2021 Beekeeping Season Flying!
By Brooke Decker | Apiary Program Manager | Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets - The 2021 Beekeeping season is taking off swarmingly. Bloom reports from around Vermont, state the dandelion, apple, and honeysuckle bloom as stellar this year. Beekeepers are hoping the Locust and Basswood tree blooms will follow suit. These pollinator friendly plants provide great resources of nectar which can provide a substantial and delicious honey crop. Apiary Update This heavy nectar flow, combined with other environmental factors are contributing to numerous reports of swarming honeybee colonies.
Beekeepers should be sure to super their hives early and check their colonies frequently to prevent swarming. Before those heavy supers get stacked too high, apiarists should be sure to perform the recommended monthly Varroa mite counts. Maintaining low Varroa counts throughout the year is a key component of successful beekeeping. A low mite count threshold is less than 3-5% infestation. Using the recommended alcohol wash sampling method, a halfcup of bees (approx. 300 bees) should result in fewer than 15 mites per sample. Samples over the infestation threshold are considered high risk of disease and require mitigation measures to be taken.
Spring 2021 Report from the Field:
- Total number of spring nucleus colonies sold in VT: 2,707
- Number of packaged bees sold/imported into VT: 882
- Number of VT overwintered nucleus colonies intended for sale: 214
- Number of spring nucleus colony inspections: 687
- Number of 2021 hive inspections (as of June 1): 725
- Honeybee imports, statesof-origin: NY, NH, MA, ME, MS, SC,