Basic Bee Keeping Frequently Asked Questions FAQ #3 Beginning with Bees

okay so thank you again for watching my
YouTube channel and for your interest in honeybees in this case we’re talking
about backyard honeybees and these frequently asked questions series this
is frequent last question video number three this is geared towards beginning
beekeepers so if you’re a beekeeping expert this is probably going to bore
you to tears if you want to know what questions are going to be answered in
this video then please look down in the video description and I’ll write in each
question that we’re going to talk about and they’re in order so thank you for
sending your questions in if you posted them through the Facebook that’s fine
fowl or if you put them right in the comment section underneath the previous
FAQ videos and you can do that also on this video just go down to the comments
and write down questions that you might have you can look at the other two and
videos that we’ve done before this and they’ll also there’s a playlist and I’m
putting together so chickens and honey bees thanks again so we’ll get right
into it the very first question we got was bees in small yards for kids in
other words how do you keep bees in your backyard if you live in a suburban
neighborhood and you’ve got children of your own well I think when it comes to
beekeeping you definitely want to pick a type of bee that’s going to be very
docile but the other thing is make sure to check out your local ordinances and
also check in with your neighbors so if you’re living in suburbia you may have
neighbors on either side and then somebody else directly behind you and if
that’s the case you want to touch base with those people to let them know that
you plan to keep bees now let’s say that everything’s okay
that the regulations are in line you can keep your bees and you want to keep a
couple of hives then the next step is to make sure that you put them in a portion
of your yard where kids aren’t going to be running through and playing and
there’s not gonna be a lot of activity so you can quadrant off your beehives by
setting up stockade fencing for example some people do that around their
trash cans and things like that so it’s no different than with the bees you want
to make sure and preserve access to your bees so you have to think about moving
hives in and out equipment in and out and the ability to remove honey and
things like that so leave space all the way around your beehives so that you can
come and go with comfort without knocking into them and also face the
entrances your hives towards your yard don’t sit
up on the perimeter of your yard and then put your landing boards facing your
neighbor because what we want to do is control the way the bees come and go
from the hives so if there’s a physical barrier like a stockade fence or a
privacy fence or something like that the bees are going to leave the hive and go
up and over and then their flight path will hopefully be well above other
people’s heads now different times of the year if your neighbors have
flowering trees or if they’ve got plants and bushes that are good sources of
nectar those bees are going to be visiting their yard so once again touch
base if some one right next to you is allergic to bees or has a dangerous
allergy I would stop thinking about keeping bees now here’s another thing if
your backyard really is very small some people are keeping their bees on
rooftops and things like that but you also might know someone who lives out in
the country who would be happy to have you put a couple of beehives on their
property and that doesn’t mean you put them out there and ignore them but it
would give you a place to park your bees where they’re safe and well away from
people and you could go and visit and attend to those hives and with the
permission of that land owner they would also possibly have access to superior
forage for example so those are the basics check with neighbors comply with
ordinances have a fencing that requires the bees to fly up and over so they’re
not zipping right through your neighbor’s yard at eye level and of
course beyond that consider maybe even taking hives out of town and making
friends with somebody who lives in the country so the next one is landing board
types and screens some people were asking questions about screened landing
boards and what’s the purpose the most common landing board I went
outside and brought landing boards in for you the most common landing board is
this wooden landing board it’s pretty dirty
this one is grubby this has been out and in use in my bee yard since 2008 so it
has lots of propolis you can see that even the bees have chewed this up and
everything but the solid bottom board here’s the underside here’s the side of
the interior now back in 2008 I painted the
bottom of the landing board I don’t recommend you do that just leave it
plain wood you can tell that this is composed of several pieces of wood that
are all glued together and framed up you can build these yourself if you have
some basic carpentry skills but this is the most common landing board design
that you’re going to see when the hive body is sitting on it you’re gonna see
that the landing board has a little extension here at the bottom board I’m
sorry the landing board is the part that sticks out the front of your hive and
the bees land on it and use that to get in and out of the colony of the hive
there so this is the most common now what’s the advantage of it well it
closes off wind and weather for sure so it cuts down on drafts the other thing
is if there’s any honey or pollen bits and things like that the drip or fallen
to the bottom of the board the bees can come in there and they can clean it up
so everything is contained and there’s no draft here so those are the benefits
it’s a little bit insulating – you can tell it’s nice thick wood thicker the
better and when you set your hive on it your hive literally does just sit on the
landing board there’s nothing that fastens it I have swarm boxes where I’ve
put landing boards on and I’ve actually bracketed those to that box but that’s
because I’m going to transport them when they sit in your bee yard and your hive
box sits on top of it the bees are gonna put propolis as they have here this is
all propolis residue they’ll seal it on themselves and then the weight of the
hive holds its position so this is the most common solid board they can recover
losses here that’s pretty much it and it’s insulated and it solid and it’s the
most common so then this is a landing board that comes with flow hives this is
the seven frame flow hive which goes to the ten frame Langsroth now when we
say eight and ten frame flow hive or eight and ten frame hives in general
we’re talking about the number of frames that go into the box it’s not the number
of boxes some people thought that when we were saying eight and ten frame that
we were talking about eight or ten boxes high so it’s really the number of
that are inside each box so this is a ten frame so ten frames would go in it
now this has a slant on it and that’s because flow hives tilt back and this
landing board tilts the hive straight back so that you can extract honey
through flow supers but it’s a screen bottom board and this one has a front
dam on it so they’ve built up this segment here I’m not a huge fan of that
because the bees that die inside died behind this barrier here so the bees
that are cleaning up have to pick up the bee and haul it out a flat smooth
landing board lets them drag everything straight out without having a clear a
barrier so the other thing is it has the corrosion proof screen on the bottom now
what’s the point of having a screen bottom well in this case on the back
you’ve got a couple of choices for where to put the corrugated insert because in
here notice it’s at the top one so if you’re trying to limit the air
ventilation coming in through the bottom of the board that’s how you control it
with these corrugated panels that you pull out the other thing is and you can
tell this one has not been in a hive but these panels are also used to catch
varroa for example there’s a second lower piece here so it’s sticks in their
leaves a space so on a screen board you get additional ventilation through the
bottom but also if you have varroa in your area or mites or small hive beetles
and things like that when they get groomed off by the bees it’s gonna fall
through the screen and onto this board and you can actually there are might
count boards that have sticky surfaces on them and there are materials that you
could put on that to make it sticky so that when the mites fall onto this it
stays there and you can get a feel for the varroa that are in your colony so
it’s part of a an active control measure and a way to account for the mites on a
solid bottom board mites that get groomed off by the bees that are not damaged by
the bees can just crawl across the bottom board and go straight up the side
and back into the brood areas again and onto your bees so a screen bottom board
helps your bees deal with mites and other problems like
and then there’s just the open screen bottom board this is part of an eight
frame this is the landing board section and this is a part that would be
enclosed in the hive now this thing is open and vented all the time again I’ve
had this one probably for 11 years and as you can see I’ve never used it
because during the summer time I could see if you have a really really hot
spell that you might think that the added ventilation is going to help your
bees through the bottom also if your bees are grooming off varroa for example
and they fall through this they’re gonna fall through this and go all the way to
the ground below you have that option with the other screen bottoms that have
that corrugated insert too but this one there is no option it’s open all the
time now you may think that you’ll put this in for the summertime and you’ll
have your bees have the use of that the ventilation and that varroa
control that helps throw things out of the hive but then what happens is winter
can sneak up on you and before you know it you’re in winter and you’re not gonna
want to pull apart your hive and there you’ve got a bottom board with an open
screen and sometimes if you have a lot of colonies out there you may even
forget which ones have screens and which ones are closed up so my personal
favorite bottom board is of course the solid bottom boards and
all the flow hives I have some of them I’ve used traditional solid bottom
boards and instead of the ones that come with them the flow hive 2 has an
aluminum insert on the bottom board and again sometimes when you’re drawing off
honey the honey may trip down into the bottom of your hive and if there’s a
screen the honey goes through the screen and onto the bottom board and out of
reach of the bees so they can’t recover that and reuse the honey and also you
know like if you’ve watched your bees bringing in pollen they go to scratch
off the pollen and stick it in the cells field bees go directly to the cells and
stick the pollen packs in there if any of that falls to the bottom and there’s
a screen bottom board again they don’t recover those resources so there’s good
and bad for everything but those are the differences the solid bottom board bond
board with the screen some kind of pest management corrugated
piece like this again these are all-weather but they do wear out so you
need you need spares and you can use those for Mite counts and then of course
screen boards are just wide open with some people even in the north use those
I don’t have a good percentage on the survivability in winter with a
completely open bottom but just in my mind an open bottom that is just open to
the weather and these harsh winds and everything doesn’t make a lot of sense
in the North though you’re gonna find people that use them and use them
successfully but those are the three types right there and the other question
I received was splits for expansion in other words do you use splits and
how do you do them okay now the disclaimer here on my youtube channel is I’m just
sharing what I do so if somebody does something different especially when it
gets into splits and things like that everybody’s got their own method I have
an observation hive and if you’ve watched my video and if you haven’t
watched it go check it out because I show you how I populate my observation
hive I just went and took brood frames from colonies that were strong and I put
them all together in that hive and then I waited three days and I installed the
Queen that I bought in and then they took out from there and they did great
so what I do is I look at I like doing splits first of all and what is a split
anyway let’s go there so a split is when you have a strong colony and you’re in a
nectar flow and everything’s great and you’ve got all these frames of brood
where the baby bees are hatching out and you’ve got a surplus of bees so
sometimes when I see a hive and it’s really built up and I’ve stacked medium
supers on and it’s just wall-to-wall bees in there it’s a great opportunity
to make a split because a couple of things are going on one you have some
great bees they’re doing really well in the environment that you’re in so I
don’t use that stock to expand the other thing is are really strong so pulling
out brood is not going to hurt that colony so all I do is bring a temporary
hive stand right up next to the hive that I’m interested in and I smoke them
I do this in the middle of the day and the reason I do that
in the middle of the day is because most of the foragers are out of the hive the
population is much reduced so now I have access to everything so I’m gonna pull
apart those boxes carefully after smoking them and I’ll put it down now
recently I don’t smoke them my spray em with honey bee healthy and when you’re
doing a split honey bee a healthy mixed with sugar water is a great way to knock
down the pheromone and occupy the bees because what they’re going to be doing
is licking up that sugar syrup so I pull out three or four frames packed with
brood carefully because you want to look over those frames and make sure you
don’t pull the Queen is at the end of the earth if I pull a brood frame out
and put it in a new box and the Queen went with them when I have frames full
of eggs and open brood open brood are developing larvae that have not yet
being capped so they’re not in the pupa state yet so they can actually be turned into
Queens if there’s a queen loss during this event so I pulled those frames out
collected by the new box with them and then I take extra frames because the
brood frames have predominantly nurse bees on them now these are going into my
own apiary so they’re only going fifty feet away let’s say so if I’m pulling
the bees on the brood frames out and putting them in my new box and shaking
them off in there and then putting those brood frames back in the original box
I’ve increased the number of bees that have available to attend to the brood
but also those bees have never left the hive and because they’ve never left the
hive they don’t know where they live so those beats when I move them to a new
colony that I’m establishing by making this split stay with that new colony and
they act as nurse bees and they mature and then they become foragers themselves
but they only know the new location so it’s very simple to do that now then
once I’ve pulled out the choice brood frames that I want you also want
to make sure that you’ve got honey frames to go in there so then I go a
couple boxes up and I pull out honey frames too and I put those in on the
outsides of so I’ll push the brood frames to the middle three or four or
full frames shake the nurse bees off of other frames that I find put a couple of
frames of honey on the outside of that I push
altogether and even if you see some frames that are half pollen for example
stick those in there too that gives them some immediate resources so we push all that
together and I go right to an eighth frame box and some people start with
nuke boxes or they have reduced boxes and that’s fine because it’s a smaller
area for the bees to manage and protect I don’t do that myself I go straight to
an eighth frame or a ten frame deep box and that’s because I just let them build
up and then I don’t have to move it again so I’m not in the you know in a
habit of moving them a couple of times from smaller boxes to bigger boxes and
so on I started right off in the eight or ten and then I just let them expand
so once I’ve done all of that I’ve watched for the Queen
now you’re way ahead if you find the Queen and actually put a little cage on
her so if you put a cage on the Queen and then she holds her position now
you’re free to shake all the other bees off that you want so then you’re making
sure to leave the Queen with that original colony now we’ve made a split
we’ve got those brood frames in there and they’re all gonna start hatching out
you’re a couple of choices then alright now in the absence of a queen they’re
gonna notice within a couple of days that the Queen is completely gone the
pheromone is gone and what they’ll do is they’ll use the open brood and they’ll
start to make their own Queen so that’s a high risk ting Plus you’re gonna wait a
long time for that Queen to lay so you already have hatching brood so you’ve
basically made your own nuke and what I do is I order in Queens before I even do
the evolution so I order my Queens in and they’re gonna arrive in three days
that’s when I do the split three days after that I introduce the Queen in her
cage put her in that new colony that I made it took this split from and then
watch and see how they accept that Queen and once they do then they’ll get her
out of that cage I have a laying Queen immediately so as these brood are
hatching out in the new colony then that new Queen will begin to lay eggs and so
we’re in business and the cycle just continues so it’s a very easy way to
expand your Apiary if that’s what you want to do I personally don’t have any
interest in expanding my apiary I only want to replace die offs my maximum
number of hives that I want to manage is 10 so when I end up with a surplus and
all my boxes are full that’s when I start looking for new beekeepers to give
stock to and I give them my lower performing colonies and replace them
with top performing colonies so that’s how I do my splits next oh and we talked
about smokers in my last frequently asked questions video and somebody asked
when you’re finished with a smoker how do you put it out well usually use up
your smoker but you can of course just open the smoker and shake it out
somewhere or I just set it on a cinder block or something and I let it just
finish burning out on its own by the time I’m done working with the bees
generally the smoker is almost empty anyway but of course you can just dump
it out somewhere it is capable of starting a fire so make sure not just
dump it on dry grass or something right in your apiary I recommend going
somewhere where it’s gravel and so on and dump it out that way and treat it as
you would any kind of outdoor fire make sure you put it out but I just let mine
burn out on their own so just I set it on a cinder block and let it go southern
bees can seven bees handle cold climates okay in the United States there’s a lot
of very common bee types out there we have Italians Germans carny Olins
buckfast Caucasian and Russian bees super common the bees that I’m using
are from the bee Weaver family in Texas and they have been developing their own
line of bees for more than hundred years and those bees go without treatment so I
get those bees now they come from Texas how do they survive winters in the
northeastern United States along the Great Lakes which is where I reside they
they do it just fine so when people talk about southern bees that maybe can’t
handle the cold for example there are bee behaviors here here’s the problem
and this is this is really not a beginner question in in some regards
because the bee genetics get very complicated these lines of bees
have been diluted and altered and selectively bred and so they’re trying to make these
that are adaptable everywhere but if you look at commercial beekeepers that are
providing pollination services and things like that they might start off in
Florida they might end up in Northern California sometimes they go northeast
so the bees that they’re hauling around are handling a variety of weather
conditions but then they try to winter them in areas that are not freezing cold
to where they will kill off a lot of their stock that it’s just it’s not that
they can’t winter over you can find Southern bees bring them to the north
and house them correctly and everything else and they’ll still make it through
winter the question is how well do they make it through winter some of those
bees that are from a southern climate may build up a lot of Brood going into
winter and that could that’s a disaster because if they have a lot of brood to
take care of they can use of all the resources the breed is gonna die anyway
and then the bees starve in place so and then within the same because I’m using
the reason I mentioned the bee Weaver bees that I use is because I have one
type of stock throughout my apiary but they come out of winter vastly different
from one another some of them are really strong in a spring and they’re just
going gangbusters a few days ago we had a warm up and I had a hive the whole front was
just loaded with bees and they’re just going nuts and that was a very small
colony by the way that was in just an eighth frame single deep and those are
the strongest looking bees that I have right now and others are just very slow
and they stay clustered longer and they don’t you know they don’t respond right
away to warm weather but those are the ones that in a couple of weeks if you
look at the beginning of this video we show that it’s raining outside so right
now it’s cold and wet and damp and those bees are staying clustered and they’re
not doing anything but they’re the ones that will respond to the environment for
example as soon as the pollen starts to build on the trees those bees are going
to be out foraging and that’s when they’re going to start building their
brood so if they wait till natural pollen sources come in and then they
start building brood now we’re delayed you know 25 days it takes 21
lay an egg and for that egg to hatch would be a viable Bee so we’re forecasting
so those fees respond immediately to that environment our cold hardy but
they’re not going to build and have the workforce that some of the other Bees
from the Italian Bees for example will have a huge workforce in the spring and
that’s but those are being fed generally so the other end of it is how much care
do you want to have to be giving to your bees for them to make it your winter so
it’s not a simple question I don’t know of a line of bees a type of bee in the
United States right now that’s being managed that cannot survive a winter in
the lower 50 states and when you get to Alaska you’re in a whole different
category so there are people in Alaska that lose all of their bees every winter
and start fresh with new bees every spring that’s a that’s a whole different
thing so that environment doesn’t support bees really but where I live all
of my bees do really well in the spring they took off I expect by the end of
this month and a February beginning of March that all of my bees are going to
be foraging and building up on their own so it’s not that Southern bees don’t do
well or can’t survive the north it’s just a matter of what traits they bring with
them and what traits you desire in bees because there’s more than just surviving
the winter there’s the disposition of the bees some of them are extremely
gentle some of them are very aggressive and defensive and hot and you really are
gonna have to find the bees that work best in your environment and work best
with you so I wish I could really give you a pat answer for that but my stock
is carefully as a fly in here anyway my sock is a weaver bees and they’re from
Texas they’re from a hot climate and they work here
now is your thing plastic or wood frames plastic or wax foundation I use
everything I have wooden frames I have plastic frames let me show you an
example this is a wooden frame all right now the only difference in honeycomb
this is foundationless and so there’s no wires through it you
give this open space at the bottom they’re connected at the sides here and
they start at the top and they just build down what I do is if I have two
full frames I gradually rotate my frames out so what I do is when I pull a frame
that kind of looks bad I’ll put a brand new one in there but I won’t pull all of
them at once so I’m every other frame is what I’ll
pull out and then I’ll put in like wooden frames and let the Beast draw it
out I leave the most natural comb down in the brood frames but predominantly I
use a corn plastic heavy tipped frames so let me show you one of those this is
an acorn frame and it has honey all over it this is just a honey frame and I like
it for honey wax moth larvae can’t shoot through this and they’re solid they last
basically forever but just like with other frames you’re gonna swap them out
these are recyclable food grade plastic so you can get rid of those there’s
another company named Pierco that also makes these plastic frames and I believe
man Lake is also making their own of those I chose the acorn frames because
they were the most rigid they don’t flex in the middle and I like the black ones
because I like to do photography and I like for there to be a strong contrast
for the eggs and developing larvae and things like that and the other thing is
the acorn frames came very heavy dipped in wax and I noticed that my bees draw
those out and the fastest so I use plastic I use wood I do not use plastic
foundation some people do that and I guess there’s nothing wrong with it it’s
food great stuff and the bees build off of that as long as it’s waxed up nice
and I just don’t because why not just use a an entire plastic frame that’s
ready to go and not do the wood with the plastic foundation in it that just seems
like a lot of extra work I like to just drop the frame in and let it go now if I
were doing traditional honey extraction I’m going to put it in a spinner those
wooden frames without a foundation in them I would not be able to spend that
very well because they tend to the whole thing flexes my
spinners are face out like this and so the centrifugal force actually pulls out
from the face of it so if this were a foundationless frame of wax that stuff
just the whole thing I’m gonna lose it so you could do cut comb or something
like that but spinners that are along the long axis so they rotate like that
your wax frames could probably do okay with that and so and again most of you
know already that I’ve converted almost entirely to flow hive for honey
extractions so I don’t do any more spinning and uncapping and things like
that so I do like the plastic frames but there’s nothing wrong with wood – and
the considerations are kind of aesthetics some people say that you need
to use beeswax foundation the commercially available beeswax
foundation that a lot of people are getting they’re finding it’s tainted with a lot
of chemicals so you’re not necessarily improving the health and well-being of
your bees by using industrial wax foundation so that’s pretty much it for
the frames so I use plastic and wood robbing protection so that’s a good
question for this time of year because we’re about to get into a warm up spring
is gonna be on its way and you want to make sure that some of your hives that
might be struggling or and this also gets into the type of easier you’re
gonna keep as well you know some bee lines are known for robbing and being
aggressive towards other bee colonies so it’s another thing kind of to think
about but in the spring when your bees start foraging and the resources are low
but their numbers are high because they’re hatching out all those babies
they’re gonna be looking for resources well they don’t find them in the
environment they’re gonna start looking at other hives when they do that when
they land on the landing board and their Scouts are checking things out if that
landing board is poorly defended they’re gonna just march in there and start
taking it over and when they find out those Scouts can get in there and get
out and they go back to their parent colony they’re gonna come back only now
they’re gonna have 300 foraging bees with them and then that number increases
until there’s a huge feeding frenzy and that colony becomes incapable of being
defended so what you can do you for that is of course put entrance
reducers on the landing board of your beehive and it’s you know if you’ve ever
seen the movie the 300 where they you know 300 stood off thousands because of
the hot gates and there was a narrow passage that they had to come through
same thing with honeybees fewer bees can defend a smaller opening so if you’ve
got a weak colony now if if push comes to shove this is a I just did a review a
material review of these smart designs cover and things like that and they’re
feeder but they also have this robbing screen so by putting a screen on the
landing board at the entrance you can stop a robbing frenzy if you show up and
it looks like there’s a huge amount of activity going on but the the tell is
when you look at that landing board and you see how this activity is that
robbing one of the ways you can tell is there’s lots of bits and pieces it’s
like a robbery they’re just throwing stuff everywhere there’s detritus all
over the landing board so these are robbers these aren’t bees that are
residents of that hive that are keeping it clean and orderly the other thing is
they’re overwhelming any attempts at guarding it so if you see bees coming
and going with no guards on the landing board there’s a very good chance that it’s
being robbed so when you close that off with this or something like it you can
also just put an entry reducer in there and make sure that they have a very
narrow entry to the hive that can be defended then these you just open up
these top wings and now the resident bees come and go here robbing bees like
a zoom straight in they don’t want to spend any time on the landing board
because their goal is to get resources and get out and they don’t want to get
inspected they don’t get taste tested on the landing board the way resident bees
do and they just want to get past the guards robbed and get out this prevents
that direct access the other thing is if things are completely out of control
close it off completely someone else asked about if they’re going to spray
pesticide at a field near you or something like that if you’re fortunate
enough to be told that there’s going to be pesticide spraying if there’s agricultural activities near where you live then you would want to first of all if
you have any control at all or any influence at all over the farmer that’s
going to do that request that they do it at night or early in the morning those
are the least active times for bees but if there’s nothing you can do about it
which is likely because they’re you know they’re gonna move when the time is
right to spray pesticides and things like that you can close up your colonies
completely you want to make sure they have plenty of ventilation you want to
prevent the foragers from going out if you know it’s gonna happen the following
day when’s the time to close up your colonies at night there will be foragers
out that are going to be spending the night elsewhere that happens all the
time but you’re going to reduce the numbers
of bees that are caught out in that spray by blocking up your hives there
are people who put screens around their hives and everything else so you want to
ventilate the hive if you just want to block them and then as soon as it’s
clear and as soon as that pesticide is dry then you can of course open and
restore access to foragers and everything else again some of those
forages are out and about if they don’t die from the pesticide will come back to the
colony they still may die some of the hygienic bee lines when they detect
something is wrong with returning forager they kill it and ejected
themselves so the same things that can help you the same equipment that can
help you deal with robbing can also help you if you’re trying to restrict hive
movements during periods where there’s going to be pesticides and things like
that in the environment screens anything that you can do to block them off but
trying to establish a rapport with your local farmers so that you know what’s
going to be sprayed when so that you can close things up so pesticides robbing
protection just restrict movement so if you got an upper hive entrance to and
your hive is being attacked put a screen over that upper entrance also because
you don’t want them getting back doored there there’s another question when to
inspect your hive that’s a really good question everybody’s anxious to look at
their hives but you know and I know this probably is not this go over the
question but a lot of people want to inspect their hives during winter please
don’t do that unless you’re needing to put food on or something like that or
provide some resources for the bees there’s no point in the open your your
hive in the wintertime when it’s cold outside and you’re just going to expose
them and stress them a little more it’s their dad you’re gonna find out what
it’s warm so the next thing is let’s say it’s a really warm day let’s say the
bees are going great when’s the best time of day to look at your hives well
I’d say most your foragers are out around noon and early afternoon since
those are the most active times for bees to be departing the hive it’s also the
time when high density will be at its lowest so you can pull off the cover and
inner cover so I would say mid day that might be the hottest part of the day too
if you’re I don’t know where you live but some of the advantages to mid day
hive inspections are just a physician of the Sun overhead because what happens is
the sunlight is going to pass right down through those frames so you’ll see more
midday if you do it in the early morning or if you do it in the late afternoon
you’ll have a raking sunlight angle and you’re not going to be able to see
everything into the hive as well as you otherwise would so by doing at midday
and early afternoon your reduced number of bees and the hive so you can see a
lot because sometimes you’ll pull a frame of fruit that you want to really
look at and inspect closely and it’s so covered in bees that you’re you’re
having to move bees out of the way just to see what’s going on in there so by
doing it at a time when there are fewer bees in the colony then you’re going to
have better access and be able to see things while you’re dealing with fewer
bees if you’re pulling frames of honey and things like that
the same rule applies because you’ve got to get the bees off of the honeycomb so
that you can pull it and do your extraction so you again want to do that
when most foragers are out and the numbers that you’re going to contend
with inside the hive are reduced so you know noon to 2:00 or 3:00 in the
afternoon would be optimum for that the other thing is inspecting the hive if
you’re pulling honey you want to do that in the hot days so cold cloudy rainy
days are not days to be inspecting your high your bees are already going to be
stressed most of the bees will not be out flying although some will head out
but that’s not a time so a sunny clear day without high winds and things like
that would be a fantastic time for you to look at your bees conditions for
extraction pretty good follow-on to when to inspect your hive
because the same conditions that make for a good hive inspection are also a
good time for you to be pulling frames if they’re all capped and you’re trying
to extract the honey then the numbers of bees will be down and you can pull those
frames and you want to do that on a warm day extracting honey goes much quicker
when it’s a nice hot day so same thing number of bees is down you’ll be able to
pull those frames you’ll be able to swap them and get them back out there the
other thing is if you’re pulling French or extraction you’re way ahead if you’ve
already got drawn comb from previous extractions so if you can’t come with
you ready to restore to the hive that have been cleaned and stored then when
you pull those frames out put that replacement comb straight in and that
way you’re only visiting that I’ve one time some people pull hole boxes and
that’s a little different story so you’re gonna pull the whole box if you
get a replacement box you go on right then put it on the more you limit the
number of times you open the hive smoke the bees and interact with the bees the
fewer visits you have like that the better for the bees
so if you can do everything in one move open pull the frames you need restore
the frame resources because they still have to have a place to put their honey
if you can do all of that in one move one visit you’re way ahead and it’s much
easier for the bees now that’s all the question it’s the last question that I
received was excellent acid treatment at solid absent sound like acid treatment
for varroa mites is is a very involved process so what I’ve decided to do on
that one is my next video is going to actually be how to treat for varroa and
as I mentioned before I used survivor line bees varroa resistant hygienic bees
that doesn’t mean that I’m not prepared to do like sonic acid treatment I am and
I’m going to go over that and my thoughts about that in my next video so
thank you for watching this video thank you for submitting your questions if
you’re interested in more videos from me please subscribe and if you liked this
forum if you liked the way this is going please click a like on this video and
submit your questions down below I’ll be more than
answer them again like my kind of flow is going to be that whenever you get ten
or more questions ready to go I’ll try to do another frequent last questions
video this is number three it’s been well received thank you very much


  1. THANK YOU for answering my question regarding the use of screened bottom boards!!! I appreciate you taking the time to consider my question valid enough to answer in your video. GREAT VIDEO!! I learned a lot about a reputable company to purchase bees as well as the different types of frames to use. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!!

  2. If you purchase a queen from Bee Weaver, after a brood cycle, will the hive be mite resistant? And how do you make sure you continue to have hygenic bees? Is it by regularly replacing the queen with a hygenic strain instead of allowing them to make a queen and mate in the open?

  3. I live in a small farm zone. Both of my neighbors (on both sides of my house) resource their land to farmers. Unfortunately, I'm not always home when the farmers are planting and spraying chemicals on my neighbor's yard and my neighbors are not particularly friendly. I don't know how to combat the problem but I'll have to work it out the best way I can.

  4. Ha I think these videos are great I am not a new bee keeper Been doing it for 5 years. But I love watching videos on the bees and seeing how other bee keepers tend there bees. I wanted to tell u that these videos are great and thanks for making them Have a great day.

  5. Hello, watching from England, very informative and helpful👍, a great series of videos 👍, looking forward to the next one, keep up the good work, catch up again soon

  6. Thanks again. I am allergic to bee venom but I am still wanting to get a flow hive. I wonder how many allergic beekeepers there are. I am assuming I have to suit up if I go near the hive. I have so much to learn.

  7. There are two "Weaver" apiaries. Do you use Bee Weaver or RWeaver? As both apiaries are physically close to one another I would imagine the strains are pretty close genetically. What made you choose the one you use?

  8. Not to be creepy, but I have made the decision to stencil Fred's likeness on my hives this year then have a speech bubble offering words of wisdom out of his mouth like "feed 2 to 1 sugar syrup in the fall" or "bees need mineral water".


  9. As your next video is going to be about varroa treatment, I have a story and questions to ask you about because I'm struggling with it these days.
    More than a month ago I treated my hives with stripes as I was advised by my local beekeeper because there were mites in the area. A week after, I started seeing bees some of them with deformed wings crawling on the ground. I thought they were capped when I treated. But the problem kept going for the other 2 weeks. When I asked my local beekeeping supplier, he told me that the problem is with the brand of stripes that I have and there were many complaints about it. So I bought a new brand (it was promising from the smell) and I treated with it 7 days ago.
    -How much time needed to see if it worked?
    -Do I have to treat again?
    -If it didn't work, what I should do?
    I will be grateful for your thoughts and opinions 🙂

  10. Mr. Dunn I have read and watched when installing a nuc, to leave the nuc on the bottom board of the hive body where it’s going to be placed, and let it sit for 24 or 48 hours before installing it into the hive body??? Your thoughts???

  11. This is great Fred – for a new-bee like myself, really invaluable. Three questions came to mind during this:

    With a flowhive, would you recommend making a small entrance in the flow frame box – especially if one was using a queen excluder? I note you have said you do have some supers with small entrances to make it easier and quicker for the bees to get in and out.

    Would you share details on your watering feeders?

    In FAQ #3, you mentioned that you will remove frames that "look bad" and replace with a new empty foundationless frame. Could you ellaborate on "looks bad"? Are you meaning in terms of the actual frame (ie the wood) or what is in the comb? I assume everything on the frame and including the frame is destroyed?

  12. Just thought of another question.

    How are you checking for mites to determine a hive infection count?

    I have now seen some people using a sticky bottom board. Another guy I saw grabs a small jar full "house bees" and kills them all by putting them in alcohol. He would then remove the dead bees and count the mites left behind in the alcohol and determine the percentage of mites and project that percentage into the hive. He says they die instantly, I wasn't overly keen on this approach, personally.

  13. What a great series for beginners! Regarding extinguishing the smoker when done, I used to stuff grass or folded-over leaves into the smoker spout to quickly extinguish the fire. This is especially important to me when it comes to leaving an outyard and I want the fire to go out quickly. Even at my home apiary, it is nice to be able to save the unused smoker fuel for another day. It will be extra dry the next time I light it off. For the past few years, instead of using plugs of grass or leaves, I instead use one those rubber wine bottle stoppers. No, they do not melt, and they quickly extinguish the fire. When our state apiarist visited, I watched her pack up and leave after stuffing a rag into the spout of her smoker as well as a rag in the vent-hole – she jammed a rag between the bellows and the metal smoker can so that it did a pretty good job of sealing off the vent hole. But I just use the plug in the spout. While cooling, btw, I keep the smoker on dirt ground or in a metal bucket.

  14. Fred , I see you keep bees around your yard and I'm interested if mowing your lawn aggravates your bees ? Do you mow early or later in the day ?

  15. I'm full of questions here.

    Lets say your hive populations keep growing but now you don't want to manage anymore hives. Aside from doing a split and giving it away to someone, are there any other ways to manage population growth?

  16. This is more of a request than a question, but would you be partial to more experimentation on the consumption preferences of bees? I found your videos on bees' salt preferences very useful, and plan to conduct additional experiments of my own, but more data would help, and it would be interesting to see if the same experiments yield the same results with bees from different stock in different locations.

    After seeing your videos, I began wondering if we could not somehow further supplement the nutrient content of the feed we provide to bees (in order to better mimic nature), and I happened upon a candidate sitting in my fridge.
    Specifically, I'm wondering if adding some moderate amount of maple syrup to sugar syrup would benefit bees in any way. From what anecdotal evidence I was able to find from beekeepers, some are fine with it because:
    a) beekeepers and members of the maple syrup industry have observed bees collecting maple sap directly from maple trees, or,
    b) beekeepers have been feeding their bees maple sap or syrup for significant lengths of time with no ill effects,
    whereas other beekeepers advise against it because:
    a) maple syrup may cause dysentery in confined bees (i.e. bees stuck in the hive during winter) due to high levels of dissolved solids/minerals,
    b) maple syrup may contain caramelization products either indigestible or detrimental to the health of bees (and may cause dysentery or otherwise poison them),
    c) maple syrup is considerably lower in sugar content than nectars and is therefore unsuitable or undesirable to bees, or,
    d) it's expensive (by comparison).
    However, upon attempting to find corroboration for either of these cases in scientific literature, I was unable to discover any mention whatsoever of maple syrup in connection with bees. From the studies I did find on the chemical composition of maple syrups, the primary constituents are all sugars nutritious to bees (sucrose, fructose, glucose), the minerals therein are all bee micronutrients (though I cannot speak to their concentrations), and the remaining miscellaneous trace acids listed are also found in bees or the hive already (and may be micronutrients as well). Nowhere was I able to find mention of caramelization composites or other substances that might be bad for bees. This lead me to pose the following question:

    Provided this feeding is not performed during colder months (to avoid inflicting dysentery upon bees that cannot exit the hive to void themselves), would bees prefer sugar syrup fortified with maple syrup (1 teaspoon per quart? 1 tablespoon? 2?) over pure sugar syrup for the additional nutrients/minerals?

  17. Excellent explanation of how you do splits and all the"why" pieces. Thank you! I was just looking at my landing boards today and had some bearding on one hive. I was going to take the entrance reducers off as warm weather seems to be here to stay for the most part. I wonder since my hives are so close together if I should consider some other options.. some hives have upper entrances as well. Here is a video: Ok thank you as always.. on to 4 next.. 🙂

  18. I'm newly interested to beekeeping, and I've found your FAQs videos to be extremely helpful in generally learning to appreciate bees and in my family's deliberations on whether or not to make beekeeping a hobby. We are currently working through your series and wanted to thank you for taking the time to create these.

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