Beekeepers FAQ

It is said that bees don't read books - true - however the reason for the saying is that bees don't always do as you expect. Therefore it is necessary to understand what is going on in the hive and manage the colony appropriately. That's the fun of it. You can't just go through a mechanical procedure as written down and expect it to work without knowing why.

Some beekeepers may do things differently to the advice given; they are entirely justified in their approach if it makes sense for the colony in question. Some say that bees survive despite the beekeepers intervention! However the pages below are written based on experience and good beekeeping husbandry and what works. I hope they are useful and make sense!

Note that bees tend to operate on to 90% rule - they do what you expect only 90% of the time so for the remaining 10% of the time; anything goes!

These pages will be developed in an entirely random way (!) If there's anything that I should add, then email me and I'll try to do it.

Adding Supers means that the summer has begun.

Adding Supers

Orientation Flights can be concerning for the unwary but are a sign of good things!

Orientation Flights

Swarm Control If we don't want our stock to swarm we can do the job for them!

Artificial Swarm

Drone Problems Sooner or later you'll find more drone cells than is normal.

Drone Laying Queen or Laying Workers?

Feeding. Don't ever ever ever give bought honey; follow this guide instead.

Feeding Honeybees

Where's the queen? Here's a few pointers on finding that elusive queen. Sometimes you don't need to; sometimes you do!

Finding the Queen

Varroa is something that has to be dealt with. Here's a little information about it.

Dealing with Varroa

Clipping and Marking the Queen. I am not alone in thinking this is a good idea. If you have the nerve for it!

Clipping and marking

Queencells and Queencups. When does a play cup become viable as a queen-rearing vessel?


When will my new queen start to lay? An often asked question. Click the link to get some information. Most queens do come good!

Winter preparation. The chances of losing a well prepared colony are quite small.

Find out here

Apiary Hygiene. Yes it's important!

Read all about it here.

Wax Moth. First page on this annoying pest. (Draft for now).

Bailey comb Exchange. A way of getting your bees onto new comb.

Shaking bees off a frame

More Information will follow or be updated from time to time.