Honey bees live in perennial colonies. Survival and reproduction are the ultimate goals of any organism and honey bee colonies are no different. Jamie will discuss the yearly lifecycle of a colony and what it does to survive the fluctuations in temperature, rainfall, forage availability, and other stressors that it faces.

Insects are vital, fascinating, weird and wonderful. They are food, pollinators, recyclers, pest controllers, and much more, so we should be deeply concerned that they are in rapid decline. Dave will explain the many causes of insect decline, and then turn to the solutions of this crisis.

Every beekeeper wants to keep their queens young and vigorous for maximum colony health and production. There are many ways in which queens can be reared easily and well within the capability of the hobbyist beekeeper. Randy will outline some of these methods.

Most people know about reproduction at the individual honey bee level: queens producing the bees in the nest. However, few consider that colonies also reproduce, a feat accomplished by the swarm. Jamie will discuss bee behaviour before and during swarms and place this within the larger context of a colony’s biology.

Arguably the most serious threat to honey bees worldwide are viruses, some of which can also be found in other insect species. What is the evidence for spillover, what impact do they have and how can they be controlled?

The nucleus hive is useful for so many bee hive manipulations throughout the year. Randy will cover how to produce good nucs and how to use them for such as increase, swarm control, varroa control etc.