Beekeeper uses this DIY bee vacuum he rigged up himself when collecting honey

“My dad built a bee vacuum!” Read the rest

This wild honey harvest how-to video is delightful

Enjoy this hypnotic video of a honey harvest in the desert. Read the rest

Beekeeper uses bears to taste test his honey

Trabzon is a northeastern province of Turkey. You'll find a lot of light industry there: small farmers, plantations growing tea and craftsman. It also happens to be home to some of the most sought-after honey in the world.

Ibrahim Sedef, is a beekeeper who, along with his bees, works in the region, producing Anzer honey. It's aromatic stuff and is wildly believed to have curative powers—your healthcare mileage may vary. People love Sedef's honey. Unfortunately, so do a bunch of local bears.

Sedef tried a number of solutions to keep the animals away from his beehives: he locked the hives up for the night. He secured his home against the animals breaking in. He even left out sweet fruit and baked goods for the bears to draw them away from his products. No dice. Over three years, he lost over $10,000 in profits. At this point, a lot of folks may have turned to having the animals killed, in order to protect their profits. Not Sedef: he enlisted the furry brutes to do a bit of taste testing for him, instead.

Image via Flickr, courtesy of Beverly Read the rest

Delicious honeycomb slice beekeeping video

Get a load of this delicious video of a beekeeper slicing that honeycomb down, from which to extract this year's honey harvest. Read the rest

Some idiot torched hives with half a million bees in Texas

Over the weekend, someone set fire to two dozen bee colonies in Alvin, Texas belonging to the Brazoria County Beekeepers Association. The perpetrator also dumped some of the bee boxes into a nearby pond. The Beekepers Association and the police are offering rewards for information leading to the conviction of the idiot who did it. From KTRK-TV:

"We're looking at 500,000 to 600,000 that have been destroyed out of that environment," said (beekeeping supplier Steve Brackmann)...

"It takes a long time to establish a colony," Brackmann said. "It can take a year to get a full one, but the queens were probably killed, which means those that survived have nowhere to go."

One comment on Facebook referred to it as ecoterrorism, and Brackmann doesn't disagree with that. Bee populations are dropping rapidly across the country because of insecticides and herbicides which take away the plants on which bees forage.

More at the Brazoria County Beekeepers Association's Facebook page.

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Count your bees with a Raspberry Pi and machine learning

Sure, you worry about your bees, what with colony collapse disorder, but they're hard to count! Read the rest

For twelve years, this family has let bees nest in their living room

In addition to benefiting from excellent feng shui, the family harvests about 15 kilograms of honey each year from their bee housemates, who showed up on the day of a wedding. Read the rest

Mushrooms may help in the fight against bee colony collapse

It's mushrooms to the rescue in a major study to stop bee colony collapse disorder. One culprit, parasitic varroa mites, stood out as a major threat because they were developing tolerance for many pesticides. Read the rest

New honeybee sperm bank racing to halt bee decline

For years, entomologist Brandon Hopkins has argued for the establishment of a germplasm repository for cryopreservation of honey bee semen. Unfortunately, bee semen us very hard to collect and even harder to preserve, but Hopkins found better ways to extract and store their genetic material. Read the rest

Meet the psychedelic honey-hunters of Nepal

"One month a year, giant Himalayan bees, the biggest bees in the world, come to collect nectar from a poisonous flower, giving the honey they make certain medicinal, aphrodisiac, and hallucinogenic properties."

In this short documentary, filmmaker Raphael Treza meets with a Nepalese tribe to learn about this honey, and how they use it. During the making of the film, the translator eats too much of the honey and falls unconscious. Read the rest