Hive Management | Buzz Beekeeping Supplies

Hive Management

About Backyard Beekeeping for Beginners

Backyard Beekeeping – If you’ve been thinking about starting beekeeping hobby or business, then you probably want to read ahead. This article will explain the basics about the raising bees. Here are the things you need to do if you want to become a backyard beekeeper:

  1. Do Your Own Research Before Diving In

This is one of the most essential steps when starting a beekeeping hobby. The start of being an excellent backyard beekeeper is by looking at books and information which could give you an idea on how it works. Read as much as you can before you set up your bee colony so that when the time comes, you’ll be well-versed with what to do and not to do in caring for them.

  1. Order Your Bees

A piece of advice: Don’t order your bees online. Ordering them through mail puts you in a high risk of receiving unhealthy bees. Chances are, the bees could have lost their strength due to the stress they have been exposed in while being shipped or they’re not properly taken care of by the seller.

  1. Set Up the Beehive

Bees typically build their own hive in a trunk of a tree when they’re out in the wild. However, since you’re planning on being a backyard beekeeper, you have to provide the foundations for them. A man-made hive can also make it easier for you to harvest their honey when the time comes. – Backyard Beekeepingbackyard_beekeeping

  1. Learn The Process of Honey Making

The importance of learning the process of how bees make honey is crucial in beekeeping. Since you have to order supplies for your harvest, you need to be able to learn how the bees make their honey so that you will know what tools to buy.

Basically, bees fly on to flowers and using their special sensory motors, they are able to locate a flower where they can collect nectar and pollen. They then go back to the hive and pass on the nectar mouth to mouth with the working bees assigned in the hive until it loses about 70% of its moisture. These are then stored in individual cells where it’s stored for their own consumption or for the backyard beekeeper.

  1. Familiarize Beekeeping Tasks

It helps to familiarize yourself with the necessary steps to take in taking care of your bees during the change in the seasons. For instance, spring is the most productive season for bees which means it’s during this time that you will collect a maximum yield of honey. On the other hand, while bees still produce honey during the winter season, it isn’t as abundant. Spring is also the best time to lay your brood and increase your colony size.

  1. Keep on Learning

There are always a lot of techniques that’s being discovered on how to properly care for your bees and increase their honey production. Attend seminars, read the latest bee research, or try anything to keep your ideas updated. If you stop learning about how to improve care, then you’re definitely doing it wrong. – Backyard Beekeeping

Backyard Beekeeping Guide for Backyard Beekeeper Beginners

raw_honey_for_allergies

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About Small Hive Beetles

Small Hive Beetle – Small hive beetle (SBH) or also known as the Aethina tumida is a well-known harmful pest that damages the honey bee hives and the honeycomb, the honey, and the pollen. Infestation of small hive beetles may force the bees to resort in abandoning their hive. The small hive beetle attacks or causes damage only to hives that are already stressed or weak caused by other factors. In healthy hives, worker bees will defend the hive from the small hive beetles, however, once the bees get outnumbered by SHB, the hive will get destroyed quickly.

How Small Hive Beetles cause damage:

As long as the bee population is higher or sufficient enough while the small hive beetle population is small, the hive should be okay. Otherwise, the SHB can really negatively impact the hive. Unfortunately, the small hive beetle in both larval & adult stages prey on honeybee eggs and brood.

The feeding habits of SHB larvae can cause visual damage to bee colonies. Small hive beetle larvae go through the honeycomb, producing slime in the combs causing destruction to the honey, however, they don’t always damage the honeycombs.Small_hive_beetle

The adult SHB ruins the honey by defecating in it. In result, it ferments the honey and will no longer be fit for consumption for the bees. The fermentation of honey produces a bad odor which the honeybees do not like.

How to detect Small Hive Beetles

Adult SHBs can be easily seen during inspections found running underside the cover and on the top bar of the frames. Larvae SHBs are in clusters in the corners of the hive or the frames. Larva that are not in clusters & not scattered are Wax moth larvae, not small hive beetle larvae. Older SHB larvae move near light sources and one way to remove them is placing a light source underneath the hive. It allows them to move closer to the exit and making them fall on the ground the closer they get to the light source.

Sweep the small hive beetles and drown them in soapy water.

How to Control and Prevent SHB

Small_hive_beetleThe best and most important thing to do is keeping the apiary clean. Other ideas to reduce SHB:

– Place the hives wherein they can receive direct sunlight since SHB prefers the shade.

-Make sure the hives and frames are always in top condition. Rotten or holey ones attract SHB.

-The bottom boards need to be cleaned regularly or make use of screen bottom boards to avoid the buildup of debris which would provide the SBH habitat.

Any insecticide might be able to remove the small hive beetles, but it would also affect the bees. The best way so far is to regularly check the hives and keep everything clean and in great condition.

Good luck and Happy Beekeeping!

About Small Hive Beetles

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Backyard Beekeeping Guide for Backyard Beekeeper Beginners

Backyard Beekeeping Guide for Backyard Beekeeper Beginners – If you’ve been thinking about starting beekeeping hobby or business, then you probably want to read ahead. This article will explain the basics about the raising bees. Here are the things you need to do if you want to become a backyard beekeeper:

1. Do Your Own Research Before Diving In

This is one of the most essential steps when starting a beekeeping hobby. The start of being an excellent backyard beekeeper is by looking at books and information which could give you an idea on how it works. Read as much as you can before you set up your bee colony so that when the time comes, you’ll be well-versed with what to do and not to do in caring for them.

2. Order Your Beesbackyard_beekeeping

A piece of advice: Don’t order your bees online. Ordering them through mail puts you in a high risk of receiving unhealthy bees. Chances are, the bees could have lost their strength due to the

stress they have been exposed in while being shipped or they’re not properly taken care of by the seller.

3. Set Up the Beehive

Bees typically build their own hive in a trunk of a tree when they’re out in the wild. However, since you’re planning on being a backyard beekeeper, you have to provide the foundations for them. A man-made hive can also make it easier for you to harvest their honey when the time comes.

4. Learn The Process of Honey Making

The importance of learning the process of how bees make honey is crucial in beekeeping. Since you have to order supplies for your harvest, you need to be able to learn how the bees make their honey so that you will know what tools to buy.

Basically, bees fly on to flowers and using their special sensory motors, they are able to locate a flower where they can collect nectar and pollen. They then go back to the hive and pass on the nectar mouth to mouth with the working bees assigned in the hive until it loses about 70% of its moisture. These are then stored in individual cells where it’s stored for their own consumption or for the backyard_beekeepingbackyard beekeeper.

5. Familiarize Beekeeping Tasks

It helps to familiarize yourself with the necessary steps to take in taking care of your bees during the change in the seasons. For instance, spring is the most productive season for bees which means it’s during this time that you will collect a maximum yield of honey. On the other hand, while bees still produce honey during the winter season, it isn’t as abundant. Spring is also the best time to lay your brood and increase your colony size.

6. Keep on Learning

There are always a lot of techniques that’s being discovered on how to properly care for your bees and increase their honey production. Attend seminars, read the latest bee research, or try anything to keep your ideas updated. If you stop learning about how to improve care, then you’re definitely doing it wrong.

 

Backyard Beekeeping Guide for Backyard Beekeeper Beginners

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Pros and Cons of Raising Bees for Honey

Pros and Cons of Raising Bees for HoneyStarting a new hobby is easy. But with just like everything else, learning the basics of raising bees for honey takes time and a lot of patience since there are a lot of things you need to consider.

Pros

There are a lot of benefits when you take up beekeeping as a hobby and/or business. Here’s some of them:

– They Produce Honey

This is one of the most common reasons why people want to take up beekeeping. Raising bees for honey means that you get to have fresh honey ready at your back yard – one which you’re sure that’s organic and free of artificial flavoring. Each bee can produce up to half a teaspoon of honey; imagine how much honey a colony with thousands of bees can produce.Raising_Bees_for_Honey

– Healthier Crops

Plants mostly rely on bees to propagate. The bees are an excellent plant pollinator. A lot of people has expressed that raising bees has made their landscapes healthier and they noticed that their plants and trees were producing bigger fruits.

– Wax

Bees also produce wax which they make into wax comb. There are a lot of uses for wax including cosmetics and creams.

Cons

Here are the downsides of raising bees for honey.

– Stings are Popular Among Honeybees

A bee sting can be very dangerous especially if you’re allergic to insect bites and stings. However, those with beekeeping business have developed immunity for the bee venom overtime.Raising_Bees_for_Honey

– Diseases in Bees

There are a lot of diseases that lead to the decline in the bee population. No matter how much effort you put in, there are just times when your beehive just won’t stay healthy.

– The First Year Can be Tough

It takes at least 3 years for the bees to produce a significant amount of honey. So you can’t really sexpect a productive first year for your beekeeping business.

Pros and Cons of Raising Bees for Honey

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6 Facts About Honey Bees You Probably Didn’t Know

Facts about Honey Bees – There are countless of kinds of insects in the whole world, but there is none that is so helpful and beneficial to humans other than Honey Bees. For many years, Beekeepers have been raising and are continually taking care of honey bees to harvest the sweet honey they produce that we all love to consume.

Here are a number of facts about honey bees that you may not even know about yet.

Fact 1: Honey Bees are capable of flying up to fifteen miles an hour but is still slow compared to the usual speed of other flying insects.

facts about honey bees

Honey bees are not made for long trips since they usually just fly from one flower to the next.

Fact 2: A honey bee colony can be easily filled with at least 20,000 up to 60,000 bees since they have different types of work to be done.

facts_about_honey_bees

The bees are assigned with different tasks such as (1) taking care of younger bees, (2) working directly for the queen bee, (3) some are guard bees, and while there are also (4) construction workers wherein they build beeswax to store eggs and honey. The (5) undertakers carry the dead, and the (6) foragers bring pollen and nectar to feed their community.

Fact 3: A Queen Honey Bee can Store a Lifetime Supply of Sperm to fertilize all the eggs in her 3-5 years lifespan.

facts about honey bees

The queen honey bee flies around the hive to mate, and once successful, she ceases to mate again. If the queen honey bee fails to mate within 20 days, unfortunately, she will lose her ability to mate ever. Male honey bees die immediately after mating with the Queen Honey Bee.

Fact 4: A Queen Honey Bee Can Lay and average of 1,500 eggs and it’s possible that they can lay more than 2,000 eggs a day.

facts about honey bees

The reason why there are bees who attend to the needs (feeding & grooming) of the queen bee is because the queen has nothing else to do rather than lay eggs to continue raising the population of honey bees. In a queen honey bee’s lifetime, she might lay up to 1 million eggs.

Fact 5: A Honey Bee Hive can create an “Emergency Queen Honey Bee” whenever they lose their original queen.

facts_about_honey_bees

If a hive has lost their queen bee but was able to lay eggs before she did, the worker bees can change one of the larvae as the “emergency queen bee.” The workers will feed the larvae with royal jelly exclusively. The larvae that become queens are fed only royal jelly. Other bees become female workers because they’re fed fermented pollen (bee bread) and honey.

Fact 6: Honey Bees keeps their hive clean.

facts about honey bees

Bees work hard to keep their hive clean. The queen bee is the only one that can poop inside the hive. The rest of the bees will go outside. The dead bees will also be kept outside to keep it away from their food and their young bees.

Facts about Honey Bees!

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Varroa Mite

The Varroa Mite has become well known and has been a big pest of honeybees since they were first introduced in Florida in the mid-1980’s.varroa-mite

Varroa mites are outside parasites that bother both brood and honey bees. The Varroa mites suck their blood from both adults and developing brood, and particularly drone brood. This will shorten and weakens the bee’s life span. Emerging brood may be abnormal with missing wings and legs.

If left untreated, infestations of varroa mites will increase and may kill more colonies. If the colonies are not looked at for mites, losses may sometimes be mistaken for queenlessness or winter mortality.

The adult female mites have reddish brown oval bodies that are flat. They are about 1 to 1.5mm across. They also have eight legs. They are big enough to notice with the unaided eye on the bee’s stomach or thorax.

The varroa mites flat shape can cause them to fit in between the bee’s abdominal section. This mite is usually confused with the bee louse. Nonetheless, the bee louse, which is an insect that has only six legs. Its body is slightly bigger and more circular.
Mites grow on the bee brood. A female mite will come in a brood cell a day before it is capped so it can be sealed with larva. Immature mites that come out from the eggs that she lays develops and feeds on the maturing bee larva.

When it becomes time for the adult bees to come out from the cell, many of the mites will have become adults; they would have mated, and they arevarroa-mites ready to begin looking for other larvae or bees to parasitize.

Examination of the drone brood in their capped cells will most likely tell whether or not a colony has been infested. The dark mites are easy to see when they are on the white pupae when the comb is broken, or the pupae are released from their cells.

Mites move from colony to colony by drifting drones and workers. Honeybees can also get a hold of these mites when robbing little colonies.

It is best to separate captured swarms, package bees, and different new colonies from older colonies and inspect them for mites before you place them in an apiary.

Early discovery of low levels of mite infestation is the main key to successful management. It is simpler to spot infestations that are more developed than those that are just beginning.

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Small Hive Beetle

Small Hive Beetle – Aethina tumida (SHB), which is the small hive beetle, is a native to sub-Saharan Africa. The small hive beetle can be found around honeybees. Although they are often found around the honeybee colonies there has not been much known about what threat or damage to the honeybee colonies they have caused.Small Hive Beetle

In 1998 the small hive beetle made its way into the United States. How the small hive beetle made its way into the country is unknown.

Currently the small hive beetle can be found in more than 30 states and these beetles can definitely be found in the Southeastern states.

It is speculated that these beetles may have been transported throughout the United States from certain packaging. These beetles may have also been brought in by migrant beekeepers. Also since the beetles are capable of flying they have been able to travel on their own. A small hive beetle can fly for several miles, which makes it easier for them to travel freely throughout the states.

The small hive beetle is considered to be a pest but at a secondary level. They are a pest that seeks opportunity.

In Georgia they have become a problem as they have caused damage with the bee colonies there. Since the beetles are in abundance in that area they have caused problems for the honeybee colonies.

The beetles bring varroa mites and other hard conditions for the honeybees. With the arrival of the small hive beetles they create a stressful situation for the honeybees.

Although the small hive beetle can create a stressful situation for the honeybees they are able to hold their ground to a point.

Unless the small hive beetles are massive. In this case it can create a problem because they are able to lay eggs and reproduce their numbers rapidly.

The survival of the honeybee colony will depend on various factors. The amount of small hive beetles compared to the honeybees. The strength of the honeybee colony compared to the small hive beetles. If the honeybees are healthy and if the population can out power the small hive beetles while making them obsolete.

small hive beetlesUnfortunately even with the honeybees’ ability to sting its opponent it is no match for the small hive beetle. The small hive beetle is built with an armor that is tough and the stingers will not penetrate through their shells. Often the honeybee will try to strategically remove the small hive beetle by simply moving them.

The beetles are masters at hiding in small crevices and cracks so that they can escape the honeybees. In retaliation the honeybees use this as a way to trap the small hive beetles where they are.

Although, the small hive beetles have learned some skills to survive when they are put into this situation. They have learned to become adaptable and can trick the honeybees into feeding them from stimulating their antennas.

This survival skill keeps the small hive beetle thriving. They will often stay with the honeybees until they are released by the beekeepers upon inspection.

Detection of the Small Hive Beetle

Detection of the small hive beetle is an easy task. They can be found throughout the bee colony hive. They can often be seen as an infestation and will be on various parts of the combs as well as the layers of the hive.

When looking for small hive beetles in the top area of the hive they are easy to find by opening up the hive, placing the top hivehive beetle cover in the sun, and placing that top hive on top of the cover.

The small hive beetles do not like the sunlight and you will be able to see them trying to hide from the sun. This will take a small amount of time but once they have removed themselves from the area you will be able to pick up the hive and remove the rest of them in this fashion.

In the event that the small hive beetles become over populated they will make it hard for the honeybees to maintain a viable hive. This could happen if the colony is already weak or the population of the honeybees has decreased.

It may happen if the beekeeper is not taking certain actions to protect the honeybees. If any of those predicaments occur the honeybees will become defenseless by the overpopulated small hive beetles. This can cause the colonies to split, form smaller colonies; which results in the colony being less powerful.

With over supering hives it can cause problems for the honeybee colony. They may not be able to handle the abundance of small hive beetles.

Control of the Hive Beetle

Controlling the colony by prevention would be the best way to deal with the small hive beetle.

If this is not possible there is an actual chemical to help control the infestation of these beetles. There are various avenues that can be taken in order to protect the honeybees.

One of the most effective ways to protect the honeybees from infestation is to keep their hives in sunny areas since the small hive beetle is not a fan of sunlight.

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Top Bar Hive

Top Bar Hive

Installing Bees in a Top-Bar Hive – Mother Earth News

Mother Earth NewsInstalling Bees in a Top-Bar Hive Mother Earth News

Top-bar hives are becoming increasingly popular with beekeepers as they help encourage bees to colonize in a more natural way than Langstroth beehives. The horizontal top-bar hives have bars across the tops for the bees to build their comb off of and more accurately mimic the tree hollows and nooks that bees would inhabit in the wild.

If you have decided to go with a top-bar beehive, you may be eagerly awaiting your first colony of spring bees. Installing them in the top bar frame is a little different than the process with an upright hive, and has some unique requirements.

While it may seem unlikely, bees are commonly purchased from apiaries and then sent to you through the US Mail. Your post office will give you an urgent call upon the arrival of the hive, and you can go pick up a wire-covered box filled with honeybees. Bees are sold by the pound, and a new colony is usually a three pound package.

There are many different kinds of bees, and you should research your area and the bees most hardy to your weather conditions before making your purchase. Once you’ve determined the breed of bees you want, you’ll either get a hive with a marked or unmarked queen.

When you pick up your colony at the Post Office, or at a local beekeeper’s, the queen will be in a small cell separated from the rest of the hive by a cork.

Occasionally, apiaries will block the queen’s cell only with a sugary substance that the worker bees can chew through, but usually you will have to remove a cork between the queen and her bees.

The queen is not immediately released into the colony, but should spend her first few days in the compartment while they adjust to her scent.

These are the basics everyone should know when thinking about Top Bar Beekeeping. It covers the basic ideas developed by Wyatt A. Magnum PhD. Wyatt is …

Keep a top bar hive for fun! Join us here at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms as EAS certified master beekeeper takes you through …

In this video Jen Rasmussen of Paradise Nectar Apiaries demonstrates how to split a top bar hive and remove cross comb sections. For more information visit …

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