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In the News

Watch my interview during the 2013 American Beekeeping Federation in Hershey, PA by the Northwest New Jersey Beekeeping Assocation on how to use our Screened Bottom Boards and Robbing Screens by clicking HERE.

Watch my interview during the 2013 American Beekeeping Federation in Hershey, PA by the Northwest New Jersey Beekeeping Assocation on how to use our Screened Bottom Boards and Robbing Screens by clicking Box to the right.

April’s Wildlife Pro Network Beekeeping podcast

April’s Wildlife Pro Network Beekeeping podcast will be a discussion on Screened Bottom Boards & Paraffin Dipping Equipment with our special guests Janet Brisson from Country Rubes’ Farms, maker of the popular Combo Screened Bottom Board.

Janet Brisson and her husband Mike have been a self-sufficient family and organic farmers for over 30 years. In 1995 they were forced to become hobbyist beekeepers due to lack of pollination as bees were loosing their fight against the insidious Varroa mites. Horrified to discover that even the most organic-minded beekeepers were driven to use some type of chemical to save their bees, the Brisson’ researched and started building and using screened bottom boards along with intensive drone brood management to reduce their chemical use. After 10 years and various adaptations of SBB’s, they re-discovered using powdered sugar as an effective way of detaching Varroa mites and have been chemical free since the beginning of 2005. One final modification of their screened bottom board to make using powdered sugar easy, the Brisson’ developed their product, the Country Rubes Combo Screened Bottom Board, that has become nationally available to beekeepers. Janet’s program “Healthy Bees & Environmentally Friendly Varroa Control” discusses how to monitor and manage your hives, bees and varroa mites using screened bottom boards, powdered sugar, and drone brood manipulations has been given at Conferences and clubs throughout the United States. Attend this podcast by following this link: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/16456





The Nevada County Beekeepers Association

If you are considering becoming a beekeeper, it's well worth your while to check out your local beekeeping club. The Nevada County Beekeepers Association offers beekeeping classes, monthly meetings with informative programs, newsletters, a well-stocked lending library, and more; meetings are on the first Monday of the month at the Grass Valley Veterans Hall. For beekeepers in the Sacramento region, don't miss the Sacramento Area Beekeepers Association. (You can browse for your local organization here.) Joining a club is a great way to meet other bee-folk, get advice, find local beekeepers selling bees and equipment, and even meet someone to mentor with. An indispensable resource!

Visit our bee yard!

Take a look inside a beehive, watch a swarm in action, and see how we extract our honey.


Randy Oliver's Web site

Country Rubes' Farm

Janet Brisson's Web site

Top Bar Bee Hive: Perfect for Backyard Beehives

Most beekeepers use Langstroth hives with stacking boxes and removable frames of comb, but some people swear by top bar hives. This page offers an explanation of top-bar hives, as well as instructions for building your own.

DIY Backyard Beekeeping: A Guide for Beginners

This slideshow, from The Daily Green, gives a good overview of beekeeping on a small scale: "If you can garden, you can be a beekeeper. It takes about the same amount of time and effort to keep your veggies producing as it does to keep bees. One big bonus of beekeeping: They help your vegetables, flower and other garden plants thrive! Oh, and then -- of course -- there's the honey (not to mention the joy of a new hobby, and the knowledge that you're doing something to help bees at a time when this critical pollinator is in crisis)."

National Honey Bee Awareness Day: Getting Started In Beekeeping

A handy checklist of things to consider if you'd like to get your own hive. ("Bee Day" is on August 21!)

Bees-Online: Free E-Book On Honey Bees

This free publication covers stings, swarms, top-bar hives, wheelchair beekeeping, bee removal from walls and ceilings, and much more.


I was asked to be in a documentary about self-suffiencient farmers by Janaia Donaldson of Peak Moment Productions. Here you can see our farm and a little bit of other stuff that we do and how we make it work. After the filming, Renee told me she used to keep bees, but the mites and pesticide use were a little too much for her. After talking about powdered sugar and small cell bees, I am happy to report, Renee and Tom are now active beekeepers again.

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