Author Archives: David LaFerney

Feeding Pollen Substitute in Winter

… beekeepers who need big strong colonies to take to California for almond pollination in February, and commercial bee producers who need to sell bulk bees in late March to demanding customers (and others) have learned that feeding pollen sub can greatly improve their productivity and profitability.

How does that apply to the hobby beekeeper in middle TN?… Continue reading

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Emergency Feeding – Don’t let your Bees Starve!

If you have any suspicion whatsoever that your bees might be low on food – or even if they have food but the cluster might not be able to get to it. You can insure that your bees don’t starve by “mountain camp” feeding. It is very easy, doesn’t require any special equipment, and doesn’t require digging around in the hive – you can even do it when it is pretty cold. There is no reason to let your bees starve. 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

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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

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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

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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

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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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