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    We all can use some good advice about overwintering our bee hives...Here it is!

    From Mid-Atlantic Apicultural Research & Extension Consortium, MARREC Publication 3.2, 2000


    Fall management is primarily concerned with preparing honey
    bee colonies for winter. Successful wintering depends largely
    upon the condition of the colonies in the fall. Prior to the spread
    of parasitic mites, about 10 percent of colonies were normally
    lost each year because of poor management, starvation, weak
    colonies, or other unexplained reasons. After tracheal and
    Varroa mites became widespread, typical winter losses increased
    to 20 to 70 percent. However, winter losses can be
    reduced if colonies are properly managed and treated for mites
    and diseases.
    Typical fall management consists of checking colonies for the
    proper arrangement of hive equipment, proper hive ventilation,
    adequate food stores, and adequate colony strength once or
    twice during the fall. Treatments for Varroa mites and tracheal
    mites should also be applied in the late summer or early fall and
    then removed from colonies prior to winter. A fall Fumidil-B®
    treatment for Nosema disease is also recommended.


    All surplus honey and any honey supers that are empty or only
    partly-filled should be removed from colonies at the end of the
    fall honey flow or after a killing frost. All queen excluders
    should be removed at this time to prevent the queen from
    becoming trapped below the excluder when the cluster moves
    upward in the colony during winter. If queen excluders were not
    used, the brood should be consolidated in the bottom of the hive
    as much as is possible, and any extra equipment should be
    removed. Colonies should never be wintered on foundation or
    on partially-drawn frames; these do not allow proper cluster
    formation and will cause bees to freeze.
    Most colonies in the Mid-Atlantic region are wintered in their
    summer locations, with reduced entrances (see below), and no
    wrapping or other insulation. The majority of colonies usually
    survive the winter. Winter survival can be increased slightly
    (perhaps 5%) by wrapping hives with tar paper. Wrapping
    colonies would only be profitable for the hobbyist with a few
    colonies, due to the costs of time and materials involved versus
    the small gain in survival.


    Mice are a cold weather pest of bee hives. During fall and winter
    when bees are clustered, field mice and deer mice may commonly
    enter hives to take advantage of a warm (heated by the
    bees), dry nesting place. They usually do not disturb the bee
    cluster, which is not broken during cold periods. However, mice
    will chew large holes in 4 to 5 adjacent combs to gain room to
    construct their nests. Hardware cloth (1/2” mesh) or an entrance
    cleat (with a vertical opening of less than 1/2”) placed in the
    main hive entrance in early fall will help to keep mice out
    of hives.


    Many beekeepers place an entrance cleat (or entrance reducer) in
    the main hive entrance during early October to restrict the
    entrance to about 3/8-inch high by 4 inches across to conserve the
    heat generated in the colony. The cleat should be placed with the
    opening turned up rather than down, to reduce the chances of the
    entrance becoming clogged with dead bees and debris.
    Winter survival can be increased by providing colonies with both
    upper and lower entrances. A top entrance is particularly important
    for providing additional ventilation which facilitates removal
    of excess moisture from the hive. Top entrances help to
    keep the hive dry, the bees healthier and the combs free from
    mold, while protecting the bees from suffocating if the lower
    entrance becomes clogged with dead bees or snow. The top
    entrance may be a 5/8-inch hole bored through the top hive body
    at one side of the hand hold, or a small stick inserted under the
    front edge of the inner cover. Top and bottom entrances are both
    placed in the front of the hive so as not to create a steady draft. In
    addition, the rear of the hive should be elevated slightly higher
    than the front to prevent rain and condensation from pooling on
    the back of the bottom board.


    Colonies need sufficient room for cluster formation and winter
    honey stores. Normally, 2 to 3 hive bodies (or the equivalent in
    supers) are required. In the Mid-Atlanticregion, late fall stores
    should consist of at least 60 pounds of honey for winter food. The
    broodnest area should also contain several frames of stored
    pollen, which is essential for early spring broodrearing and buildup.
    The quality of winter food is of considerable importance. Thin
    or unripe honey gathered from wild asters in late fall also cause
    dysentery if the bees are unable to properly ripen the nectar due
    to cold weather. Aster honey, a common regional fall honey
    source, also crystallizes very rapidly, which can prevent the bees
    from moving it into the clustering space or can cause them to
    starve if they are confined without water-gathering days in the
    early spring (bees
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    New to Beekeeping? David Laferney has taken the time to outline the issues and decisions you will make before purchasing your equipment. Take advantage of his experience and save yourself a lot of trouble and wasted expense.

    A Beginners Guide to Essential BeeKeeping Equipment
    David LaFerney, first published at cookevillebeekeepers.com

    Honey bees are cavity nesters, and they will make their home inside of all kinds of things – hollow trees, walls, empty oil drums, water meter boxes – almost any enclosed space that they can get into. And through history (and even today) people have used all kinds of bee hives.

    However, in TN – and most other states – beekeepers are required to use hives that allow full inspections of the colony. “All hive equipment should be of the modern Langstroth type with hanging, movable frames…” However, Mike Studer the TN state Apiarist says “Top bar hives are legal in Tennessee as long as you can remove the frames to inspect for pests and diseases. Actually, Honey bees can be kept in any type of structure or configuration as long as the frames can be removed
     Number of Views: 562 
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    Every Beekeeper needs to recognize the core components of a honey bee hive in planning to split their hive. Here is an article about making splits.

    "Making Increase"


    David LaFerney, first published by cookevillebeekeepers.com

    Making increase is how beekeepers refer to expanding their stocks. Not so long ago all bee keepers made increase because they couldn't just order some bees and let someone else do it for them. Somewhere along the line things changed and something that all beekeepers used to know became a mystery – It’s really easy to make increase.


    Any queenless hive that has the necessary resources to do so will try to make a queen.The required things being – very young larva, food, bees, and drones for the queen to mate with.
    The reason that this is possible
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    From a Beesource.com thread, Lauri shows us how to work outside the old fashioned beekeeping box for new and easy ways to feed bee hives, especially when a beehive is low on food over winter or in spring. Here is the meat of her method:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri Miller on Beesource.com
    My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I ran across these photos and thought I'd post them again.
    I put a sugar block on every hive that is in a single or when the cluster is near the top of the hive.

    25# cane sugar
    one quart cider vinegar
    sprinkle of electrolytes
    1-2 T citric acid (Found in your canning dept)
    splash of pro Health or other scented essential oil of choice

    Mix together about 1/3 of the sugar and vinegar at a time in a five gallon bucket with
     Number of Views: 788 
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    Dwain Cleveland called to pass along contact information for a bee removal in Pecan Plantation (thanks Dwain ). While doing a survey of the bee's location, I realized I'd done two take outs behind the house next door last year. We were in prime swarm territory!

    The homeowner had attempted to spray the entrance with wasp spray only to be turned back by defending bees. We didn't know how much of that poison had made it into the nest. Earl said he'd try to save the bees in spite of the possible insecticide contamination. ...
    by Published on 06-03-2014 12:17 AM  Number of Views: 982 
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    Thurs evening I got a call from a lady in Hico that had a swarm in a tree in their front yard. Dwain had given her my name, so Debbie and I stopped by a took a look before dark.

    They were about 25 feet up in a oak tree tightly massed around a 8 inch limb. I had no way of getting them, so I called Dwain back and he agreed to meet me there the next morning with his vacuum system. He let me use it and wow does it ever do the job. We got six and a half pounds of bees including the ...

  • Honey Bee Rescues

    To find a beekeeper for Honey Bee Rescues in the Glen Rose, Stephenville, Granbury, Cleburne, and surrounding areas...Click Here.
  • Dino-Bee Club of Glenrose, TX

    Meeting Information


    We meet at 6:30PM on the second Tuesday of each month at the Glen Rose Citizen's Center, 209 SW Bernard Street, Glen Rose, Texas


    Our goal is to provide opportunities to learn safe & proper practices for the management of honey bees; and in the process, build a stronger beekeeping community.


    Visitors are welcome!


    Glen Rose, Texas sits atop limestone formations containing dinosaur footprints. Our club celebrates that dinosaur connection in it's name: The Dino-Bee Club.


    Club Officers


    Chip Hough, President

    Carl (Crosby) Crosby, Vice President

    Vanessa Lyons, Secretary

    David Lyons, Treasurer