February 2021

It always feels like such a tease when the warm weather of random February days drops into our lives. I can’t help but think maybe an early Spring is upon us and start looking for crocuses. I do see my tulips starting to come up, so it can’t be that far away.  

Before we go any further, I need to give a shout-out to our OSBA 2020 Conference speaker and 2020 American Honey Queen, Mary Reisinger. In her presentation, she highlighted her family’s banana bread recipe which uses honey instead of sugar. When I found 11(!) frozen bananas in my freezer the other day, I knew it was time. The results were delicious and I wanted to share a link to her recipe here:  Substitute Honey for Sugar in Your Favorite Recipes 

PUB was so fortunate to hear from Dr. Tom Seeley for our February meeting, speaking about Darwinian Beekeeping. This evolutionary approach to beekeeping focuses on reproducing conditions the bees have in nature. Small hives, minimal manipulation, swarm promotion, low honey production are all aspects to this fascinating approach. There are some real challenges to working this method in an urban environment where other colonies and beekeeper methods can intersect, collide and contradict. I couldn’t help but think of the discipline such an approach requires: resisting honey production, euthanizing mite loaded colonies, encouraging brood breaks – all of the things that go against the lauded goals of increased brood expansion and honey production. At the same time, I appreciated his reinforcing the idea that all the ways of keeping bees are valid, just different. His talk made many of us think about why we do what we do when it comes to our bees. By taking the time to really think about what our individual goals are related to beekeeping, the better beekeepers we have the potential to be. 

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