show episodes
 
Whether you live in a suburban condo or on an off-grid farm, you can live a greener lifestyle. In the Sustainability Book Chat we talk to authors who can help you reach your goals to achieve a more self-reliant lifestyle, whether that means starting a container garden on your balcony or having chickens in your backyard or making greener transportation choices.
 
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show series
 
It seems like keeping bees should be the easiest thing in the world, but I have learned personally that there is a lot more to it than you might expect. If you have been thinking about getting started with bees, we are talking about some of the unexpected things that every beginner needs to consider before buying their first hive. Author and beekee…
 
If you thought that it was beyond the reach of mere mortals to grow spices like ginger, turmeric, vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamon, you'll be pleasantly surprised by this episode with Tasha Greer, who talks about her book, Grow Your Own Spices. Although many of us may use "herbs" and "spices" almost interchangeably, this book goes way beyond growing…
 
In this episode, we talk with Jonna Sanders about AŽ hives (NA Beekeepers say “AZ”. We learn today that it correctly pronounced “AH-shah”. Jonna is a lifelong AŽ Hive beekeeper and sells AŽ hives in the US. Today we talk with her in depth on how beekeepers manage these hives. We talked with Regional Beekeeper, Paul Longwell back in May as part of o…
 
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 helps. But what other insulation is available? There’s history of what has been used, and what’s available now isn’t much diffe…
 
People don't usually think of health when we talk about sustainable living, but if we don't have our health, we are not sustainable. Keeping ourselves healthy is really at the root of a sustainable life. In this episode, I'm talking to Shawna Coronado about her journey from an author of seven gardening books to being debilitated with arthritis to r…
 
Imagine a completely automated beekeeping operation. Well, BeeWise has created the Bee Home, housing 24 colonies that is a solar powered, insulated, and completely automated for every beekeeping management task. Saar Safar, our guest today, was approached by a beekeeper that had a rough idea of what he wanted, and Saar put his own skills at mechani…
 
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. Beekeepers today are better educated because there’s more to do now. So, it’s not wrong to want to take a day, a week, a whole sea…
 
If you want to learn more about using herbs beyond the kitchen, The Artisan Herbalist is a must read and a must see. It's filled will beautiful photos that clearly exemplify the identifying characteristics of each herb. In this podcast, we are talking to author Bevin Cohen about how he got interested in herbs, as well as how he chose the specific h…
 
In this episode, we talk with Steve Repasky about his book, Swarming Essentials, published by WicWas Press in 2014. Steve is in the middle of updating his book and we found him ready to talk about swarming in general, and what’s new in the world of swarms that he’s putting in his next edition. Basically, the biology of swarms hasn’t changed much, a…
 
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 and Jim touch on a few of these, and try and come up with some recommendations and perhaps some plans on dealing with invasive p…
 
If you are looking for ideas on getting started with organic vegetable gardening, we are talking about everything you need to know! Which vegetables are the best for beginners? How do you actually start to plant? What size should your garden be? What can you do with container gardening? Gary Pilarchik, author of The Modern Homestead Garden, is shar…
 
Today, we talk with Dara Scott of Advanced Science out of Galway, Ireland, makers of HiveAlive. Off the west coast of Ireland grows a variety of see borne plants, commonly called sea weeds, that have evolved defenses against their biotic pests that live in the ocean. Bacteria, antifungal organisms and other biotic pests are well controlled by these…
 
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 in the fall. Is what went wrong the fault of your bees, your management, or the environment your bees have to live in. Too many…
 
This week we talk with researcher and author, David Aston about his book, Good Nutrition, Good Bees. It’s exciting to see how much information on honey bee nutrition is becoming available. This is happening as both new research and looking at existing research in a new light. David Aston, and his coauthor and wife Sally Bucknall, have focused on pr…
 
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. We pretty much don’t think of wintering anymore. There’s lots of bees, swarms, we can replace what we lose easily…. well, it …
 
Bugs are an inevitable part of gardening, but we have lots of options for dealing with them. In this episode gardener Susan Mulvihill, author of The Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook, talks about organic methods of handling pests in our garden. We discuss the principles behind integrated pest management, and the importance of identifying bugs before t…
 
Today we talk with Dr. Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman. Gloria is the Research Leader at the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson, Arizona. Gloria and the researchers there are involved in several projects, but today we talked to her about just two that are both new and promising for beekeepers and their bees. Modeling honey bee nutrition requirements…
 
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 you move your bees to somewhere that’s warm? If moving bees is at all possible. What about indoor wintering? It used to be popul…
 
Having backyard chickens, like having your own garden, is a small but significant way to take control of your food and decrease its carbon footprint. While backyard chicken keeping has become more popular in recent years, some people are still intimidated by the idea. In this episode, we are talking to Lisa Steele, fifth generation chicken keeper a…
 
Today, we pick up on the third installment of our exploration of the Honey Bee Health Coalition’s programs as we talk with Pete Berthelsen. Pete runs the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund, a non-profit organization working to improve the habitat for all bees and butterflies, anywhere people can make it happen. They have projects in 12 states and are l…
 
Right now, you have to make some decisions about how to overwinter your colonies. If you live in the deep south, there probably isn’t much to think about. But if you live north of warm winter weather, there’s a lot that has to be done. One of these tasks is what to do with a couple of small, weak colonies, because they are just not big enough to ma…
 
Do you love to travel but worry that it's hard on the planet? Today I'm talking to Holly Tuppen, a responsible travel expert who has specialized in sustainable travel since circumnavigating the world without flying in 2010. She talks about bicycling across the US, working as part of the crew on a sailboat, and traveling on a container ship, among o…
 
If you like things that are free and natural, then compost checks both boxes when it comes to fertilizing your garden and even your houseplants. In this episode, I'm talking to Michelle Balz about her book, No Waste Composting: Small-Space Waste Recycling Indoors and Out. We discuss free and inexpensive ways that you can turn your waste into black …
 
If you are intimidated by gardening because it seems like too much work or you don't want to invest in a tiller, then you should check out no-dig gardening. In Charlie Nardozzi's newest book, The Complete Guide to No-Dig Gardening, he covers everything you need to know to be successful with your garden. But why not dig? In today's episode, Charlie …
 
What on earth is a microsponge? And what do beekeepers do with them? In this episode, we talk with James Webb, CEO, and Nate Reid, Operations Manager at Beemmunity Labs on the exciting research and product development underway. They fill us in on a very creative way that our honey bees can now manage exposure to common agricultural pesticides. They…
 
Beekeepers are very often asked to help friends or neighbors that have “bee” problems…. honey bees, carpenter bees, yellow jackets, hornets, bumblebees and the like. But most of us aren’t exterminators. We don’t have the tools, the experience, or the time to help. But “can’t you just get rid of them for me?” lets you know they think you know how to…
 
Jerry Hayes’ journey to become the current Editor of Bee Culture magazine makes him uniquely qualified to lead the A.I. Root Company’s 149-year-old Magazine for Beekeepers. He started as a high school teacher in Georgia, but soon found that was not what he wanted to do, so he left that and began working in the plastic industry. That’s where he met …
 
When you finish extracting your honey crop, you have frames that have sticky, gooey honey in the cells, and on the frame surfaces. There may be some crystalized honey in some of the cells, too. Maybe even some pollen stored there. So how do you clean up this mess so when you go to store the supers with these frames in them for the winter, they will…
 
Eugene Makovec has been Editor of the American Bee Journal for only a short time and isn’t well known in the Beekeeping world. He is working to change that. He grew up helping his father keep the family’s bees, so has a good background in the craft. He spent time building his career for a few years after graduating with a journalism degree, but whe…
 
What do you do about ugly or mean bees? It can be difficult to determine which colony in a beeyard with several colonies is the one, or maybe one of several, that has scouting guard bees meet you at the gate when you go to a beeyard. If you can determine which colony is the one with the problems, why is it behaving so aggressively? Several reasons …
 
On today’s episode, we welcome back friend of the podcast, James Wilkes, beekeeper, professor and Founder of HiveTracks. HiveTracks continues to evolve and grow from the ‘simple’ 2008 technology platform focused on recordkeeping for the beekeeper to an entire ecosystem of management decision making tools. In past episodes staring with Episode 007 w…
 
Every spring we beekeepers buy packages and set up nucs. Come summer, we start to look at what is going right and what may be going… well… not so right. Or at least, something is going but we’re not quite certain just what! In this episode, Kim and Jim discuss the hives they started this past spring and compare notes. They’re only 30 miles apart an…
 
In this episode we talk first with Molly Martin, the coordinator of Bee City USA, and Bee Campus USA, both supported by the Xerces Society. The Xerces Society is as Pro Pollinator as any group can get, there’s no doubt about that. Of course, our honey bees are probably the best-known pollinators, but there are thousands more out there – other bees …
 
Beekeepers talk a lot about not having enough food or enough good food for their bees due to all manner of development, agriculture spread, and agriculture in general. To help fix that problem beekeepers should be looking at doing some planting for bees, which is what Kim and Jim talk about this week. But it’s not as simple as it might sound. If yo…
 
Max Cherney is Director of Operations at Nectar Technologies and Dr. Rae Olson is a postdoctoral researcher at Washington State University. Together they work with Precision Beekeeping in Quebec, Canada developing a data driven app for commercial beekeepers to use to seasonally track not only individual colonies but entire beeyards, with each colon…
 
Kim and Jim ask some interesting questions this week, maybe some you’ve asked yourself, or perhaps you asked a close friend. For instance, should a colony being used for honey production spend time and energy raising drones? Or should a beekeeper be getting rid of drones? There are some who believe so. And where do you go to get good information wh…
 
In this episode, we talk with Ben and Kimberly Carpenter of Hungry Bear Farms, current owners of Ross Rounds Honey Supers and Sundance Pollen Traps. Ross Rounds Honey Supers were created by Tom Ross several years ago, then the business was purchased by Lloyd Spears, who then developed the Sundance Pollen trap to increase his business. In 2017 he so…
 
Have you ever had European Foulbrood (EFB) in one or more of your hives? How do you know if it was EFB? What does it look like? What does it smell like? Does it smell like American Foulbrood (AFB), or look like AFB? If you’re not sure, how do you find out? Who can you call? And what can you do about it if it is EFB? Burn, treat, scorch, feed, let i…
 
In this episode we talk with Dr. Gene Kritsky, who has authored or edited 10 books and over 250 papers on subjects as diverse as entomology, Egyptology, evolution, history of science, dinosaur biology, insect poetry and insect mythology. The Tears of Re: Beekeeping in Ancient Egypt is one of his Egyptology stories in a book, and Periodical Cicadas:…
 
It’s been hot in Ohio so far this summer (and a lot of other places too) but it’s also been wet. Hot and wet can make keeping bees a lot harder than normal. Kim and Jim talk about hot summers and their bees. Kick the air conditioner down a couple of degrees, pour yourself a glass of your favorite beverage and listen in. Jim is visiting up in Michig…
 
We continue this week exploring the work of the Honey Bee Health Coalition we started on the March 29th, Season 3, Episode 44, with Matt Mulica. The HBHC has several goals, tasks and programs it is pursuing and the one we are exploring today, with Dr. Dewey Caron, Representing the Western Apiculture Society and Mary Reed, Texas Apiary Inspector and…
 
How many colonies had to be replaced last year? How many in winter, summer, total? How many beekeepers were surveyed? How many commercial operations, how many sideline operations, and how many hobby beekeepers? It used to be called the annual colony loss survey, but even that has changed because one thing they have found is that colony counts aren’…
 
Dr. Geoffrey Williams and Dr. Nathalie Steinhauer join us in this episode to discuss the just released survey of colony losses between April 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021 conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership, BIP. The numbers are not getting better after 15 years. In fact, beekeepers across the United States lost 45.5% of their managed honey bee c…
 
A question from a book written 107 years ago comes up for discussion. “How do you keep your bees from bothering your neighbors?” Back then, it was mostly cattle and horses beekeepers were worried about Today? It’s the people in the house right next door, their swimming pool, their bird feeders and waterers and the water for their pooch. First, is i…
 
Returning to join us in this episode is Tammy Horn Potter. (She originally visited us back in Season 2!) Not only is Tammy the State Apiary Inspector for Kentucky, but she is also an accomplished author. She has just finished her fourth book entitled, “Work I Knew I Must. Reminiscence of Forty-One Years of Factory Life.” Jane Cole worked for the A.…
 
It’s rare, very rare, but sometimes beekeepers have to kill all the bees in a colony. It can be a tragic, emotional and usually it’s an expensive experience. Or it can be a life saving act to save the lives of friends, neighbors and family. At the very least, it will render a box of dangerous or sick bees no longer dangerous or reduce the chance of…
 
What better way to start Pollinator Week than to get the latest info on everything Pollinator from Kelly Rourke, Executive Director of Pollinator Partnership, and Miles Dakin, the Coordinator of Pollinator Partnership’s Bee Friendly Farming program. This week’s program also marks the beginning or Beekeeping Today Podcast’s FOURTH year! Our first pr…
 
Let’s face it. Unless you live in an isolated part of the world, if you keep bees, you will need to eventually deal with encounters between your bees and your neighbors. Encounters don’t have to be negative. There are strategies you can use to minimize ‘bad publicity’ and ‘hard feelings.’ Some beekeeping clubs have written down these strategies and…
 
Charlotte Ekker Wiggins, author of two books about beekeeping and beekeepers, is our guest today. Her first book, Bee Club Basics, Or How To Start A Bee Club, dealt with managing teachers mentors, students, classes and the basics of organizing a start-up beekeeping organization. Her second book, just recently released is A Beekeeper’s Diary. Self G…
 
Packages arrive with a queen and together are installed in a hive of some kind. In a few days to a week the queen is released from her travel cage by either the bees or the beekeeper. Then the evaluation of that queen, and the bees, too, begins. How good is this queen? And when should I be able to decide if she needs replacing. A week? 2 weeks? A m…
 
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