Keeping Bees

This page is dedicated to showing the basics of how we keep bees. We will continue to add short videos here. So check back often.

How to weigh a Hive

As part of our fall routine we weigh all of our hives. This enables us to make sure that each colony has enough honey stored up for winter. In this video I am using a digital scale, but analog scales will also work. Your scale should be able to read at least 100lb. When you lift the hive make sure that you are pulling directly up as much as possible. 

Mixing Sugar Syrup

 This is how we mix 1 to 1 sugar syrup. The water does not need to be heated. The sugar just needs to keep moving until it is dissolved, usually about 10 minutes. Sugar syrup should not be fed to colonies producing honey. We use it to help establish new colonies or Nucs. We usually mix up batches with 50lb of sugar and 6 gallons of water. This makes about 12 gallons of syrup. If you add some essential oils (available from the larger bee keeping suppliers) the syrup will not ferment. 

Parts of a Hive

Parts of a standard Langstroth style hive. When setting up new hives make sure to push all of the frames together as tight as possible. This will reduce problems with bees building burr comb (that is comb built between the frames or cross linking the frames.)

Frames in the Hive

We use standard Langstroth style frames with plastic foundation. The plastic foundation is tough so we do not have to worry about comb breaking during extraction. We use Rite Cell®, but there are probably other good brands also. When installing new frames if you apply some extra wax with a sponge brush the bees will draw the comb quickly.