We’ve talked before about joining your local beekeeping association. You can learn quite a bit from these folks, be it bits and pieces of information you haven’t heard elsewhere to things that may be specific to your particular area.
To that end here’s what we learned from the last few meetings at our local beekeeping association, Puget Sound Beekeepers:
- Always have a bait hive in your bee yard. What’s a bait hive? An empty hive filled with frames (a single deep super or even a western size super will do). Why? Because if your hive throws a swarm they might just move next door!
- Killer swarms! People freak out about swarms but as many know, swarms are rarely aggressive. Prior to swarming, bees eat as much honey as they can to survive the long journey to their new home. They are full and virtually drunk on honey and simply want to go home, so unless you’re hitting at them with a baseball bat a swarm is not something to run from.
- If you’re using a top feeder with jars and lids like Ron showed you on the Beyond the Basics DVD punch the feeder holes from the outside of the can in. Why? Because bees can actually cut their little tongues on the sharp part of the can hole if it’s pointed towards them.
- Want to avoid foul brood? Keep hygienic bees. If you were to take a can and place it on a comb of brood and use liquid nitrogen (or cut out a piece of the brood and freeze it in your freezer at home) it would kill the brood without causing damage to the cappings. Bees who are very hygienic will be able to tell that this brood is dead and will uncap and clean out the dead brood within 24 hours. Bees that aren’t so hygienic will often only clean up the area where the can squished the brood and slowly, a few days later, begin cleaning up the frozen brood. Why is this important? Because these more hygienic bees can often clean out foul brood prior to it becoming infectious… they’re simply a bit more tidy!
Well that’s it for the tips from this last meeting. Do you attend your local beekeeper association meetings? Pick up any good tidbits we should all know? Share them below in the comments!
photo by david.nikonvscanon