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The “tear ’em off” split

On Saturday, the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association held their annual Field Day at the Washington Park Arboretum. The event was well-attended, expertly organized, and truly fun. The featured speaker, Dr. Zachary Huang of Michigan State University, is a wealth of information and a great photographer. During the long day he displayed a pleasing combination of […] Read more

How to keep queen bees in reserve

Every spring I re-queen my strongest hives in order to reduce swarming. A colony is less likely to swarm when the queen’s pheromones are strong, and the pheromones are strongest in a first-year queen. In fact, according to most sources, a new queen is the single best deterrent to swarming. However, it seems ridiculous to […] 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