Don’t panic!

Don't Panic

Yes, that was a blatant Douglas Adams reference and Amazon Affiliate link to the new Neil Gaiman book. We’re also going to work in an Amanda Palmer video or song because we love her so much we’ll do it for free. That’s just how…

Q&A with a Natural Beekeeper: How does natural comb impact production of honey?

Kevin, thank you for your wonderful website! I have just ordered 5 packages of bees I will pick up in the spring from a beekeeping operation in my state. I am working with another local beekeeper who keeps 15 hives on my farm because…

Q&A with a Natural Beekeeper for the New Beekeeper

Worker bee on freshly filled cells of honey

I am new to beekeeping. A local bee guy set me up with bees and a queen in a Langstroth box at the beginning of May. The bees are very active and 7 of the 10 frames are loaded with eggs and larva as…

Starting Over or Getting Started Right as a Natural Beekeeper

Swarm

It is heart-wrenching to lose a hive. The silence of your backyard when the bees are gone makes you want to cry. But you can also look at it as an opportunity for a fresh start. If you are just getting started it is…

Happy Bees Equals Happy Beekeeper, and How To Treat Bee Stings

Happy bees

Q: What do you do when working the hives to minimize stings? Anything you recommend for bee stings if someone has a minor reaction but nothing life-threatening? What do you do when you get stung? In reality, the answers are all related. A: Don’t mind…

Aggressive Bees and What to do About Them

Bee on flower

Since sensationalized stories about aggressive bees seem to be hitting the news lately, I thought it would be a good idea to post about dealing with an aggressive hive. The first step is to do nothing. Refer to the previous post about observation and management. Maybe the “Mean…

Happy Honeybees, Happy Beekeeper

Happy honeybees

Hive management is an art, not a science. There are some basic principals I try to follow in an attempt to make hive management a more predictable and consistent art. First off, if you are in doubt, do nothing. You can’t make the bees…

The Best Hive for the Backyard Beekeeper

Two hives

The options are many: Langstroth, Warre, Top Bar, Long Hives. The impassioned reasoning to favor one or the other is endless. For someone trying to get started, it has to be overwhelming. I am going to make some very specific recommendations for your first hive and…

Foundationless Beekeeping: How to convert to natural beekeeping! Part II

Natural comb

The continuing process for changing over to foundationless hives is very simple.  Keep adding new frames to the center of the bottom box two at a time. When you add a new pair, move a pair of old contaminated foundation based frames up to the second box….

So exactly what is natural comb anyway?

Old Comb

What is natural comb? What is foundation? What do you mean by foundationless? It is apparent there is a lot of confusion out there surrounding this. I think this post will make things crystal clear! Most chemically managed hives are full of nasty old comb…