Frequently Asked Beekeeping Questions

Springtime. But you’ll need to reserve them as early as you can.  Michigan Bee sales will begin in May and June once the Queens are mated. 

Research topics on YouTube’s search engine. Take a beekeeping class or course.  Read a beekeeping book.  Attend a beekeeping meeting or join a Facebook beekeeping group that can ask answer some of your questions is a great way to start you on your journey.   

A nuc is short for nucleus hive.  This is an established small 5 frame colony that includes a Mated Queen, Drones(male bees), Workers(Female bees), Brood(eggs), honey(stores) and pollen(bee bread).

Start by googling local Apiary’s and also try asking on social media if anyone can tell you of a good source to purchase your bees.  Try to purchase bees that are acclimated to your climate.

No. All bees are local bees – Michigan bees produced by queens that overwintered in Michigan’s climate. All bee sales are pick up only.

Bees do well in full sun. You can face them any direction but it’s always best to be in close proximity to water and food and consider your non-beekeeping neighbors and winter winds. 

It’s not cheap and starting small is best. Just a couple nuc’s will do.  You don’t need anything fancy. Honeybees just need a dry, dark cavity. You can try to purchase some used equipment and torch it down to prevent transmitting any bee disease. Set out a used hive body and see if a feral hive moves in around May or June. You can’t beat free bees.

No they don’t. They’re only defensive, not aggressive like hornets. Yellow jackets(hornets) are often mistaken for Honey bees. We always say “Black and shiney-watch your hiney, Tiny and fuzzy-she’s your buddy!”

(2) This way you can share resources between hives.

1-2 feet will help the bees avoid drifting into the wrong hive

We like to face them south towards the sun but it really does not matter too much

Fruit trees like apples and pears even basswood or black locust trees. Plant a field of white clover, alfalfa, buckwheat and other flowering plants like comfrey, black eyed susans. Even sunflowers and roses 

Bees fly 10′ high for every 10′ out of the hive. Place them so that when the bees leave the hive, they will not be immediately near walk ways people or pets. 

 A simple skin test or blood allergy testing can safely tell you if your allergic. Only about 1% of bee stings result in anaphylactic shock.  Only about 3% of the United states is allergic. But when you’re a beekeeper who gets stung often your chances of becoming allergic go up about 30%. 

Some medications do fight certain pests and diseases. However it’s best to not use use chemicals or medication in a hive unless it’s absolutely necessary.

It’s best to leave the hives honey for the first year so they have the best chance at over wintering 

One hive can produce approximately 10-200 pounds a year.  If a hive produces 100 pounds and you sell it for $10 per pound = $1,000.00

Yes but torch the boxes in order to kill any disease if present

In michigan the ventilitation with Langstroth hives are very beneficial. It’s best to research what most beekeepers are using in your area so your bees have the best chance at overwintering.

Screen bottom boards-mites fall , Powdered Sugar-bee grooming, Splits cause brood-breaks

Place your hives in sunny areas, keep hives healthy and populated, use beetle traps with boric acid and honey and crisco

Using a empty box as a super we use a top feeder it’s a large feeder placed on top of the hive and sugar water is held in a large reservoir

They cluster tightly together in their hive and generate heat to keep each other warm. They eat honey and pollen that they collected during the spring and summer

You can inspect your hive every two or three weeks to ensure that your queen is healthy and laying well. Inspections take about 5-10 minutes each. 

Bees that have overwintered will need feed in the early months. We use sugar patties and pollen patties until temps are above 55F and then we’ll switch to sugar syrup. Michigan hives will start swarming in May so make a split when temps are above 50 degrees at night to avoid chilled brood.