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Beekeeping Field Day Visit at BeeManiacs

Last Saturday was the second annual Backyard Beekeepers Association field trip, where lots of new and experienced beekeepers gathered to inspect a variety of hives and beekeeping techniques in commercial and hobby bee yards.

BeeManiacs was featured as one of the field trip destinations. We checked foundation-less Langstroth frames as well as Top Bar hives, followed by a honey extraction demonstration by Ari Jr and Maria.

Thank you all for the visit.

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Hands-on Mentoring and Events

We have created a new section on our website to keep track of upcoming events where BeeManiacs staff will participate, as well as to list some relevant past events.

You can find this new section by clicking on “Education” in the main menu of our website, or by following this link.

Also, if you are within driving distance of our BeeManiacs store, you can take advantage of the free, hands-on mentoring we offer almost every Saturday, as weather permits. The new section on our website will keep you informed on any cancellations due to weather or any other issues. For example, today’s weather is less than ideal for opening beehives, so the hands-on mentoring is cancelled.

We will keep the Education page updated, listing what the next event will be about, and events where you will have a chance to see a BeeManiacs presentation, or even just stop by and and talk bees with us.

At the bottom of the page we will share a list of relevant past events.

The new page also contains the link to our Wiki repository of educational material and presentation files. You can always find the link to the Wiki from the Education section or just by following this link.

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BeeManiacs Package Day

Last Saturday we distributed the BeeManiacs packages for the 2016 season.

We had package installation demonstrations in top bar and Langstroth hives (Western and Deep boxes). We presented different ways to install packages: without shaking or shaking the bees, and students evaluated which way would work better for them.

It was a fun-filled day, with lots of families with kids sharing the excitement for the bees arriving into their lives.

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WA State Master Beekeeper Program

We started 2015 strong, with a presentation about the WA State Master Beekeeper Program at the first bee club meeting of the year in this area.

On Friday, January 2, we presented the Master program to about 24 beekeepers who are members of the West Plains Beekeepers Association. We were expecting a smaller audience because this meeting was in the middle of a holiday break, right after January 1, and road conditions were not so good due to snow, but the interest in the subject was high.

If you could not make it to the meeting and would like to see the presentation, you can find it at our educational site, in the “Download Presentations” page, under “General Presentations” or by following this link to the page:

http://beemaniacs.com/learn/index.php?title=Download_Presentations

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Western Apicultural Society Conference

BeeManiacs attended the WAS 2014 Annual Conference in Missoula, Montana.

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We attended several beekeeping events during the last years but we have to say this is the best conference we attended so far.
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General attendance was low, but the quantity and quality of speakers was top notch. If you attended this conference, you had access to most of the well known beekeepers and researchers that appear in the monthly bee journals. Even Kim Flottum from Bee Culture was there (with K. Summers). You would be sitting somewhere in the auditorium with Eric Mussen on one side and Randy Oliver on the other side, with Malcolm Sanford just behind you. Jerry Hayes, Bee Girl, the Honey Princess (ABF) were present as well as researches and beekeepers from Ireland, New Zealand, UK, Australia, Canada and Mexico.

The first day of the conference was dedicated to Hive Monitoring and different hardware and software systems used for tracking information from beehives.

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The next couple of days were more conventional, talking about bee diseases, pesticides (pro and con) and updates on bee research over the last year. We had an interesting talk about climate change and its repercussions in beekeeping, which is probably the first time the subject was presented in a bee conference (as mentioned by several attendees).

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We received plenty of information that we will be processing and assimilating for several weeks as well as several projects related to hive monitoring and remote monitoring systems that we will be pursing from BeeManiacs in collaboration with University of Montana and other associations and companies.

Next year the event will be in Colorado.

These are some random images from the event:

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BeeManiacs Presenting at ABF Webinar

 

BeeManiacs will be presenting the webinar “Keeping Records of Your Beekeeping Operation” as part of the “Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinar Series” from the ABF (American Beekeeping Federation).

ABF-Web

If you are an ABF members you can register for the webinar and participate of the live broadcast on Thursday, May 15, 5:00 pm Pacific Time. You can find more information on this link:

http://abfnet.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=284#Bee_Educated-_April_

The webinar will be recorded (audio-visual presentation) so If you cannot make it for the live webinar you can watch it later at the ABF website.

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Package Installation Video

We are getting our training on producing videos started with this Package Installation video. Hopefully it will be the first of many videos we will be developing this year.

We often teach beekeeping classes during winter time or inside school classrooms or public places where bees are not allowed in, so there are no bees around at class time. Pictures and videos help us developing educational material that is more engaging and easier to follow.

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We added caption in English (automatic English caption doesn’t work really well on beekeeping subjects) and in Spanish.

The first one being released right now is about installing a 3# package of honey bees in a hive made of 8-frame (instead of 10-frame) Western size boxes (in this area we call Western the boxes that are 6 5/8” tall).

Because the boxes are smaller than a Deep box (9 5/8”) and have 8 frames instead of 10, we recommend starting the package on two boxes instead of just one.

The hive used in this video had a solid bottom board and an entrance feeder. On the same day we installed packages on different hives and took pictures to show queen placement when using an inline feeder, for example. To keep this video simple we stick with one kind of hive from beginning to end and left other details to be addressed through the educational website with the extra pictures from the other hives.

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Package Day

We developed over time some presentations and web-pages on how to install a package of honeybees (you can find that information in our LernBee section). This year we are making a video.

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We just installed 4 packages and took raw video of the process as well as a whole lot more pictures to keep improving our presentations.

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Hopefully we generated enough raw material that can be edited into an educational video that we can use in future beekeeping classes.

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Where can I download class presentations?

We just added a new page in our LearnBee website where you can download presentations we use in classes or meetings.

You can go to the LearnBee website and navigate to the “Download Presentations” page or just follow this link:
http://beemaniacs.com/learn/index.php?title=Download_Presentations

We use Libre Office Impress to make our presentations and if you want to open the original file, you can download Libre Office for free. If you just want to see the presentation, we generated a pdf handout that you can download from the same area.

If you cannot find any file you are looking for, please contact us: education@beemaniacs.com.

 

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Launching Our New Educational Website

We are moving all articles or educational information to a new educational website that is based in the same website engine than WikiPedia. Our goal is to relocate and host new educational content and programs in this new site:
LearnBee – http://beemaniacs.com/learn/

LearnBee will host material developed by BeeManiacs Staff and volunteer contributors and the wiki-style website engine will facilitate searching for content as the amount of articles grows.

Our goal is making the material public and we will use a flexible copyright system: the material is free to copy and use, as long as a statement recognizing BeeManiacs as the owner of the copyright is kept with the copies being distributed.

We are currently members of the Education committees of the American Beekeeping Federation and Washington Master Beekeeper Program and are also actively involved in the educational programs of the Inland Empire Beekepers’ Association and West Plains Beekeepers Association. Our educational program will be expanding soon and we will add features and content in the new LearnBee area.

In the main website we will keep posting blog-style news (like this one) that will appear in the Home page. On the top of the main website we will keep the links to the educational website (LearnBee) and Contact information and soon we will add an active link to the BeeManiacs online store.

Probably next week we will announce one educational benefit for beekeepers in driving distance from our headquarters. Stay tuned for details…