Monday, April 27, 2015

Meet Our Two Other Beekeepers

Chris Biondi, is on the left is the and Don Coats is on the right.  If you click on both of their names you'll learn about their companies and their passion for beekeeping. Both of these gentlemen are members of the Chester County Beekeepers Association.   We found them in the middle of a great project. They were collecting data on the hives on our farm, which they are doing on several hives in the area over an 18 month period.  By collecting 18 months of data on sentinel hives the project will compare expected and observed results among different methods of management over time.  Don is the coordinator of the project, as a retired veterinarian, he will have a bias of attention on disease/parasites and nutrition.

There are 10,000 bees per hive.  By July there will be between 60 and 80 thousand bees in one hive.   AMAZING!  


Equally amazing, Chris was holding the frames barehanded! Who knew, but you can pick up a bee with your bare hands. The ones with the stingers are girls (hmmm), and the boys (drones) don't have stingers (just fuzzy backsides).  

Worker Bee

They are gentle enough for a young gal, who happened to be watching, to hold.  She is holding the boy who is stingerless!

The Queen has been marked with a safe kind of "bee paint" (the blue lady in the middle) so that Chris can quickly identify her when he is checking to make sure all is well in the hive. 

If you look closely at the bee to the left, he's got pollen on him!  Busy bee doing his job!

One of our followers on Instagram asked a great question...Do the beekeepers have to buy new bees each year.  Chris replied, "For me, the most difficult part of beekeeping is over-wintering my bees.  Losses around the USA are typically around 30% of one's hives. So, honey bees are designed to over-winter, and therefore, new bees would not be required each year unless they perished before Springtime."  And, over-winter, means Octoberish to first Maple blossom (around April).  

If you have any questions, Mike, Chris and Don are all willing to answer your questions.  So, please post them below and we'll get you an answer as soon as we can get them away from the hives!

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