This week, get out your traveling bee suits, because we are going to visit three different beekeepers in across the country. This time of the year, beekeepers in the US and northern hemisphere are all very busy, but are they all doing the same? Are...
This week, get out your traveling bee suits, because we are going to visit three different beekeepers in across the country. This time of the year, beekeepers in the US and northern hemisphere are all very busy, but are they all doing the same? Are they all experiencing the same things?
In this episode we set off to find out. We talk with beekeepers from North Carolina, Northeast Ohio and the western slope of the
Rockies in Colorado. Each of these beekeepers have a unique, and somewhat tricky environment to raise bees and they are as much different from each other as they are alike to each other. We brought them all together and their conversations and observations are fascinating!
First, we meet Mark Smith, in Locust, North Carolina who is a chemical free Beekeeper. Not treatment free, but chemical free.
He raises his own queens and lives in a very isolated location so varroa isn’t a constant threat. He hasn’t bought a bee since 2011.
Then we travel north to Northeast Ohio, near Kent and meet up with Tracy Alarcon. He too raises his own queens, but isn’t even close to being isolated. He has lots of migratory beekeepers driving by all season so has constant varroa pressure. He’s looking for hygienic behavior in his bees and does all the right things for honey and pests.
Then we head out west to visit with Ed Colby on the western slope of Colorado. Ed runs about 100 colonies and has them in yards ranging from 5500’ to 9000’, which gives him a six-week difference between bee yards in the spring and fall. Does he worry about varroa? You bet. His whole operation is overrun with commercial area outfits so he has constant varroa pressure.
We hope you enjoy listening to their stories.
This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at http://globalpatties.com and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode!
We want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a new quarterly magazine destined for your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum.
We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at www.beeculture.com
Thank you for listening!
Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong"
I am the owner of Flatwoods Bee Farm in Locust, NC, USA. We have been keeping bees since 2010. In 2014, we changed to a chemical-free operation and have been since. Our bees are our own survivor stock. We sell honey and nucs.
Sideline beekeeper. Columnist, Bee Culture magazine "Bottom Board" column since 2002. Author, A Beekeeper's Life, Tales from the Bottom Board. (https://www.amazon.com/Beekeepers-Life-Tales-Bottom-Board/dp/1912271885)
Actuarial tables indicate I should be retired, but I continue to be obsessed with Apis Mellifera. I live in western Colorado with the gal Marilyn, the blue heeler Pepper, 15 chickens, three geese, four lambs and way too many bees.
Tracy Alarcon currently lives in Diamond, OH and took up beekeeping in 2006 after his wife, Tina, got involved with the Ohio State University Master Gardener program. After reading everything he could get his hands on about beekeeping he took a Beginners course at the A.I. Root company in Medina, OH where the class was taught by Kim Flottum, and the rest is history, as the saying goes.
That first year he started with two packages in the Spring which turned into seven colonies going into that first Winter. As luck would have it three of those colonies survived that first Winter. He has sold queens and Nucs and managed up to 100 of his own colonies at one time. Currently he manages 21 colonies and would like to get it down to 10 or so, but he still likes raising queens so the number never seems to go down!
Tracy got involved in three of his local beekeeping associations doing whatever was needed and is still writing a newsletter for his home county, Portage, where he currently serves as the President. He also served for 5 years with the Ohio State Beekeepers Association and while there help craft the OSBA Master Beekeeper program and compiled the Best Management Practices that were adopted by the Board of Directors in 2012.
Tracy teaches beginners, queen rearing, seasonal management, and... beekeeping. Tracy served as the Portage County Apiary Inspector, (OH), for 7 years. He also is a recently certified EAS Master Beekeeper class of 2021!
Tracy lives with his wife, Tina, and their 5 dogs on 25+ acres in Northeastern OH. When not tending the bees or the gardens they enjoy life with nature.