Ask The Expert

Why Do Bees Swarm So Late in the Year?
October 1, 2021 · · Ask The Expert

Why would they swarm this late in the year? Both the queenless hives and the swarms won’t survive, as fall is here and almost zero nectar now.

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How Long Will a Colony Survive Without a Queen?
September 29, 2021 · · Ask The Expert

Even without a queen, a honey bee can complete her normal adult lifespan of about four-to-six weeks.

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Can I Feed Frames of Honey Back to My Colony?
September 23, 2021 · · Ask The Expert

I live in the NC Piedmont. I prepared my hives for winter last Sunday by removing the top supers and adding a quilt frame and a candy board. These are two first-year hives. The honey was not capped last month. This month it’s all capped including eight full frames in the supers and four that are about half full.

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How Do I Combine Two Double-Deep Hives?
September 18, 2021 · · Ask The Expert, Beekeeping 101

Before you begin to combine the two double-deep hives, try to consolidate the brood nests in each hive. For example, If one hive has five frames of brood in one box, and two in the other box, try to put all seven of them in one box. Repeat this process in the other hive.

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How late in the year can I requeen?
September 17, 2021 · · Ask The Expert

You can requeen a colony at nearly any time of year. The queen will slow her laying sometime after the summer solstice and continue to decrease the rate of laying until perhaps October or November. Most queens begin increasing the rate of lay soon after the winter solstice.

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What Are Those White Worms in My Honey?

The little white “worms” we sometimes see in honey are not actually worms at all. Instead, they are the larval stage of the wax moth. Just like honey bees, wax moths go through four stages of metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

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Can I Use Honey in a Pail Feeder?

You can try putting honey directly in a pail feeder, but I find it tends to crystallize in the holes after a few days.

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How Do I Save a Late-Season Swarm?

Deciding how to handle a late swarm can be difficult, even for an experienced beekeeper. Although late swarms have a very low survival rate, they can be helped along with additional resources.

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Can I Do a Late-Summer Split?

Splitting in late-summer is possible, although tricky. You need good-sized populations and lots of food stores and you may need to buy a queen. Drones are usually thrown out in August, or even earlier during a dearth, so a do-it-yourself queen may not have a lot of opportunities to mate.

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Brood in Honey; No Queen Excluder — What Now?

Many people don’t like the idea of queen excluders until they get to this point. Brood in the honey supers is a difficult problem to solve, and the solutions are not ideal.

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