Saturday, 30 July 2011

Question Came In- Ventilation while feeding bees!

photo copyright 2011 ©-The Hive Honey Shop

Dear James,
I have a question that I would appreciate your advice on.
Following the collection of the nuc from you 5 weeks ago, I have been regularly feeding the colony with syrup by way of a frame feeder. Now that I have a Ashforth feeder, I note that by using this type of feeder the roof ventilation will be shut off. Is this correct or is there an alternative means of providing ventilation at the roof? There is a supply of air at floor level by means of the varroa floor. The bees appear to be collecting and returning with pollen (various colours) from foraging flights, there are also stores of pollen within the frames.
In addition, whilst cleaning the removable floor I disturbed two caterpillars which appeared to have cocooned themselves in debris which have fallen through the hive floor. I attach a couple of photos from which I hope you will be able to identify and advise.
I appreciate this may be an imposition on my part, but any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Kind regards,


There is more than enough airflow in a beehive. The roof vents come into play during the long wet winter months allowing condensation to escape and not build up within the hive. The fact that you have an open mesh varroa floor means you have ample air flow.

The photo of the caterpillars are in fact Wax Moth Larva- a very destructive pest to beekeeping. A moth lays her eggs in the wax debris and the eggs hatch, feed on the decaying hive litter, grow in numbers and eat through the wax combs and wooden frames, making a mess of your hive. The cocoon is the remaining open shell from an emerged moth.

So to avoid a wax moth invasion, clean the hive floor regularly and remove any wax moth larva from your hive. Protect your stored equipment by sealing supers with drawn comb in plastic sacks and use acetic acid ( 1/4 cup) on a piece of carpet placed on top of the stored supers/brood boxes. Seal the bag. Careful not to inhale the fumes, do it outdoors. Then in the spring air the equipment for 24 hours before placing them on a hive full of bees.

Hope that helps. Keep an eye out for our next article about buying equipment safely and the pit falls to avoid!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Here's a question that just came in about our Wasp Trap Method

Here's a question that just came in!

This is an old post, so you probably are no longer there.
If you are, can you tell me how you keep the trap from
capturing your bees as well as the wasps? Thank you. em
By Anonymous on Danger-WASPS!- protect your hives on 26/07/11

Answer: Because you will be making a liquid bait that consists of Beer, Jam and Water- Honeybees & Bumblebees will not be interested but repulsed by the smell. Wasps are carnivorous and love the smell of decaying meat, fruit etc. So this bait attracts flies, moths and wasps.

Hope this helps. Keep watching our blog! We have a great article about buying beehive parts that is a must read for the beekeeping beginner!! Coming soon!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Urban London Roof Top Beekeeping!

photo copyright 2011 ©-The Hive Honey Shop

You can keep bees just about anywhere really. Here's a few photos of our London Roof Top Beekeeping. We have been keeping bees in central London for over 25 years with great results and lots of honey! The key point to a successful urban apiary is- Buy bees from a professional bee breeder. Pedigree bees mean calm, docile lovey bees, that make for a lovely beekeeping experience for both you and your neighbours.

Don't be fooled by people offering bees at knock down prices- you get what you pay for. Have an in depth talk with the bee breeder asking them what kind of bees they are, where they come from, how old is the queen bee. Interview the seller and ask lots of questions. Just because they have been keeping bees for 30 years does not mean that they are qualified to sell bees. Never buy a swarm of bees. They are of an unknown origin and of unknown attributes.

Next select your site and position the hive so that the flight pattern is pointing away from public foot paths, windows or any area where people will gather. Common sense advance planning is highly recommended.

The Hives Rule of Thumb: Out of sight, Out of mind.
If people can't see the hives they will not complain. Most urban disputes come from the public worried that, bees in an area mean stings. UNTRUE. Again common sense management of the hive i.e. pick a good time to open and inspect your hive when there are likely to be few people around. Avoid opening your hive at noon on a Sunday when all your neighbours will be in their gardens.

Be Well Prepared.
Take a beekeeping course, read lots of beekeeping books, search the web. After you understand what's involved with beekeeping, then its time to buy the beehives-not the bees! Get all your equipment assembled and in place. Get all your protective cloths, hive tools, gloves etc. Now that you have all the bits and pieces that make up your apiary, then you can plan to buy the live bees.

Best Time.
Best time to buy bees is in the spring, around May/June. This gives your bees plenty of time to build up and expand to a full colony before the winter sets in and the population begins to decline in preparation for the winter break ahead.

So why not give urban beekeeping a go. Its fun and interesting and bees will find the nectar, you don't need to plant any special food plants for them. They can fly up to a 3 mile radius. City beekeeping is one of the most practical urban farming pursuits around.

Subject: [Beekeeping with The Hive Honey Shop] New comment on Urban London Roof Top Beekeeping!.
Date: 23 August 2011 11:31:23 GMT+01:00
very sound advice guys and i can't agree more. as urban bee keeping takes off here in Australia it would be good to see them all following your advice. do keep me posted on your news. Will be spreading news of your site around here in Australia. stay in touch. all the best. lyndon