Questions From Richard

Wow, Richard has lot’s of questions! (We’ve included them below)

Click on the video below to see the full answers.

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Richard’s full questions below:

“#1: I have some woodworking experience and a good tool collection.  Should I
really buy the hive boxes pre-made, or would it be practical to build my own?

If I build my own, are composite (man-made) materials like OSB or plywood okay
or a bad idea? If I need to use natural (non-composite) boards, are some
woods better than others?  Do bees prefer pine?  Cedar?  Fir?  Redwood?

Are there plans for building hive boxes?  Or kits with all the materials?

#2: Do the bees care how high the hive boxes are?  Where I live, we sometimes
have snow a few feet deep for days or maybe even weeks at a time.  If I had
hives low to the ground, I could probably get the opening clear of snow in a
day or two.  Is that too long to keep them confined?  Is there a good rule of
thumb for hive height and time to get the opening clear after it snows?  Or
do people throw a tarp over the hive boxes before it snows?  Or do they do
something fancy – maybe like installing three or four inch flex conduit to
the opening and raising that above the snow line to give the bees a tunnel
out?  Or are the bees happy to stay inside when it snows?

#3: If I have bees, should I plant anything special in the area for them?  (Or
more likely, just cast out seeds and hope they eventually germinate.)  In my
area, there are mostly pine trees.  During the growing season, there are
fields of feed grass (like hay or alfalfa) within maybe a half mile radius.
But there are very few areas of wildflowers or berries, and after that
probably nothing else a bee would want.  In fact, my wife was lamenting that
there were no bees this year coming around to polinate our garden.  So is
there a really good way to keep the bees happy here so they don’t go away?

#4: I probably don’t have to worry about bears, but we have deer, foxes, and
other small critters around.  And there is talk of a mountain lion.  Is there
any chance they would bother bees?  What critters does a beekeeper have to
deal with, and what are good ways of dealing with them?  Please keep in mind
that I have no trouble with killing problem animals if necessary, but I would
always rather let them go and do their thing whenever possible.

I hope these questions are not too simple or obvious to be useful, and I hope
you find them somehow useful somehow in producing your videos.  I wish you
the best of luck and all the best.
-Richard”

Thanks for the great questions!

If you’d like more information on how to start your first hive from the very beginning check out my Basic Beekeeping DVD here.

Or join our online beekeeping classroom by clicking here.

And happy beekeeping!