Beehive Management – Beekeeper Tasks
What do beekeeper’s do? They manage colonies of honey bees. The tasks involved in beehive management are many and varied. Some hive management techniques must be repeated throughout the year. Other beekeeper jobs might need attention once a year or less.
If one imagines that beekeeping is a “hands off” endeavor, they would be very wrong.
Yes, bees have been doing their things for thousands of years. However, keeping bees in man-made hives is a different thing all together.
While a beekeeper can interfere too much with a honey bee colony, routine hive management tasks are important.
Hive inspections, queen checks, pest control, checking for disease and many others tasks are the responsibility of the beekeeper. If the beekeeper does not attend to these tasks in a timely manner – the bees suffer.
Beehive management is hard work and can seem daunting. But it gets easier as you go along.
In time, hive management jobs can be completed in less time as you become more comfortable and familiar with your bees. The region in which you live plays a role in beekeeper tasks.
However, all honey bees have the same basic needs. The new beekeeper who invests time in learning basic skills is more likely to enjoy success with their hives.
Honey bee hives can be moved. That is why they are well-suited for modern agriculture. However, it is best to avoid moving your beehive around the yard whenever possible.
If you do need to move a hive, these tips will help you do a great job.
In nature, survival of the fittest is the rule. Strong honey bees colonies will kill and rob out weaker colonies.
Learn what to do to prevent or stop robber bees!
A honey bee colony grows in population until it swarms - splitting into 2 colonies. The problem is beekeepers don't always want a colony to split itself.
One method of controlling this bee behavior is by splitting a hive before the bees do it. It is important to know why and how to properly make a split.
Has that sweet gentle hive of bees in your backyard become a holy terror? Yes, bee temperament can change and there are many reasons for this mood shift. Tips and techniques for dealing with aggressive honey bee colonies.
Nothing is more upsetting to a beekeeper than finding an empty hive. When an entire honey bee colony leaves, this is called absconding.
Why do bees abscond? There are several reasons bees leave the hive. It can not always be prevented but avoid beekeeper behaviors that encourage absconding.
Winter is not an easy time for the honey bee colony. A healthy colony with ample food sources will do a good job of preparation. As beekeepers, we keep bees in unnatural conditions inside man made hives.
It is the job of the beekeeper to ensure that the colonies are ready for Winter.
What do bees do in Winter? Do honey bees hibernate? How do these cold blooded insects survive cold temperatures?
Answers to these question and more. The story of honey bee survival over Winter.
Honey bees that are "born" in Fall are different than Spring bees. Enjoy this interesting look into the reason for Fat Winter Bees.
Beekeepers accumulate a lot of equipment. Everything needs a place to go when not in use on the hive. What about those honey supers? Drawn comb is valuable - protect your investment! How to store beekeeping equipment over Winter.
What do beekeepers do in Winter? Cold temperatures prevents most of us from opening hives. However, that doesn't mean you have nothing to do! Spring is coming!
Winter beekeeping involves monitoring colony food stores and preparing for the new season.
Routine hive inspections are an important part of beekeeping. But, you should have a reason for opening the hive. Learn what to look for inside the beehive during your first hive inspections.
Baby bees are called brood. Understanding the various types of brood and what they mean to the colony is important.
The queen bee is the mother of every bee in the hive. When a queen is growing old and failing the colony may replace her. If they do not, that task falls to the beekeeper.
Another time to consider requeening a hive is when you have one that is too aggressive. Genetics affect behavior. How to requeen a beehive.
Honey Bee Pests & Disease
Varroa mites are major pests of honey bee colonies. While a colony can deal with a small number of mites, mite populations tend to explode.
It is vital for the beekeeper to monitor the level of varroa infestation in any beehive. Then treatment options can be considered if needed. Testing for varroa mites.
Varroa mites are the #1 killer of honey bee colonies. They weaken bees and spread disease. Varroa mite populations must be controlled.
This guide gives a run down of the best varroa mite treatments for beehives.
Can essential oils help honey bees be healthier? Many beekeepers say yes. Essential oils are strong and should be used with caution.
Enjoy these essential oil recipes used by beekeepers to promote hive health.
Small Hive Beetles are a pest in many regions of the US. One of the best ways to deal with hive beetles is to understand their behavior.
We may not be able to keep them out of the hive but good beehive management practices can help the bees deal with them.
Small Hive Beetles destroy many hives in the southern regions of the US each year. In addition to keeping strong bee colonies, the use of beetle traps can help.
Several different styles of small hive beetle traps are available. Find one that works for you.
Did Wax Moths kill your bees? It may seem to be the case but moths rarely kill healthy hives. They do infest and destroy comb in weak or sick beehives.
Dealing with Wax Moths and their Damage.
Ants are tiny insects that seem to be able to get anywhere. If ants are causing a problem in your beehives, here are some great tips to help keep them away!
Honey Production & Harvesting
The honey harvest is ready! All of your hard work has paid off. Here are 5 tips to make harvesting your honey easier.
Mistakes happen in any beekeeping operation. Sometimes those mistakes will cause the death of a colony. This can be very disheartening.
However, over time your skill in keeping bees will increase. A beekeeper becomes more adept at finding their queen bee, recognizing pest and disease problems. This jobs require time, patience and practice.
At that point, the number of colonies that you are successful with should far outnumber your failures. Don’t give up!