Honey Bee Diagnostics and Discovery is an apiary where management testing, photography and microscope work are a major add-on to the hobby of beekeeping. Twelve of 25 hives are weighed at least once a week as an adjunct to regular Varroa and Nosema testing. Forage plants are studied along with microscopic identification of pollen found in the honey and in bee baskets. We also conduct microscope workshops for beekeeper clubs, where we teach some of the above concepts as well as dissection techniques and anatomy of the honey bee.
The purpose of this website is an invitation for peer review from other beekeepers. We will post pictures, observations and commentary – sort of an open class room for citizen science. We will not pose as authority on any particular subject or method yet will address various issues – such as the practice of treating for Nosema without testing first and demonstrate the value of the regular use of sticky boards for Varroa burden assessment.
The posting of hive weight changes during different seasons should fascinate most beekeepers in the Mid- Atlantic, as it relates to forage changes. This data can also provide cues for swarm control, harvest timing, identity of dearth period and insight to winter honey consumption.
Pollen species identification both in the field and in the honey will occupy much, if not most of our time. This is motivated by a goal to produce a field guide/hand book on the subject.
All of these things are enhanced by the rewards of discovery and the aesthetic experience. If you are a beekeeper, please join our dialogue so constructive exchanges can be recorded here.
Thank you for visiting,
Don Coats, DVM