If you find a queen cell in a nice hive remove that
old queen. Put her (the old queen) into a hive with at least 3 of her frames of brood and nectar /pollen.Removing her creates queen-less hive as if she already
swarmed. There is probably more than one on the frame or another
frame with another cell.
Now it is up to you, make a small split or an even
split (3 frames or more).
Your split should have eggs, larvae and capped
brood. The larvae is important because you will get the nurse bees
on this frame. You can shake some nurse bees in from a frame of
remaining brood. It needs a frame of nectar, pollen and honey. As you
build, be careful not to chill or bang the queen cell(s).
Once the new hive is together cover and walk away.
The old queen in a new hive will build this new hive. The queen cell
in the old hive can be finished and allowed to hatch and mate.
Hives do not have to bee painted white! Look around
and you’ll see keepers using all colors of the rainbow. Beautiful
as these hive are, is it necessary. Many will say yes, to preserve
the wood and give longer life to the box. But what about the
How about linseed oil?
Linseed is used in fine furniture finishing. It
will protect your investment. It is cheap or comparative to paint in
dollars. It contains NO petroleum distillates, NO volatile organic
compounds (VOCs) and NO heavy metal driers. For us this is
best. I do not want to leave the bees in an environment where VOCs
Wait! The paint is on the outside you say.
Yes, however, bees smell at a rate of parts per
trillion! If VOCs take 2-3 months to dissipate in your house, how
long can these smellers smell it?
We also don’t like the idea of paint peeling into
the environment nor when we might want to clean up the hive. You can
also reapply linseed in the field.
Another thought on using linseed. It allows the
hives to fade into the background of the environment. If you want to
keep hives safe from prying eyes this is the way to go.
Did you find a weak colony? If it is late in the
season consider combining it with a strong colony. There may be an
old queen or a queen the was weakly mated. Cut your losses, in time
and bees, and combine the two. A variety of methods of combining are
out there, one of which is the papering method. But first you should
take out the weak queen.
Combining can help ensure strong colonies in the
spring for spring splits or nucs.
Honey bees' attraction to fungicide "unsettling" for food output
Emma Batha3 Min Read
Jan 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Honey bees are attracted to a
fungicide used in agriculture with “unsettling implications” for global
food production, a scientist said on Tuesday.
Tests carried out
by a team from the University of Illinois showed bees preferred to
collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar
The finding follows other studies linking fungicides
to a worldwide plunge in honey bee and wild bee populations which are
crucial for pollinating crops.
“Bees are kind of like humans in
that they sometimes like things that aren’t necessarily good for them,”
said University of Illinois entomology professor May Berenbaum, who led
She said fungicides were bad news for bees because
they could exacerbate the toxicity of pesticides and kill off beneficial
fungi in hives.
Her team set up two feeding stations in an
enclosure allowing the bees to choose sugar syrup laced with a test
chemical or without. The chemicals included three fungicides and two
herbicides at various concentrations.
The researchers were taken aback to find the bees choosing one of the fungicides.
was a surprise when they actually liked them,” Berenbaum told the
Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone, adding that it could explain why
fungicide contamination in hives was so common.
“This is not
anything that anyone had even thought about before so we need to
readjust our focus because there certainly could be implications for
However, she said the bees actively avoided a second tested fungicide and were neutral about a third.
scientists said the findings were “worrisome” in light of research
showing fungicides interfere with honey bees’ ability to metabolise
pesticides used by beekeepers to kill parasitic mites that infest their
The scientists were also surprised to find the bees showed a taste for the widely used herbicide glyphosate.
study by the Center for Biological Diversity last year said hundreds of
native bee species in North America and Hawaii were sliding towards
It said bees provided more than $3 billion in fruit-pollination services each year in the United States.
Experts have blamed habitat loss, heavy pesticide use, climate change and increasing urbanisation for declining numbers.
United Nations recently announced an annual World Bee Day on May 20 to
raise awareness of their importance and declining numbers. (Reporting by
Emma Batha; Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters
Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers
humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate
change. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories.)
Before you buy at Lowes or the garden center read this......
Unknown pollinator on Zinnia, photo by Butts'Bees
Take a walk around your local garden centre and you will see a
mouth-watering display of gorgeous plants on display. You might note
that some are specifically labelled as bee or pollinator friendly, with a
picture of a cartoon bumblebee on the label. The Royal Horticultural
Society (RHS) provide a “Perfect for Pollinators” logo which can be
added to the label of any of the long list of garden plants that they
judge to be good for pollinators. If you like hearing the buzz of bees
in your garden, and want to do your bit to help our wildlife, you might
well be tempted. Indeed, I have often spent a small fortune myself on
potted plants when I only went to the garden centre to buy a pack of
vegetable seeds. The big DIY and supermarket chains are similar –
somewhere by the main entrance you will see a range of colourful plants
in plastic pots and trays, some of them labelled as bee-friendly.
If, like me, you’ve ever succumbed to the temptation to
buy these plants, you may be somewhat concerned by the results of our
latest research. Here at Sussex University we have been busy screening
the leaves, pollen and nectar of these plants to see if they contain
pesticides. We bought flowering plants from a range of major outlets;
Wyevale (the biggest garden centre chain in the UK) and also Aldi,
B&Q and Homebase. We deliberately bought plants that are known to be
attractive to bees and butterflies; most of them had a bee-friendly
logo, often the RHS one.
Honeybee on sunflower, photo by Butts'Bees
We found that most of these plants contained a cocktail of
pesticides, usually a mixture of fungicides and insecticides. I wish I
could say that I was surprised by the results, but sadly I wasn’t, for
this mirrors similar studies performed in other countries. Only two out
of 29 plants contained no pesticides. Seventy six percent of them
(22/29) contained at least one insecticide, and 38% contained two or
more insecticides. One flowering heather plant contained five different
insecticides and five different fungicides – a veritable toxic bouquet.
Seventy percent of the plants contained neonicotinoids (insecticides
that are notorious for their harmful effects on bees), commonly
including the ones banned for use on flowering crops by the EU (for the
technically minded, 38% contained imidacloprid, 14% contained
thiamethoxam and one contained clothianidin). Enough detail; you get the
picture. Plants sold as ‘bee-friendly’ plants are usually stuffed full
Read More at Dave Goulson's blog
It is a great experience to get to know your bees
without the gloves. I have found that we tend to be clumsier when gloved.
If you are bare handed you will be more conscious of the bees and
their movement. If you are sweating you may even be used for a salt
lick by the bees. In any case, a glove-less beekeeper can gain
insight to how our movements affect the hive.
Still unsure? Leave the gloves off. If you get
stung once or twice put them on and get on with your inspection. You
are still a beekeeping heroine (or hero)!