The beekeeping season can feel like a series of calamities interrupted by winter. Queens can fail, not get mated in the first place or simply disappear. Workers can start laying eggs and hives are then difficult to requeen. Bees are susceptible to parasites – like Varroa – and the viruses they transmit. If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s the threat of new invasives.

If it can go wrong, at some point it will. Beekeeping … so much more than honey 😉 

Queen failure and laying workers

Locally bred queen ...

Locally bred queen …

Drone laying queens, queenless colonies and – although not technically a queen-related problem – laying workers.



Out, damn'd mite ...

Out, damn’d mite …

Probably the biggest threat to bees and beekeeping.


Drifting and robbing

Isolated hive

Isolated hive

A major route by which Varroa are transmitted between colonies and a major reason why coordinated mite treatment should be beneficial.



DWV symptoms

DWV symptoms

Deformed Wing Virus, Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus, European and American foul brood.



Vespa velutina

Vespa velutina …

Small Hive Beetle and Asian Hornet. Not here … yet.


… and the rest

Pixie or Dixie?

Pixie or Dixie?

Any number of additional things – animal, vegetable and mineral – that threaten our bees.