Troop 202 Beekeepers Needed for Earth Day Celebration

March 24, 2011


Thursday, April 21, at the Downtown Salt Lake City Public Library.  We will meet at the library at 6:00 pm and set up a poster and some Troop 202 information before the screening at 6:30.

On Saturday, April 23, we will meet at the Day Riverside Library at 12:30 pm to get ready for the 2 hour beekeeping event.

The skilled beekeepers of Troop 202 have been invited to participate in a two-day beekeeping event sponsored by the Salt LAke City Public Library late in April.  The announcement of the events can be seen here.  First, on Thursday evening, April 21, the scouts can participate in a screening of the film Vanishing of the Bees.  Earth Day is Friday, April 22.  Then, on Saturday, April 23, Troop 202 beekeepers are invited to contribute their expertise at at beekeeping information seminar/workshop at the Day-Riverside branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library, sponsored by Harvest Lane Honey of Tooele, Utah.  Scouts are encouraged to create a plan to make these events a success and share their beekeeping knowledge.


Attending Bee College

March 16, 2011

An annual event at the University of Florida called Bee College provides an opportunity to learn all about bees and beekeeping.   Perhaps you want to bone up on your study skills and take the SAT to be admitted to Bee College next year.   Reviews of this and other bee-related scientific news can be found at Faculty of 1000, a post-publication peer review site with links to everything scientific.

This post suggested by Carrie Byington.

Spring Cleaning

March 13, 2011

Today was Spring Cleaning day.   Several scouts participated in inspecting and cleaning hives at The Harvard Yard, The Downtown Salt Lake City Public Library, and The Big Garden.  Both of last years scout hives survived the winter and are thriving.  We will watch them closely to prevent swarming.  One hive at the library perished.  It was reasonably strong going into winter, but the queen was already 2 seasons old, so the hive dwindled over the winter and the queen died about 2 weeks ago.   There were 100-200 remaining bees tending a few dozen brood.   The hive was otherwise clean and disease-free with moderate stores of honey remaining.  Both hives at The Big Garden perished.  Neither of them was a strong hive all last summer and both appeared feeble at the start of winter.  No worries.  We will get things going in a few weeks and we will have strong hives once again.  Stay tuned for information on package installation and hive splits next month.

Consider a Career in Science

February 4, 2011

Scouting assists young people in choosing a career path, helping them to develop skills and expand their horizons.  I encourage scouts to be scientific in all their endeavors, regardless if they choose a career in beekeeping, medicine, music, computer programming, or horse trading.  Cell Biology, Medicine, Biochemistry, and other related science fields offer enormous opportunities to explore the world, have a good job, and have fun doing it.  Many people seek a PhD in these fields.  Students must, however, overcome numerous obstacles in their quest for an advanced degree.  Sooner or later students will inherit a problem that ends up being more than they bargained for.  Watch this video for a clear understanding of the frustrations inherent to getting a good education (rated PG-13).

Lady Gaga Science Parody Video

This post was created at the suggestion of Chris Hill.

Beekeeping Art and Utah Culture

February 4, 2011

Utah history and beekeeping are inextricably linked.  See other examples of Utah-specific art and commentary at  Thanks to Matt Page for bringing this valuable resource to our attention.


Beekeeping in Territorial Utah

January 24, 2011

Early Territorial Utah resident Oliver B. Huntington was a pioneering Utah beekeeper in Springville.  I have created a pdf version of the article from  Huntington was an early proponent of modern beekeeping methods and became the president of the Utah Beekeepers Association.

This article inspired by Jim Williams.

Milky Way On Collision Course with Local Fluff

January 20, 2011

Winter is a slow time for beekeeping.   Now is a good time to contemplate one’s place in the universe and evaluate the likelihood of our galaxy disintegrating within our lifetimes.  It appears that the Milky Way Galaxy is encountering Local Fluff.  If anything happens before swarm season, call me, otherwise, I will be busy catching bees.  See the article on Voyager’s imminent encounter with Local Fluff.  One of the scientists involved is quoted as saying “there could be interesting times ahead.”  Spring will be here soon and all this hullabaloo surrounding Local Fluff will give way to the excitement of beekeeping – mark my words.

Article inspired by John Steffen.

Might Bees Go Hungry Without Invasive Species?

December 21, 2010

Spotted knapweed is an invasive species now ubiquitous in the United States.  Thanks to my colleague Costa Georgopoulos for bringing a recent article to my attention.  A counteroffensive against knapweed is being launched to try to control or eradicate this flowering weed.  Some Michigan beekeepers feel that without knapweed, their bees will suffer for want of forage, particularly in late summer.  They are understandably concerned for their own livelihoods, but also for their ability to maintain a robust bee population in Michigan.  Please chime in on this issue.  What should be the benchmark for a healthy bee population?  If bees are snacking on Maraschino-cherry-sugar-water in Brooklyn and invasive knapweed in Michigan and Utah, then how can we talk intelligently about sustainable agriculture and all-natural honey?  Do Michigan beekeepers market “Clover Honey?”  If so, how much of their clover nectar really comes from knapweed?

The first two pages of the Knapweed article are available in pdf format here.  The above photos came form this website with additional information about invasive plants.

Brooklyn Bees Produce Red Honey

December 19, 2010

Thanks to Michele Widera of the Salt Lake City Library for bringing to my attention an article in the New York Times about bees that mysteriously produce red honey.  You can read the article by clicking on this link, BeesinBrooklyn.  Bees are industrious creatures but as the article makes clear, they are opportunists.  I find it particularly amusing that the woman beekeeper from New York featured in the story is named Cerise, translation – cherry, in French.

Thanks to Lou Melini for pointing out a related article in The Atlantic.   The article gives a different take on the same phenomenon with some interesting anecdotes.

New York Times, Beekeeping, and Expanding Vocabulary

December 12, 2010

There are frequent articles on the New York Times about beekeeping.   I encourage scouts to stay up-to-date on beekeeping news and send me links to articles if you see them (anywhere).  Here is an article from the New York Times with some interesting scientific background on honey bees, their evolution, and human interactions.  Scouts might also want to watch the progress of other beekeepers.   Here is a link to a beekeeper’s blog at the New York Times.  Beekeeping blogs are great and all, but there is life outside of the hive.  I urge scouts to expand their horizons and broaden their vocabulary.  If you have never used the word simulacrum in a sentence, then I recommend that you browse the blog of a Andreas Forster, a former Salt Lake City resident living for the moment in London.  English is not, by the way, Andreas’s first language.