Thursday, May 24, 2018


The hot weather of this coming week will be good for the bees.  However, you should remember that strong hives need ventilation to cool the hive.  For strong hives it is recommended to now completely remove the entrance reducer.  This year's new package hives are still growing and their population is probably not yet large enough to cause overheating.  The entrance reducer for these hives should oriented so the 4 inch opening is open.


Here is one of the first reports on this past winter's hive losses.  What is interesting is that the losses of backyard beekeepers were 46% compared to 26% for commercial beekeepers.  It also indicates varroa is the primary reason for winter losses and that year round monitoring and control of varroa is required to lower backyard beekeeper losses.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


The weather in the coming week will be ideal for swarming of strong overwintered hives.  Follow this link for some excellent advise on how to prevent swarming and how to catch swarms.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


This is a reminder of our regularly scheduled club meeting at 9:30AM on May 19th at the Caestecker Public Library in Green Lake.  Topics for the meeting will be checks needed for new packages and other items of interest.

Monday, May 14, 2018


Today I got reminded twice on one of the routine tasks required of a good beekeeper.  That task is to perform a periodic inspection to verify your hives are queen right.  I started out the day with a plan to inspect all hives started this spring with packages.  I went through 12 hives and at the last one found a hive to be queenless.  Luckily I have several new mated queens arriving tomorrow.   This experience reminded me to take a look at an overwintered hive I had been wondering about do to its slow buildup.  Yep, another queenless hive.

A hive can be queenless for a little more than 3 weeks before laying workers take over.  Three weeks is the time it take for all the brood to mature and emerge.  The pheromones from this brood suppress the urge of the workers to lay.   So a good beekeeper tries to verify his hives are queen right about once every two weeks if he or she wants to avoid a hive going queenless and then getting laying workers.

Sunday, May 13, 2018


Why re-invent the wheel.  The Nature's Nectar blog has a good article about package buildup and also what to do with overwintered hives.  Follow the link below:

Thursday, May 10, 2018