I’ve always stayed away from eight-frame hive equipment. A few years back you could buy eight-frame brood boxes and supers, but it was hard to get specialty pieces like Cloake boards, slatted racks, and escape boards. That has changed—especially in the last year or two—but I still don’t like the idea of buying non-standard equipment. […] Read more
A winter cluster can be thought of as a ball of bees dissected by sheets of honeycomb. Clusters begin to form when the outside air temperature falls to about 57°F (14°C). Bees in these clusters are in no way hibernating but are actively moving, eating, and performing hive duties. The comb in the very center […] Read more
Although it is believed to be confined to the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, the Asian parasitic brood mite, Tropilaelaps clareae, is a pest that has many beekeepers on edge. It is one of the parasites specifically mentioned in the Honeybee Act of 1922 and it is considered to be more menacing than Varroa […] Read more
Drone trapping is a method of reducing the number of Varroa mites in a hive that is based on the mite’s life cycle and preference for drone brood. Mites can sense the presence of drone brood—probably by smell. They prefer to lay eggs in drone brood because they can raise more mites per cell than […] Read more
In this picture you can see drone cells in the lower left, worker cells in the lower right, and both pollen and nectar everywhere else.
Sometimes you need to find your queen, and sometimes you only need to know that she is alive and well. The presence of eggs means she was there sometime during the last three days. The presence of larvae (uncapped brood) means she was there between three and nine days ago, depending on how large the […] Read more