Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Chemical-free beekeeping employs an array of integrated pest management techniques. These include a series of steps taken to weaken the pests and strengthen the bees’ chances of survival. Mechanical controls, like small hive beetle traps, are used because they remove the pests without building resistant populations of the pests. Cultural practices, like removing and freezing frames of drone brood containing developing mites, also reduce pests without building pest resistance to chemicals. Biological controls are important pieces of the integrated pest management approach to chemical-free beekeeping. In the photo, some of our guinea fowl frequent one of our bee yards. Unwanted insects, like small hive beetle larvae crawling to pupate in the soil, don’t stand a chance around keen-eyed poultry.