Jan. 18, 2021

Return of the Regional Beekeepers - Winter Perspectives (S3, E34)

Return of the Regional Beekeepers - Winter Perspectives  (S3, E34)

In this episode of Beekeeping Today Podcast, we reconnect with our beekeeping friends from Season 2, Episode 29. They come from across the country including Central North Carolina, North East Ohio, the western slope of the Rocky Mountains and the West...


Regional Beekeepers

In this episode of Beekeeping Today Podcast, we reconnect with our beekeeping friends from Season 2, Episode 29. They come from across the country including Central North Carolina, North East Ohio, the western slope of the Rocky Mountains and the West Coast of Washington. We talk with them about last season, this winter and what they expect for next season.

We start out in North Carolina with Mark Smith, who has had bees since 2014 and is running 20 – 30 treatment free colonies. His season last year had some real surprises and he was playing catch up most of the summer. He has some good plans for this spring though that should help out this season.

Next, on to North East Ohio, with Tracy Alarcon, an Inspector in Portage County. The weather played tricks with his honey flow last summer and he made a boatload of honey he wasn’t quite prepared for. Surprise! So, he’s going to be prepared this year.

Next, on to the western slope of Colorado with Ed Cobey, the Bottom Board author in Bee Culture magazine every month. Ed runs about 70 colonies and keeps them at low, medium and high altitudes, so has a very mixed season. He had excellent overwintering last year, but some drought got in the way of the honey crop.

Finally, meet Paul Longwell, a 12-year beekeeper in Olympia Washington. Paul uses topbar, Langstroth and AZ Slovenian beehouse hives, and volunteers to treat neighboring hives to reduce mite pressure. Lots of rain means lots of honey, some years, and you have to be ready for that, and do things at the right time, and he’s getting good at that.

Four different regions. Four different beekeepers. Four different approaches to managing their bees through the seasons. Listen today and see how you compare and perhaps what you might do differently this year!

Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:

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Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping TodayStrong Microbials Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website: https://www.strongmicrobials.com

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 Global Pattiesensure 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 quarterly magazine destined for2 Million Blossoms 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.

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We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments: questions@beekeepingtodaypodcast.com

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

Bee Culture Magazine

Thank you for listening! 

Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong", Musicalman, "Epilogue"

Beekeeping Today Podcast is an audio production of Growing Planet Media, LLC

Growing Planet Media, LLC

Paul Longwell

Master Beekeeper

Paul first developed his interest in bees at a young age while watching the commercial beekeepers’ hives on his aunt’s farm in Yamhill Oregon. After a long career serving in the Army and as a public employee, his love and interest in keeping and working with bees raised back to the forefront in 2008.

An avid beekeeper and member of the Olympia Beekeepers Association, Paul enjoys teaching and sharing his love of bees. As a Montana and Washington state master beekeeper, Paul has gained experience in both Langstroth, Top-Bar and Slovenian AZ hives. He noticed how the local maritime winter weather influenced his honeybees and beehive losses. Paul’s research for solutions lead him to better understand the Slovenian bee houses and AZ hives. Discovering better honeybee health and longevity, Paul converted a storage building into a bee house and installed several AZ-type hives.

Paul actively shares his knowledge by giving beekeeping presentations in-person, during podcasts and Zoom classes. He has taught several beekeeping classes for the Washington State Beekeeping Association, including the apprenticeship course to inmates at Cedar Creek Prison. Paul also serves as one of the clubs’ mentors to new beekeepers. He serves on the Thurston County Fairgrounds and Event Center board.

Along with his wife Penny Longwell who is a master gardener, they co-developed the Pollinator demonstration garden at the Thurston County Fairgrounds and Event Center. They also offer pollinator classes for the local Master Gardener Interns.

Mark Smith

Beekeeper, Owner

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.

Ed Colby

Beekeeper, Author

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

Beekeeper

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.