There’s an old joke in the beekeeping world that if you ask 20 beekeepers the same question you’ll get 30 different answers.  While amusing, for the beginner it can be extremely frustrating to find the “real” information.  So why can’t you just get one simple answer?  Sadly, because there isn’t one simple answer to most questions.

There’s a term the French use in wine called terroir (no, not terror! and pronounced tare-wa) that is used to describe the complete growing conditions of a particular wine grape.  That means not only the climate but the soils, the winds, the amount of sun… basically anything that would affect the grape.  When it comes to beekeeping this same concept plays largely in the answers you’ll get from beekeepers.

For example my city lot seems to have a constant breeze (sometimes a full wind) blowing most every day of the year.  In other areas of my same city you can have stagnant air the entire day for days on end.   That wind can affect my bees, helping to cool them in the hot days of summer but also cooling them in the winter when I’d like to keep them warm.  As I learn more about beekeeping and try new things I’ll likely find that what works for me on my plot may not be what works best for someone in another area.

And so that’s why you start with the knowledge you have and learn more all the time.  Beekeeping isn’t for those who like to learn something and then be done with it.  With new diseases and pest popping up regularly a beekeeper’s education is never over.  Hopefully that excites you!

So where do you go to learn and what tricks should you try first.  Here are our favorite resources:

Basic Beekeeping Video and Beyond the Basics Video Yes, we’re pushing our stuff here but we made these specifically to answer the questions you have about beekeeping.  Hopefully you’ll like them too!

World of Beekeeping Forums Did you know that we have a forum for asking and answering questions?  We love it when you post your questions on the forums because then we have a great feel for what people are trying, what is working and not working and what questions we can help answer on the blog.  More importantly though you’ll get feedback from a lot of different people and often learn from their mistakes!

Your Local Beekeeping Organization As we mentioned in our previous post your local beekeeping organization is a great place to find out what people in your area are trying.  Each geographic location has its own unique challenges from too much sun and heat in warmer climates to cold, damp conditions in places further away from the equator.  By connecting with your local beekeepers you can get a better feel for what challenges might be more important for your area and what those around you have done to be successful.

If you could have one answer to one beekeeping question what question would it be? (Disclaimer: we make no promises that we can actually answer this question with only one answer!)

Photo by Jessica Dally

9 Responses to “I Have So Many Beekeeping Questions!”

  1. Larry Odom

    Hey Ron, I am a firm believer that moderators should have to be Certified Master Beekeepers. Nothing against the two you have, but I have seen some info given that is not exactly correct and certainly not based on factual information. As large as your forum has gotten to be; the persons giving advice should be certified Master Beekeepers. That is info you can depend on. A little safer for you also. No one else should be able to answer questions. They would still be able to posts experiences and ask questions; just not be able to answer questions. That would prevent beginners from trying to answer questions. Some of it is laughable. Thanks, Larry

    • Jessica

      You’re always welcome to add your opinion to the discussion of anything you see on the forums Larry if you believe it to be incorrect. We’d love to hear from you!

  2. Larry Odom


    This is not about me and/or them. It’s about trying to furnish the best, most accurate information to people who are trying to be good beekeepers. The quality of this forum depends on it. If this forum is all about hobby beekeepers; then that needs to be stated. It also needs a disclaimer to protect Ron. I saw a commercial beekeeper on one of the posts the other day with 10,000 hives. A lot of people need information and it needs to be accurate. Read my post where I recommended that a fellow who was allergic to bee stings; get a pen and keep it handy in case he needed it. A Moderator told him that wasn’t necessary. Nuff said

  3. LYNELL Tucker

    Help!!! My package of bees went in the hive great. A week later I checked them, no brood, I figured since I couldn’t find the queen or see brood they balled the queen. The hive was not happy either. When I installed another queen I saw brood, I figured I missed the queen and it just took her awhile to start laying,, I thought all was well… When I checked this week all the capped brood is drones. NOW WHAT. If I leave them I won’t have any workers. Do I kill the drones so the queen can lay workers in the cells or leave them. The hive is alot quieter now so even though I didn’t see the queen I think she is there. I really want the hive to survive but there are getting to be less bees.

    • Jessica

      Lynell, Have you found the queen? It almost sounds like you might have lost her and now have a laying worker. That said, I’d suggest posting this question with the details on our forum so folks can give you their insight as well. You can find those here:

  4. Matthew

    Hi im 17 and wish to start a hive but I live in South Lake Tahoe in the sierra mountains. My parents insist that i cant raise bees in tahoe but they dont know anything about bees. could i keep a hive if i build a small heated shed around the bees.

    • Jessica

      Matthew, have you tried googling your area and beekeeping associations? My guess is that you’ll find a lot of information from your local beekeeping organizations that will work well for you to make your case. If you’re in CA you could start here:
      Best of luck!

  5. Melinda Matheson

    I have my first whole kit put together but I don’t know what order or how to stack the boxes… where does the flat piece with the whole in middle go?? Do they just sit on top of each other? Seems like they could get knocked over easily by animals. I assume the top is the piece with the tin on it.

    Can someone help me figure out the assembly of the finished boxes??!
    Thank you.

    • Jessica

      Have you checked out our beginning beekeeping video? You won’t actually need all the parts when you’re first starting with bees… likely only the bottom board, the large hive box (one), the inner cover (solid with a single larger hole in it) and the outer cover. You’ll be adding to that as the bees begin filling up the brood box and perhaps if they start collecting a lot of honey at some point in the future (doesn’t always happen the first year) you’ll need to queen excluder (flat with lots of small holes) and the honey super.


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