• Beekeeping,  Bees

    How to Identify Robber Bees

    Once your bee colony is established and producing honey you will have to be on the lookout for robbers. You see, bees from one colony will actually try to steal honey from another colony. In beekeeping this is called robbing, and the bees are called robber bees.  A successful beekeeper must know how to identify robber bees, as well as prevent them.  What are Robber Bees Robber bees are technically forager bees. It is their job to collect food within their flight range.  Their flight range is usually 2 miles from their hive. The food they collect is normally pollen and nectar, but robber bees are after honey.   Robber bees…

  • landscape field summer countryside

    How to Get Pollination Contracts

    Most beekeepers earn money by selling honey and beeswax products.  But there is another lucrative way for beekeepers to earn money – by offering pollination services.  Much like migratory beekeeping, beekeepers can bring their hives to a field to pollinate crops.  This is beneficial to both the beekeeper and the grower.  Read on to learn how to get pollination contracts.  What is a Pollination Contract? A pollination contract is an agreement between a beekeeper and a grower of crops such as fruits or vegetables.  The contract provides terms and details that have the beekeeper bring beehives to the grower’s fields in order to pollinate their crops.  The contract should specify…

  • Beehives,  Beekeeping

    Protecting Beehives From Ants

    When inspecting your beehive, you may find more than just bees in there.  Ants are notorious for trying to get into beehives and set up shop. You may notice them on the ground around the hive, crawling up the legs of your hive stand, and even in the hive itself.  If you have a problem with ants in your beehive, this article is for you. I will be sharing tips for protecting beehives from ants.   Do Ants Harm Beehives? Sure, ants are annoying, but do ants harm beehives?  Ants are usually attracted to beehives because they want to get to the sugar water in the feeder or the honey.  A…

  • person holding beehive frame

    Spring Beekeeping Tasks

    Spring is an important and busy time for beekeepers. It’s finally warm enough to open up the hives and see how their bee colonies have fared over the winter. They also have several tasks they must do to prepare for the upcoming season. What do Beekeepers do in Spring? Honey bees typically follow a seasonal pattern, so it’s easy to predict what beekeeping tasks must be done throughout the year. In the spring, beekeepers must check on their overwintered hives and prepare them for spring, as well as start new hives. Beekeeping Spring Management Beekeeping spring management times vary depending on the temperatures in your area. Some areas of the…

  • Beekeeping,  Bees

    Oxalic Acid Fogging for Varroa Mites

    With varroa mites so prevalent among beehives, it is only a matter of time before a beekeeper will need to think about mite control. Proper mite detection and treatment is critical in preventing infestation and colony collapse.  There are a few different methods for treating varroa mites, and it is best to change up the treatment every so often to prevent resistance. Oxalic acid fogging for varroa mites is an effective method for treating these pests.  What are Varroa Mites? Varroa mites are tiny external parasites that feed and live on honey bees, their larvae, and pupae. These mites cause malformation and transmit viruses, resulting in weakened honey bees.  While…

  • close up photo of bumblebee on flower
    Beekeeping,  Bees

    When to Stop Feeding Bees in Spring

    For the most part, bees can feed themselves, but there are times when a beekeeper may want to step in and offer some assistance.  Feeding bees sugar water can be very helpful to new colonies or during a nectar dearth.   While feeding bees sugar water can save a starving colony, it is also important to know when to stop feeding bees in spring. Giving bees too much sugar water when they don’t need it isn’t good for them too.  What do Bees Eat? There are three things bees eat – pollen, nectar, and honey.  Worker bees spend much of their time foraging pollen and nectar to bring back to the…

  • Beekeeping,  Bees,  DIY,  Kids

    Do Bees Need Water?

    Everyone knows that bees gather pollen, nectar, and propolis, but people often forget about another very important resource bees must collect – water. As a beekeeper, you must provide an adequate water source for your bees. Even if you are not a beekeeper, it’s nice to leave a watering station out for the bees as well. Do Bees Need Water? Yes, just as bees need food, bees need water as well. Bees need water to survive, and if there isn’t a reliable water source near their hive, they will go out in search of water. Bees use water for drinking and for multiple uses within the hive. How Bees Collect…

  • Beehives,  Beekeeping,  Getting Started

    How Close Can Beehives Be to a House?

    Backyard beekeeping is becoming increasingly popular lately.  With beehives, beekeeping equipment, and bees easily shipped through the mail, many people can now enjoy beekeeping from their own backyard.  When deciding where to place your beehives, there are a few things to take into account.  You’ll need to consider the ground, the bee’s food and water sources, the sun, wind, and the proximity to houses.  How Close Can Beehives Be to a House? When keeping bees in a residential area especially, you don’t want your hives too close to houses.  You want to keep yourself and your neighbors safe, plus bees need ample space to fly up and over houses. But…

  • Beekeeping,  Getting Started

    The Best Time to Start a Beehive

    The weather is finally starting to get a little warmer as spring approaches. For beekeepers, this is the perfect time to prepare for the upcoming season. For a bee colony to flourish, you want to get started at the right time. So, what is the best time to start a beehive? Why it’s Important to Start a Beehive on Time If you start too early, and the weather is too cold, the bees will be unable to forage for food. Starting a beehive in winter is a very bad idea.   Usually in the winter, the bees focus all of their energy on staying warm in their winter cluster.  They do…

  • bee smoker on wooden table
    Beekeeping,  Beekeeping Supplies

    How to Use a Bee Smoker

    One of the first things a new beekeeper will learn is how to use a bee smoker. A bee smoker is essential in allowing the beekeeper to do hive inspections without getting stung. What is a Bee Smoker? A bee smoker is a device beekeepers use that puffs smoke into a beehive. It is constructed as a stainless steel cylinder, called a fire chamber, with a lid and nozzle on top.  A bellows is attached to the back of the cylinder that forces air through it. Bee smokers usually have metal cage built around them so the beekeeper can hold the smoker without burning their hands.  There are different kinds…