Beekeeping Practices

Will your bees survive in my climate?

Bees are very adaptable creatures. Even though the breeding ground for the BeeWeaver breed has mild winters and very hot summers, that does not mean the bee will only do well in this environment. We ship our bees all over the continental US, from coast to coast, and customers from all states return to us time and again for their queen/bee needs. To encourage our breed to be able to adapt to circumstances on their own we do not manipulate/facilitate them other than what's necessary. For instance, we only feed the bees syrup when they are light.

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

What are some over-wintering tips for extremely cold climates? (Answer from a Vermont native currently keeping bees in Alaska)

Wind may be one of the biggest issues you face. Nothing chills a hive down more than having -40 degree air blown into every crack and opening. In Vermont, we used those black corrugated hive wraps and they were life-savers for the bees. If you can't find those, black roofing paper, stapled on the hive  like a big black present also works great, and breathes well so the hives don't get too moist on the inside, which can lead to water condensing on the cover and dripping onto the bees.

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.


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