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Bees! May 24, 2019, Part 2

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For the hobby beekeeper, there’s much to consider when homing your first domestic honey bee colonies—what kind of hive to get, where to put them, where to get your bees, and how to help them survive the winter. But when left to their own devices, what do the bees themselves prefer? From smaller nests to higher openings, wild honey bees seem to prefer very different conditions from the closely clustered square boxes of traditional beekeeping. But there are ways to adapt! Seeley joins Ira to explain his theory of “Darwinian beekeeping” as a way to keep bees healthy even in the age of varroa mites and colony collapse. Plus, apiculturalist Elina L. Niño of the University of California Davis talks about the microbial world of bees, such as whether probiotics could benefit bee health, and how honey bees and bumblebees could be used to distribute beneficial microbes to plants, an idea called ‘apivectoring.’

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