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 […]

Worker Bee Emerging from Her Cell

Dale Wright and his amazing wife Valerie just sent these photos in sequence of a worker bee emerging from her cell. I thought I’d share it here so you can see it too! It’s amazing to see how bee biology works from these pictures. Here is the frame from which she will emerge. It is […]

Bee Cell Size

We love it when our customers ask awesome, thoughtful questions! Here is a Question from Dave in Pocatello, ID. He said, “I am looking for a package of bees to start my first hive.  I’m really interested in treatment-free and am planning to use top-bar hives.  I just read the explanation on your feral queen project.  […]

Wing Veination of Bees, Wasps, and Fly

Lately, we’ve been looking at wing veination, or the shape of the veins on the wings, of bees, wasps, and flies. It’s been neat to see the differences and we thought we’d share. Some scientists (not us) can tell the race of a honeybee by its wing veination. This tricky fly looks like a bee […]

Honeybee Wax Scales

To make wax, honeybee workers consume nectar or honey and digest the sugars. The sugars recombine to make the complex carbohydrate known as “Beeswax.” Scientists have not fully analyzed the components of beeswax, as it is intensely complex. Bees excrete wax between scale layers on their abdomen. Colored photo of wax being excreted from abdomen […]

Observations and Bee Experiment

Summer of 2014, with experimentation and research online, we’ve changed our thinking about foundation a little. We want to use the middle bar frame to promote foundationless frames instead of plastic or wax foundation. We think it’s more sustainable, less expensive, and will decrease some disease transmission. Stan has been raising queen bees this fall. […]


While searching about beelining boxes, we came across this article. Did you ever wonder if there are any SPORTS related to beekeeping? Well, there is! Yes, competitive beelining is an actual sport. Or was in 2004, at least. Like on ESPN at 2:00 in the morning. Crazy! Now Stan wants to do it, of course! […]


Stan has been tinkering with his Beelining box again today. It’s pretty cool. For those who don’t know, Beelining is a method to find feral honeybee colonies. You catch some bees in a specialized “beelining box,” then fill their tummy (honey sac) with sugar water.  This makes them want to fly back to their colony […]

Hands-On Beekeeping Course Photos

Here are some photos of the hands-on beekeeping class on March 14. Derek Haynie, the expert photographer, took these pictures. Thanks, Derek! We’re looking forward to the next class installment on March 21. Here is the class gathered around a few of Stan’s hives. The goal for today was to see workers, drones, the queen, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]