Bee Keeping Frequently Asked Questions 11 Beginning With Bees

okay so welcome to another beekeeping
frequently asked questions this is frequently asked questions episode
number 11 and today is Friday April the fifth and it’s 39 degrees outside
raining and blowing and terrible and we can’t be out of the bee yard again
go figure but the good news is this afternoon is supposed to hit 50 and
hopefully that rain will subside a little bit and we can go out there and
do something so if you’re new here you’re welcome and please feel free to
write your questions down in the comments section of this video and we’ll
address those that will be of wide appeal next Friday when we released
another frequently asked questions video so welcome and let’s get right into it
here the first question that I have I forget who asked it but it says catch
a swarm then wreak ween it and I’ll know what I
have should I treat that swarm okay first of all what is a swarm of bees so
when the when the old Queen gets run out of the hive and the colony decides to a
victor she’s going to leave this is how a colony of bees gives birth to a new
colony of bees so the queen that has been the resident queen for a while gets
kicked out of the hive they stopped feeding her they chase her around awhile
she loses weight and she can fly hopefully unless her wings are clipped
and she’s a marked in controlled Queen she’s going to leave and about half the
colony is going to go with her the workers went half to seventy percent it
can be a lot early spring swarms are huge so be ready for those by the way
have your equipment on standby I have boxes ready to go so you can collect and
hive a swarm quickly without running around like a chicken with your head cut
off and have some protective equipment to wear to even those worms in general
are very passive you can get into a pickle there if you end up with some hot
bees so once you get the swarm do you have to reek wean well you don’t know
anything about those bees yet if they’ve come from your yard where I live
I am very isolated from other beekeepers so when I see us war
in a tree you know 100 feet from my apiary I’m 99% sure those are already my
bees that’s already my queen and I’m gonna collect and high of them all my
stuff is staged I have a whole rack of hives ready to go in my detached garage
and I have a swarm kit so I don’t have to run around and figure out where my
stuff is when somebody calls and says hey there’s a bunch of bees on my fence
post would you be interested in coming to get them because as you and I know
those bees can disappear in an hour or they could be there for two days we
don’t know but if you want to get them have your gear ready to go the only
thing you’re gonna mix up fresh when you’re going after a swarm it’s gonna be
your sugar syrup 50/50 sugar water cuz you want to spray them they’re already
going to be having a hard time because if they’ve been there for a while
they’re hungry so the whole point is once you get that swarm and you bring it
back and you put it in a newbie box or an old one if your swarm lure or your
swarm trap is an old beehive which I recommend that you use because those are
handy once you bring them back and you set them up where they’re going to be
this is a great time to treat that swarm especially if they’re not yours you want
to treat them with oxalic vaporisation my opinion you can do anything you want
with your own stuff I’m just here to share what I do and how I approach it
historically I have to admit that I have not done that I’ve been doing this for
12 years I collect a lot of swarms I enjoy doing that because it’s an
opportunity to educate people about bees it always trials a small group of people
that want to see what’s going on and you can tell them about it and you can put
your hand in the swarm and show everybody how non-defensive they are and
things like that but once they’re hived if you’ve traveled some distance new you
don’t know anything about those bees I would recommend once you box them that
you treat with oxalic vapor oxalic acid vapor and that will knock out any of the
varroa destructor that they may be bringing with them there’s a reason why
bee swarms sometimes it’s to get away from the hives that they’re occupying so
conditions and that hive may not be favourable they may actually be overrun
with varroa destructor parasites and when they do that you can get rapid
worms coming out of a colony because they’re really rejecting the
place that they’re living there are many reasons why bees swarm there’s just one
of them and one that we have some control over if you want to treat them
as they come into your apiary so I recommend that you do that the question
was do you reclaim them once you get them and my answer to that is no I
why would you wreak ween unless you want to let them set up house once you hide
that swarm and once they’re all set with a need to be leave them alone for a
while if you want to increase the chances that they’re gonna stay there
you could pull a frame of brood from one of your other colonies if you have it
put that in there and they won’t abandon the brood they’ll adopt that brood right
away by the way their goal is to survive and so they’re gonna start building wax
right away they’re gonna draw out comb so if you provide some drawn-out comb
you’re also way ahead in enticing them to stay you want to keep them for a
while and see what their behavior is if they’re highly defensive if they don’t
seem very productive if after a couple of weeks you open it up and the queen
isn’t really laying very well then it is a good time to order in a replacement
Queen because Queens can be shipped almost any time of the year and they can
come FedEx they can come UPS they come overnight mail so you bring the Queen in
after you’ve eliminated the resident Queen so once you have your swarm once
the box is set once you’ve established themselves and you’ve had time to
observe their behavior and their productivity and things like that if
they’re favourable great keeper leave it alone just as it is on the other hand if
she’s obviously failing and the colonies doomed because of her behavior or it’s a
hot hive their attitude is wrong you will want to remove that Queen and then
you’re going to kill her and then three days later you’ll be installing the
replacement Queen and the reason you don’t do it immediately is because you
want those bees who are following that Queen to become accustomed to her
absence you want her pheromone to dissipate from that colony and you want
the bees that are resident there now to accept a new Queen when she comes and
the way to encourage them to do that is to remove the Queen several days ahead
of time so when you place your queen or and you know the delivery date is you
know coming up on a Monday like next Monday then next Friday you’re going to
want to get out there and kill that Queen you don’t want to waste that Queen
though so take that queen separator out and I’ll tell you what to do with her
later but that’s how you read Queen and then you’ll observe she’ll come in a
cage with a couple of workers you put that in that colony and you see how they
accept her and once they’ve accepted her you’re good to go
same thing you’re gonna want to monitor that and make sure that the replacement
was good so do you have to reclaim them No
based on their performance later give him a couple weeks three weeks even
doesn’t hurt but if she’s not laying eggs and things like that if she’s
really deficient the numbers in that colony the strength is gonna go down
rapidly because remember when you bring in a new queen and she starts laying
you’re delayed 21 days at least 21 days before you’re gonna see any new hive
colony members so the quicker you catch on to that the better so the attitude of
the Queen there performs levels of the Queen and laying patters things like
that will decide whether or not you want to keep that Queen so she should be good
to go okay next and like I said treat them with Oh a when to use an entrance
reducer this is a good question this time of year we’re just coming into
spring we’re just going to come into a nectar flow here right now hopefully
you’re feeding your bees hopefully you’re helping them get through the
rough winter that we’re having really strange weather across the United States
I am located in the northeastern United States along the Great Lakes region and
that’s why we’re having terrible weather right now but anyway an entrance reducer
if you look at a honeybee hive across the front there’s a landing board and
there’s an opening the full width of that hive so it’s either 1/8 frame width
or 10 frame width and during winter time generally speaking you have an insurance
reducer that cuts down the airflow there and you reduce it from the sides and you
leave an opening in the center usually it’s an inch and a half to two inch
opening in the center and that’s so that the bees can manage the weather that
they’re exposed to and also as their numbers dwindle they can fend off in
traders better so entrance reducers even keep things out like mice and so by
reducing the entrance you give a greater control to a smaller number of bees in
the hive so when do you use it well winter time as I mentioned but the other
thing is a lot of people are starting out with bees right now so you’re gonna
be putting in packaged beads or you’re gonna be putting in a nucleus of bees
which is 3 to 5 frames of brood and a queen and when you put those in there
you don’t want your entrance wide open because their numbers are down and they
can’t defend an entire landing board of intruders like wasps and hornets and
things like that so and even other robber colonies of honeybees will start
to attack during periods of dearth or in the early spring when there isn’t a lot
of nectar yet but the colonies are all in rapid build-up mode so when resources
are thin you also want an entrance reducer on when resources are plentiful
so when we get into a nectar flow and everything’s in bloom and there’s
dandelions everywhere and there’s clover everywhere and your bees are just
springing it in as fast as they can and you see them all heaped up and there’s a
traffic jam at your entrance that’s the time when you want to open that up and
give it larger access to your bottom board so that entrance during times of
Plenty you’re gonna open that wide out because all the bees in the area are
getting plenty of from the environments that aren’t robbing each other so the
threats are down and when the numbers are up you have a huge colony it’s
wall-to-wall bees in there and they’re collecting on the outside and so on
because you just have so many bees open the landing board all the way because
sometimes you’ll see when they’re stressed they need more air movement in
there and that’s also a time when you want to shim the cover of your hives so
that they can vent out a little bit in upper entrances and things like that
happen so small colonies get their entrances reduced a lot winter time
extreme temperature timeframes they get reduced unless it’s a high heat
situation if it’s high heat then you want vented entrance reducers but you
want them to be able to defend themselves
so you’re just reducing the area that they have to control so that’s when you
use them now that leads me to another point here what
do I use for entrance reducers I’m sure we’re all familiar with the wooden ones
that have a narrow opening and when you flip it and it has a wide opening off to
the side I like to leave the entry to that colony on that landing board in the
center and then on the sides if I have to reduce the entrance I take this
aluminum window screen and I roll it several times and then I just push it in
and this becomes my entrance reducer and they get a couple of them and I push
them in and then I leave an opening through the center so this also allows
them to vent the hive bees hornets wasps they can’t pull this out so this also
provides them the protection that they need and it gives them a control area
and it does not cut down on the venting that they can have so I like to put in
screens this will not of course stop a mouse if you get a pushy Mouse and wants
to get in there then you might have to consider something else but when you’re
just trying to protect the bees and give them a good start and let them have an
area small enough entering and departing the hive that allows them to control and
protect it rolled up window screens very inexpensive catch your own make your own
stick them in there and they’re good to go so when you’re starting out with your
bees reduced entrance cold weather reduced entrance hot weather unless
there’s a lot of robbing going on but if the numbers in your colony are huge they
can defend themselves so you can open up that bottom board completely and pull
the entrance reducer right out which is what I do with my largest and most
productive colonies I just pull the entrance reducers off completely and
that gives them absolute control over how much they ventilate and it’s an area
that they can actually defend really well so and this leads me back to the
next question was how to make a swarm lure with the dead Queen so first of all
this takes me back to the first swarm if you were gonna re Queen that question
number one there don’t just if you have to kill the Queen
are you gonna get another one in don’t just throw her away you can take that
Queen and if you’ve got die outs this time of year a lot of people do if you
don’t have any die outs you’re a miracle beekeeper so that means that you’ve done
extremely well or you’re living in a great area but in my state the state of
Pennsylvania most beekeepers lose 50 percent on average as much as 60 percent
and this year a lot of people I know lost all of their bees we had terrible
weather fluctuations so the practice and a lot of people especially this time of
year you can finally get out in the apiary and get in those hives I’m gonna
pull them apart they sweep out all the bees so they use low pressure air and
they blow off all the frames and they just blow those bees out into the yard
and let ants eat them or whatever I suggest that you do not do that you want
to find the Queen if you’re looking at a dead out let’s assume that they starved
out or something like that which is very common for them to starve on the brood
frame and who else was on the bridge framed the Queen and then there’ll be a
tiny cluster left trying to form a temperature control barrier around the
Queen because that is the hive and that is the future of the hive so the colony
is going to save the Queen she’s going to be among the last that are still
alive in that colony in the hive so find the Queen pull her out and then you can
throw away the rest of the bees if you’re not gonna look them over and
study them to see if you can find parasitic activity on them dead
parasites as well because what happens when the hive dies out their parasites
that were depending on the bees also die so now you’ve got dead varroa if they
existed there so you can do alcohol watches and things like that
and see if you can get varroa off the dead bees to kind of figure out what the
contributing factors were to why those bees died if they starved it’s going to
be obvious because they’re all going to be bottom down in the cells their little
abdomens they’re going to be contracted and all the resources immediately under
the bees are going to be completely gone very frustrating because you’ll often
just a few inches away we’ll see that there’s plenty of capped honey and
resources and everything else but that’s another story so we get the the queen
bee out these are one ounce glass jars I get whole boxes of them
and you drop the Queen in here now do not just take the Queen and because
we’re gonna crush her up but don’t like put on rubber gloves and take the Queen
in your hand and and roll around and crush it all up that way and then just
try stuff all the pieces in here because
some of that valuable pheromone that we’re trying to preserve will rub off on
your fingers on the gloves things like that so put the whole Queen in there if
you’ve got a couple of dead out so you’ve got a couple of Queens you can
put two of them in one jar one ounce glass jar once she’s in there I take
something like this shish kebob bamboo stick stick that in there and then you
crush up the Queen and just break her up into a bunch of little pieces then
you’re gonna take your funnel that you have handy because you’re a beekeeper
and you have everything that you need at hand at all times and then you’re gonna
take isopropyl alcohol isopropanol and then you’re gonna fill this jar I don’t
know two-thirds of the way and so you’ll have the Queen’s body in there you’ll
have isopropanol in there and then you’re gonna put the lid on it that
seals and now you’ve got a pheromone lure first warm traps the shelf life on
this is basically forever so when you have dead Queens or if you have to kill
the Queen for any reason and you’re gonna re Queen that colony preserve the
Queen put her in make a pheromone lure now then you’ll just use q-tips and dip
it in this make sure that you’ve made and then you’ll smear that a little bit
around the entrance of your swarm lure and then you’re going to your swarm trap
and then you’re going to put some up in the back and I take q-tips two or three
at a time dip them in put them in a ziplock baggie
and clip the little corners off the ziplock bag and put the whole baggie top
back of that swarm trap and then that is a pheromone that will attract Scout bees
hopefully to leader swarm to occupy your box and then you get to replace your
piece but this year and last year too I use swarm commander premium swarm lure
when you look at swarm lures you can make your own there’s lots of ways let
me grab some oil things like that this is a formulation with probably has
lemongrass oil in it because it smells like that it just is not for consumption
spray commander directly on your inner cover or telescoping lid also spray
twice on your landing board and repeat week
as needed this is what I’m using this year you know we put out swarm traps and
I like to try different things so I can put Queen pheromone lures that we’ve
made or we can use swarm commander or you can use lemongrass oil mixes and see
which ones attract especially if your swarm trap is the exact same design
everywhere so the physical dimensions are identical so the variable would be
what you’re using to lure them in so this year when I gets worms
I get swarms all the time usually I go and collect them but they do voluntarily
move into some of my empty bee boxes we’ll find out how well that works and
which designs draw the beads and which pheromone lures work the most so that’s
coming up this summer but that’s what you do with the Queen turn her into a
pheromone lure for swarm traps so don’t throw those Queens away number 4 what
type what types of hive tops do you like and why alright when we look at videos
and pictures of my apiary there’s a wide variety of hive covers hive tops so I
can tell you what I don’t like that’s very easy I don’t like the migratory
covers those are when you see a bunch of commercial bees and bee boxes keep in
mind commercial bee box designs are so that you can manage hundreds or even
thousands of hive bodies in close contact with one another and they’re
designed to butt right against each other be strapped on pallets loaded on
trucks and shipped around the country for pollination services so the
migratory covers you know they’re shaped like this on the ends they lately flat
and snug against the top box and on the the size of them nothing overlaps and
that’s so that you can put boxes right next to each other without anything
interfering with that and then they’re strapped down so migratory covers I will
say are my least favorite because there’s no inner cover the migratory
cover is a single piece with a couple edges and no inner cover no venting
nothing like that so it sits flush least-favorite
so then through the years college I like telescoping cover
I like the covers to go over the hive box that settled down that cover the
inner cover and then leave some wiggle room so that you can shim them a little
bit and allow air space up through the top the insulating properties come into
play so your cover should have a way to lock air in it so for example if it’s a
polystyrene cover which I have several of those they reflect heat in the summer
they hold the heat in the wintertime they’re very good insulators the reason
I don’t get entire hives made out of polystyrene is just because that when it
comes to the landfill they’re not recyclable they are you know they’re
terrible and nobody takes on my recycling company doesn’t take them so
the polystyrene has a half-life decomposing in the environment of 500
years it’s terrible stuff so if I use polystyrene anywhere it’s going to be
just for the hive covers and they last for many years and you can paint them
the drawback is my chickens eat them the bees can shoo them and they will degrade
if they’re not painted to protect them from the sun’s rays so they have great
insulating properties so they telescope over so polystyrene is okay not my
favorite but I like them and you can strap them down plus you can put rocks
on them and stuff if you want to just weight them down they’re very rigid so
the next one is the gable roofs I like the gable roofs that you see a
lot in the United Kingdom for example not so popular in the United States but
you see them on Flo hives and things like that but the gabled roofs have been
around for a long time I like them because they’re they’re fancy looking
they’re ornamental they shed rainwater out to the sides they have a nice gable
end that you can cut a hole in and have venting or you can have an upper access
through the cover and they telescope over and they have an inner cover as
well so you can put feed and things like that in there too so the gabled roofs I
like because they’ll accommodate a rapid round feeder things like that so if you
if you’re not figuring this out I really don’t have a single favorite there are
attributes to each and there are drawbacks to each design so I like those
I like the B smart design covers because they are a very tough plastic that’s
that’s formulated so that it can handle
ultraviolet rays is white so it reflects heat as an air gap in it so that it also
insulates in the wintertime and some of them have holes in them so you can have
a hive top feeder without pulling the cover off plus they extend out beyond
the box so there’s a nice lip all the way around that has a drip edge built
into it so when it’s raining the rainwater doesn’t follow the cover in
and go right down the side of your box and on to your landing board so another
consideration when I’m thinking about why I like different hive covers is
sometimes especially in the summertime or doing heavy during heavy nectar flows
you have an abundance of bees in your hive so this is also a period where we
want to expand the hive to accommodate the extra honey and resources that
they’re bringing in but the other thing is you’ll see bees collecting on the
outside of your hives I’ve had hives 2/3 covered in bees during peak production
so they also move up underneath your hive cover so the edges that stick out
nice and wide are providing shelter and protection for those bees that are mass
on the outside of your hive so there’s another you know bonus pot behind having
a nice flare out or extension that the cover has it goes beyond when you’re a
backyard beekeeper and you’re non-commercial you’re not worried about
packing up your stuff and shipping it around and you know migrating things and
you’re not dealing with hundreds of hives so if you want to make a fancy
cover that has a greater extension that provides shelter for the bees that are
collected on the outside but also sheds more rainwater it’s only effective as a
rainwater shed when you’re just starting out because when you just start out with
your bees you’re gonna have a single deep box that’s going to have your bees
in it and they’re gonna start to build up so your entrance reducer as we
discussed earlier because they’re new will have a small entrance when you put
the cover directly on that first box and it extends well beyond you do have some
benefit to shedding rain and things like that it even can provide some shade for
a part of the hive but as you add boxes that’s less effective so the whole idea
that you know the the hive cover is going to have a good ring
shed effect unless the rain is falling directly down which where I live almost
never happens the rain is always coming in at an angle it always comes with a
big windstorm so you know the the covers not going to shed for a lot of rain but
it can provide emergency shelter for the bees and are on the outside and so on so
it’s really a matter of aesthetics what do you like to look at the other thing
is some people like to carry their smokers out there and when they’re
looking at the hive or whatever they set their smoker right on top of the roof of
the hive and you can’t do that if you have the gabled roofs the other thing is
the flat roof so if it’s probably starving you don’t wanna set your smoker
on that he’s just gonna melt it so you have to put a brick or something on
there and then set your smoker on the break so there there’s facility to it it
needs to be able to be strapped down the new flow hive to covers the roofs for
those have holes going through the size of them and thumb screws going on so it
actually grips on to that top box so worrying about the wind blowing off the
cover is the other end of it if you can’t strap it down and your cover it’s
got a lot of excess surface area on it and the wind hits the side of your hives
and blows up it could lift and blow off the cover so covers that have big
extensions on them they’re going to be more of a wind zone problem so the
ability to strap them down you know they should be able to be vented you should
be able to shim them but my personal favorite I don’t have a single favorite
I like a variety of different covers for a variety of different reasons and
covers are interchangeable so they’re sometimes I’ll take a polystyrene cover
and put it on a colony that had a regular telescoping cover that had the
metal cladding on it because I wanted more insulation or something like that
and it’s it’s really personal preference and aesthetics they’re all designed to
function well they the outer cover is what we’re talking about there’s always
an inner cover so those things need to work well with each other and the
ability to accommodate feed so sometimes the gable covers are the only ones right
now that have a space in them so when you’ve got the gabled roof you’ve got a
space inside here’s the inner cover you can set a rapid round in
there so unless is a gable cover you don’t have the room for that the be
smart designed covers have the holes in the top so again they put the feet on
the outside but that’s an inverted tank that has a hole through it and so your
bees come up through the inner cover and feed on that so depending on the
resources you may have to provide for your bees may also dictate what your
cover design is going to be that you prefer so the environment that you’re in
you know so if you’re gonna be a commercial beekeeper you’re probably
going to have those migratory covers I’m not I’ll never have those just because
you know they’re designed for a facility not really to benefit the bees so I hope
that answers that question I don’t have a single favorite number five how do we
stay cool when it’s hot here’s the thing when you’re if you’re just setting up
your beehives and you need to plan for the weather extremes where you live if
you’re living in a desert region an arid region or it’s really gonna get dry and
hot for a big part of the year you need to plan to put your bees in midday shade
so if you’ve got trees and overhangs from buildings and things like that and
you can put your beehives right up near the building so in the summertime the
overhang for the roof of the building can shield your bees from midday Sun so
that will cool it down shade is a big thing and the other thing is the color
of the hive so if you’re in a an area that gets hot all the time you’re gonna
want to have a light color so you’re gonna want you know the most common it’s
going to be a white box painting your bee boxes with exterior-grade household
paint is probably the number one preservative for bee boxes anyway so if
you’re in a hot zone white paint glossy white paint the so then once that’s
taken care of the positioning shading everything else how did the bee stay
cool inside so the bees have two ways to stay cool one is of course they’re
ventilating if they can draw cooler air from outside and move it across the
brood frames and through the high especially because they’re dehydrating
honey also if there’s a nectar flow on so their air movement so just like you
turning on a fan the fan is going to move air
your skin it’s going to cool you down so the second phase of that if it’s really
dry and air movement through a room is not going to change the temperature in
the room it just feels good so when we have the real field temperature you hear
the you know the weatherman put out it’s 32 degrees outside but real feel is 27
that’s because it’s real feel it’s how it feels to you when the wind moves the
air across your skin is going to feel colder than it is but that’s because
you’re perspiring and you’re actually going to feel colder than it is the
actual temperature can be controlled by the bees by they can’t perspire bees
don’t sweat so what do they do there are water bees just as there are bees
account and click pollen and nectar there are bees that go out and do
nothing but hunt up water resources so these water bees go out and they find
hopefully there’s water nearby and hopefully you’re providing plenty of
fresh water for your bees they’re gonna collect the water bees are gonna collect
water and nothing else and then they’re gonna take that into the hive and
they’re gonna go straight to the bridge frames and they’re gonna spread with
their tongues they spread the water all over the surface and then the bees that
are Fanning that area are moving air across that and it’s going to cause a
cooling effect so through evaporation they’re cooling the interior of the hive
now that becomes pretty critical with the bees because when they’re hatching
baby bees and when they have pupae and they have larvae we don’t want that to
dry out so they control the humidity in there they do that by bringing in water
and you have to provide them with enough shade and venting through the top so
they can move the air or not move the air so you may even actually have to
close down the venting a little bit so how do they stay cool when it’s hot
access to fresh water they create their own air conditioning if you’ve ever sat
in front of a beehive that’s full and watched the bees of the entrance they
are moving a lot of air get a piece of thread and hold it in front of the entry
and you’ll see them below so they are very efficient at moving air to and from
the colony so humidity is critical if they don’t
have water if they can’t maintain high humidity they get dehydrated like
anything else and then their pupae can actually die out so they need access to
fresh water all the time I provide fresh filtered water for the
bees I also provide sea salted water for the beasts because mineral salts are
very critical for them as well and then of course during a period of Duras
you’re going to want to provide sugar syrup so you’ll want to give them one to
one sugar syrup to help them out but moisture is one way that they stay cool
when it’s hot provide them a shade so along that line I’m going to give a
shout out to another beekeeping channel which is kind of unusual for me but for
those of you who are living in hot climates and you’re in the south and in
the south of course there’s piles of beekeepers because it’s just a great
place I mean if you’re gonna keep using you want success you’re gonna live in
Georgia or Alabama or Mississippi or somewhere where the bees are not
challenged by the environment where I live for giving them an extreme test
through the cold and the variable weather conditions that we have but I
want to recommend a southern beekeeper channel for you to watch I know a lot of
you don’t just watch my channel when you’re learning about bees hopefully you
don’t you’re probably canvassing several channels but I want to send you to a
channel called walls bee man waa LLS vee ma n waltz bee man is a guy I don’t know
his actual first name he’s been keeping bees for decades he’s an older guy he’s
really funny he lives in the south and he’s going to be able to address
southern stresses on your peas very well so you might want to check out his
channel he likes to tell jokes at the end and things like that I think he’s a
very good pragmatic down-to-earth hands-on beekeeper that shares really
good common sense solutions to beekeeping problems so check in with him
and tell him I said hello so that’s a shout out to another channel for a guy
that lives in the south that just has a lot of experience and a lot of years
under his belt and he has great advice for those of you who are living in
southern climates the next one is from Craig I have a queen I like how do we
continue those genetics okay so we’re backyard beekeepers we don’t really get
deep into genetics when it comes to beekeeping when you have a queen and
she’s in you’re calling your colonies doing really well we know the Queen’s
days are numbered they’re not going to be around forever eventually they fail
and the Queen may just die she may be run out by the bees and swarms out and
you never see her again the best you can hope for is that you keep part of those
genetics so a lot of people if you’re like me when you have a queen that’s
doing great things and you have a colony that like my Tiger colony that’s
ridiculously successful year after year after year I’m sure I’ve been through
many Queens in that hive and that’s because I do splits when I needed bees
for my observation hive I took brood frames from that one because I can take
five brood frames out of that colony and there’s still seven brood frames left so
they’re incredibly productive now each time I do that I get a queen that’s
because they’ll create their own queen cells that comes from their own genetics
and then that Queen is going to fly out as a virgin queen and she’s going to be
mated with eight to eleven drones at a drone congregation area so we don’t have
any control over what drones she ends up meeting with and whether genetics are
they can fly for several miles that Queen goes out and comes back mated so
you’ve you’ve retained some of that genetic material so some of those
behaviors and some of those successes hopefully will be retained and if that’s
in the spring when you do your splits in the springtime it’s the best because
hopefully when that new queen flies out with her genetics that you that you like
so much when she flies out and she mates with
these other drones those are drones hopefully that also made it through
winter so the genetics are pretty good and so when they come back we we control
a small percentage you know we all have that favorite bee that always did so
well in that colony that was just incredible that no matter what happened
to it it made it it recovered you know it’s numbers were strong coming out of a
terrible winter like we’ve just had like the
it’s still 39 still raining the bees that survived this winter are my
favorites because they survived winter and there’s they’re still alive there
were bees going into the fall that I thought were fantastic they were
incredible at all the resources in the world and they died so it’s natural for
us to want to continue those genetics but we really have no control the
companies are doing genetic research are also doing artificial insemination of
their bees so they’re selecting you know the drones and they’re selecting the
queens and you know they’re really controlling those genomes and we can’t
do that as backyard beekeepers all we can do is keep strong bees keep them
well-fed keep them well housed and managed and hope that when we do produce
new Queens not the bees they mate with will also have favorable traits and
we’ll just observe those so it’s natural you like the Queen you want to continue
those genetics some people go into queen production some people preserve Queens
and breed Queens specifically as a business and that’s a big deal but it’s
also well beyond the scope of backyard beekeeping so the most you can do is you
know keep that Queen as long as you can Queens live several years they can be
productive for several years and then hopefully we get her offspring and those
will breed with favorable traded bees and then we end up with you know 50% of
the stock that we like so much and hopefully infiltrated with other
genetics that are also favorable but we can’t preserve specifically those
genetics from that be unless you’re part of the genetics program and there are
new bees coming out this year I’m going to be testing out those tasks a trapeze
which come from Saskatchewan Canada they’ve made contracts with breeders
here in the United States right now there are 400 resistant hygienic and
they are cold weather champions and that company has contracted with companies
here in California and one other place so you can right now by
this new genetic line of survivor bees that handle the cold weather from man
lake it’s Ellingham so check out man lake ma and n la ke
they’re selling packaged bees I think they may have dropped down to just
pickups only but I am buying in package bees from them and we’re gonna try those
out because I’ve always been using the weaver bees that come out of Texas and
that they’ve been doin fantastic but I lose half of them every year no matter
what I do so half of my colonies every year die out so it you know I’m looking
for something stronger so two things I’m changing this year I’m gonna add in the
Weaver bees I’m still using because they’re still great and one of my
ridiculous colonies have made it through winter that lived in just one box one
eight frame box by itself nothing else came through and they’re still alive and
they’re still doing great those are weaver bees and so this year we’re gonna
upgrade to we’re gonna do some treatment i have never cheated my bees in the past
I just accepted that you know 50% of them die off every year and that the
ones that make it through or my survivor bees I’m gonna work with them and
they’re gonna be great and they’re stronger than ever because I made it
through winter but I’m wondering if I couldn’t get more through if even though
they are survivor bees that verow resistant on their own this is why I’m
testing out it’s all like acid and vaporization this year and I’m going to
be using that to see if I can boost their survival rates I want them to be
stronger going into winter and I’m going to add to my apiary those Aska trance
bees so genetics people are always doing research moving them forward the bee
Weaver family has been fantastic at that and now these Haskett roz bees can’t
wait to see them see how they do and if you’re getting those two and this is
your first year let me know if you had them through last winter write down in
the comments section and share with everybody what’s going on with those
bees I have high hopes for those so again if you’re doing oxalic acid
vaporization which is is the only treatment I’m going to do this year
as I said before I’ve never done it before I don’t like treating bees I
wanted my bees to make it on their own I like the idea that we have genetic stock
that can survive that resist disease that handles everything that you know
the chemical companies are throwing at them right now and they’re killing burro
on their own and they’re running small hive beetles out and you find I found
one small hive beetle one and so providing that you have bees that are
genetically powerful and they’re doing incredible things and they’re making it
but see the drawback is my bees through the years I’ve made lots of videos that
the landing boards of the bees you know evicting drones and throwing out the
workers and cleaning out the brood frames and they’re they’re fantastic at
cleaning everything out but you know what they’re doing they’re killing a lot
of bees or removing a lot of bees from their own stock so now we can say that
that’s an adaptation that allows them that’s behavioral and allows them to
succeed in an environment where we have a row a destructor all around them or
they have small high beetles trying to get into their honeycomb and the fact
that these bees can keep up with that on their own great you know it’s awesome
it’s sustainable but I’m gonna boost that I figure you know if they’re
successful in the face of all of that I’m also going to use the oxalic
vaporization oxalic acid vaporization and I started the first treatment did
the first treatment yesterday we’re going to do two more treatments seven
days apart and as I mentioned in the beginning and we’re gonna try to get a
handle on those Ferrara and see if the numbers increase if they’re not killing
off a bunch of their own bees in that colony just to keep up with varroa
destructor then that’s going to be a much stronger colony and they’ll still
have the varroa defensive traits they’ll still be able to chew and groom them off
and the ones that are left but if we get down to you know one varroa in a colony
the most I’ve ever gotten out of a colony when the state inspector was here
was one or two varroa so but the other thing is we were doing sugar rolls I
don’t know if we were getting them all so I’m going to do that too this summer
we’re going to be doing a lot more of a row accounting and I’m going to look for
those small hive beetle that’s coming up integrated pest
management which is part of that flow high to has a big tray in the bottom of
it we’re gonna be collecting stuff in there and seeing how that goes so Queens
and genetics things are on the move and I’m gonna do some changes to help out
the beast that I have here that’s it coming up on Sunday I’m going to release
a video that shows the new for those who are interested in the big version of the
flow high – which is a 10 frame Langstroth 7 frame and has all the
integrated pest management built-in levels leveling system for the base of
it and of course I did pyrography on it so I cut it in and decorated my own
stuff this is one of the front panels so I’m trying to make it educational and I
have the the Queen of course laying her egg here this is if you don’t know what
pyrography is it’s just wood burning I spend so much time doing this yesterday
and then so I have the Queen laying eggs and then I have the little eggs inside
the cells if we cut away the sides of them then we have the larva stage then
we have the pupa stage over here so this will be a front panel on the
brood box on the flow hive – which I’ll be able to use as an educational tool
and of course for the honey super we’re just gonna have big bees on it you know
that’s a lot of work but I thought you know I want to personalize it and make
it look kind of cool so anyway that’s coming up Sunday you’re gonna see that
video a few if you watch thank you for watching this one subscribe if you
haven’t already and if you’re interested in the follow on videos that we’re gonna
do and please take the time to write your questions down below if it’s been
answered before keep in mind we’ve done ten of these before today this is FAQ 11
we’re going to do FAQ 12 if I don’t respond to your question right away it
may be covered in a prior one all the questions that we answer in each video
are listed in the video description so that you’ll know what’s covered there so
thanks for watching and I hope that you’re having a better spring than we
are so far and happy beekeeping hope all your bees are healthy thanks again for


  1. Hi Frederick I love your videos can I just add a suggestion when you were talking about the types of Bee covers is it possible you could put small pictures of that in the upper right hand corner of your screen when you do the editing that kind of helps give us a small visual understanding of what you're talkin about especially for us new beekeepers thank you very much for your work.

  2. 32 and snowing here too… I thought winter was done! Here's to spring! Really enjoying this series.. gotta go back and watch from 3 on. Thanks Fred! Oh didn't realize you were in PA… thought you were further west. Are you Eastern or Western PA? Haha! Yeah, always trying to keep polystyrene away from my chickens.. they think it's popcorn! 🙂 Thanks for the Walls Beeman link! Yes, I'm so stoked all 3 of my main hives came through winter SOLID. I understand they are of Russian origin and have been acclimatized here for about 30+ years. Bees are such a cool long awaited addition to my homesteading operation. On bee health and mite tolerance, Have you seen Paul Stamet's talk about bees and the Giant Garden Mushroom fungi and how his bees responded from a health perspective on that? Very sweet hive cover you did! Thanks as always for the excellent info!

  3. Great information Mr. Dunn. Quick question, I have the opportunity to start a nuc yard at a great location. But there is a sewage lagoon within about 300 ft. Other than that a perfect location. Other water sources are close by. What would be your opinion of this?

  4. G'day Fred great video again👍not sure if you have covered it yet but any chance you could go over tge mechanism of the flow frames as i bought a secong hand hive and not sure if the cells are aligned properly cheers Dan from Aussie land 🍻

  5. Thanks for the info,Mr Dunn 🇱🇨👊.. Can't wait for the Weather to warm up on your side of the world..So we could see some videos of your Bees..

  6. Hi Fredrick, what are your thoughts on small fish tank heaters, for winter heating of sugar water? What was hive temperature shown on your thermal camera, over winter? Thanks for great Q & A.

  7. I have a saskatraz hive . They made it thru there first winter unbelievably strong . 10 solid frames of bees when I looked last week. They are bringing in pollen flying in colder weather then any of my other hives. I’m in Ohio so I think they will do great for you .


  9. Thanks Mr. Dunn for everything you've shared. My question is, can a new beekeeper open the hive to often? We have decided to go foundationless (against all rule of "new beekeeper") We installed a 3lb package on 3/25, looked in a few day later, got the queen cage out (the girls had already built comb off the bottom of the cage). Looked in again a couple days later and they were building comb straight . Can we leave them alone for a couple of weeks? Thanks again

  10. Fred I get sazktraz bees from and they sell them for a lot less then Mannlake I do buy from mann lake but check this out.

  11. I suggest to you to do oxalic acid treatment in the winter, when bees are broodless. That way, you only need 1 treatment instead of 3.

  12. Tim is walls bee man he is great he is wonderful a good person to watch. that was nice for u to send people to him

  13. When u do splits example u have a very strong hive there is 8 frames of capped brood plus lots of open brood how many frames can u take and not hurt the hive from making honey I hope u understand what I am trying to ask. I split the weak hives and not touch the strong one because I am afraid I will hurt production

  14. Hi Fredrick. I have a question and forgive me if it's been addressed before. I have all mediums and am getting deep nucs in a few weeks. Suggestions on how to deal with this problem would be appreciated. I've heard you can cut the comb down to med size and attach with rubber bands. When and if should this be done?

  15. Have you (or anyone) heard of a scientific study (University of Guelph, in Ontario Canada) regarding controlling Varroa with continuous release of oregano oil vapor? (1 month period) Any thoughts on it? Here is a link to the study. It seems to be easily repeatable, with the main challenge of running a 120V extension cord out to the hives. If you don't have a varroa problem with hygienic bees, then there is probably no point in you trying to duplicate this however.

  16. Fred thank you for producing these videos. One of these days winter will end for you.

    This spring I caught and hived a swarm of bees. I have an in-hive sugar syrup feeder in this new hive.

    Should I remove this supplemental food source if I treat this hive with Oxalic vapor? If so, when can it be replaced?

  17. Please elaborate on the scenario you described where there are apparently starved bees inches away from capped honey. What are the circumstances and causes for this and are there any unknowns?

  18. I have seen mixed school of thoughts for swarms or not. Some do swarm prevention because they lose honey production but I have seen an increase of the numbers of people who do not treat for mites etc and let the hives swarm because this is how nature reproduces colonies.

    Some people clip thier queens so that they cannot swarm very far and are easy to recapture.

    You can even make your own swarm by taking the queen putting her in a cage and dumping a few frames of bees on her on like a fence post to simulate a swarm.

    At any rate I think I want mine to swarm now as I want more bees and a swarm is a free new hive.

  19. Usually when you register your hives for the state you can get put on a list for police or fire to call you if a swarm needs captured.

  20. People also breed queens to harvest royal jelly for skin care products. I think China does up to 90 percent of Royal Jelly production. It is crazy how much they produce for the worldwide market.

  21. I want to try some of those bees you are talking about. I got all beeweavers in my yard.

    Going to get 3 more nucs on April 19th. Can't wait. Especially since I have been filling raised garden beds with 2 tons of dirt.

    I need the break!

  22. I think I will just make a beeweaver split and put a saskatraz queen on it. If that isn't great genes I dunno what is.

  23. Wow I have been treatment free as well but I am going to try the exact same thing. O a vaporizer and Saskatchewan queen from lappes bee supply. I will try to follow your progress. Thanks from Kentucky

  24. I think I found out why I have no yellow jackets around here attacking my hives and being aggressive when I have picnics outside.

    I have a large colony of carpenter bees living in my well house. They hate wasps and yellow jackets and are aggressive towards them. Well I would not say aggressive I mean territorial. I saw one yesterday take down a yellow jacket.

    At first I thought it was just stunned but it died. It did not sting it either as males have no stinger. I dunno I guess just from the sheer size difference or damaging its wings it was just done. That or its mandibles.

    Since the well house is so close to my front door, they greet me at the door and stare me down every time I go outside. They will not let the wasps make nests in my overhangs.

    I have seen it kick off as long as I have been here. They will keep using the well house as they love to use nests that were used before instead of making a new nest.

    My mason bee and leaf cutter bee hives are right by them and they leave them alone. It seems they only fight with each other trying to mate with the females or fight with the wasps I have seen.

  25. I have been binge watching your videos all weekend! I'm a wanna bee beekeeper, your videos have been a great source of information. Going to be moving to New York very close to the Pennsylvania border so would be in the same Zone 4 next year and I want bees. So learning so much from you has been very inspirational. Do you do classes by chance in your area? I'd love some hands on experience as well.

  26. Frederick, a few days after installing new packages of bees, would you recommend treating with oxalic acid vapor during the short window of the hive being broodless?

  27. Well, I successfully (I hope) installed my first two packages of bees today. I was sweating, and not because it was 80+ degrees today! But everything went smoothly, except for the 8 ticks I removed from my person. Now to see what tomorrow brings.

  28. Hi, when you get your package of Saskatraz, would you mind doing a demonstration video on your preferred method of installing a package of bees into their new hive?

  29. Um Fred. I got a question. So I got an 8 frame Flow hive right….but there is enough space to put in 9 frames. It says to pack them closely in the middle with extra space on both ends like an inch on either side.

    Couldn't I put in an extra frame to make it a 9 frame? or should I leave the space to get frames out easier? I know you use ten frame set up, but do you have any 8 frame flow hives? it seems like a lot of space on the ends there. More than usual. Do you use dummy boards or anything? Evenly space? Tightly space with extra space on the outside sides? 9 Frames?

  30. Can you imagine this as a Disney movie? The Queen under so much pressure and not performing and being replaced by a new Queen. That's a movie I'd watch. Okay maybe not Disney. Pixar?

  31. Hi. Love your videos. Just thought I’d let you know that I had two hives of Saskatraz bees this past winter that didn’t make it through. So in a tough winter they may not make it either.

  32. Me again. 😉 When a huge chunk of your hive dies off in winter (happened to 1 of my hives. The other is a 100% loss), what do you do with the left-over resources? Do you leave them in the hive (a 2nd super) and still feed or do you get rid of the whole thing and just feed pollen and syrup?

  33. What’s you view on natural oil vaporization. I believe tea tree oil is used in a mister for this, don’t quote me on that tho.

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