Beekeeping

  • Beekeeping

    Do Ants Harm Beehives?

    “There are ants in my beehive!” is a common complaint among beekeepers. It’s not surprising because ants are often attracted to sugary foods.  So finding a beehive full of sweet honey must be like hitting the jackpot for them.  But for beekeepers, while ants are a nuisance, at what point do you step in and get rid of the ants?  Do ants harm beehives?   Why Ants Like Beehives Like most creatures that try to invade a beehive, ants are attracted to the smell of honey.  Just like ant traps use a sweet smelling bait to lure ants, honey is the reason ants will enter a hive. Furthermore, if you are…

  • Beekeeping

    Maintaining Strong Bee Colonies: A Step-by-Step Beehive Inspection Checklist

    Beehive inspections are an important part of beekeeping.  It is the only way to determine the colony’s health and wellbeing.  Beehive inspections can be intimidating to new beekeepers because it is so hands on, but they quickly get the hang of it and find it enjoyable.   This post will talk about the importance of hive inspections, as well as discuss how and when to do hive inspections.  Beehive inspection lists are very useful to keep track of your hives.  For your convenience, there is a beehive inspection list pdf included at the end of this post.  Why Do Beehive Inspections? Beehive inspections tell the beekeeper what is going on inside…

  • Beekeeping,  Beekeeping Supplies

    Foundation vs Foundationless Beekeeping

    One of the big debates in beekeeping is whether or not to use foundation.  Each method of beekeeping has it’s advantages and disadvantages, so it’s best to do your research before deciding on what is right for you. Read on for all the details on foundation vs foundationless beekeeping. What is Foundation? Foundation is a sheet made of plastic or wax that is placed in the middle of the frame.  Foundation forms the base of one honeycomb, therefore giving the bees a guide on which to build the rest of their comb.  It looks like a flat sheet with a hexagonal pattern molded into it.   Plastic Foundation Plastic foundation is…

  • 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,  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
    Beekeeping

    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…

  • 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…