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Wisconsin Honey Producers Association Annual Convention

Wisconsin Honey Producers Association Annual Convention

The annual convention of the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association is held the first weekend in November every year.  This meeting is one of the highlights of my beekeeping year.  At the convention, I get to catch up with old friends, make new ones and listen to some of the best beekeepers in the United States speak.   Read more

The Sustainability of our Honeybees - Part Three

The Sustainability of our Honeybees - Part Three

Honeybee colonies die.  They die in the spring.  They die in the summer.  They die in the fall and they especially die in the winter in Wisconsin. Where do we get bees from the replace losses?  We can spilt strong hives in the spring and summer.  Splitting is creating two hives from one and adding a queen to make two complete colonies.  We can buy nucs.  Nucs are small hives that can be purchased from other beekeepers.  We can buy packages.  This blog will focus on packages.  What is a package?  A package is two or three pounds of worker...  Read more

The Sustainability of our Honeybees - Part Two

The Sustainability of our Honeybees - Part Two

Why are the honeybees doing okay?  Almonds. Almond pollination and the revenue it provides has made beekeeping profitable and allowed beekeepers to invest in their colonies.  I believe that was true and may continue to be true but it is not the whole story. Other factors that contribute are honey prices and hobbyist interest.  For now, I am going to ignore the complex issue of hobbyist interest and the positive and negative issues surrounding this phenomon.  I will focus on the majority of colonies involved in commercial operations and not on the majority of beekeepers. at this time, I believe...  Read more

The Sustainability of our Honeybees - Part One

The Sustainability of our Honeybees - Part One

One of the most common questions I get asked is, "How are the honeybees doing?"  My answer is, "It's complicated." The honeybees are doing well but it is because pollination and honey revenue are allowing beekeepers to invest resources into maintaining the health of the honeybee colonies.  For the sake of this discussion, I will exclude the recent popularity of hobbyist beekeeping.  More than ever, agriculture in the United States in relying on professional beekeepers to provide bees for pollination.  Farmers realize that renting bee colonies substantially raises their production.  Because of this demand, prices paid for honeybee colony rental...  Read more

American Beekeeping Federation

American Beekeeping Federation

I just returned from the American Beekeeping Federation's annual conference. Two events made this year's conference special. First, I had the honor of being elected to the ABF's Board of Directors. Second, our Wisconsin Honey Producers Association's Honey Queen, Hannah Sjostrum, was elected American Honey Queen. As President of the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association, I am particularly proud of our queen program. The program is a great professional development tool for these young women.  Read more