Beekeeping Troubleshooting & Maintenance

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What to Do If You Lose Your Hive’s Queen Bee

It’s every beekeeper’s nightmare: The queen is dead, or gone, or lost. Whatever the reason, if the colony doesn’t have a queen, it’s doomed. That’s why you must confirm that the queen is alive and well [more…]

How to Handle Robbing in Your Beehive

Robbing is a situation in which a beehive is attacked by invaders from other hives. The invasion is serious for a bee colony for a number of reasons: [more…]

How to Get Rid of Laying Workers in Your Beehive

If your colony loses its queen and is unable to raise a new queen, a strange situation can arise. Without the “queen substance” wafting its way through the hive, there is no pheromone to inhibit the development [more…]

How to Protect Your Beehive from Killer Bees

The “killer” bees with the bad PR are actually Africanized Honey Bees (AHB), or Apis mellifera scutellata, if you want to get technical. The “killer bee” pseudonym was the doing of our friends in the media [more…]

How to Prevent Colony Collapse Disorder in Your Bee Hive

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is the name that has been given to what seems to be the most serious die-off of honey bee colonies in decades. As of this writing, no cause has been attributed to colony [more…]

Understanding Major Bee Diseases

Nothing is more devastating than losing a colony to disease. But honey bees, like any other living creatures, are susceptible to illness. You should be on the lookout for six honey bee diseases. Some are [more…]

What to Do the First Week after Setting Up Your Beehive

A new beekeeper must wait one full week before opening his brand-new beehive. The colony needs this first uninterrupted week for accepting its new queen. Any premature disturbance to the hive can result [more…]

What to Do in Your Beehive’s Second and Third Weeks

During the beekeeping inspections that you conduct two and three weeks after hiving your bee colony, you’re trying to determine how well the queen is performing. Following standard procedure, smoke, open [more…]

What to Do in Your Beehive’s Fourth through Eighth Weeks

Things really are buzzing now when a month has passed since you hived your bees. Or at least they should be. Perform your hive inspection as always, looking for evidence of the queen [more…]

How to Keep a Beehive in the Summer

The seasonal calendar of beekeeping events in Maine obviously looks different than one in southern California. But different climates mean different schedules and activities for the hive and beekeeper. [more…]

How to Keep a Beehive in the Fall

Most nectar and pollen sources become scarce as days become shorter and weather cools in autumn. All in all, as the season slows down, so do the activities within your beehive: The queen's egg laying is [more…]

How to Keep a Beehive in the Winter

What goes on in a beehive during winter? The queen is surrounded by thousand of her workers, kept warm in the midst of the winter cluster.

The winter cluster starts in the brood chamber when ambient temperatures [more…]

How to Keep a Beehive in the Spring

Spring is one of the busiest times of year for bees (and beekeepers). It’s the season when new colonies are started, and established colonies come back to life. [more…]

How to Determine Your Beekeeping Calendar

Clearly, a beekeeper’s calendar of activities will be different in Vermont than in Texas. And the corresponding dates and activities can vary depending upon actual weather conditions, elevation, and so [more…]

How to Prevent Swarming When Beekeeping

A swarm of honey bees is a familiar sight in the spring and early summer. Honey bees instinctively manage the colony’s growth and survival by swarming. Immediately before swarming, the bees that intend [more…]

How to Capture a Swarm When Beekeeping

If your bees swarm and you can see where they landed (and you can reach it safely), you can capture them and start a new hive. You may even be lucky enough to get a call from a friend or neighbor who has [more…]

How to Introduce Your Bee Swarm to a New Hive

If your bees swarm and you can see where they landed, you can capture them and start a new hive. You may even be lucky enough to get a call from a friend or neighbor who has spotted a wild swarm in his [more…]

How to Reverse Beehive Bodies

Bees normally move upward in the hive during the winter. In early spring, the upper deep is full of bees, new brood, and food. But the lower deep hive body is mostly empty. You can help matters by reversing [more…]

Why Would Honey Bees in Your Beehive Become Aggressive?

Bees become more aggressive for a number of different reasons. Consider the following possibilities, and see whether any apply to your situation with your beehives: [more…]

How to Detect Varroa Mites in Your Beehive

Somehow the Varroa mite has made its way from Asia to beehives in all parts of the world, with the exception of Hawaii. Varroa has been in the United States since the late 1980s [more…]

How to Control a Varroa Mite Problem in Your Beehive

A number of products and techniques are available that help reduce or even eliminate Varroa mites populations. This mite, which looks a lot like a tick, is about the size of a pinhead and is visible to [more…]

How to Detect Tracheal Mites in Your Beehive

Trachel mites, organisms that can terrorize the bees in your hive, are much smaller than the period at the end of this sentence and can’t be seen with the naked eye. Dissecting an adult bee and examining [more…]

How to Control a Tracheal Mite Problem in Your Beehive

Tracheal mite infestations are a problem to the bees in your hive, not a hopeless fate. You can take steps to use a number of techniques to prevent things from getting out of control. It isn’t a case of [more…]

How to Detect and Control a Beehives’ Small Hive Beetle Problem

Most common beetles that wander in and out of a hive are not a problem, so don’t panic if you see some. But the small hive beetle is an exception. The larvae of this beetle eat wax, pollen, honey, bee [more…]

How to Keep Larger Animals Out of Your Beehive

Even healthy bee colonies can run into trouble every now and then. Critters can create problems for your hives. Anticipating such trouble can head off disaster. And if any of these pests get the better [more…]

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