Monday, April 29, 2019

greenwashing at Piedmont Park

bee, bee downtown, beekeeping, greenwashing, invesco, piedmont park,

bee, bee downtown, beekeeping, greenwashing, invesco, piedmont park,
I recently noticed a fenced area with 3 thriving bee hives in Piedmont Park. The hives were installed by Bee Downtown and funded by Invesco. I don't begrudge the founder of Bee Downtown, Leigh-Kathryn Bonner, for the success of this well funded nonprofit, but corporations purchasing ecological advertising (greenwashing) leaves me skeptical.

Bee Downtown, a new nonprofit and partner organization of Abundance NC, focuses on creating healthy sustainable environments for honey bees, as well as creating a community that understands and supports their local bees and beekeepers.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

flowering plants - native or exotic pest

bee, beekeeping, bloom, foraging, privet, spiderwort, tulip poplar,

bee, beekeeping, bloom, foraging, privet, spiderwort, tulip poplar,
My favorite native flowering plant, spiderwort, attracts a honey bee. Last week, I noticed the unpleasant smell - now I've discovered the privet flowers. Also shown is a bee on a invasive flowering privet .

Another important bee forage are native tulip poplar flowers (not shown) - at this time of year, tulip poplar flower windfalls commonly attract sweet food seeking ants.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

flow hive

bee, beekeeping, darwinian beekeeping, flow hive,

Until now, I have not posted with regards to something that I have not experienced first hand.  I'm making an exception as the flow hive strikes me as wrong.

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

2019 tulip popular

amur honeysuckle, bee, beekeeping, checkerboarding, clover, foundationless. invasive plant, nectar, swarm trap, tulip poplar,


amur honeysuckle, bee, beekeeping, checkerboarding, clover, foundationless. invasive plant, nectar, swarm trap, tulip poplar, spiderwort,
I discovered my first 2019 windfall of the tulip popular flower kind.  Also shown is an invasive shrub which attracts pollinators, amur honeysuckle.  Other nectar sources at this time (not shown) include white clover and spiderwort.

Last weekend, I entered the hives for the first time this year.   The honey cap of one hive was checkerboard using foundation-less frames with no drawn comb.  The other hive was left in its winter configuration.

Weeks ago, I set tree hanging 8-frame swarm traps, but yet to see any scout bees.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

hive weight - fall 2018 to spring 2019

I'm using an inexpensive luggage scale to weigh 4 box tall hives.  I attached the ends of a length of parachute cord to the front legs of my hive stand, then I pass the central part of the cord beneath the hive and towards the back of the hive.  This forms a V shape of cord beneath the hive.  I slowly pull on the cord with the luggage scale until the back edge of the bottom board slightly rises above the hive stand.

Scale readings are converted to total hive weight using a factor of 1.825 which I estimated using an unoccupied stack of 4 boxes with a similar total hive weight.

In the graph note:
  • Hives loose weight between 30-Sep-2018 and 22-Dec-2018.  Hive #1 looses more weight than hive #2.
  • No measurements during winter.
  • On 24-Mar-2019 hive #1 gains more weight than hive #2.
Fall weight loss is greater for hive #1 which is most likely attributed to its larger population compared to hive #2.  Said another way, hive #1 consume their honey stores more rapidly due to a larger population.

During the winter, these hives are insulated with Bee Cozy hive wraps and I don't disturb the bees with hive weight measurements.

In a similar explanation, greater spring weight gain for hive #1 is most likely attributed to hive #1 having a larger population compared to hive #2.

bee, bee cozy, bee keeping, hive weight, luggage scale, winter,

bee, bee cozy, bee keeping, hive weight, luggage scale, winter,

Friday, March 15, 2019

bee respiration with and without Bee Cozy

bee, bee cozy, beekeeping, hive wrap, respiration, temperature, ventilation, winter,

Here I'll compare winter bee respiration with and without the Bee Cozy hive wrap for two hives.  On the graph, think of the horizontal axis as outdoor temperature and vertical axis as the bee respiration temperature.  See previous posts for the measurement method.  All graph points have top vent temperatures greater than paver temperatures which is consistent with an active and alive hive. Red circles without fill are measurements with no Bee Cozy.

In the graph notice:
  • all points are consistently closer to the upper left corner with the Bee Cozy
  • hive #1 has top vent temperatures as large as 80 ℉ and consistently warmer than hive #2
  • the last measurement (blue circle with fill) is consistently closer to the upper left corner than other graph points.  
Hive #1 has more flight activity than hive #2 and the last measurement (blue circle with fill) is most likely attributed to a larger bee population in response to spring forage and warmer spring temperatures.

Monday, February 25, 2019

2019 spring bloom markers

This Atlanta spring has been like no other year, nor have we ever experienced an average spring.    Yet, I want a rough guide to plan my spring beeyard tasks.   At the moment, hives are in a winter configuration with bee cozy hive wraps and bradford pear and redbud trees blooming.

On February 21st, Atlanta pollen count exceeded 1000 which coincided with a Growing Degree Days (GDD) of 90. I'll use GDD equal to 90 and compare this spring with previous years. I calculated GDD using data from the University of Georgia Automated Weather Network.  I'll also use Julian Day  which converts a MMM-DD-YYYY date format which spans 4 months (January to April) into a seamless day of year format.

In the graph notice:
  • similar Day of Year values between this year and 2018
  • warm 2017 outlier which reached a GDD equal to 90 on January 19
bee, bee cozy, beekeeping, bloom, Bradford Pear, climate, growing degree days, pollen count, redbud tree,

bee, bee cozy, beekeeping, bloom, Bradford Pear, climate, growing degree days, pollen count, redbud tree,