Local beekeepers gather to share knowledge, resilience tips

    A volunteer checks honey bee hives for queen activity and performs routine maintenance. (John Minchillo/AP Photo)

    A volunteer checks honey bee hives for queen activity and performs routine maintenance. (John Minchillo/AP Photo)

    Local beekeepers will get together next weekend at the 7th Annual Natural Beekeeping Symposium to talk about some of the biggest issues affecting their colonies. 

    One of the biggest concerns of honeybee keepers, especially small scale urban ones, is the varroa mite. “They’re in every hive and if you don’t have them now you will have them. And if you don’t take care of them somehow they do almost…well, pretty much every single time they will kill your bees eventually,” said David Harrod, President of the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild. The Guild is hosting the symposium. 

     

    Verroa’s resilience has sparked conversations about what constitutes “natural” beekeeping. While some keepers try to maintain their hives without chemical treatments, many have incorporated some form of management.

    Researchers will present new work on the varroa mite and discuss treatment methods.   

    Since many people lose bees, another big project for the group is to raise local replacements. Right now, most come from the South or California, Harrod said, and are not adapted to the local environment.

    The symposium is on Sat., February 4, at Temple University.

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