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Finding the queen bee in your hives can be challenging— even for veteran beekeepers. Some queens are plump and shine like a gold beacon on the frame, while others seem to have camouflage. Not only does your ability to find her depend on her size and color, but her behavior, too. Some queens flaunt themselves […]Read more »
When my husband first showed interest in beekeeping, one of my biggest fears is that we would accidentally end up with a “Killer Bee” colony. I had heard rumors of Killer Bee colonies coming up from states like Florida to the north. Images of bee swarms chasing us in angry pursuit and thousands of deadly […]Read more »
Now that you have harvested honey and the bees have been tucked away for winter, now is a great time to review the season while your memory is still fresh. An honest review of your beekeeping year will help to improve next year. So let’s get started! What Worked This is the easiest and most […]Read more »
Nectar dearth is a phrase that you hear frequently in beekeeping. Simply put, it means that instead of your honeybees finding readily available nectar and pollen-producing flowers, they are chowing down on their stored honey. And bees need honey stores to survive my cold winters here in the mid-Atlantic. Supplemental feeding is the option that […]Read more »
Once again, I find myself gloriously behind the times. In this particular case a few thousand years behind the times: I built and maintain a wall beehive—a colony housed in the wall of my bedroom. I have been calling it my Observation Hive because it has a plexiglas cover on the inside wall, but my […]Read more »
You have decided you need to feed your bees. Maybe you just installed a package in a new hive, and they have to build out all of the frames. Maybe you just moved a hive to a new location and you want to give them a boost. Maybe you caught a late season swarm and […]Read more »
If you live in an area with the invasive Argentine ants, chances are you have issues with them getting into your hives. These non-native pests have colonized most of California and the southern parts of the U.S. Their massive super-colonies make them difficult to control, especially in the bee yard. These ants can easily overwhelm […]Read more »
Whenever we get a new package of bees, before we begin working with them, we spray them with a 1:1 ratio of water and dissolved sugar. This calms the bees and allows you to maneuver them into the hive while keeping them docile. It’s not a good idea to use a smoker with a […]Read more »