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Posts Tagged ‘Organic Beekeeping’

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


A Guide to Capturing a Bee Swarm

Capturing a Bee Swarm – No matter how much you take care of your bees, they will always end up leaving the hive together with their queen in order to create a new, independent hive. During this time, before your bee population gets smaller and smaller, you would need to find a new swarm of bees to replace the old one.

Steps to Take When Capturing a Bee Swarm

When you notice that your bees have started to become lesser and lesser, it’s an indication that you have to capture a new hive. Say that you saw a swarm somewhere near your house and you want Capturing a Bee Swarmto capture it with to replenish your beehive, here are the steps you can take:

Assess the Situation

Before you start cutting off the swarm, it’s important that you assess the situation first before taking action. If it’s just within an arm’s reach, don’t hesitate. However, if it’s up above a tree branch where you’d need a ladder to capture it and whether or not it’s dangerous or if it’s worth the risk or not.

When planning on capturing a bee swarm, you would need to do it fast since swarms usually don’t settle around one location for long. You also have to make sure that you’ll be capturing a genuine swarm and not an established hive already since it can be more difficult to relocate.

Prepare Your Tools

Wearing the right kind of protection is vital when you’re capturing bees. Although they can be submissive, it’s still important to keep yourself protected should the situation turn for the worst. The most important gears to wear are bee suit, gloves, and a veil to protect your face and head.

When you’re ready to capture the swarm, you would also need a box to keep the bees in to get them ready to be transported to their new home.  For instance, a breathable cardboard box will do.

Secure the Queen Bee

Capturing_a_Bee_SwarmA colony of bees won’t survive without their queen. One of the goals of capturing a bee swarm is to get the majority of it and the only way you can do this is if you catch the queen with them as well. The honeybees need their queen to successfully establish the hives.

In capturing the bees, if you see the bees hanging in a low branch, you can easily place a box underneath the branch and cut it off using a pair of clippers. However, if it’s in a larger branch, you can start shaking the branch slowly while holding the box underneath it. If you can’t get the majority of them using the previous steps, go in and transfer the bees to the box by your hands.

Take Them Home

Once you’re satisfied with the amount you’ve captures, it’s time to get the in their new homes. After transferring them to their new hive, you have to give them at least a week to regroup and acclimatize to the new environment. It’s also the time where the bees start creating a new comb without disruptions.

Good luck and Happy Beekeeping!

A Guide to Capturing a Bee Swarm


Benefits of Organic Beekeeping

Organic Beekeeping – Majority of the population use and enjoy honey regularly. Beekeepers work hard to manage bees and harvest the honey we use all the time. If you want to harvest your own honey, then be a beekeeper yourself!

Beekeeping is a fun and potentially profitable hobby/profession. Organic beekeeping can be tiresome because it demands time and lot of effort, however through it all it is rewarding and enjoyable!

How to be a beekeeper?

This is just a very brief overview of how to be a beekeeper. Things to always in consider when starting beekeeping and get to harvesting your own honey and maybe even have your own honey business:

1. What kind of environment and the location best suited for bees.

2. How to feed bees and what to feed them.

3. What type of hives you would want to have.

4. What clothing and protection gear to wear.

5. What are the parasites & pests you need to look out for.organic_beekeeping

The next thing to do is go research online, read beekeeping books, and even go to a beekeeping class to intensively learn about the all the basics!

Benefits of Organic Beekeeper

– Be able to harvest your own honey and use or sell them

– Using honey is very beneficial for your health

– It goes hand-in-hand with gardening

– Brings the family together because it can be a fun family activity

– Contribute to helping save the planet

Good luck and Happy Beekeeping!

Benefits of Organic Beekeeping


Beekeeping Basics: Advice for New Beekeepers

Beekeeping Basics  – Have you ever thought of wanting to be a beekeeper but don’t know where and how to start? Handling bees is much more difficult than people think so here is an idea of what beekeeping is and what beekeepers do.

Beekeepers usually start with managing one or two colonies to work, study, and be familiar with. As the years go by and when the learning experience increases, beekeepers then add more colonies, buy more equipment, harvest more honey and go commercial.

Beekeeping is a form of livestock management which requires beekeepers to really look after bees constantly and have regular inspections. It does require a lot of hard work and dedication to keep them, however, like most things, it always pays off in the end!

Colony Management Beekeepers must do:

– Make sure colonies have enough food and enough space for their expansion.

– Must conduct weekly inspections to control their impulses to leave the hive and swarm, to monitor the population of Varroa and keeping it to a minimum, to keep the bees disease-free, and to ensure that the colonies have prolific queen bees.

Importance of Beekeeping Equipment & Clothing

Normal honey bees can and will sting but usually when they are provoked making them in a defensive mode. Beekeepers especially new ones must always consider the fact that there will always be a possibility of getting stung – almost every beekeeper gets stung.beekeeping_basics

About Bee Stings

There will be pain, redness, and swelling around where the bee sting has penetrated. Remove the sting immediately to lessen the injection of venom. The swelling may last for days and itching may occur. For some people, they eventually become immune after always receiving stings.

Unfortunately, for those who are allergic to bee stings, they don’t get immune but the effects get more severe instead. Their symptoms are also much more severe (such as skin irritation, has difficulty in breathing, may faint, heart rate change…). Urgent medical attention is required. Individuals who gets unconscious after a bee sting can die.

Protective Clothing

Beekeeping protective gear is essential for handling bees, especially for beginners, to minimize the chances of getting bee stings.

– Beekeeping Suit

– Beekeeping Jacket

– Beekeeping Gloves

– Boots

Good luck and Happy Beekeeping!

Beekeeping Basics: Advice for New Beekeepers



Honey Bee Swarm : Are they Dangerous?

Honey Bee Swarm – Encountering swarming bees can cause a panic to most people. However, a honey bee swarm is a natural and amazing part of life. It is a natural process in the life of honey bees. Non-beekeepers would want it removed especially when the honey bee swarm is just somewhere in their property, but it is exciting for beekeepers to see one and maybe even want to captuhoney_bee_swarmre one themselves.

Why Honey Bees Swam?

Swarming happens when a large group of honey bees creates a new colony by leaving the one they had previously established. They leave their old colony which is a normal and natural method in response to crowding within the colony. Honey Bee Swarms usually emerges in late spring and early summer time during the warmer hours of the day.

A honey bee swarm usually contains one queen bee, a few drones, and of course hundreds to thousands of worker bees. They briefly fly around and cluster on shrubs or tree limbs or other objects while scouting bees fly around to find a new nest site. Finding a new site, depending on thehoney_bee_swarm weather, may take an hour or until a few days. Once a suitable site is found, the cluster breaks up fly towards it. They usually swarm on a tree, shrub, house

Are Honey Bee Swarms Dangerous?

In most circumstances, they are not. They feed prior to swarming which reduces the probability of stinging. Another thing, bees that are away from their nest also are less defensive making it unlikely for them to sting, unless of course they’re provoked.

What to do when there is a honey bee swarm?

For non-beekeepers: You don’t need to do anything. Leave them be, keep a safe distance, and patiently wait for them to move since swarms are only temporary.  If you know a beekeeper, you can give it to them and have the swarm relocated for you or call authorities such as pest control operators, etc.

Honey Bee Swarm : Are they Dangerous?



Basics for Beginning Beekeeping

Beginning BeekeepingDo you want to be a beekeeper too? Here is how to be one:

1. Prepare Your Hives and Beekeeping Equipment

There are beekeeping Hive Starter Kits available online or in your local beekeeping store that you can check out. There are different ones out there, so it’s always good to do your own research or ask your mentor or a friendly veteran beekeeper on what works best.

2. Order Bees or Capture a Swarm of Beesbeginning_beekeeping

For starters, it’s a good idea to start with ordering your bees in your nearby bee supplier than capturing a swarm for your first hive. It is possible though to lure a swarm into your hive using techniques that will attract them like lemongrass oil, or maybe you know someone who has no trouble capturing swarms, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to find a swarm in an instant. Start by ordering your bees for your first hive, then maybe capture a swarm of bees for your next hive.

3. Do More Research, read articles, read books, attend beekeeping classes

After reading and learning, you may not become an instant expert, but you’ll definitely become more in love with beekeeping and have more knowledge and confidence to be the best beekeeper you can be.

4. Find and Join a Beekeeping Club in your areabeginning_beekeeping

Beekeeping clubs welcome new beekeepers with open arms all the time! Don’t be scared to join one and get to meet friendly and passionate beekeepers. They have regular meetings and offer classes to help every beekeeper to improve.

5. Don’t Stop Learning

Once you have gotten the basics and have everything lined up, just keep on learning & remember that it’s okay to make some mistakes. You’ll get more insight on how to be a better beekeeper from learning from your mistakes!

Good luck and Happy Beekeeping!

Basics for Beginning Beekeeping



An Overview Guide for Urban Beekeeping

Urban BeekeepingIf you ask any beekeeper, they would really say that beekeeping has its fun and rewarding moments.  If you live in the city and want to take up beekeeping as a hobby, there are urban beekeeping tips that might be able to turn your beekeeping experience more enjoyable.

Urban Beekeeping Tips

1. Know if the city you’re in allows you to keep bees.

Read and learn about your area’s laws, rules and regulations about beekeeping. Cities like New York City, Chicago, and Detroit allow beekeeping, but there are still some urban areas that don’t allow it. Avoid getting your hives confiscated and avoid paying fines. Of course, if beekeeping is allowed in your area, make sure you have it on your own property and get consent from your landlord or whoever it is you need to get permission from.

2. Find a proper spot for your bees.urban_beekeeping

Bees need water so its best to place them near a water source or you can provide a bee watering station for them. Also, keep them in a place where there is always under the shade with a windbreak. A space that deflects heat is far better environment for bees.

3. Keep in mind your neighbors.

Be a thoughtful neighbor and beekeeper and inform your neighbors about your beekeeping ideas. Some may not agree with your plans and protest against it for some reason, but you can try and sweeten the deal by promising them some honey as a gift after harvesting.

4. Order equipment and hives first before the bees.

Prepare everything you need and get it all ready for your bees to live in. the best time to order from apiaries is from January to February. If you buy later than that, there might be a chance that you won’t be able to get any bees.

5. Start caring for your bees & always research more about beekeeping.

Beekeeping takes dedication to keep them healthy and well. To know about bee healthcare, you can always search the internet, watch Youtube videos, and you can even attend beekeeping classes.

Goodluck and happy urban beekeeping!

An Overview Guide for Urban Beekeeping

Interested in beekeeping? Here are some beekeeping supplies you want to get your hands on to start with!

  1. Ventilated Suit –
  2. Beekeeper YKK Suit Combo –
  3. Beekeeper Journal –
  4. YKK Suit –
  5. Beekeeper Jacket –
  6. Beekeeping Gloves:
  7.  Queen Marking Kit  –

Backyard Beekeeping Practices to be a Good Neighbor

Backyard Beekeeping – Backyard beekeepers should not only think about the conditions of their bees, but they should also be concerned about their neighbors. We should be respectful to our neighbors and we don’t want to irritate them in any way with our bees. So here are some good practices to be a thoughtful backyard beekeeper to the neighbors:

Backyard Beekeeping Practices to be a Good Neighbor

1. Read Local Laws & News About Backyard Beekeeping

Learn whether or not your local and state allows backyard keeping or if there are any limitations and prohibitions if such is allowed. Some rules would usually regulate the number of hives allowed to be in your property and/or the distance of how far away it should be from your neighbors. In most places, there aren’t really any laws restricting backyard beekeeping but it’s always better to backyard_beekeepingmake sure to avoid any problems.

2. Strategically Position Your Hive Opening Away from Neighbors

Your bees will always be flying in and out of their hives all the time and some bees might end up flying in your neighbor’s home. To avoid that, as much as possible, keep the opening of the hive facing towards your own home. You don’t want your neighbors to have any unwanted bees buzzing around their property.

3. Alter the Flight Pattern of your Bees

Bees have a flight pattern and you can alter it in a way that they won’t fly towards your neighbors’ property. As a backyard beekeeper, you can plan it by using your fences, screens, and/or hedges near their hive opening to force the bees to fly in a different direction. They can fly high & steep when taking off and landing.

4. Keep a Bee Watering Station and keep it filled

Bees need water as much as people do for survival. When your bees run out of water, they will resourcefully search for their own water supply and might end up buzzing around your neighbor’s swimming pool or someplace else. Plus, pools in homes usually have chemicals that could harm your bees. It’s better to always have water available for your bees.backyard_beekeeping

5. Keep Bees that aren’t Aggressive

This is the most important for backyard beekeepers to keep in mind. Gentle bees are highly preferred especially for neighborhoods with a more crowded population. The gentle bees may attack but they attack only when they find the need to defend themselves and their hive. Aggressive bees are those which start attacking you at the watering hole or start dive bombing your head when you’re on the other side of the yard. Keep aggressive bees away from your family, neighbors, and yourself.

By being a backyard beekeeper, it is also always important to be mindful that the neighbors might have a serious allergy towards bees. You may find some time to educate your neighbors and team up to add more ways to completely keep bees from flying astray in their property.

Some neighbors may even feel intrigued with your beekeeping and might want to even help a bit by planting plants that attract bees. It will be a win-win for you and your neighbors. And of course, don’t forget to share your blessings! Share some of your harvest to your good & close neighbors.

Backyard Beekeeping Practices to be a Good Neighbor


How to Extract Honey With a Hand Crank Honey Extractor

How to Extract Honey With a Hand Crank Honey Extractor – For most beekeepers, there’s nothing better than extracting honey from their own hives. Most owners collect at least 2-5 gallons of honey using hand crank honey extractor everytime they harvest. How do they do this?

Step 1. Protection.

The first thing you need to do is to ensure that you are well-protected. ALWAYS wear a bee suit with a hood when you’re planning on harvesting the honey from your bee hive. Gloves and a suit with an attached mesh hood is recommended.Hand_Crank_Honey_Extractor

Step 2. Smoking

Smoking is one technique in keeping the bees calm while you harvest the honey. Some beekeepers use grass, twigs, or any piece of paper in the canister of the smoker and put the lighted canister into the hives as they open the hive. Some beekeepers think that smoking the bees could hurt them when it actually does not. All it does is to keep the bees calm long enough for the beekeepers to extract the frames without being attacked.

Step 3. Pulling the Frames Out

Now, this is the tricky part, though it can also be simple depending on the condition of the hive. In this step, you would need a tool like a hive separator to pull the frames apart. There are times when the comb could stick into the frames which could make it harder to lift it out in one piece – that’s the tricky part.

Step 4. Extracting the Honey Using the Hand Crank Honey Extractor

Hand_Crank_Honey_ExtractorOnce you’ve secured the frames, take them as far away from the hive as possible to avoid the bees from flying towards it. Once you’re far enough, use a hot knife to get the wax off. Then, it’s time to put it in the hand crank honey extractor.

A hand crank honey extractor is a like a spinning device that uses centrifugal force to extract the honey from the frames. Now, you need to spin the crankshaft handle in your extractor to ooze the honey out. Do this with the other frames you have collected from the beehives. Don’t worry if you don’t see any honey oozing out for the first minute of spinning the crankshaft of your honey extractor. It usually takes a few minutes before you can see any from coming out.

Step 5. Filter

It’s also important to filter your honey. This will help remove any beeswax that’s been extracted out of the frame as well. Your honey will not immediately come out of the filter so you will have to wait for about 1-2 hours for all of it to come out.

How to Extract Honey With a Hand Crank Honey Extractor


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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beekeeping supplies new
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