• 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…

  • Bees

    Why do Bees Swarm?

    In beekeeping, swarming occurs when a single colony splits into two colonies.  This normally happens during the spring, but occasionally bees will swarm during other seasons.  When the colony starts to get too large, the existing queen and half of the bees will leave to find another home.  This phenomenon allows the colony to reproduce.  It’s something the colony does to survive and thrive.  Both the original colony and the swarm colony will have their own queens, so in the end, more bees will be made.  The Swarming Process Preparation Once the hive starts getting crowded, the colony will make the decision to swarm. They will prepare for this by…

  • Solitary Bees

    How to Attract Bees to a Bee House

    Spring is almost here, so that means that if you haven’t yet, it’s time to plan your garden.  Whether you plant fruits and vegetables, or just flowers, it’s beneficial to have a bee house.   Bee houses are not the same as beehives.  While beehives house honey bees for the purpose of collecting honey, bee houses are for solitary bees.  Solitary bees do not make honey, but are excellent pollinators.  Some people buy mason or leafcutter bee cocoons for their bee houses.  Others set up the house and wait for the bees to come on their own.  Read on to learn how to attract bees to a bee house.   Disclosure: As…

  • bee sipping nectar on flower during daytime

    How Do Bees Communicate With Pheromones?

    The queen bee has 2 major roles in the colony. The first one is to lay eggs. She’ll lay 1,500 eggs per day in the spring. The second is to produce pheromones. Queen bee pheromones are really interesting because they change the physiology and behavior of other bees in her colony. Pheromones are the way honey bees communicate with each other. These chemical messages are one of the most advanced ways social insects transmit information. But how do bees communicate with pheromones? What are Queen Bee Pheromones? Queen bee pheromones are a chemical substance released by the queen. Think of it as her own perfume. The queen’s mandibular pheromone, or…

  • black bee on white flower

    How Many Species of Honey Bees Are There?

    Honey bees fall under the genus, Apis – which is the latin word for bee. All bees in this genus are able to produce and store honey, as well as build comb from wax. From there, bees in the genus Apis are split into different species based on their features and characteristics. So, how many species of honey bees are there? How Many Species of Honey Bees Are There? There are over 20,000 species of bees in the world. Honey bees make up just a small percentage of them. However, if we are talking about strictly how many honey bee species there are, the answer is 8. There are 8…

  • Bees

    What is the Average Beehive Population?

    There are so many bees in a hive, it seems impossible to count. But there are reasons beekeepers would want to know their average beehive population. Knowing about how many bees they have can help with hive management and especially if they offer pollination services. Average Beehive Population The average beehive population varies depending on the season. In the summer, when there is a strong nectar flow, there can be 40,000 to 80,000 bees in a colony. However, in the winter, resources become scarce and many bees die off. During this time you’ll find as little as 5,000 – 10,000 bees in a hive. Because of all these variables, it…

  • Bees

    10 Tips to Get the Best Photos of Bees in Their Hives

    Bees are small as people see them, but that doesn’t mean that photographing a bee can be simple. The truth is, most people don’t often have the desire to get up-close to bees. But what if you were looking for information on how to get the best photos of bees in their houses? Is there information that you could find this easily? Here are 10 tips to help you capture the best photos of bees in their hives — without getting stung! Wait Until the Bees are Calm If you want to get the best photos of bees in their hives, you need to wait until they’re calm. Bees are…

  • Bees,  Honey

    How Much Honey do Bees Need to Survive Winter?

    Winter can be a challenging time for bees and for beekeepers. There are no flowers for bees to forage from, and beekeepers are limited to minimal hive inspections.  Luckily, bees spend all year preparing by storing honey.  For beekeepers, it is important to know how much honey bees need to survive the winter.  What do Bees do in the Winter? While some people think that bees hibernate in the winter, that is not true. Instead, bees focus on staying warm. Bees are cold blooded, so it is important for them to maintain a warm temperature within their hive.  To do so, they form what is called a winter cluster.   Winter…