Archive for the ‘lesson’ Category

More Swarm Traps Deployed – Queen Rearing Failure


Deployed two swarm traps at Bertils place, and two at secret location of Kcets, and two near HS. Only have 5 traps left to place out of 30.

Predicting Honeyflows and Swarms with Soil moisture maps


There are good years, and bad years.

Doing Cutouts


Cutouts are simply removing unwanted hives from places humans deem unacceptable. Normally the wall of a house, or the eve of a barn or such. They can be a traumatic experience for both bee and beekeeper alike. In this podcast, I cover some of the legal, political and technical issues of cutouts.

Winter losses do some good.


If you are in Texas, the end of Winter is nigh. I saw the first Dandelion bloom yesterday.

Have you found a Bee Tree?


One of my readers found a beetree. He had interest in cutting it down to get the bees. This is the nth time I’ve encountered this. It is tempting, and I’ve cut one out myself. But now that I know better, let me pass on some wisdom. This applies if the tree does not have to come down, or the bees don’t have to move.
“On the beetree, I wouldn’t cut it out. The colony has only a 50/50 chance to live if you cut it out. Plus Small Hive Beetle infests fast and lowers that 50/50 even further.
Also, It serves 2 purposes for you;
1. It is breeding survivor stock bees, which are important as the mites are killing off weak strains of bees.
2. It serves as a mother colony throwing off swarms every year.
I’d build 4 swarms traps and put them on all 4 sides of the bee tree at a distance of 200 yards or so. You WILL catch swarms due to these traps, and some will be from the bee tree.”


Varroa mite check


Around August, it is a good idea to do a varroa check in your hive. You can either do a mite drop over an hour, or a drone comb check.

I harvested some honey from my Yellow Top Bar Hive. I got a 4 sq inch section of drone in the honeycomb that I cutout. So while I had it, i opened up 30 cells and found a single mite in every 3rd cell. One cell had 2 mites.

How to Start Beekeeping in the Fall


I got asked again today how to start. Here’s a synopis of my response:


You’ve asked the ground zero question – “How do I get started?”. I get this one alot.

It is late summer. You need to get your ducks in a row for next spring.


1. Order Bees – they will deliver in April next year. If you wait, they won’t have any next spring when you order. I recommend BWeavers near you.

2. Buy a smoker, bee jacket, gloves. Dadant, Brushy Mountain, or Mann Lake all have them.

3. Get on and forums. Very newbie friendly. Look for questions you have, there are already years of answers.

4. Prepare the spot where you will put your bees.