Author Archives: David LaFerney

Be Careful with your Queen Excluder

Almost every beginning beekeeper has a queen excluder that came with a kit – and almost everyone is anxious to deploy it so that they can get a super or two of nice pristine honey without any brood to worry about. To everything there is a season, and your first year with bees is not the time to use your excluder – at least not like that.

Every year I get a question or run across someone who is wondering why their bees won’t go through their queen excluder – to get to the super of bare foundation sitting on top. Well the short answer is that they probably never will. Continue reading

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Swarm Prevention – Cut down Splits

If you have looked into your hives in the last few days it is very likely that you have seen signs of swarm preparation – rows of queen cups on the bottom of frames, dense populations, nectar choked hives with little room for the queen to lay in – maybe even swarm cells. Continue reading

Posted in Honey Bee How to, Seasonal, Swarms | 4 Comments

Queens For Pennies

April is prime time for making increase (at least it is when there isn’t a cold front blasting through) and while splitting hives is simple, effective and helps to manage swarming – you might also be interested in giving queen rearing a try. Now is the time to go for it if you are. Continue reading

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Splitting Honey Bee Hives for Increase

This article was originally published on Feb 20, 2014 but contains seasonally relevant information.

Like every other living thing our bees have the ability to make more bees. But instead of allowing our colonies to multiply many beekeepers spend hundreds of dollars to buy bees to replace the 1/3 of our colonies which we KNOW from statistics are going to die every year. Continue reading

Posted in Evergreen, Honey Bee How to, Learn about Bee Keeping, Seasonal, Short Course | 9 Comments

A few pointers for new beekeepers

Beekeeping isn’t rocket science, but an awful lot of beekeepers lose all or most of their bees every year.  You could read volumes about how to be a beekeeper, but if you commit to follow just a few suggestions you … Continue reading

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Bee Informed Partnership National Loss Survey

Beekeepers needed! Thank you for your interest in participating in the National Colony Loss Management Survey organized by the Bee Informed Partnership Continue reading

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The Home Stretch – Don’t let them starve!

If you have checked your hives already during the recent spring like weather you may have found as I did that some of your hives are light on stores.  You may also have seen that there is some nectar and … Continue reading

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TN Beekeeping Annual Calendar

Annual Schedule for beekeepers – Of course all dates are approximate, and dependant on weather… January The Bees will be clustered during cold weather, but it is common for there to be several days  when the weather is warm enough … Continue reading

Posted in Honey Bee How to, Learn about Bee Keeping, Short Course | 1 Comment

Feeding Honey Bees for Beginners

My first year of beekeeping I was surprised to discover how often I had to feed my new pets.  I shouldn’t have been surprised – like all animals honey bees have to eat. Unfortunately I had done a lot of … Continue reading

Posted in Evergreen, Honey Bee How to, Learn about Bee Keeping, Short Course | 1 Comment

Swarm Management for new Beekeepers

New Beekeepers who are successfully over wintering hives for the first time are likely to see their overwintered colonies build up strongly on the early spring nectar flows. Unfortunately strong overwintered colonies have a natural tendency to reproduce by swarming. … Continue reading

Posted in Evergreen, Honey Bee How to, Learn about Bee Keeping, Seasonal, Short Course, Swarms | 3 Comments