• 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…

  • Beekeeping

    What to Feed Bees in Early Spring

    While it’s ideal for bees to be able to feed themselves, sometimes the beekeeper has to step in and help. By the end of winter, even established colonies may be running low on food. Early spring is a crucial time for the bee colony. This is when they are preparing to produce new brood. To do this, they need a good supply protein and nutrients. Read on to learn what to feed bees in early spring. Why Feed Bees in Spring? Early spring can be a difficult time for the bee colony. Throughout the winter, they have been living off of stored honey and pollen from the previous year. However,…

  • Beekeeping,  Beekeeping Supplies

    How to Use a Beekeeping Journal

    A part of beekeeping that is not often thought of is record keeping. Record keeping is such a useful tool because keeping track of your observations can really help to improve and expand on your beekeeping knowledge. There are a few different methods of record keeping of beekeepers. Some keep their records electronically by using excel spreadsheets or even audio or video, but the most common form of record keeping is a beekeeping journal. These can be made from scratch, bought, or made from a beekeeping journal template. What is a Beekeeping Journal? A beekeeping journal is a great way for beekeepers to keep track of what is going on…

  • Beekeeping

    How to Requeen a Queenless Hive

    The queen is the most important member of the honey bee colony. Without her, the hive cannot survive. There are times when the hive becomes queenless and the beekeeper must step in to provide a new queen. This is called requeening. What is a Queenless Hive? A queenless hive is a hive that does not have a queen. On the other hand, a hive that has a queen is called queenright. It is important for a beehive to have a queen at all times because the queen is the only one that is able to lay fertilized eggs. Sometimes the colony is able to make a new queen on their…