• Beekeeping,  Bees

    Caring For Bees in the Winter

    Winter is a vulnerable time for bees.  The 2 things they need to survive – warmth and food are not readily available during the cold winter months.    If there are no flowers to forage from, what do bees eat in the winter? This article will discuss what bees do in the winter, what bees eat in the winter, and how to feed bees in the winter.  What Bees Do During Winter Unlike bears or birds, bees do not hibernate or fly away during the cold months.  Instead, they gather in their hive. When the temperature drops to the 50s it’s time for the bees to return to the hive…

  • Beekeeping

    The Importance of Beekeeping in Agriculture

    The following is a guest post from Microbial Insights. For nearly three decades, Microbial Insights has been a leading biotechnology laboratory, offering microbial diagnostic solutions through innovative Molecular Biological Tools (MBTs). Our MBTs provide comprehensive identification and accurate quantification of microbial communities. Have you ever wondered why the beekeeping business is on the rise today? Many people opt to do the beekeeping business because it has numerous agricultural and economic benefits to farmers and the ecosystem. Some people keep bees for income generation while others for medicinal reasons. Over the centuries, honey was the only sweetener in use, and the first people to introduce beekeeping was the Egyptians. Honey was…

  • Beehives,  Beekeeping

    How to Adopt a Beehive

    Do you want to help bees without becoming a beekeeper yourself?  One of the best ways to do that is by adopting a beehive. By doing so, you can help honeybees and also support the beekeepers who care for them.   What is the Adopt a Beehive Program? Many apiaries participate in an adopt a beehive program.  The specifics of the program can differ, but they all work similarly.  How it works is you pay an adoption fee to the apiary of your choice. The beekeeper will use that money to care for your beehive.  In return, you will receive different gifts, depending on the apiary.  Usually you will get a…

  • Beekeeping

    Fall Management for Beekeepers

    When the weather starts to get colder and daylight gets shorter, you know fall is approaching.  For beekeepers, there are certain tasks that must be done in fall in order to prepare their hives for winter.  Why Fall Management is Important Fall management is important for your hives because you want to make sure that your bees can survive the winter and then build up quickly in the spring. You want your colonies to stay healthy, well fed, and disease free.   While the bees do most of the hard work to prepare for fall and winter, there are a few things that the beekeeper can do to help them out. …

  • 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…