Honey Bee Obscura Podcast

Honey Bee Obscura Podcast

Short, in-depth review of all things honey bees with hosts, Kim Flottum and Jim Tew

Recent Episodes

Preparing for Winter (044)

Oct. 21, 2021

If you are comfortable outside on Christmas Day, you probably don’t have to worry about wrapping your colonies for winter protection. Otherwise, this episode is for you! At least put up a windbreak. It’s easy, cheap and it h…

Beekeeper Waxing & Waning (043)

Oct. 14, 2021

Do you remember what it was like when you first started keeping bees? Beekeeping was easier years ago, and most of us wanted more bees, more hives, more skills, more of everything beekeeping. But there’s a next chapter. Beek…

Invasive Plants (042)

Oct. 7, 2021

There are, in most places, a mix of native and invasive plants that our bees will visit because they don’t distinguish good from bad, noxious from native. They are looking for food, regardless of the source. This week Kim an…

Fall Feeding (041)

Sept. 30, 2021

If you have to feed your bees this fall, something probably went wrong this summer. Spring feeding, or feeding packages or splits is maybe more common, but there are some things to think about if you have to feed your bees i…

Winter Packing (040)

Sept. 23, 2021

Think about honey bees overwintering in a tree. There’s 4 to 6 inches of insulation, pretty good ventilation, and it’s lined with propolis. Now think of our bees living in a box with less than an inch of wood for protection.…

"Winter Is Coming" aka Planning For Winter (039)

Sept. 16, 2021

There’s a saying – Winter Begins in August and it’s already September. It’s time to start thinking about getting ready for winter. What can and what should you be thinking about? Well, if winter is cold where you are, can yo…

About the Hosts

Kim Flottum

Host, Author

Kim Flottum attended the University Of Wisconsin, Madison, receiving a BS in Horticulture Production. While an undergrad he worked for the UW Entomology Department, researching insect control in green houses and gardens, and writing Extension Bulletins about those pests.

After graduation, he worked for the USDA Honey Bee Research Lab in Madison for four years, studying crop pollination, pesticide problems with honey bees and using honey plants in the home landscape. When the lab closed, he moved to Connecticut where he was a farm manager, producing row crop vegetables and managing an apple orchard. While there he joined the CT Beekeepers Association, became President and then CT Director to EAS. John Root was also on the EAS Board at the time, and after a year offered the job of Publications Manager and Editor of Gleanings In Bee Culture, A.I. Root’s monthly beekeeping magazine.

During his tenure at A. I. Root, he created a new magazine, BEEKeeping, Your First Three Years, and also published several books, by authors such as Clarence Collison, Mark Winston, Roger Morse, Bill Mares, Paul Jackson, Richard Taylor, Dewey Caron and Steve Tabor, along with editing three editions of The ABC and XYZ Of Bee Culture, with Roger Morse, H. Shiminuki, and Keith Delaplane. He designed the first of Root’s beekeeping web pages, and started the daily email blast CATCH THE BUZZ.

Working with The Ohio State Beekeepers Association he became President, then EAS Director. After two stints as Director, he was elected Chairman Of The Board, and was the annual President twice for meetings in Ohio, with Jim Tew as Program Chair, and in New York, with Bob Brachman. Kim also worked with the local Medina County Beekeepers Association, serving as President for several years, and teaching their Beginner’s Class. Traveling extensively, He has given lectures in 48 states and six countries.

During his 33 years as Bee Culture Editor, he produced five books of his own, including four editions of The Backyard Beekeeper, plus In Business With Bees, The Honey Handbook, First Time Beekeeping, and with Marina Marchese, The Honey Connoisseur, and to be released in 2021, Common Sense Natural Beekeeping, with Stephanie Bruneau.

He officially retired in 2019, but still consults occasionally with the new Editor, and with the Publisher of his other books. The podcasts are beginning to take more time but he still keeps a few bees, gardens, has chickens and ducks and gets to be home a lot more than he used to.

Jim Tew

Host, Author

Dr. James E. Tew is an Emeritus Faculty member at The Ohio State University. Jim is also retired from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. During his forty-eight years of bee work, Jim has taught classes, provided extension services, and conducted research on honey bees and honey bee behavior.

He contributes monthly articles to national beekeeping publications and has written: Beekeeping Principles, Wisdom for Beekeepers, The Beekeeper’s Problem Solver, and Backyard Beekeeping. He has a chapter in The Hive and the Honey Bee and was a co-author of ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture. He is a frequent speaker at state and national meetings and has traveled internationally to observe beekeeping techniques.

Jim produces a YouTube beekeeping channel, is a cohost with Kim Flottum on the Honey Bee Obscura podcast, and has always kept bee colonies of his own.