Beekeeping Classes – Spring 2012

March 2, 2012

Fire up your smokers and bring your neighbors.   I will be doing three free introduction to beekeeping classes this month.

First up is a class at the Anderson-Foothill branch of the Salt LAke Public Library.  This class will be from 3:00-5:00 pm on Saturday, March 10, 2012.

Next will be a class at Cactus and Tropicals at their Salt Lake store on Saturday, March 24 at 10:00 am. The class will run about 1 hour.  The Salt Lake store is located at 2735 South 2000 East in Salt Lake City.  The phone at this location is 801.485.2542

The following Saturday (March 31) will be another class at the Draper location of Cactus and Tropicals.   This class will also be at 10:00 am and last about 1 hour.  The Draper store is located at 12252 S Draper Gate Dr (1325 E), Draper, UT 84020.  The phone at this location is 801.676.0935.

Thanks to Nicole Christensen for the inspiration to run these classes.

Bee Class image is from a collection of nice artwork found at S.B. Whitehead Fine Art.

Bees Sniff Out Nasty Microbes

March 2, 2012

Scientists in New Zealand hope to use bees as a diagnostic tool to sniff out Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism that causes tuberculosis infection in humans.  Next time you are rooting around in a hive, breathe heavily on your bees.   If they are attracted to your breath, you might be emitting methyl nicotinate, a volatile compound that might suggest the presence of M. tuberculosis.  Your next step should be to remove your bee suit and take public transportation to the nearest sanatorium, coughing bloody sputum all the way, spraying your fellow bus riders with aerosolized TB.

Read the article in The Scientist.

This story kindly brought to our attention by Dr. Byington.

Texas A&M Researcher Can Identify Fake Honey

January 9, 2012

Texas A&M University palynologist Vaughn Bryant studies pollen grains in honey to determine its origins.  An absence of pollen grains can mean one thing; the honey if fake.  Read this blurb to find out what is good for you, and what is not.

This article was suggested by Big Al Byington, Texas A&M class of 1958.

Bees Swarm India

December 27, 2011

Thanks to Cole Childs who got us a nice photo of a swarm of bees while on his recent trip to India.  That swarm looks like a real whopper!

Bee Rescue Leads to Rumble in Central Park

October 9, 2011

Thanks to Amy Herbener for bringing to our attention a squabble over bees that occurred in New York City following Tropical Storm Irene.  What happens when two groups of people show up to rescue a hive from a downed tree?  Tensions rise, that’s what.  Read a New York Times article about saving the bees.

Feed Your Child Honey

October 4, 2011

Honey is a safe and healthy food despite some people’s fears of feeding it to their children.  The National Association of Nurse Practitioners and the National Honey Council are working on education to inform parents about the benefits of honey.  Read about suggestions for honey consumption in this article.

This article was kindly suggested by Dr. Byington.

Painting Honey Child by Lea Bradovich can be seen along with other works at Miller Gallery of Cincinnati.

Local Beekeepers Raise a Ruckus at Utah State Fair

September 22, 2011

We did well at the Utah State Fair this year.  Despite some controversy over entries in the Centennial Gardner competition, we all kept our heads about us and worked hard to bring home some gravy.  The Library Honey (at right in photo) took second place in the Amber Honey category and the Bog Garden Honey took first place in the Amber (center) and second place in the Golden Honey (at left) competitions.  We took in a little rodeo action, surveyed the potted foods, tangled with a few carnies on the midway, and went home late at night, satisfied with the culmination of another fine growing season.

French Firm Melvita Promotes English Bees

August 2, 2011

The French cosmetics firm Melvita has brought beekeeping to the rooftop of their store in Covent Garden, London.  This is another example of the inroads bees are making into urban environments.  Click HERE to read the story.

This topic was kindly provided by doc Andreas.

Specialized Bee Microbiota Described

July 2, 2011

The microbes in the gut help us to exploit our food sources and provide valuable metabolic mechanisms that we otherwise lack.  Termites, for example, have a specialized set of microbes in their gut to allow them to consume houses.  Bees don’t generally prefer wood in their diet, but they have their own set of microbes to help them to exploit pollen and nectar.  Be they honeybees, solitary bees, bumblebees, or even wasps, they each carry specialized sets of microbes to permit exploitation of food resources.  Perhaps these microbes are what help to turn nectar into honey.  If you see a bee and wonder what species it is, analyze its gut flora to find out. See this article from Molecular Ecology that describes some of the bacteria living with bees.

This article was kindly suggested by Costa Georgopoulos.

City Beekeeper enjoys Free Lunch

April 21, 2011

Check out the article about your favorite City Beekeeper in the newspaper today – Free Lunch in The Deseret News.  Here is a link to a pdf version of the article.