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Golden Opportunity

This is splitting/ swarm control season across the state. I recently found a colony with queen cells in progress, and what looked like 50% drones among the adult bees, making it impossible to find the queen. This is no longer a stressful situation, since the Reverse Doolittle (or Fool-Proof Split) written about previously in this […]

Benefits of belonging to CSBA

You’ve seen the list of benefits of being a member of CSBA, but what does all of that mean to you as an individual beekeeper? Why do you want to belong to CSBA? Here are the reasons my club is affiliated, and through them, I am a member… Very high on my list of reasons […]

So, You Think You Want to be a Beekeeper…

So you want to be a beekeeper! You’ll do your part to save the bees, and you’ll have honey on your toast every morning, right? My name is Ed Colby. I’m the president of the Colorado State Beekeepers Association (2016-2020) and a longtime columnist for Bee Culture magazine. Now take a deep breath, please, because […]

What to do with all that propolis!

The easy way to collect clean propolis is to use a propolis trap late in the summer, when bees are already wanting to propolize everything in sight. It looks a lot like a a queen excluder (but different), and fits on top of the uppermost hive body. Once the bees get it filled with propolis, […]

Warm water, and What Not to Do in Your Hives

Winter preparation of hives is the concern on everyone’s mind right now. Hopefully, everything is done already. The brood should be in the bottom hive body, and honey and bee bread consolidated in the box(es) above. The queen excluder should be removed, so that the bees can’t accidentally abandon the queen in moving to upper […]

Fat Winter Bees

We are getting on towards the end of August, and to our bees, it is almost fall. What makes the season “fall” to our honey bees? It is the slow-down of pollen coming into the hive. This change in pollen availability is what triggers our bees to raise the fat bees for winter. What makes […]

Not a Minute Too Soon

Dangers of spring When our bees survive through Feb. we breathe a sigh of relief, but the biggest danger of spring is really only beginning. Honey bees use 1/3 of their honey stores during the winter, and the other 2/3rds are used after brood rearing really begins in earnest. Spring pollen flows trigger the bees […]

On the last warm days

Happy Beeks! I am sure you have all seen that your bees will fly if it is over 45 degrees. That is pretty amazing, since they can’t even move out of the cluster unless it is at least 40 degrees. These bee biology facts help us understand what we can do for our bees, and […]

Oh! The Agony in Beekeeping!

Never Take Anything for Granted I did my mite counts in August, for once, when they should be done.  I was very proud of myself.  Of course you know that the reason for doing counts by mid-August is so that mites can be controlled before the bees begin rearing the fat winter bees.  I did […]

Why you should always wear clean underwear when beekeeping!

My mother was right, you should always wear clean underwear….This was my husband’s comment after our latest beekeeping adventure.  According to our friend Bruce, sometimes you need kevlar underwear, and maybe that would have helped in this instance, but only if Neil had been wearing the underwear on his head. The bees in my Aztec […]