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Welcome to Honey Bee Suite!

I am so happy you dropped by. If this is your first visit, I’ll give you the five-cent tour.

What it’s not

First of all, Honey Bee Suite is not a forum. In fact, I built Honey Bee Suite because I was frustrated with forums. Not that forums don’t have good information—they have lots—but it is often buried and hard to find. And for newbees especially, it can be impossible to tell the good stuff from the rest.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time for that. So once I decided life was too short for forums, I created the ultimate anti-forum. And now you found it.

That’s not to say Honey Bee Suite doesn’t have commenters, because it does. Commenters to this site are awesome, and some of the best beekeeping information comes from them. The difference is we keep things on point. If the comments wander off in some other direction, I just disappear them.

I know, I know, it’s not for everyone and it may not be for you. That’s cool. Hundreds of beekeeping sites await you, and I encourage you to find those you like.

What it is

I write according to my personal beekeeping philosophy, which looks like this:

  • I believe there are many ways to keep bees, but ignoring them is not an option.
  • Although I fall squarely into the “natural” side of beekeeping, I’m not a zealot. If your bees have health issues, you must do something to help.
  • I believe in science, experimentation, and try-its. I have no patience for wives’ tales, myths, half-truths, or “my great uncle did it that way for 93 years.”
  • I don’t believe you can keep bees by learning a set of rules. Instead of learning rules, study bee and mite biology, and brush up on basic scientific principles. The rest will fall into place.

Bees don’t bug me, but this does

Now I’ll tell you what bugs me. If you’ve been around beekeepers at all, you have heard something like this: “Ask 10 beekeepers and you will get 12 answers.” Ha ha. Everyone laughs.

Everyone but me.

Why? Because every single beekeeping situation is different. Every colony has slightly different genetics. Every colony experiences different conditions—climate, weather, sun, shade, wind, noise, predators, pests, parasites, pathogens, forage, pesticides, rainfall, temperature, and things I forgot. I handle bees in an out-yard differently than I handle those at home, so right there is one beekeeper with at least two answers. It makes sense that a group of 10 should have dozens.

No one can possibly memorize rules for all these situations. Instead, principles will make you successful. What’s that? You didn’t learn biology, chemistry, physics, or genetics in high school? So what? You can learn them now. Successful beekeeping requires life-long learning.

New posts

Take a moment to sign up for e-mail notifications of new posts. It’s free, easy, and saves you time. And while you’re waiting for your first notice, drop me a line and tell me what you most want to learn about bees or beekeeping, and I’ll get you pointed in the right direction. You can also sift through the archives, review search tips, see photographs of other hives, or read bee stories.

The Contents section has a list of posts that may help with new beekeeper questions. The Index is a lot more specific and may help if you know what you are looking for.

Once again, welcome to my hive! You won’t find a similar site in all of beedom.

Rusty