Often when a new beekeeper loses a colony, I hear them claim that the bees “just left”. The thought is that the bees simply moved out and are still alive in another location. This rationale is typically followed up with bafflement as to why they would have left, a shrug and then good wishes to the bees in their new home. Unfortunately, the reality is that bees abandoned their hive when conditions became unbearable and when bees do this, they don’t typically have the resources to survive long afterwards. (more…)
The reasons for why your bees are not filling out their super are numerous and nuanced. Sometimes the answer lies in the timing and sometimes you just have picky bees. Read on to find out all the possibilities as well as some practical tips for how to deal with it. (more…)
Hi, everyone! It’s Sara writing today to share some tips on how to effectively—and naturally—deep clean your bee smoker without a lot of hassle.
One look inside my malfunctioning bee smoker was all I needed to diagnose its disease: filth! My hard-working tool had finally succumbed to soot buildup. Surprisingly, deciding on the best way to clean my smoker was not easy.
Exciting news! An online version of the popular Intro to Beekeeping class is now available to stream! If you’re thinking about starting a backyard beehive or are just curious about what’s involved with keeping bees, then this is a great introductory class for you. (more…)
It’s Sara writing again! Recently, on Facebook, I saw a post about lifehacks, and it got me wondering: Why I haven’t seen more beekeeping hacks? I know they exist, but don’t they deserve their own spotlight—and genre!—in the world of lifehacking? If you agree and want to see some cool beekeeping tips, read on!
Living in an Africanized honey bee zone can be a challenge. Africanized bees have some advantages and are not usually as terrible as the media makes them out to be (i.e. “killer bees”), but sometimes you end up with a colony deserving of that name. The solution is to requeen them, but in these situations it’s often easier said than done! Read on for tips and tricks for safely and successfully requeening a defensive colony. (more…)
If you’re like me, Michael Bush’s website is in your favorites tab on your web browser. His writings validated nearly all the subversive decisions I made as a new beekeeper and strengthened my resolve to follow my instincts. With natural beekeeping mentors few and far between, his online presence is invaluable to those of us isolated in areas where conventional beekeeping is dominant. So, you can imagine my glee at discovering the existence of his “bee camp”. (more…)
Ant season is coming! So, what can you do to stop ants from invading your beehive? If ants are a problem in your area, read on to find out the best strategies for keeping them out of your hives. (more…)
It’s Sara Everett again, guest blogging for Hilary about one of our favorite bee plants: African blue basil. In addition to sharing lots of information about this bee magnet of a plant, including how to grow it yourself at low cost, this post also includes a special announcement: the winners of the Bee-Friendly Gardens book giveaway! Congratulations to the 5 winners whose names are published at the end of the post!