Videos

It’s winter time and sure as the sky is blue (or grey – as the case may be), there will be many dead colonies out there next spring. If not in as early as in the few weeks.

Winter kills in the US are running something like 40+% right now. A winter killed colony is a time, financial and frustrat…

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On today’s show, Kim and Jim discuss the most common ‘complaint’ a beekeeper who sells honey encounters. This is true whether you are selling from the back of your truck, at a roadside stand or even a local farmer’s market. What do you tell your customer who brings you or asks you about granulated …

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Honey Bee Obscura celebrates its 100th episode with this release! Jim Tew and Kim Flottum invite, Beekeeping Today Podcast’s Jeff Ott to join them to take a look at 5,000 years of beekeeping history, sorting out some of the highlights, discoveries, and mistakes, along with some of the people behind…

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Winter tends to have a bit more time inside than outside and one way to spend that time inside is to catch up on your reading. Jim and Kim talk a bit about the books they read, the authors and publishers they like and where they get the books they read all winter.

Along with the new books, they…

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How much honey do you leave for the bees this winter? Like lots of things in beekeeping, it depends. Since “all beekeeping is local”, it is good to start in your own backyard. Do you live in the south? Midwest? North? Far north? When are you pulling your honey? In August? Or November? Do you typica…

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On today’s episode, Jim and Jeff Ott (from Beekeeping Today Podcast), discuss the value and use of the ‘love it or hate it” piece of equipment, the Queen Excluder. Queen excluders are included in almost every “Honey Producer Starter Package”, but why and how are they used?

Jim and Jeff discuss …

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Nov. 3, 2022

After The Swarm (082)

Swarm season is fun and exhilarating. Much has been written about swarms. They’ve been studied, photographed, pursued and just… watched. But what does the beekeeper do with the parent colony the next day? What do they do with the swarm after they’ve caught it and put it in a box? In today’s episode…

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Have you ever thought much about the hive stands you use? On today’s episode, Jim and Kim take a long look at the hive stands they use and why they favor them. They also look at a lot of other choices available to beekeepers – all based upon personal preferences, terrain, individual strength and ev…

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Nov. 3, 2022

Extracting Honey (091)

Moving boxes full of honey is usually a lot of work. The bees aren’t happy, the boxes are heavy, it’s hot and you have all your gear on to be safe. The one sure way to make this easier is to use devices that have wheels. Two-wheelers, carts, your truck, all make moving boxes of honey less work.

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Without a doubt, some of the most peaceful places on Earth are bee yards. Tranquil, serene and quiet with only the soft hum of the bees fanning the air through their hives floating on top the silence…

Peaceful, except when it is not.

Have you ever worked in a distant bee yard, late at nigh…

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One of the first pieces of equipment a new beekeeper buys is a bee suit. If they don’t buy a bee suit, they will at least buy a veil. Stings on the face are not only painful (and memorable to all who see it), they can be dangerous if it is directly to one’s eye or around the eyes. In today’s episod…

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If a pollinator garden is in your future this summer, constructing a raised bed is one way to keep it under control and is a much easier approach to providing food for your bees, beauty for your yard and not an aching back for you.

There are all varieties of raised bed gardens. The one pictured…

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Beekeepers have a love/hate relationship with their smokers. Beekeeper families don’t have split emotions… they tend HATE smokers and their lingering ‘perfume’. How beekeepers manage their smokers impacts more than their bees. In today’s episode, Kim and Jim talk about smokers.

Arguably more s…

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What are the important considerations for finding a new bee yard? There are a whole lot of right answers to this question and Kim and Jim explore almost all of them. For starters, year-round access, locked gates, dangerous animals, safety, and liability (yours and the property owner)?

There are…

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Does your state Agriculture Department have a bulletin they share with everybody on the phenology, or bloom dates, of the wild flowers, trees and shrubs that grow in your state?

Today Kim and Jim discuss the chart used by Ohio beekeepers. Ohio’s chart shows what is blooming each month, the adul…

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It’s hot out there and it looks like it isn’t going to cool off for most of us for awhile. Also, since mite treatments should be starting now, getting honey off in the heat is the rule of the day. So how do you stay cool when it’s hot out there? Well, Kim and Jim take a good long look at how to sta…

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When you’ve been keeping bees for decades, sometimes you do things because that’s the way you’ve always done them, right? But the world continues to change. It has to keep up with whatever is going on wherever it’s happening. And because the world is changing, every minute of every day, doing the "…

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Post-harvest time is a good time to look for wax moth in your colonies. Believe it or not, wax moths are around pretty much all of the time. On today’s episode, Kim and Jim discuss wax moths!

Strong colonies keep them pretty much under control, but weak colonies sometimes can’t keep up and soon…

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In today's episode, Jim Tew and Jeff Ott (who's stepping in this week for Kim Flottum) discuss their experiences using swarm traps - sometimes called "bait hives". Swarm traps are used by beekeepers to lure the scout bees looking for a new home.

There are multiple types of swarm traps from the …

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So, what’s that thing you put between two supers to give additional space between top bars below and bottom bars above so there’s room for…something you want to add to the hive. Is it a spacer, a rim, or what?

Kim has always called it a ‘rim’ and thought he had one until this week. Because it’s…

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It’s early February and it’s winter. But winter in northern Ohio is a lot different than winter in the south, where bees are flying, foraging and raising brood. And where it’s cold, you can’t be doing things with your bees, but you can be doing things for your bees: Getting ready for spring.

Fo…

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Nov. 3, 2022

Removing Honey (090)

Harvesting your honey crop isn’t about keeping bees, in fact, it is hard work. It’s when you start questioning your spring decision to expand your number of colonies. On the other hand, it’s a good measure of how well you kept bees during the season. And there are a lot of ways to convince the bees…

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Jim has pails of crystalized honey, but only wants enough liquid honey for his oatmeal this morning. How does he get that to work?

Kim has a lot of good ideas. There are pail blankets, band heaters, boxes and more to warm a pail to liquid honey on the market, including our sponsor, Betterbee. K…

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On today’s episode, Kim and Jim talks about what it takes to be a mentor to another beekeeper, and therefore what you can look for in a good mentor.

As a mentor, you have to develop good communication between you and your mentee. That means communication both ways – them to you, you to them. Es…

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