Why go foundationless?

Photo credit for the above photo goes to Valerie Wright! Thanks for sharing this with us! Over the past 5 years, we have switched our operation to foundationless beekeeping. This decision came gradually, but matches our natural beekeeping philosophies. This post will talk about our deciding factors. Work by Michael Bush has influenced our decision […]

Plum Bloom on Beeswax

We received a great question and beautiful photos from Rachelle (below) and Valerie (above). The comb in Rachelle’s hive has dark wax with a thin layer of white on top. She was wondering what the white layer is and if it is cause for concern.     Answer: This white coating is called “Plum Bloom.” The bloom is […]

My hive died this winter. What happened?

Lately we have been receiving several questions about dead hives. If your hive did not make it, we are sad. It is always a bummer when bees die! We are working tirelessly to find ways to keep bees healthier, but the beekeeping industry is not on top of bee diseases. . . yet! While we can’t […]

Foulbrood by Dr. Sandra Burnett

We have been corresponding with Dr. Burnett about Foulbrood and wanted to post what she said about it, especially with the current proposed honeybee bill in the Utah House of Representatives. Here are two emails. The first is one I sent to her with some questions and the second is her response. She gave permission for […]

Honeybee Pests: Opportunistic Ants

Ants usually aren’t a problem for honeybees, unless the hive is situated right on top of an ant pile. Ants are a very minor bee pest. They are opportunistic and will consume honey left behind in an empty colony. The ants pictured moved into a hive after the bees died. They were picking up a residue […]

Deformed Wing Virus

We love when we get very timely email questions about bees! Here is one that I started to answer via email, but then realized that many of you will benefit from the answer and created this blog post. Thanks, Diane, for the question and the photo! Diane’s Question We have this strange thing going on with […]

Varroa Mites 3: Treatment Options

Use the percentage of mites from the sugar roll test to decide on treatment methods as part of integrated pest management. Here are a few of many treatment options to decrease the varroa mite load. Some of them work better than others. 1. Delay treatment Sometimes this is the best method, especially if mite loads are […]

Varroa Mites 2: Powdered Sugar Roll

A powdered sugar roll is a great way to estimate how many mites are in a honeybee colony. Knowing the mite load can help beekeepers more sustainably manage varroa mite load in bees. We prefer this method to the alcohol wash as the bees will survive this process. In this post, we’ll show you how […]

Varroa Mites 1: Prevention

Varroa mites are a parasitic mite affecting honeybees. Mites poke a hole in the bees to drink bee blood. They move from bee to bee, drinking blood and transmitting disease. Mites feed on both adult bees and brood. An adult mite enters the cell of a larvae and then is sealed inside the wax cell. The mite […]

Honeybee Pests: Dragonfly

Yesterday, Stan put out his hives for new queens to be mated. The first worker bee came out of the hive for an orientation flight. All of a sudden, a dragonfly swept out of the air and ate her, and Stan snapped a picture. We think it’s rare to have a photo of a dragonfly eating […]

Queens from MPCAP Program

Our queen and package supplier is part of the Managed Pollinator CAP program, which tests for hygienic bee behavior. We are excited to be part of the bee decline solution by supporting these producers. They test breeder queens for the recessive genetic trait, hygienic bee behavior. Hygienic behavior is when workers bees sense a missing […]

Bees on the front entrance of the hive

Often in hot summer weather, bees gather around the entrance porch of their hive to cool off. This is normal. It would also be normal to see 2-3 times as many bees as this. When this photo was taken, it was more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit in early evening. Bees pictured are calm and walking […]

Honeybee Pests: Mice

Mice are really only a problem for honeybees if there are no bees in the box. This can happen if a colony dies in the winter, if mice get to stored, vacant boxes, or if the wintering hive is clustering in the box above, and bees are unaware of the mice below. Here a mouse […]

Honeybee Pests: Target Practice

This hive was damaged by bullets in a remote location. It seems that shooters were using this hive as target practice. No substantial harm can come to the bees unless a bullet hits the queen, which is unlikely. But damage to the woodenware can be significant and no one wants lead in their honey. To […]

Honeybee Pests: Livestock

This bee box was in the same pasture as a horse. The horse kicked it and several others, damaging the equipment. Two of the three kicked colonies survived, including this one. Livestock will occasionally cause damage to beehives. Livestock are more likely to harm the colony in winter than in other seasons, because of chill. […]

Nuc Pickup and Beekeeping Class

Our beekeeping class at The Star Mill in American Fork was a huge success! Thanks to all who participated and good luck with your bees! In May, Stan taught three great beginning beekeeping classes to help new hobbyist beekeepers get started. Here are some photos of one event. The bee truck, loaded up with beekeeping equipment […]

Should I assemble boxes with the rough side in or out?

Unassembled bee boxes often come with one side of the wood planed smooth, and the other left rough. When assembling boxes, you will need to decide weather to put the rough side of the wood on the inside or outside of the box. We recommend putting the rough side on the inside of the box. Here’s why. […]

How to Test for Hygienic Behavior

How to test for hygienic behavior This method is taken from “A sustainable approach to controlling honey bee diseases and varroa mites” Available http://www.sare.org/publications/factsheet/0305.htm May 20, 2008. Materials 3 in. cylinder (PVC pipe) 10-15 oz liquid nitrogen (easily obtained from welding supplier) Liquid nitrogen tank Frame with more than 3 inches diameter sealed brood(Fewer than 30 […]