September 12, 2020
There are over 19,000 different kinds of bees and 30% of them live in a tunnel or cavity. You can help these tunnel-nesting pollinators out by providing a place for them to call home. I'm not sure where the name came from, but kids these days are calling it a bee hotel.
Making a bee hotel is a fancy way of saying you're collecting hollow tubes, putting them somewhere and leaving them alone all Spring and Summer. A bee hotel won't get you honey or beeswax, but some of the common tunnel-nesting bees like leaf cutters and mason bees are great pollinators of a lot of plants including veggies, fruits and herbs.
In this episode I explain how to make a bee hotel, how to care for it and clean it out, and what to plant to attract some common tunnel-nesting bees.
For those of you who love bees and want to have more in your neighborhood, but aren't able to keep honeybees, this is a great alternative. It's also a wonderful project to do with kids and help them learn more about bees.
Check out our blog post about it at: beekeepingmadesimple.com/blog/making-a-bee-hotel-for-solitary-bees
Here you'll see a bunch of sample bee hotels, my personal bee hotel and links to learn more about bee hotels and tunnel-nesting bees.
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August 31, 2020
You should take the old, dark comb out of my beehive, but then what?
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August 15, 2020
Butterflies! You've seen these beautiful creatures flying around and maybe even tried to catch one as a kid, but how much do you really know about them? Unlike honey bees, they're not great pollinators and they don't produce delicious food for us to eat. None the less, images of butterflies are everywhere - on cards, notebooks, mugs. They add beauty to the world and are a source of food for many animals.
In this episode, I talk with Jessica McAtee, a butterfly expert, so we can learn all about these fascinating creatures and how we can turn our yard into a butterfly garden.
For more info about butterflies, photos and links to butterfly resources go to https://www.beekeepingmadesimple.com/blog/all-about-butterflies
You can learn more about Jessica's work with butterflies at HappyButterfly.net
And that wacky book I mentioned about bugs and how they reproduce is Birds & Bees: A Sexual Study by Stermer.
July 31, 2020
As I record this episode today, we are under a hurricane watch and dealing with other Summertime issues like robbing, bearding, high temperatures and dearth.
I'll explain what all of these things are and what beekeepers and bee-lovers can do to help the bees when it's super hot out. Just for the fun of it, I'll also talk about honeydew honey (honey made from bug poop) and what to do if bees are visiting your pool.
Download our free ebook, 7 Steps to Keeping Bees in Your Own Backyard, at beekeepingmadesimple.com.
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June 8, 2020
Ever wondered what it would be like to keep bees on the rooftops of buildings in New York City?
In this episode I talk with author, and urban beekeeper, Andrew Cote, about his childhood growing up as a 4th generation beekeeper, his non-profit Bees Without Borders, why he tells people his profession is truck driver and all the work that goes into keeping bees in a big city (don't forget you have to pay the meter!).
Check out Andrew's new book, Honey and Venom, Confessions of an Urban Beekeeper. It's not just for beekeepers, but anyone interested in a unique and funny story about a man with one of the most interesting jobs in NYC.
I have a free beekeeping book just for you! Go to beekeepingmadesimple.com to download our ebook, The 7 Steps to Keeping Bees in Your Own Backyard.
May 10, 2020
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. This episode is about who makes the decisions in the honeybee hive. There is a queen, after all, but by now you probably know that she isn't in charge. So, who decides when it's time to swarm? How do the bees know what their job is in the hive because there are a lot? And when do they decide to replace the queen? Who, then, is supposed to kill the queen?!
Honeybees do a great job of making decisions that benefit the entire hive and we could probably learn a thing or two from them and their decision making process.
PLUS! A special podcast coupon for those looking to take an online beekeeping class,
And a little bit about the cicada killer and why people are freaking out about them too!
Finally, a great book about bees that I'm currently ready and a video the author made you can view on YouTube of bees doing waggle dances on a swarm and how to tell what they're saying.
November 9, 2019
How do bees know how to build a hexagon-shaped cell? Honeycomb is the foundation of the beehive. Learn how the bees make it, why no other shape would work as well, and how we, at our bee farm, harvest honeycomb.
We'll also be talking about the honey infusions we're working on at the farm and what the bees are doing right now in Hawaii.
PLUS - we now have a phone line for you to call in about your experiences with bees and beekeeping. Share with us your stories and we will add them to the podcast.
October 1, 2019
Did you know most wasps are non-stinging insects? Or that there's a variety of wasps that can kill a beehive of 40,000 in under an hour?
Learn about these amazing creatures and why Hollywood is indebted to them in this episode about wasps. Featuring Joe O'Brien with his knowledge and love for these guys.
In this episode we talk about:
• the difference between wasps and bees
• how wasps can help your garden & other benefits of wasps
• a few crazy species of wasps including the "yak killers"
June 15, 2019
Learn all about varroa mites. In this episode I will talk about how varroa mites harm the bees, where they originated, their relationship with humans, and why it's in the mite's best interest to not cause too much harm to the bees.
Then for the beekeepers, I discuss integrated pest management techniques to keep mites levels low, what to do if you have an infestation and how to test your hive to see if what your mite levels are. I will discuss organic, inorganic and non chemical-based "treatments". For those of you who do not want to "treat" their hives, I offer suggestions for what to do if your hive is infested.
I would love to hear from you! Please email me at Laryssa@beekeepingmadesimple.com with topics you'd like to hear about.