Beekeeping Practices

Do I need to treat for Varroa mites?

Probably not, as long as your hive is headed by a BeeWeaver Queen (and so long as there have not been large number of hives perishing from varroa mites in your vicinity)  Even highly varroa tolerant bees like ours can be overcome by mites if several hives within flying distance of your hive perish with large varroa infestations.  All the mites from the dying and dead hives can end up in your colony if the bees in your hive “rob” the leftover honey and pollen from the dead and dying hives.  Please note that you may still see mites in your hive, but BeeWeav

How do I combine hives?

If you don’t have a lot of bees in one of your hives (a few frames or less), you can simply add those bees into the hive you want them to assimilate to.   If you have two decent sized hives, and feel as though the introduction of new bees will cause them to attack your queen, then you can put newspaper in between two supers and let them eat their way through it. 

My bees are dying! Why?

There are many reasons why bees die all of a sudden.  They might be infested with mites, exposed to pesticides, been affected by disease, starvation, freezing temperatures, or have become over-heated.  If you don’t think it was any of these contributing factors, than something less common may have been the cause. If your bees die, you can always replace them with a new package in the spring and try again.

How do I know if I need to re-queen?

There are many different indicators that you need to kill the old queen and install a new one.  Two of the biggest reasons are that your hive has become less productive or your queen has a poor breeding pattern, producing spotty brood or even laying lots of drone brood and producing few worker broods.  Most queens will run out of semen within two seasons of their initial mating, so beekeepers often re-queen as a preventative measure every spring, or at least every other spring (drones result from unfertilized eggs being laid).  So, if your queen is getting older, it's probably time to re-qu

I have laying workers! What do I do?

Laying workers are not that common, but they happen.  Laying workers happen when a worker bee starts laying unfertilized eggs in the absence of a queen.  Because workers are not mated, their offspring turn into drones and the hive will not survive.  It is very hard to put a queen in a hive with laying workers.  Because of this, if you introduce a new queen into the hive the bees will probably ball her and kill her as if she was an intruder.  If you see a weird laying pattern, multiple eggs in one cell, and lots of drone brood, you may have laying workers.

My hive just won’t accept a new queen! What am I doing wrong?

There are lots of reasons why a hive won’t accept a new queen.  Maybe your hive already has a queen, but she's just not laying eggs.  If so, you need to find her and kill her.  If you’re positive that your hive is queen-less, maybe the new queen has not been with the hive long enough when she is released out of her cage.  This could contribute to them rejecting her.  Sometimes when a hive has been queen-less for a while, a worker might start laying eggs.  Since workers do not mate, they do not lay fertile eggs and laying workers will eventually lead to the destruction of your hive.

My Queen seems to have flown the hive, should I be worried?

Most of the time when a queen flies away, she will come back.  Queens are not made for flying far distances, as they have a huge abdomen that weighs them down.  Without worker bees around them, they are unable to take care of themselves.  Ideally the queen will be with her package bees for at least 3-4 days before she is released, but they might accept her before that, too. If your queen flies away on you, just wait a few days and check the hive to see if she's back.  If you can't find her right away, don't worry.  She may be hiding near the bottom, laying away.  If you check, and you're st

Why choose a marked or clipped Queen?

Marking a queen means that we put a small, colored dot on her back so she is easier to spot in the hive.  Because a different color is used each year, it is also an easy way to know how old your queen is.  Many beginners find this to be helpful.  Clipping means that we clip one of her wings to prevent her from flying away.  Some things to keep in mind - workers will sometimes clean off the dot from the queen and a clipped queen can still crawl out of the hive, although this is not common. 

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