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A shortage of pollen for bees

A shortage of pollen is a relatively new concern for beekeepers. Once upon a time, pollen was taken for granted. But today, a bountiful and diverse supply of pollen is sometimes lacking. Habitat loss, invasive plants, monoculture farming, and herbicides are just some of the reasons. A pollen grain is simply a small package containing […] Read more

Managing packages and swarms

Sometimes little gems of wisdom get hidden within the comments section. In this tip, Jim of Withers Mountain Honey Farm in Flint, Michigan, describes how he bolsters new bee packages with brood from strong hives that might swarm. It is a way to equalize the strength of his hives while boosting packages and reducing swarming. […] Read more

How to start a queen in a two-frame nuc

I had a request to write about how I start queens using a two-frame mating box such as the Brushy Mountain “Queen Castle.” The Queen Castle is a standard size deep brood box that can be divided into four two-frame sections, each with its own entrance. But the following instructions could be used for any […] Read more

Why buy eight-frame hive equipment?

I’ve always stayed away from eight-frame hive equipment. A few years back you could buy eight-frame brood boxes and supers, but it was hard to get specialty pieces like Cloake boards, slatted racks, and escape boards. That has changed—especially in the last year or two—but I still don’t like the idea of buying non-standard equipment. […] Read more