Friday, October 29, 2010

a must read...


i just downloaded it for a's EXCELLENT and i can see i'm going to have a hard time putting this one down!

i'm barely past the introduction and i've already gleaned a "new saying"......GO FORTH AND POLLINATE!

Product Description (from

Honeybees make decisions collectively--and democratically. Every year, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus building. In fact, as world-renowned animal behaviorist Thomas Seeley reveals, these incredible insects have much to teach us when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision making. A remarkable and richly illustrated account of scientific discovery, Honeybee Democracy brings together, for the first time, decades of Seeley's pioneering research to tell the amazing story of house hunting and democratic debate among the honeybees.

In the late spring and early summer, as a bee colony becomes overcrowded, a third of the hive stays behind and rears a new queen, while a swarm of thousands departs with the old queen to produce a daughter colony. Seeley describes how these bees evaluate potential nest sites, advertise their discoveries to one another, engage in open deliberation, choose a final site, and navigate together--as a swirling cloud of bees--to their new home. Seeley investigates how evolution has honed the decision-making methods of honeybees over millions of years, and he considers similarities between the ways that bee swarms and primate brains process information. He concludes that what works well for bees can also work well for people: any decision-making group should consist of individuals with shared interests and mutual respect, a leader's influence should be minimized, debate should be relied upon, diverse solutions should be sought, and the majority should be counted on for a dependable resolution.

An impressive exploration of animal behavior, Honeybee Democracy shows that decision-making groups, whether honeybee or human, can be smarter than even the smartest individuals in them.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Stone that says something.

now here's a stone that tells you about these people and what they did/do in life: farmer-beekeepers. Rest in Peace Mr. Gelhar.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wisconsin Honey Producers Fall Convention

November 4-7
WHPA Fall Convention

Holiday Inn
4601 Calumet Avenue
Manitiowoc, WI 54220
see map

Get your registration information
Get your schedule

Keynote Speakers:
Marion Ellis Nebraska
Jerry Bromenshank University of Montana

Convention Schedule:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

3:00 PM Board Meeting

6:00 PM Board Dinner

7-9:00 PM Watch video of how observation hive was installed at Lincoln Zoo in Manitowoc.

8:00 PM Budget Committee Meeting

Friday, November 5, 2010

8:00 AM Registration

8:30 AM Exhibits Open

8:45 AM Sessions Open - Call to Order by President, Tim Fulton

8:50 AM Introduction of the Wisconsin Honey Queen and 2010 Queen Canidates

9:00 AM Dr. Marion Ellis - UN/ Lincoln - Living With Varroa in Cold Climates

10:00 AM Break

10:20 AM ABF Update

10:30 AM State Fair Update

11:00 AM Paul Dietmann - DATCP, What the new Honey Law is all about

12:00 Noon Lunch ( ticket required)

1:00 PM Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk - UMontana/Missoula - Colony Collapse Disease and Nosema ceranae

2:00 PM Liz Meils - DATCP , Wisconsin State

2:30 PM Gary Reuter UM Minneapolis, How to make your own mead at home

3:15 PM Break

3:40 PM Business Meeting

5:30 PM Dinner on Your Own

6:30 PM Queen Canidate Presentation

6:35 PM Wisconsin Honey Queen Marketing Presentation

6:45 PM Mead Tasting, Bring your own home made mead to pass around for sampling by everyone

8:00 PM Wisconsin Honey Queen Fund Auction

Saturday, November 6, 2010

8:00 AM Registration

8:30 AM Exhibits Open

9:00 AM Sessions Open - Announcements

9:05 AM Jerry Bromenshenk UMontana/ Missoula - New Technologies For Bee Management

10:05 AM Break

10:30 AM American Honey Princess - Amy Roden

10:45 AM Honey Queen Year in Review - 2010 Wisconsin Honey Queen, Abigail Tracy

11:00 AM Dr. Marion Ellis UN/ Lincoln - Why Does Lavender Honey Sell for $16.00 a Pound

12:00 Noon Lunch on Your Own

1-3:00 PM Kids N Bees Expo

1:00 PM Dr. Marla Spivak or Gary Reuter UMinnesota - Update on their Bee Research

2:00 PM Dean Lapp - Lapp's Bee Supply - Setting up and Managing a Club Bee Yard

2:45 PM Break

3:00 PM Jessie Fritsch , Artist - Encaustic Beeswax Paintings, Hands on Demonstrations

6:00 PM Cocktail Hour

7:00 PM Banquet ( Ticket Required)

9:00 - 1:00 Entertainment - DJ Manuel Lopez - Dance and Socialing

Sunday, November 7, 2010

8:00 AM Executive Committee Meeting

Monday, October 11, 2010

late season nectar

This weekend was unseasonably warm and the bees were out enjoying the "second crop" of borage. Bees LOVE borage and it's a self-seeding annual that I "allow" to grow amongst the garden vegetables. After I tore out the potatoes....the borage started to fill in again and is now blooming. It likes the COOL weather too - so far it's surviving the light frosts....

We BURNED our grasslands this spring - which yielded a healthy crop of asters this fall (the burning must activate the seeds - or perhaps gives them room to grow up from the grass). I find that the aster nectar gives the hives a "sour" smell. The first year I noticed this - I thought - OH NO - wasn' was just ASTERS....