Welcome to “Bee Space”

I love what people do to their apiaries and I’m always delighted by the creative ideas that become reality. This unique sign greets visitors to the apiary of Morris and Rita Ostrofsky in Eugene, Oregon. Morris writes:

The sign started with a trip to the Oregon coast where my wife and I looked for just the right driftwood. We then laid out the words, I glued and screwed them together and stained and preserved the wood. Then I drilled holes for the wire supports and we hung the sign over the entrance to the apiary.

We love the double meaning of sign. The significance of bee space is obvious but it also references the 3/8th inch bee space within the hive. In addition it indicates that this a place for both both bees and beekeepers.

Good job, don’t you think? Now I’ve got to start thinking…

Honey Bee Suite

"Bee Space" spelled out in driftwood.

The “Bee Space” sign is made from pieces of driftwood. © Morris Ostrofsky.






  • Thank you for this great place to learn and share! I love this page! I am a new beekeeper but this is my second try. I lost my first hive three years ago from unknown causes in the spring of the second year. This year I started with a swarm hive and it swarmed and we caught that swarm and had two hives and another swarm lighted in the same place as the first one and we caught it and had three hives but the third one absconded. Then hive number one lost their queen and the next two queens from brood borrowed from hive two never started laying and we finally re-combined the hives so I am back to one. Now that was enough I know, but now the hive is in trouble. Bees are coming out, unable to fly. There are 30 or so otherwise healthy bees walking and climbing and flipping and somersaulting around in the grass in front of the hive. Research has led me to two possibilities, poison or tracheal mites. I am going to treat the hive today for tracheal mites. I pray they make it, but this is heartbreaking and the poor bees are suffering out there. I will follow up and if you have any ideas, please please share them. Thank you.

    • Terri,

      Tracheal mites and pesticides are both possibilities, although tracheal mites are not as common as they used to be. Another possibility is a virus carried by varroa mites. Have you checked for varroa?

  • So I guess you open/close the gate each morning/evening to let the bees out/in? It sounds like as much of a chore as milking cows! At least with your sign they can see where home is.

    (Sorry…a bit bored today. Early spring here in Tasmania- sunny but windy, a top temp of 54F but my bees are bringing lots of pollen in. Lots of newbies too. Happy! )

  • Since we’re told to raise and lower frames, replace lids etc slowly and cautiously to allow time for everyone to avoid being squashed, the path could have a traffic sign, “Bee Speed.”

    Corinth, Kentucky

  • Great sign, would look good in my place except might draw too much interest, don’t want the by-law inspectors nosing around.

    Up here in Ontario has been very spotty so far as honey harvest goes, checked my hives yesterday, lots of honey and pollen for the bees to overwinter but unfortunately very little for me to harvest so far. Fellow beekeeps around the area reporting similar results. I’m looking into buying one of the “Valkyrie” hives, nearly broke my back lifting the boxes to medicate the hives, they seem to get heavier every year or perhaps I’m getting older and weaker. Tempus Fugit, the blessings of youth wasted on the young.

    Ken A

  • I’m with you Ken! I’m a newbee and started this year since I hit the big 5-0 and now know what a full deep brood of honey feels like. Wow! I’m Ontario too, no honey in the super, but I did remove 1 frame from the deep to get a chance to play…so amazing!

  • Thanks Rusty, the county apiary inspector is coming tomorrow to have a look and take the bees I’ve collected to check them for tracheal mites. I appreciate your comments. I have looked at them very closely and do not see any signs of varroa mites, but we went ahead and applied treatments for both types. I’ll follow up with findings.

      • He says the hive looks great and it may have been a virus they are fighting off. He did take a sample and will let me know if he finds mites. There are no more bees in the grass today since we treated several days ago. I am feeling hopeful!

  • Thank you, Rusty, for your wonderful and informative blog and website of fun ideas and sharing!

    I would love to see where folks are writing from. Wouldn’t it be helpful if we knew where the problems are being reported? Here in mid-Michigan we are coming to the end of harvest and wondering if one more spin might be in order before the end of September. Goldenrod is dying off so it is time to apply those much-needed robber screens.
    Again, thank you!

    Linda in Michigan

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