Tips for New Beekeepers

1) Don’t get in a hurry to add another super to your new package colonies – the rule of thumb is to not add another box of new foundation until 7 out of 10 (6 out of 8 if you have 8 frame hives) of the last one are pretty much completely drawn out into comb.  If you do they probably won’t work it anyway and they will build up better with less space to heat/cool and defend.

Beautiful natural comb built on the bottom of the inner cover because a feeding shim (or empty super) was left on too long in the spring.

2) If there is any open space in the hive that is where they will build comb instead of on your foundation – bees prefer to draw comb the natural, organic way.  They will only draw foundation if there isn’t anywhere else for them to build comb.  So, always fill all available space with frames –  don’t leave out frames for any reason, and don’t add empty hive bodies to the hive for any reason unless there is some barrier to keep the bees where they belong.

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More Natural Bee Keeping

new foundationless comb with brood

The presenters at our January meeting were John Seaborn of Wolf Creek Apiaries and Trevor Qualls of Bon Aqua Springs Apiaries and Woodenware.  Natural beekeeping was the subject of the evening – and we really appreciate the contribution of their time and knowledge to our group.  If you need equipment be sure and check out Trevor’s line of innovative locally produced honey bee woodenware.

Not all that long ago you could have a couple of beehives out back for years without paying very much attention to them other than putting supers on in the spring and harvesting honey in the fall, but that is not usually the case any more.

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Putnam County Beekeepers Association Founding Meeting

37 Putnam county Tennessee area beekeepers (and future beekeepers) met tonight in Cookeville TN to found a bee keepers association.  Proposed By-Laws were distributed and a second meeting was scheduled for 6:00 PM Thursday Dec. 9 to be held in South hall on the Tennessee Tech Cookeville campus – room to be announced.  Anyone who is interested is encouraged to attend.

Based upon a show of hands about half of us present tonight  already have bees – from a few hives to at least one person with over 100 hives.  Those who are just getting started should have lots of opportunities to benefit from associating with more established beekeepers, and everyone can  profit from the diversity of talents and ideas – as well as the buying power – of an association.

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