Categories Beekeeping

Beekeeping on the Rise

America is full of opportunities to find a hobby that you enjoy. Baseball, card collecting, eating… if you enjoy it, there’s an organization and a competition to encourage it. With so many different ways to spend your time, a lot of interesting hobbies get lost in the crowd. Recently, one in particular has been climbing its way back up through the masses.

With all of the tragedies, political instability and changes that have been dominating the news, very little has been said about the phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, since 2006 honey bees have been abandoning their hives in droves and it was beginning to really worry scientists. Honey bees are important for both the economy and the environment, so it would be devastating if we lost them. In order to help counter the effects of CCD, scientists began trying to encourage people to take on beekeeping as it was a hobby that many people didn’t even think about. After a while, that sparked a new trend. Even New York hopped on the bandwagon and rescinded their laws against beekeeping in the city and recently different cities in Arkansas have held seminars for people to go and learn how to begin as keepers.

Even if you have limited space, it is entirely possible to become a beekeeper. The Farmer’s Almanac released a guide to getting started on their website. It is recommended that you start with two hives, but as each hive is merely a series of boxes and frames stacked vertically, it should not be hard to find room for them. You’ll also need a smoker to sedate the bees and a suit to keep from getting stung. All of these items can be a little more costly than desired, but beekeeping is a hobby that can pay off in the long run. Not only can you harvest honey from the bees, but you can also get beeswax and make a myriad of products from said beeswax.

Beekeeping is also a wonderful hobby for people who are less than sporty. You get to spend plenty of time in nature without having to run all those laps. You can make some interesting new friends in your …

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Categories Beekeeping

Managing an Archaeology Field Crew: Effective Time and Personnel Management for CRM Projects

Using the proper resources and getting to know co-workers is essential in effective crew management. While often overlooked and undervalued, the following tips are useful, and will help Crew Chiefs and Field Directors manage both field crews and field work in a professional manner.

Maps are Worth a Thousand Words

Maps are essential in archaeology. At the very least, a state gazetteer and topographical maps of the project area are needed. If possible, obtain aerial photos as well. The client or research department at the CRM firm will often be able to supply these. In addition, the company’s graphics department will often make series of project maps that show the project details in one glance. Ask for these if not immediately provided.

Keep Detailed Archaeological Records

Keep track of what has been surveyed by using multiple formats. Typically, the best way to indicate where survey has been conducted or where a site has been identified is by marking it on a topographical map or aerial photo. Computerized spreadsheets are also a great way to stay organized, especially if the project has been subdivided into sections. In addition, keeping a field notebook in the field is an ideal way to note anything that may need to be referred to later.

Get to Know the Field Crew

Try to obtain phone numbers from all field crew members, and give them several contact numbers. Inform the crew of the project scope, goals, and requirements. If very specific or unusual requirements are necessary, make a list and hand it out to the crew. Soil identification guides and state regulations are also good sources of information to which crew members may need to refer.

Don’t be afraid to give precise instructions. Crew management can sometimes be difficult in the field, so be a specific as possible. And, on occasion, reward the crew with treats at the end of a hard work day. They will return the favor in kind.


Set Daily Goals

Before leaving for the field each day, set a daily goal. For example, if a linear survey is being conducted, set a goal of surveying at least half a mile for that day (again, depending on client requirements). Let the crew know what is expected of them …

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Categories Beekeeping

Southwest Farmers and Ranchers Watch for VS

Warm summer months can signal the arrival of vesicular stomatitis (VS) for southwestern farmers and
ranchers. The highly contagious viral disease reached outbreak levels in 1982, 1985, 1995, and 1997.


The 1982 outbreak was typical, beginning in May in Arizona, and eventually affecting livestock in
14 states as far north as Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. In 1995, the outbreak began in May in New
Mexico, with the first cases reported in horses. By October, the virus had spread to 300 locations,
affecting 350 animals in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

VS attacks horses, cattle, swine, and wildlife, causing sores inside the animals’ mouths and on their
feet. The disease occurs more often in horses. After VS is detected, animals are quarantined and
transporting them is prohibited.

During the 1995 outbreak, New Mexico alone lost $14 million in rodeo and horse show revenue, because
animals could not be moved from the affected areas. To protect their own animals, 39 other states
restricted animal movement from states where the disease had been confirmed.

Scientists suspect that VS is carried by biting flies — mostly mosquitos, biting midges, and black
flies. Confined animals, like stabled horses, are more likely to contract the disease.

Cleanliness and common sense can go a long way in protecting confined animals.

  1. Control flies and other insects with approved methods.
  2. Remove any trash, rocks, or other debris that may cause injury to animals’ feet.
  3. Feed soft, quality feed to avoid injuring animals’ mouths.
  4. Clean manure from pastures and paddocks regularly.

If you suspect an animal has VS, contact a veterinarian immediatetly for proper diagnosis. VS has
similar symptoms and can often be confused with foot-and-mouth disease, a highly contagious
disease that is often fatal in cattle.…

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Categories Beekeeping

Beginning Beekeeping: Ways to Avoid Bee Stings

Oh, that golden honey! Oh, those hurty bee stings! Are you thinking about taking up beekeeping, but aren’t thrilled about bee stings? I wasn’t either as a beekeeper. The good news? Your system will adapt and the stings won’t hurt as bad, eventually. Until then, you can lessen the number of stings from those buzzing buggers by the way you dress and act.

Ooo la la, such lovely parfum
Oui, if you wear perfume/aftershave, you’re more likely to get stung. Sweetness usually mean flowers and the chance to make a little honey for the bee. And a chance to get stung for the beekeeper. Save the perfume/aftershave for dates with your honey (the human one).

Deodorant is for sissies
In the world of beekeeping, wearing a scented deodorant is almost as good as wearing cologne in terms of getting stung. If you go without, there might be less honeybee stings — but you might also have less friends! If you’re a beekeeper working bees, try an unscented deodorant.

I’ll have a bug light

I once owned a yellow car, and wondered why it had little buggy critters all over it. And then I noticed that yellow porch lights attract bugs. Insects are attracted to the color yellow. A bit of advice: Hence forth and forever more, wear light, neutral colors — never yellow — when working bees and checking out that honey.

Fuzzy jackets with teeth and claws
It’s fall, and you’re headed out to work the hives. On your way out the door, you grab a fuzzy jacket. Wait! Rewind! Let’s stop and think. What do bears look like? Big, fuzzy jackets with teeth and claws! A honeybee stings anything that resembles an intruder, especially one that to her compound eyes … and eyes … and eyes, resembles a fuzzy bear. Save those warm fuzzies for skiing, followed by sitting by the fire and drinking a non-alcholic hot toddy (with a little honey, of course). Wear light-colored jackets to work the hive.

Bees love a bull in a china shop
It’s hard to keep your cool when a bee has climbed inside your pant leg. I had plenty of opportunities to practice it, and you will, too. But, waving your arms, thrashing about, and …

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Categories Beekeeping

Home School Trip to the Beekeeper

A Trip to the Beekeeper

Many people are now homeschooling their children, for whatever reason. Now school – even home schooling – can become boring at times. To help “spice up” their instructional sessions, parents often devise educational “field trips.”These can vary greatly as to content, however there are probably some trips that are pretty much universal among home schooling parents. Two of these are a trip to a pottery maker, and a trip to a beekeeper. This discussion will cover what can be done to beef-up the educational value of a trip to a local beekeeper.

My Inadequate Preparation

During our young adulthood, my wife and I home schooled our children for a couple of years. Along with a small group of friends who were also home schooling their children, we took a day trip to visit the business location of a nearby beekeeper. My wife and I did not have the foresight to prepare for the trip by covering information preparatory to the event. It is too bad, because we might have intensified the learning experience from the trip had we done so.

Hindsight is better than foresight, and so I now know better, and would like to pass on to you some suggestions as to what you might do to improve the quality of your field trip to the beekeeper.

What YOU Can Do to Optimize Your Experience

Probably the simplest way to begin would be to surf the Internet, and learn all you can about bees. What is there of interest concerning bees that we could learn about? We learn that bees are social insects. You could discuss, each family with its students, the different types of honeybees – the queen, the workers, and the drones – and the role of each in the hive. Here are three lovely locations on the web for information concerning this. Click on these (and other) sites for information: 1, 2, 3.

You could discuss honey and recipes involving honey. You could discuss the nutritional pluses of honey, or you could discuss the worries of honey and infant botulism.

Next, you could discuss the properties of beeswax that make it ever so interesting!

Finally, you could research such things as: natural enemies of the …

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Categories Beekeeping

Management Tips for Archaeology Crew Chiefs: How to Effectively Prepare Before Taking on the Leadership Role

But cultural resources management (often called “public archaeology” or “CRM” for short), can be a rewarding career, especially for those brave enough to take on middle management positions. For those planning on leading a crew into the field, following these tips can help a crew chief become an effective leader.

Know the Project Details in Advance

Going into the field to conduct a survey or excavation without knowing what is expected can lead to disaster. Most of the time, pre-field meetings with supervisors – from both employer and client – will be held to explain the scope of the work involved and client expectations. Before leaving for the field, seek advice from a supervisor should any uncertainties about the project remain.

Keep a folder or binder that contains information about the project scope; client and company contact information; emergency contact information; information about the field crew; and state or federal regulations for the type of work that will be conducted.


Be Prepared for Emergencies in the Field

Archaeology is exciting and rewarding work, but can often be dangerous. Archaeological field crews may be required to work in inclement weather and hazardous terrain far from civilization. Keep a container in the vehicle that includes at least the following items:

  • A first aid kit
  • Extra water
  • Duct tape
  • Tool kit
  • Tarps
  • Radios (preferably with a weather band) and extra batteries

If possible, request a four-wheel drive vehicle with adequate space for both personnel and equipment. And most importantly, have an emergency plan in place in case the worst-case scenario occurs.

Obtain Proper Field Gear before Departing

Before leaving the office, make a checklist of all the supplies needed for the particular project. For a standard linear or area survey, the following items will likely be needed:

  • Field box with project-related field paperwork
  • Maps of the project area
  • A scope of work as agreed upon by both employer and client
  • Shovels, box screens, flagging tape, pin flags, artifact bags, pencils, markers, and field paperwork
  • Water cooler
  • Safety equipment as required by the client (e.g., hard hats)

Establish Good Lines of Communication

If the project area is remote, be sure to have a way to stay in contact with either the office or a nearby crew via cell …

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Categories Beekeeping

Female-Operated Farms up 14 Percent from 1992

The 1997 USDA Census of Agriculture reported that there were 165,102 female-operated farms
in the United States — up 14 percent from 1992. This number represents 8.6 percent of all American

Since 1982, the total number of farms has decreased by nearly 15 percent, but the number of
female-owned farms has increased, says Janet Allen, with USDA’s
National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Year Number of farms
1982 121,599
1987 131,641
1992 145,156
1997 165,102

Male-operated farms are more common in all age groups, except above 65. Thirty-six percent of
female farm operators are age 65 or older, with 26.3 percent being over 70 years of age.

  Female Male
Age Percentage of Farms Percentage of Farms
Under 25 0.8 1.1
25 to 34 4.4 6.9
35 to 44 16.2 19.7
45 to 54 22.1 24.6
55 to 59 10.5 11.8
60 to 64 9.9 10.8
65 to 69 9.8 9.4
70 and over 26.3 15.7

Allen says women tend to manage smaller farms in terms of both size and sales. For example,
only 18.3 percent of women-operated farms had sales of more than $25,000 in 1997, as compared
to 36.9 percent of their male counterparts.

Women also tend to run more livestock specialty operations, like goat and horse farms. While smaller
in farm size and sales, women are more likely to own their operations. Allen says nearly 80 percent
of women operators fully own their farm or ranch, compared to 58 percent of the men. Farming is the
principal occupation of 45.5 percent of the women-operated farms as compared to 50.7 percent of the



Allen says that, while data seem to show that agriculture may be the most male-dominated profession in
American, there are many questions about whether this portrayal is truly representative of women’s
role in farming. For the 2002 Census of Agriculture, more information will be gathered on multiple
farm operators, thus providing more data on women’s participation in agriculture.…

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