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r/Beekeeping, everything bees, honey, and hives!

Topics of interest: beekeeping, bee gardens, bee research, bee pictures, and honey appreciation.

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Are you new to Beekeeping? More information can be found in the wiki

Rules for submission:

  1. We know about the flow hive. Click Here instead of posting.
  2. Read the wiki and find a local club or mentor before asking "Starting Out" questions.
  3. Message the mods before posting a thread advertising your business or crowdfunding campaign.
  4. Questions should include location (region, state, or country). Clear pictures help a lot, too.
  5. The majority of posts here concern the common honeybee, Apis mellifera. Clarify when talking about another bee, or if unsure.
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164,425 Subscribers


(Eventual) Startup Questions

I'm looking at starting a beehive or two (hopefully to grow into quite a few) on the family farm in Bell County, Texas this year. I live in ATX about 75 minutes south, so the ideal would be to have something I'm only needing to check twice a month or so. Currently, the farm is primarily wild (wildflowers, oaks, pecan trees, and a ton of ashe juniper) with some oats and hay growing but we'll be starting a large (1-2 acres) garden this fall or next spring. I've got a few questions:

  1. Would it be better to wait until the garden is up and running to ensure we have good food sources (essentially, wait until next spring)?

  2. How many hives could 80 acres of mostly wild land (plus surroundings) support? My dad wants to bring the farm to some level of profitability in the next decade, so I figure that slowly growing an apiary could be good supplemental after startup costs. Plus, I like to make mead.

  3. Would it be a good idea to try and catch a swarm from the local area? I've seen bees around before, and I've read some articles saying that catching wild/feral swarms will lead to stronger populations. I've seen some designs on homemade, 5ish frame Langstroth "swam bait" boxes.

  4. If I start this year, I'm looking at grabbing a starter hive (expensive) from The Bee Supply up in Round Rock. I've read that down here in the south, we can get away with one deep box for brood and just drop medium supers on top. Would this be wise, or should I roll with the more traditional 2 deep/excluder/1-2 medium supers that you see most places?

  5. Less of a vital question, does anyone have a list of 3d printable tools/things worth printing? I'm always down to give my printer a reason to exist.

22:44 UTC


Whoops….. will this be okay?

I requested some mean hives last Saturday, and here are the results from two of the hives:

Hive 1: no eggs, had some queen cells which I figured would be the case. I did find the new queen, but I guess she hasn’t started laying yet. Is this rare or fairly common?

Hive 2(the whoops): my dumb self forgot to remove the cork so the bees could get the queen out so she was still just running around in the cage🤦‍♂️ I let her out and she ran into the hive and that was that. Not my finest moment, but do you think she will be okay?

I will check again next Friday before my vacation to see how they are going.

21:25 UTC


Small scale pollination, very small

Was setup at a local market today selling goods. I also have a sign up that says I have and can sell bees. Was asked by a walk up local about pea pollination at his place later in the year. I know pesticides, fungicide, all the *cides, are a huge deal and he says they don't use them. For someone who might put out 2 or 3 hives for a "neighbor", what might be some gotchas I should watch for, how many hives per acre and what is a decent rate? This is South Carolina.

20:41 UTC


New nuc mite treatment question

I'm fairly new to beekeeping. I had one hive last year, but it didn't survive the winter. I just picked up a new 5 frame nuc today. I know I'll need to do a mite treatment soonish, before I put on honey supers, but I don't want to stress them out more right after I've installed them. What do you suggest is a good time for a spring mite treatment in a new hive?

18:08 UTC


New beekeeper

So I have an apimaye hive and just put a one week old swarm into it from a bait hive. How far do I open the entrance?

17:54 UTC


Bee sting

I have been stung multiple times by my bees and it hurts quite a lot. Once I was stung in my finger and it swelled up to almost double the size and stayed that way for about 2 days. Apparently I have some sort of allergy because my family doesn't have that much swelling when they get stung and it doesn't last as long. I have also been stung in the same finger by a German wasp/yellow jacket. This didn't hurt at all. There was basically no swelling and the same evening it was like it never happened. Has anybody else experienced this and does anybody know why this is the case for me?

16:13 UTC


What is the difference between yellow and brown/dark Manuka honey?

What is the difference between yellow and brown/dark Manuka honey?

15:58 UTC


First bee sting. Some lessons for new beekeepers.

I just got stung, which was totally my fault. I feel stupid, lol, pushing my luck like that, but I'm glad it happened. It was a good learning experience and hurt way less than a wasp sting, which was a sharp, focused, and extreme pain for like five minutes whereas this is a dull, less severe, spread out, and longer-lasting pain.

That's her. I was mowing my backyard on a gloomy, cloudy, windy morning and got too close with my lawnmower. When I was 5-6 ft away, it wasn't an issue, but I got less than a foot away. They gave me the warning signs the Redditor who sold me the nucs said they would when I'm close to crossing their line. One of my two hives had 1-2 very close flybys with loud buzzing, which should've been my signal to run inside. The other hive actually didn't do anything at all the whole time.

Then I saw that they gathered outside the entrance like a robbing situation looks based on a video shared on this subreddit, and I walked away slowly, taking my time to charge my lawnmower battery.

When I got to my garage on the other side of the house, about to put the battery in the charger, a lone bee smacked into my forehead then fell to her death. I iced it, and it looks fine. Maybe just a little red.

Lesson learned about respecting them and their boundaries.

I had my two "epinephrine auto-injectors" ready, by the way, and got them for $5 total per the advice in this subreddit of getting a prescription for that rather than the brand name "EpiPen." That's how much it cost me with insurance.

Then I went to grab my lawnmower and saw them flying high and near their hive still patrolling. I felt like a fugitive on the run from police helicopters, lol.

New beekeepers, don't make the same mistake I did. I don't blame them one bit, as I produced a small earthquake to their home, and they were just protecting it. That was an important learning, and next time I need to get so close, I'm going to be in my full suit. I'm also going to be extra cautious for the rest of the day because they might be on high alert.

Okay, off to the shower to try to get these pheromones off me.

15:14 UTC


beautiful ass packaging

15:04 UTC


Is this normal?

A friend of mine gifted me some honey gathered by his family but it looks kinda weird. It's got this foamy look to it, though it still has the same consistency as before. Had it for 3-4 months or so. It doesn't smell any different. Is this normal? And safe to consume?

14:32 UTC


Using Propolis in Construction

Could I use propolis to seal seams in construction, such as in between OSB panels or flooring? I assume that it could handle temperature changes because a beehive has to handle that too, or would it just break apart over time from heat/cold? I'm not sure if bees have to constantly maintain propolis seals or if they lasts virtually forever as long as they're not disturbed.

Also due to the high cost of propolis, I'm wondering if I could get tree resin + beeswax and melt them together to create functionally the same thing.

I'd ask this in a subreddit focused on Construction, but I feel like they wouldn't be very knowledgeable about the properties of propolis.

09:37 UTC


I need to do some work on this power pole, but there’s about 20 farmed bee hives about 20 feet away. Do I need to have them moved or can I safely work next to them if I am quiet and non threatening?

05:32 UTC


old queen vs. new queen?

My understanding is that when there are too many bees for the hive, the old queen will swarm with a bunch of workers and take off.

Before they leave, the workers will have made one or more queen cells so there will be a new queen at some point.

And the newly hatched queen will seek out the unhatched queen cells and kill them.

Does the old queen ignore the unhatched new queen cells? Or do the workers prevent her from killing them? If the new queen hatches before the others swarm, do the new and old queens fight?

04:13 UTC


Normal Behavior day 5 of package install?

Removed Queen cage on day 4. Weather was crappy. Overcast and rained after I was done. Queen was not observed but was not in cage and candy was gone. Couple nurse bees got sacrificed in the process. Left it alone and came out day 5 afternoon temp 49 deg to the above video. Lot of activity for the temp? I use two quart 1:1 feeders on top and a small pollen patty on top of a screened board next to the feeders. It’s my first package and I’m anxious I rolled the queen. Temp won’t hit 60 for a couple days and I’m leery of looking for her in the cold. Bite the bullet and inspect tomorrow? High supposed to be 53.

22:36 UTC


Help a Bumblebee!

Hi All,

I found this bee lying on the ground. Outside temperature is around 14 degrees Celsius. Does anyone know what is body movements indicate or how I could help? I have brought it indoors and offered it sugar water which it doesn’t seem interested in.

Thanks all!

18:54 UTC


Is there a better way to refill Boardman entrance feeders?

So, here's what I've been doing. I go behind my hives, kind of go around the side, and then I pick it up. The bees buzz around a little, which made me a little anxious at first, lol.

Then I speed walk to my patio, go inside, top it up, and then do the same. So, there are sometimes like 5-10 bees that stay on the feeder. I tried blowing them away with my breath, but I don't think they liked that. I tried using a nearby leaf to gently brush them off.

Will they sting me? Should I be doing this in a full suit?

I'm concerned that the sugar water might go rancid because I'm only topping up--just been doing that since Wednesday, so it's been less than 48 hours. Should I be waiting until they're completely empty? I've been waiting until they're 20-25% full or less/75-80% empty or more.

The good news is that they're both averaging about a pint of sugar water a day after installing the nucs. I'm soooo excited!!!

P.S. I know they allow for robbing, but I don't see any signs yet, and I'm getting an entrance reducer to help limit that possibility. This was the recommended method by my beekeeping class instructor, so I'm sticking with it this first year and can explore other ones in the future.

17:59 UTC


Bees left the hive for months then suddenly they came back, what can be the reason?

There was this hive outside my apartment, it’s on the last floor in an area which is pretty much inaccessible for people and it would take too much effort and a skilled person to remove that hive, it’s literally 16 storeys lol. So basically these bees seemed to have the perfect space where no one would bug them.

Unfortunately one fine day the entire hive was suddenly left empty, Ig it was December. But suddeny a month ago they came back and they built several more gigantic hives beside this hive.

I was kinda curious to know what exactly happened? Did the original bees die off and this is an entirely new set of bees?

16:08 UTC


Crumbly wax

I just started a position at a company that researches bees and have been tasked with cleaning old frames that were left over winter. The frames have a lot of sucrose and honey. When putting them into a steamer the wax seems to come out crumbly and not form a cake. Is this because of the honey/sucrose in the frames and can I just melt it again to get a cake?

10:18 UTC


Installing bees in hives?

Hello 👋

I am picking up 2 packages of bees on Saturday from Olivarez in Orland, CA. It is unseasonably cold however, it’s supposed to have a high of only 60 degrees. I am worried about transporting and installing on a day that cold. Any suggestions?

04:11 UTC


Aussie Bee Keepers (or those in the Southern Hemisphere) - A sub for us too!

Hope its ok to post here...

As a very novice keeper (2 years in), subs like this are great for learning, but it's tricking having to offset the date by 6 months for most of the current posts.

Also would be good for specific local happenings, how you guys are preparing for the imminent Varroa incursion, if you're affected yet etc.


05:00 UTC


Moving a hive

I installed this package 7 days ago into a new hive with ten frames of new foundation. Everything was going fine until a structure was put up that has made the hive be in the shade for the entire day. I’ve seen a major decrease in the activity of the hive and want to move it about ten feet so that it is in the sun again. My question is how stressful will this be on the bees and will it raise the chances of them absconding? Any advice on how to move them properly is also appreciated!

04:59 UTC


Friend's bees abandoned her hive. Question before she rebuilds...

This was her first ever hive and they made a HUGE amount of honey last year so she was really sad to discover they'd gone. Now my question...

Is there a way to make a plaster mold of part of the honeycomb to be cast in metal as a memorial piece or jewelry??

02:18 UTC

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