• Beekeeping

    What to Do After Catching a Swarm of Bees

    For beekeepers, a swarm can mean free bees. But they must know how to catch a swarm and know what to do after catching a swarm of bees.  What is a Swarm? A swarm is basically a large group of flying insects.  In beekeeping, swarms occur when a single bee colony splits into two.  This is the colony’s natural way of reproducing.  Swarming usually happens in spring, when the hive becomes overcrowded, but it can occur all season long.   One sign that the colony is preparing to swarm is the production of queen cups. The queen will then lay eggs in the queen cups to make a new queen for…

  • Beekeeping

    Varroa Mite Treatment

    When you find that your hive has been affected by varroa mites, it is important to treat your hive quickly and properly.  It is not uncommon for untreated hives to become infested with varroa mites and eventually lose the colony.   In order to treat varroa, most beekeepers will stick to a varroa mite treatment schedule.  That way, you can be sure that you get rid of all of the mites.  What are Varroa Mites? Also called varroa destructor, the varroa mite is a parasitic mite that feeds on honey bees. They are very small and reddish brown in color.   Varroa mites live and feed on adult honey bees, but they…

  • Beekeeping

    How to Move Beehives

    One of the more daunting tasks a beekeeper may face is moving their beehives.  After all, how do you move your bees entire home without upsetting them? Luckily, most beekeepers don’t have to move their hives much, if ever.  But in case you do have a reason to relocate your apiary, here’s a guide on how to move beehives.  Reasons to Move Beehives Professional beekeepers are accustomed to moving their entire beekeeping operation across the country.  Migratory beekeepers, for example transport their colonies across the country to pollinate different flowering crops.  They do this by keeping their many beehives fastened to pallets.  Each pallet typically holds 4 beehives. When they…

  • Beekeeping

    When to Requeen a Hive

    The queen is the most important bee in the hive.  She is the only one that lays eggs, and therefore is responsible for the growth of the colony.  Sometimes the beekeeper will decide that the queen needs to be replaced.  This is called requeening a hive.  There are a few reasons why requeening should occur. For example, when a queen gets older, she may not be as efficient at laying eggs.  Sometimes requeening a weak hive is necessary for the colony’s survival.  But how do you know when to requeen a hive?  Read on to find out.  When to Requeen a Hive A hive should not be requeened without good…

  • Beehives,  Beekeeping

    Beekeeping With Horizontal Hives

    While not as common in the US, Horizontal hives are used a lot in Europe. Lately, this type of beehive has been gaining interest, as it is a simple hive that work with natural beekeeping methods. Horizontal hives also work great for backyard and urban beekeepers. There are 3 different types of horizontal hives.  The top bar, horizontal or long langstroth hive, and the Layens hive.  This article will talk about the different horizontal hives, compare them to the langstroth, and list some horizontal hives for sale.   What is a Horizontal Hive? While Langstroth hives are vertically stacked boxes, horizontal hives are single story hives that expand the width of…

  • Beekeeping,  Honey

    How to Use a Honey Extractor

    It’s what beekeepers look forward to all year – harvesting honey.  If you have top bar hives, you will use the crush and strain method.  But if you have Langstroth hives, you probably want to use a honey extractor.  Honey extractors spin the frames and comb, using centrifugal force to remove the honey from the comb. The honey then collects at the bottom of the extractor’s drum.  The drum has a tap that drains the honey into a container of your choice. Using a honey extractor is a huge time saver, as several frames can be spun at once.  Another benefit of using a honey extractor is that the wax…

  • Beekeeping

    Powdered Sugar Treatment for Varroa Mites

    While the Varroa mite may be tiny, it can cause a lot of damage to a honey bee colony.  Beekeepers must be diligent in monitoring and treating Varroa mites in their hives.  There are a few different methods for detecting and treating Varroa mite infestation.  Powdered sugar treatment for Varroa mites is a good way to treat hives because it is chemical free and does not kill any bees.  What are Varroa Mites? Varroa mites are parasitic mites that attach to the bee and feed on their fat bodies. They feed and live on adult honey bees, larvae, and pupae.  Varroa mites can wreak havoc in a beehive, causing viruses…

  • Beekeeping

    How Often Should You Inspect a Beehive?

    Beehive inspections are important because without them, you would have no idea what is going on inside of the hive. If you do not inspect your hives periodically, there is a good chance that your bees will not survive very long.   However, inspecting your hives too much is a problem as well.  The bees don’t necessarily like to be disturbed, and too much of it is very stressful for them.  So, how often should you inspect a beehive?   What is a Beehive Inspection? A beehive inspection is a routine check up of the bee colony.  Hive inspections are important because if there is something wrong in the hive, such as…

  • Beekeeping

    Feeding Pollen Patties to Bees

    While we would like for our bees to be able to feed themselves exclusively through foraging, there are times when a beekeeper must step in to feed their colonies. When necessary, beekeepers will feed their bees either pollen patties or sugar syrup.   Feeding bees can mean the difference between a strong colony and one that is struggling to survive.  Of course, there is a correct way to feed bees.  Knowing when to feed pollen patties to bees is essential.   What are Pollen Patties? Pollen patties are a type of bee food that is made to simulate pollen. Pollen patties do not usually contain real pollen.  Instead, they are a mixture…

  • Beekeeping

    Seasonal Management of Honey Bees

    For beekeepers, each season brings new tasks in regards to management of their beehives.  Depending on the season, honey bees have different needs. The exact timing of the season will vary depending on your location.  Some beekeepers like to divide their seasons up into periods instead.  Those periods are the dearth period, build up period, honey flow period, and harvesting period.  Either way, each season, or period of your hive, have different management methods to help your colony thrive year round.  Seasonal Management of Honey Bees Spring Spring can also be known as the build up period.  This is when plants are starting to open up and flower.  Spring is…