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Beekeeping Bees Hive Maintainance

12 More Beekeeping Tips for Newbies

Tillys Nest- beehives in garden beekeeping tips

I’m now headed into my 5th year of beekeeping. Today I wanted to share some of my favorite beekeeping tips. Over the years, I’ve learned quite a lot and have had plenty of successes and failures. Some of those were expected and some of those were unexpected.  That seems to be the course for keeping bees nowadays. These days it’s not an easy venture, as so many things can affect what happens inside the hive.  Today, I thought it would be good to share my top beekeeping tips that I think every newbie should tuck in their back pocket. These tips range from keeping the hives healthy, saving money and learning how to help amazing insects.

Beekeeping Hive Maintainance

A Mouse in the Beehive

Earlier this fall I learned that one of my weaker beehives had succumb to wax moths.

It was awful and disgusting. So I removed some of the salvageable frames that I could and cleaned them up as best I could. I placed them into the deeps and put them off to the side- outside near the garden shed. I wanted them to air out, freeze any remaining larvae, and give them time before I placed them in the shed.

Beekeeping DIY Hive Maintainance

Seasonal Recipes for Feeding Honeybees

As beekeepers, there come times when we need to feed our bees or offer them up reserves to help them get through dearths and winter. New colonies should be fed so that they can quickly build out new comb for the queen to lay and for them to store their foraged pollen and nectar.  Existing colonies also require feeding, especially a back up method to help ensure their winter survival. Today I thought that I would place these all recipes in one place for you to easily find them.

Beekeeping Chickens Gardening Hive Maintainance Tours

Blizzard Juno 2015: Day After

The Nor’easter lasted over 24 hours. It began Monday afternoon and finally let up on Wednesday morning. After 60 mph wind gusts with white out conditions, we were able to finally get outside to assess the damage. We all had cabin fever at that point and wanted to make sure that everyone weathered the storm. First up was the chicken coop. I started up the snowblower and began to clear a path. We shoveled out the smaller path to the coop.

Beekeeping Bees Hive Maintainance

Winter Peeking: The Honeybee Cluster

winter honeybee cluster
The honeybees cluster in a ball for warmth in the winter. The queen is in the very center, kept toasty at 95 degrees. The cluster expands and moves during warmer days and contracts tightly and stays put in freezing temps.

Last week it was a balmy day in December, 50 degrees. Weird for us, but the bees were happy and flying outside the hive. They were taking cleansing flights and exploring a bit around the yard. I found a few perched on the birdbath taking in a bit of water. It was the perfect day to go in and check on their sugar supplies that I had added to the hive only a couple of months ago. I was curious what the winter honeybee cluster would look like.

Beekeeping DIY Hive Maintainance

DIY: Winter Beehive Quilting Box

Today I want to share with you how to make a quilting box for your hive. As a beekeeper you already know that excess moisture in the hive is never a good thing, especially in the cooler weather when the bees are more prone to harm and death from living in a wet environment. During the winter the bees are still active in their cluster. They keep a small bit of brood alive and focus on over wintering their queen. Despite the outside temperatures, the center of the cluster must remain 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The bees do this by taking turns on the outside of the cluster and flapping their wings to generate heat. During this process their warm air mixes with surrounding colder air and naturally creates condensation in the hive. Usually this moisture collects on the lid of the inner cover and turns into water droplets. Those droplets then drip down into the hive, creating a condition incompatible with life.

Beekeeping Bees DIY Hive Maintainance Videos

Two Beehives Become One

About a couple of week’s ago, one of my hives had practically succumb to a complete death. A day or so after I witnessed that, I began the rebuilding by adding a few frames of brood from another hive and two frame of honey. This past week, we combined an early summer nuc that we made with this weak hive with the hopes of a strong hive that will survive the winter. There a variety of reasons why folks combine beehives.

Beekeeping Bees Hive Maintainance

Winter Loss: A Beehive Dies

Activity in front of Willow but none in front of Briar.

I had a bad feeling going into winter with the Briar hive. The hive should have been re-queened as they had many issues last season. But sadly, there were no queens available due to the unexpected large death of so many bee hives across the United States. Last year, the US lost about 30 percent of all the existing hives. So I crossed my fingers that they would survive until spring, when I could requeen.