Pollen Basics

Here is a basic explanation of pollen and some photos of how it is stored in the hive. Honeybees collect pollen from flowers. Some of it is transferred to other flowers, fertilizing the flower so a plant can produce fruit. (Pollen is essentially the “sperm” to fertilize the flower “egg.”)   Worker bees bring pollen […]

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 […]

The case for a ‘local first’ mentality

The case for a ‘local first’ mentality. The article below was copied and pasted from KSL.com. Here is the URL link. http://www.ksl.com/?sid=21721728. Who needs more reasons to buy local? I guess we all do. This article talks about purchasing at a local store 1 out of 10 shopping trips. If you are considering buying bees, […]

Should I get a 2- or 3-pound package?

First of all, if you are a brand new beekeeper, please consider purchasing a nuc. See Lesson 1: Nucs and Packages. You will have more success with a nuc. Promise. Then next year, when you are addicted to bees, get some packages. If you have decided on packages (find our more about packages here), you […]

What’s happening to our honey bees?

This article is from my days working for USU Extension. Thought it was appropriate to share here.   What’s happening to our honey bees?  By Alicia Moulton  Honey bees are on the decline throughout the world.  Here’s why.   Honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder is a complex matter with many contributing factors that have compounded over […]

Queen Bee

We found this photo of a queen bee in Grandpa’s files and wanted to share. Can you spot her? Queen bees have a longer abdomen and are larger than the other worker bees present. Here you see her laying an egg in a cell of honey comb.  

Bees vs Wasps

We often get calls for swarm removal. Before heading out, we like to make sure the colony we are dealing with is honey bees and not wasps. Here are some of the major similarities and differences between bees and wasps. In this photo, you can see bees and wasps drinking from the same sugar syrup, […]

Why we use deep boxes exclusively

We only use and sell deep boxes. This is a management preference. All beekeepers do things a bit differently and this is our favorite way. We think our way is more efficient because we don’t have to store several sizes of boxes and frames. (And we’ve had 25 years plus 4 generations of experimentation. Trust […]

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 […]

Water Sources for Honeybees

Do I need to provide water for my honeybees? This depends on where you live. In Utah, in an isolated desert area, the answer is definitely yes. In a residential area, where broken sprinklers, and fountains abound, you may not need to, but it would be a considerate thing to do if your bees have […]

Characteristics of Honey

  Honey is yummy  Honey has a delicious, varied, delicate flavor. The flavor depends on the nectar bees gather to make the honey. Honey from dandelion nectar tastes different from honey produced from linden tree nectar or lavender nectar. Nectar variations can result in different color, and texture as well. Heating honey above about 110 […]

Package Pickup 2013

We traveled to Northern California to pick up 2013 packages. Here we are, back in Utah and unloading. About half of our packages were sold as such and half will be turned into nucs and then sold. All who ordered picked up their packages successfully. This is a feat in itself with order changes, date […]

What should I focus on as a beginning beekeeper?

Honeybee on parsnip flowers With an overwhelming amount of beekeeping information out there, what should I focus on during my first year of beekeeping? The first year of beekeeping needs to be spent on the “basics” of bee management. After you have a bit of experience, you can start experimenting with different management practices, queen […]

Recommended Beekeeping Manual

I recently came across a new (to me) beekeeping manual put out by the University of Minnesota Extension Bee Lab. I am a long time admirer of Dr. Marla Spivak and her work on hygienic bees. I was delighted to find a beginning beekeeping manual put out by her lab and associates, Dr. Basil Furgala, […]

Rogue Comb-Building

  One of the disadvantages that beginning beekeepers have is that they are starting with entirely new frames with new foundation rather than drawn comb. Frames without drawn comb next to each other have excess space and frequently the bees will draw out comb off the foundation. Notice how the bees built hexagon cells sideways, […]

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. […]