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How I threw a banquet for yellowjackets

Up until this week I hadn’t seen many yellowjackets. Since 2009 seemed to be “the year of the yellowjacket,” I was expecting to see fewer this year. Nevertheless I had yellowjacket pheromone lures hanging nearby and my hive entrances had been reduced for a month. Everything seemed fine. But late last week I decided to […] Read more

A modern Langstroth hive from top to bottom

Here’s a list of parts commonly used in a Langstroth hive. You would never use them all at once, of course, but this list gives an idea of the possibilities. Many of these are “special purpose” items that you only use for a short time; others are used all year long. It’s fun to experiment […] Read more

Mischievous proliferous: the scoop on bee poop

Okay, Mischievous proliferous is not an official name for anything, but it’s the name given to honey bees by my husband. It is loosely translated as “many troublemakers.” The problem he sees with honey bees in not the stinging or the intimidating flybys, but the prolific drops of feces that cover just about everything for […] Read more

Never feed syrup during a honey flow

I’ve recently had a number of questions about sugar syrup and its effect on honey. To clarify, a beekeeper should never feed sugar syrup to bees when they have a honey super in place. Never. As I said in an earlier post, sugar syrup is a short-term answer for bees that have a food shortage. […] Read more

Autumn feeding of honey bees

Fall feeding of bees may be necessary for several reasons: The beekeeper harvested too much honey Weak nectar flows or bad weather prevented the bees from collecting enough stores A colony—such as a newly installed swarm—got a late start and didn’t have enough time to collect enough stores The beekeeper wants to treat for Nosema […] Read more

Sugar syrup ratios: which one to use

Sugar syrup is usually made in two different ratios depending on the time of the year. Light syrup or spring syrup is 1 part sugar to 1 part water by either weight or volume. Heavy syrup or fall syrup is made from 2 parts sugar to one part water. The rationale behind these sugar syrup […] Read more

Beekeepers develop their six senses

Time and again I’ve noticed that beekeepers develop a keen sense of their environment. They use all five senses—and maybe a sixth—to decide how to best manage their hives. With their sense of sight beekeepers—some who’ve never cared much about plants—suddenly notice bees on a flower and want to know what flower it is. They […] Read more