Why I Keep Pure-Bred Russian Honey Bees in Texas

Varroa Destructor and the viruses they vector have been problem number #1 for honey bees and their keepers in Texas since the early 1990’s. Having grown up in a family bee business which my dad started in 1975, I remember how beekeeping was before this honey bee parasite arrived…how easy it was. Actually, the bees…

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Summertime Varroa Mite / Virus Management

The spring honeyflow in Central Texas has wrapped up for another year and our bees are headed into the dog days of summer. As the queen slows down her egg-laying rate, the brood area in the colony will begin to shrink because there is no need for additional foragers during the summer. Summer brood reduction…

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Create Stability in New Colonies – Promote Spring Comb Production

EZ Nuc Box

Right now, our beehives are building their populations in order to have enough bees by May to make surplus honey from wildflowers such as Indian Blanket and Horsemint. When the worker bee population in March and April is rapidly increasing, and nectar and pollen supplies are abundant, a honey bee colony will often begin swarm…

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Holistic Beehive Management

Checking the hives

Introduction Honey bees have kept themselves for eons. Within their beehives they have labored tirelessly to produce honey, beeswax & propolis.  Man has harvested these products from the beehive for thousands of years.  In former, less industrial times, honey was man’s most valued sweetener.  Beeswax and propolis had many household uses.  Most importantly, bees have…

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A Simplified Beehive Design

Beehive Diagram

Beekeeping is not as easy as it used to be.  As I was growing up during the 70’s and 80’s in a beekeeping family business, the main problem we had to worry about was the low price of wholesale honey.  That all changed in the late 80’s with the arrival of the parasitic bee mite,…

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Varroa Mites Attach to Foraging Bees

Beekeeping Class

Varroa mites (Varroa destructor) are honeybee parasites that make beekeeping a challenge throughout the United States and here in Texas. They spread rapidly and, as this short video and the accompanying article show, they can quickly attach themselves to foraging bees then travel back to the hive, where they then begin to reproduce and infest…

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Our Hive Management Approach

Open beehive

For many years I have been thinking of and developing an approach based on a self-contained bee colony that is sustainable and requires few inputs …

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Our Beekeeper Mentoring Program

Looking at a frame from the hive

We are continuing to develop and test our mentoring program, which we make available to students who have completed our initial one-day beekeeper training workshop. Our mentoring program is a month-by-month followup to that course. It consists of a series of monthly half-day training sessions. In these sessions, we share what we are doing in…

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