We have designed our hives at BackYardHive to have good longevity without painting. This includes choosing wood with minimal, cambered, end grain on the side panels and orientating the panels inward to minimize warping. The holes in the hive are all pre-drilled and counter sunk to limit splitting. Not painting the hive is based on the holistic approach to beekeeping. We believe paint fumes can interfere with the bees’ pheromone-based communication.
The essential tools and equipment you will need to get started with your journey into Bee Guardianship. Your hive tool is one of the essential pieces of beekeeping equipment you will need to work with your hive. Corwin designed a customized Hive Tool which works really well. This tool is used to pry the top bars gently apart when working the hive.
The majority of bees already have the genetic ability to reduce their entrance by using propolis. This natural process is sufficient to close up the hive for the winter months.
If it's necessary, if the bees have shown no sign of reducing the size of their entrance by late autumn, you can help them out by using a bunch of small sticks. The bees will be able to better regulate the hive temperature by opening the entrance to the extent they need.
There are four ways to get bees: you can buy a nucleus (a “nuc”), you can buy a package of bees, or you can get on a swarm list and either buy a swarm from someone who has already collected them or you may catch the swarm yourself.
There exists a subtle but big difference in top bar hive designs, so it is important to understand how air moves within the hive, what is best for the colonies health both in the winter and in the hot summer months.
When just starting out with a hive of bees it can be challenging to identify what you see in the cells of each comb in the hive. Soon after working in the hive several times you will soon learn the differences between capped and uncapped honey comb, capped worker brood and capped drone comb. You will also recognize heater bee cells, pollen and emerged bee cells.
The BackYardHive Bee Doctor Intensives felt like a summer honeybee retreat and a sweet, intensive-learning holiday. We all gathered in Eldorado Springs early in the morning around 8am, before it would get too hot to work the beehives. It was a pleasant time of year with the smell of summer in the air.
By Will Dart My bee-wrangling journey began very simply, with a call to a bee supply company in a neighboring town. I was looking for a swarm to purchase; the woman I spoke with informed me that they were out of swarms (I called in June, too late in the season), but that she could put me on their “swarm list” if I wanted.
While I'm a crappy salesman and not a great promoter, I do get excited when I have a cool idea or have found a good solution in beekeeping equipment and want to share my experiences. I also don't like to sell anything that I don't like to use myself. So this brings me to the bee suits we have been selling.
Bees bearding or clustered on the front of the hive is normal during the summer months. Bearding occurs when the hives have increased their colony size to take advantage of the nectar flows that are happening in the spring and summer.
Specially designed top bars that improve the bees efficiency, health, ability to self ventilate the nest and improves overwintering, by providing passages for the bees to efficiently migrate through the honey stores. Our Cathedral Hive "Passage Bar" design is now available for the Golden Mean and Original BackYard Hives. Integrated top bar feature we call the "Super Highway".
It's nearing fall and your hive is full of beautiful combs. The number one question everyone wants to know: How much honey do I harvest and when? We have a very different idea about the needs of a colony during the winter months. Typically beekeepers harvest in the fall and often feed the bees back sugar water to replace the honey. Obviously the sugar water would have to be evaporated and all that moisture will chill the bees.