Honeybees in Natrona County

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A backyard beehive

Local Weather and weekly forecast.

Honey bees or something else?

A Yellow Jacket Queen starting a new nest.

Honeybees are not Yellow jackets (Wasps)! Natrona county is rich in Yellow jackets and recently, European Paper Wasps. The differences between then and honey bees are significant. European Paper Wasps (EPW) look quite similar to Yellow Jackets, and unless you know what you're looking for - are almost indistinguishable to the casual observer. For our purposes here - they're pretty much the same.

Difference between honey bees and yellow jackets.

Honeybees are vegetarians, eating only plant nectar, honey and pollen. Yellow jackets (and EPWs) are carnivores and predatory, not only hunting other insects, but are also scavengers. Special near the end of summer, when food is less available, they can become quite aggressive near garbage bins, picnics or kitchens. This is why they seem to be attracted to your ham sandwich! Many use their prey as fodder for their young. Honeybees will defend their hive or themselves if provoked, but generally are much less aggressive than Yellow jackets. Honeybees do not like to sting, as it kills them. Yellow jacket stingers are barbless and they can sting multiple times without injury to themselves. Yellow jackets are more prone to sting with less provocation, special if foraging or alone. Of more significance, Yellow jackets are not pollinators, and do not produce honey or beeswax. This site is a commercial garden supply seller that has more details on Yellow jackets.

Also note: YJs build their nests out of a grey, paper like material. Honey bees do not make 'paper'.

We do offer some information on controlling Yellow Jackets. Be careful, these things are not only mean, but they hurt!

Meetings

Please visit the NCBA Meetings page for details and information on when we meet, where we meet and what we do at the meetings.

Find us on Facebook

Email Group

If you'd like to subscribe to our email group - you can do that here. Fairly low traffic - includes meeting announcements, a few wanted and for sale items, swarm collection coordination, etc. Subscriptions are moderated - but the posts themselves are not. (for now). If you need any help getting listed or setting up with the group - please ask!

Swarm Brochure

Here is a PDF copy of our 'introduction' brochure. Feel free to make copies and share amongst your friends and neighbors.

NCBEES Brochure (PDF)

This and several other documents are available in the Library - see the link under 'resources' in the sidebar.

Want to keep bees?

Visit our Getting Started page for information on starting your own apiary.

Where are the bees?

This map, generated using data from the WY Ag Dept shows the location of registered yards in Wyoming.

From the WY Ag Dept's web site:
"The data provided is only as accurate as what has been provided to this office. It should be noted that not all apiary locations have been plotted and therefore the department takes no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information provided, and this data is solely being provided as a public service. Apiary locations are known to be relocated due to environmental conditions or other industry practices."

Honey Bee Biology

This is a HUGE arena with discoveries being made all the time. Visit our Honey Bee Biology page for some of the basics and leads for further study.

Promoting Pollinators on your Place

From the University of Wyoming Ag Extension office, this PDF talks of Wyoming pollinators from beetles to birds with bees and bugs in between. Also shares on plant choices and forage for pollinators - including honey bees. A very well done and local resource!

Promoting Pollinators on your Place - this link is hosted by uwyo.edu. There is a copy called "pollinatorguide.pdf" in the library.

Estimated Frost Dates

For Casper, WY - Each winter, on average, your risk of frost is from September 19 through May 22.

Casper is located in USDA Hardiness Zone 3

Casper, WY:

Temperature 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%
Spring: 32° Jun 8 Jun 2 May 29 May 25 May 22 May 18 May 15 May 11 May 5
Spring: 28° May 18 May 14 may 10 May 7 May 5 May 2 Apr 29 Apr 26 Apr 21
Spring: 24° May 9 May 4 May 1 Apr 28 Apr 25 Apr 23 Apr 20 Apr 16 Apr 12


Read more

If you've ordered package bees through Prairie Wind or Ft. Collins Honey - some good dates to be aware of when choosing your delivery! In Casper late April to early May - just right!

Honey Bee Facts

Visit our Honey Bee Facts page for interesting tid-bits and trivia on honey bees.

Threats to Honey Bees

Another section that's grown to deserve it's own page, Threats to Honey Bees and some things you can do to help.

Hive modeling software

Want to see how different things, different conditions and management techniques may affect a colony? You can now model a hive using this software freely downloadable from beehave-model.net. I've just started with this myself, but it looks quite powerful! For a brief overview, watch the video presentation here.

Mead

Often called "The Drink of the Gods", mead is an ancient and relatively easy to make alcoholic beverage. If you're in Casper and interested in making your own batch of mead, visit Dr. Fermento's brew shop downtown. Supplies, equipment and guidance are available.

More info

A 'Wikibook' on Beekeeping

You're welcome to come attend our meetings or post on our discussion board, The Wyoming Bee Forum. However, you do have to register an account to post on the forum - but it's free. You can also call me direct - find my info on the About NCBees page here on this wiki.

Help with this Wiki

Consult the User's Guide for information on using the wiki software.