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Beekeeping Today Podcast

May 15, 2020

This week, get out your traveling bee suits, because we are going to visit three different beekeepers in across the country. This time of the year, beekeepers in the US and northern hemisphere are all very busy, but are they all doing the same? Are they all experiencing the same things?

In this episode we set off to find out. We talk with beekeepers from North Carolina, Northeast Ohio and the western slope of the 


Rockies in Colorado. Each of these beekeepers have a unique, and somewhat tricky environment to raise bees and they are as much different from each other as they are alike to each other. We brought them all together and their conversations and observations are fascinating!

First, we meet Mark Smith, in Locust, North Carolina who is a chemical free Beekeeper. Not treatment free, but chemical free.
He raises his own queens and lives in a very isolated location so varroa isn’t a constant threat. He hasn’t bought a bee since 2011.



Then we travel north to Northeast Ohio, near Kent and meet up with Tracy Alarcon. He too raises his own queens, but isn’t even close to being isolated. He has lots of migratory beekeepers driving by all season so has constant varroa pressure. He’s looking for hygienic behavior in his bees and does all the right things for honey and pests.

Then we head out west to visit with Ed Colby on the western slope of Colorado. Ed runs about 100 colonies and has them in yards ranging from 5500’ to 9000’, which gives him a six-week difference between bee yards in the spring and fall. Does he worry Ed Colbyabout varroa? You bet.  His whole operation is overrun with commercial area outfits so he has constant varroa pressure.

We hope you enjoy listening to their stories.


This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode! 

2 Million BlossomsWe want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a new quarterly magazine destined for your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum.


We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments:

Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at

Thank you for listening! 

Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong"