Featured Stories

How Do I Prepare a Dead Hive for New Bees?
April 17, 2020 · · Ask the Expert

Unless the colony died because of a nasty disease like American Foulbrood, you can definitely re-use the equipment. AFB would present as a horrible smelling hive with rotting, brown, slimy brood. You don’t want to re-use equipment if the colony had AFB because it will pass on the new bees.

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Do My Honey Bees Have Nosema?
April 14, 2020 · · Health & Pests

I was inspecting my hive today for the first time this season and noticed the bees were not very interested in sugar syrup. It made me wonder if they had Nosema. A friend who knows more bee science than I do mentioned it, but I’ve never had it before and don’t really know what to look for.

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How Do I Harvest Royal Jelly?
March 24, 2020 · · Ask the Expert

To harvest royal jelly in any quantifiable amount, you’ll need several strong, healthy hives and a working knowledge of queen grafting.

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How Do You Catch a Swarm of Bees?
March 17, 2020 · · Ask the Expert

The simplest answer to “how to catch a swarm of bees” is this — get the queen and all the ladies in something you can safely transport them in back to your apiary.

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Can Different Species of Bees Mate?
March 9, 2020 · · Ask the Expert

Different species of honey bees cannot successfully mate with each other. Instead, you are asking about sub-species, sometimes referred to as races. An Italian queen and a New World Carniolan are merely different races of one species, Apis mellifera, and they are completely capable of interbreeding.

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Can Beehives Open Toward a Fence?
March 7, 2020 · · Ask the Expert

I am in Zone 8, I have three Langstroth hives next to a solid board fence. Can I turn the opening toward fence and how far away should the opening be from the fence?

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Common Langstroth Hive Setup

A Langstroth hive is the most common beehive in developed countries. Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth (the creator) observed that if 1 cm space was left between the cover of a hive and the top bars, that the bees would not fill it with burr comb or propolis—it was deemed walking around space.

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Can Honey Bees Rehab Comb Damaged by Wax Moths?
February 17, 2020 · · Ask the Expert, Health & Pests

Oh man, there are few things more frustrating than a wax moth infestation. They are so destructive to the comb! The brief answer is yes, in most cases the bees can rehab comb damaged by wax moths.

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Can I Use a Reflector to Increase the Amount of Sunlight in a Shady Location?

Honey bees are extremely adaptable, so there is no need for a hive to be placed in direct sunlight. In fact, left on their own, honey bees often select homes in very shady areas, including forests, behind barns, under bridges, and in homes that get no direct sunlight whatsoever.

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Do My Honey Bees Have Nosema?

Honey bee dysentery is often confused with Nosema disease, so when beekeepers see feces on or near a hive, they automatically think the worst. But several recent papers have reiterated that dysentery is caused by an excess of moisture in honey bee feces. It may occur simultaneously with Nosema or not, but the two conditions are not related.

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