Author Archives: David LaFerney

January Meeting tonight!

Just a quick reminder that our regular January meeting is tonight – Thursday Jan 8 at 6:30. As usual the doors will be open at 6:00 at Collegeside Church of Christ 252 East 9th Street Cookeville, TN 38501.

Order your honey bees tonight!

In addition to the usual activities we will be taking order for package bees tonight Continue reading

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Time to feed!

You might find that you need to feed some of your hives to prepare for winter now that our nectar flows are pretty much all over for the year. Continue reading

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Varroa Mite Management Options for Honey Bees

This article was originally published in November 2013, but contains seasonally relevant information. In other words – It is time to treat your bees for varroa mites.

“You need to be doing something proactive to deal with mites whether you treat or not.” (paraphrased) Kaymon Reynolds – treatment free beekeeper for 10 years.

This post is intended to present the available options for varroa mite management in as factual and unvarnished form as is possible Continue reading

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

Summer Beekeeping in TN

What you do (or don’t do) over the next 3 months will mostly determine if you are still a beekeeper next spring. Continue reading

Posted in Seasonal | 1 Comment

Plastic Foundation – Love it, or hate it?

I’m not at all iffy about my preference for plastic foundation, and here is one very big reason why: Continue reading

Posted in Bee Keeping Equipment, Learn about Bee Keeping | 2 Comments

What to do when you are Queenless

You think your hive is queenless – you can’t spot the queen, and you don’t see any eggs. What now?

First, don’t panic. Next, if at all possible give the hive a frame of young open brood or eggs from another hive Continue reading

Posted in Honey Bee How to, Learn about Bee Keeping | 2 Comments

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