Beekeeping has changed significantly in the last 25 years. Neonicotinoids have created real issues for bees, other farm chemicals like fungicides have contributed to bee decline as well. The arrival of Round-Up ready fields has reduced natural nectar sources, and bee pests like Varroa are taking their toll. But, beekeepers have also contributed with methods that maximise income but weaken the hives.
All of the issues put forth in the first paragraph are debated adnauseam on forums and in the news with parties on all sides (beekeepers, farmers, chemical producers) arguing in favour of the perceived benefits of their methods. A lot of the significant issues, like neonics, are outside the control of the day-to-day beekeeper like me. But, there are many things that beekeepers can do to improve the health of their hives, while still maintaining decent production. And that is what this site is about.
Everyone agrees that healthier bees are better bees. The articles and videos that will be posted here will focus on what beekeepers can do to improve hive health and honey production. Part of this project involves some woodworking to make some improvements to beehives.
In previous website projects, I have used ads to support the project, but ads can be annoying, so I’m trying something new, Patreon. What Patreon allows me to do is make some of my posts public and others for paid members (Patrons) only. For the member content, you must be a subscriber (starting at $2.00 per month). There are multiple reward levels, and each one comes with perks.
As for comments, I’m simplifying that as well. Previously, I’ve used multiple social networks (Facebook, Instagram, 500PX, Twitter, etc.) email, forums, messaging platforms and text messages but this time I’m consolidating. For comments and general discussions, I’ve linked a forum (BeeTalk) to handle that, it’s easier and helps me to avoid answering questions multiple times. That gets old fast. Twitter (@dsoneil) and the Patreon message board are the other ways. Three methods of contact seem like enough. More info can be found on the Comment FAQ.
Hopefully, I can contribute some meaningful content to the world of beekeeping. My first contribution is this Beehive Inspection Form.