The Billion Bee Project – Pat’s mission to save the bees.

I often hear “save the bee’’ and it is usually in a vague and undefined way. Most beekeepers round their eyes because the question of who’s bees are you saving? Comes to mind. Along with “how are you are going to actually do that”

When I say it, I mean my bees and the bees that provide the honey that I sell, which I think is fitting and far.  Honey with the special Save the bees sticker will now have a portion funds dedicated to honey bee research that will help all beekeepers – or as I might say to my goal of saving a billion bees.

Projects that I do will be directly proposal to the funds raised. At the time of this writing the budget is zero and we are going to be doing a pollen study in 2024 I want know what the bees are exploiting and when to better advice those that ask me what they could plant to help the bees. This will only save a few bees, and I want to save a billion of them!

The project that you would be funding with the purchase of our honey is this:

There are two projects that I would like to do in 2024 both extremely bold. The first is tied to the sale of all of our candles and the second to the honey they bees make. I only have 200 hives of bees and which doesn’t come close to being able to produce enough wax to fill the demand I have. So, what I work other larger operators here in the northeast US, buying blocks and making candles. After talking with that beekeeper, it became clear, to me, that beekeeping is in a way a two-person job. One person whose mental bandwidth is centered in the caring of the bees; while the other (this new position I am creating) is to learn what is working within the systems and advise of adjustments. This idea comes from a friend that works in a large-scale vertical farm. Her job was to adjust and manipulate different element of the operation in the hopes of improving the over all system all which operations operating.

In partnership with that bee-keeper, I would like to developed a plan for a long term, large scale (his scale), stock improvement plan and management plan all in congestion with his needs and an overall goal to improve the wellbeing of honeybees. This plan I will lay out in future post, if you would like to learn more about that plan fill out the form below.

The second project laid out in 50-year plan for regenerative beekeeping.

Varroa

While breeding and stock improvement can’t happen in one year, these aren’t my bees so I plan execute year one and if there is continued support through the sale candles, I will develop plans in the fall of 2024 to continue. This is a 50-year project, meaning we must be patent in our work.

We will set the stage for year 2 though 50 to take place.

So, Patrick what that is the actual plan?

In March colonies will be returning from California where they were to pollinate almonds. These bees are then split using cells and mated queen. Splits are made to be of different strangest and the source of queens are also variable. This will be recorded.

While splits are being made all colonies will be sample for Varroa using an alcohol wash test. Record will be kept on queen source, and start Varroa levels.

In July, when there is an extractable honey crop and before mite treatments are applied a second sample of Varroa is taken. Those that are below the economic threshold are kept in the study and sampled again while the second honey crop is being harvested. Before a second Varroa treatment is applied we will consider holding that treatment from the colonies that showed an ability to manage Varroa themselves.

And assuming they made a above average honey crop. We will then continue to follow these colonies and graft queens form then in the spring the following year.

We will work only when colonies are already open so to limit disturbance. 

Queen event

We will be able to study want strengths to which splits should be made as we will be controlling the genetic variable by queen source. While this is also weather dependent, we will also record weather and temperature at all areas bees are kept with the thought that other time and many years’ worth of this data insight can be given for their management manipulations.

Bunders Recorded:

We will be learning. I am 27 years old and with 50 more working years I suspect the learning by doing to be the greatest take away. The project and idea mentioned above I think if I video me working, and being honest when I mess up everyone will win. Please, support by buying candles. In a way I am going to treat like it is a thesis in a master’s or PHd program… or at least what I assume a thesis is like (:

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