and keeps me company when I'm out and about. Reason for posting is that I've just read an article in The Beekeepers Quarterly - not sure if you know the publication as it's mainly European based - which I found interesting and would value your views on. It's by Ann and Maciej fron Opole in Poland and concerns their experience of using of Rhubarb to control varroa mites. Now I'm not sure if you have rhubarb in the US but that Yorkshire delicacy of rhubarb and custard (do you have custard is the US?- I'm sure you must) has a particular zing to it and that zing is caused by low levels of oxalic acid in the stalks. Ann and Maciej have been experimenting by laying rhubarb leaves across the top bars in the brood box. The bee's work to clear the leaves away and in the process release low levels of oxalic acid throughout the bood box. They claim a natural mite fall rate increase of between 2 to 7 times during the summer months when it's particulalry hard to treat for varroa and leaves the hive in good shape for conventional autumn treatment in that varroa counts are at reasonably low levels when conventional autumn treatment starts. They're still doing work on the topic and I'm sure more will come of it but it might offer a low cost (no-one has a use for rhubatb leaves), low tech (just open the hives and place the leaves in - the bees do the rest), natural (rhubarb is a foodstuff so no medicinal certification needed) route to varroa control. Have you heard of this method before? Is it likely to be effective - and can you see any problems if the method is adopted? Keep up the good work John N.
Hey Kevin it's been a couple years since commented but always keep up with the podcast, this past weekend I stumbled across this new (to me) product called "Mike's Hot Honey" and thought of you and your podcast immediately it is outstanding on just about anything and what it is, is pepper infused honey and I would say his recipe is a must try please feel free to share this with all and enjoy
Hi Kevin, In Episode 105 you lamented your losses. Here's something that might help next year: - Do your hives get DIRECT sun?? The master bee keeper in my parts said "Its not whether you insulate or not, its whether you feed them and have them in the DIRECT SUN or not". The president of the MCBA said he also puts a black plastic skirt around the hive stand too. (green house affect). Keying off of those two points, I did 3 things - I wrapped them in tar paper for heat, and added a **passive solar collector** in front of each one to absorb and transfer the heat up and sugar shims. Cheap passive solar collector: A black plastic box lid (2'x3') put in a black plastic trash bag, and put those in a clear plastic trash bag - in front of the hive and sloped up toward the hive entrance, (tilt it like a solar panel, and it looks like an inflate-able black slide (cheap looking). I also threw a brick in the bag to keep it anchored from the wind. So that they get a double dose of heat from the tar paper and the passive solar collector. So even on those cold clear days, the hives still get warmed by the sun. Next year, I'm considering putting a larger thermal collector beneath (like a long mini green house along the length of the hive table, with a green-house auto-closing vent that lets hot air (only) through a small drill hole in the bottom of the hives. I'll also put insulation on the sides/back, and top of the hives ONLY , and putting up a 3 sided wind screen made from that black/grey fiberglass weed-barrier cloth. (too much?) My only question for you - did you have sugar shims directly on top of your frames? I did shims, and added home made pollen patties to it too. (See the video from beverlybees.com). I'm a 1st year beekeeper, and lucky for me, both hives are still alive - bees were pulling pollen in Feb from Aspen & pussy willows. They were buzzing in their hives yesterday, but today is the Stella Nor'Easter - 2 feet of snow expected, and the weather has been in single digits at night. So I'm not out of the woods yet. My mentors lost 5 out of 6 hives. I'm a long time listener - originally found you on youtube. Great stuff, love the gadgets. I built 'Coats' nucs in Jan, with mods for Shop vac attachments, and to be used as swarm traps. (Got a table saw for the holidays - so this is dovetailing into some other great hobbies. ) Its nice to have so many podcasts to listen to now - I listen to one every night before I go to sleep. Keep up the good work! ...Don...
Hey Kevin, Spring has sprung with winter popping in and out. First I'd like to say you still have the best source of information and I am sincerely impressed with your sharing. You nd Bob seem to do well bouncing ideas off each other and I for am thrilled with the chat between you two. I would like to add a source of frustration with some of Facebook bee groups and online sources. As I am looking at oxalic acid for the first time. Randy Oliver has a great presentation on it as do others. That's not the problem. What surprises and ANGERS me are the folks following it thinking that OAV or OAD is the magic bullet. I talked with some friends I know in Europe (Belgium, France and Italy) and they are saying the mites are becoming immune to the treatments. People in the US have a wonderful opportunity to use OA but like penicillin it isn't the only thing you should use. The mites will adjust or become immune if that is all that is used and people don't seem to understand it. OA, in my opinion, should be used as part of IPM. IPM includes breaking the brood cycle (making splits, replacing the queen), other treatments as well as testing for mites. I use screened bottom boards just to be able to slide out the insert to see what's there. I have pulled off Facebook for Lent but to bee (lol) honest I would have done so because people believing one type of treatment is all you should do. Yes OAV/D will work but keep looking what others do in your area. Ok let me get off the soapbox and use that wood for something. I read and heard about your nucs.... keep working on them and learn. Also thanks to you and Bob on the hive autopsy link I have shared that and Randy Oliver's OA presentation with folks very nice stuff. Thanks I do reference your podcasts to others as even if you are just interested in beekeeping but aren't keeping bees... it's entertaining. Thanks for the work you do and all the best to NWNJ club too... you guys are doing it right. John
Love the podcast, listener for a few years. I wonder if you know anything about an issue I have, or suggestions for where to get info. My hives are on a non-profit urban farm property that abuts city owned property. The city is planning to spray herbicides (aminopyralid, clopyralid, aminocyclopyrachlor, and imazapyr) on thistles in the area. Should I be worried about my bees? Is thre anything I can do to mitigate damage?
Hi Kevin, I get a lot of questions about the Flow Hive. I believe you've mentioned it before but I wondered if you've tried it or if you have intent to do so. Here's a review of it that I've given my friends. The value of the flow hive, as opposed to other MUCH less expensive options, is in how easy it is to harvest the honey. If you want less work harvesting honey... then PERHAPS the flow hive is worth the money. The other part of the cedar flow hive that I rate very high is the quality of the craftmanship. The boxes themselves are really, really nice. Cedar will last essentially forever with just a nice coat of tung oil. Furthermore, it is just obvious that whoever is making these things put a lot of care into the design and execution of production. HOWEVER, with the problems of disease, pests, and pesticides marrying together for a terribly challenging landscape for beekeepers... this hive option will most likely NOT reduce the amount you should be going into the hive. I believe we need to be gathering data as beekeepers. We need to LOOK at the frames on which bees are working. Post-mortem analysis of a hive is too late to know what went wrong. AND you should have more than one hive... which makes the price-point for the flow-hive that much more overwhelming. I must declare that my analysis may be a little biased... my bees did not fare very well in the flow hive. The reasons for this were likely multiple and might not be solely because of the flow hive itself. But, one of my flow frames had a missing piece and ants got into the hive... those little buggars! Either way, I found the flow hive elegant yet at the same time (paradoxically) problematic. I also sort of doubt the plastic flow frames will do very well in the significant temperature fluctuations that we get in New England. A philosophical note: Bees have adapted to primarily nest in wooden homes with "homemade" wax furnishings. I think that it might be kind of weird for the bees to live in plastic. The plastic itself is relatively similar in physical properties to wax but it's still not the same. It could (I'm conjecturing here) be analogous to if we started using only stainless steel furniture without any upholstery whatsoever. So those are some of my thoughts about the flow hive. I don't really think that it will save much in the end and may end up costing you more than you'd like. I do appreciate the awareness that the flow hive has created regarding beekeeping in general! It's a really cool invention and I look forward to following the company's progress. Thanks so much for your work! Ben