Bee Keeping here I come!


@thecityman I really like how well you documented this first year of beekeeping. Thanks for the kind words you add a lot to this forum. I always find your posts interesting and very detailed. Thanks


Hello to the resident Growing Fruit’s Bee Keeping Advisory Board! I’ve resisted the urge to ask for your help for a whole MONTH! :slight_smile: I think this is a simple Q, but who knows. :

At the very end of the fall , I noticed a pretty large number of hive beetles running around. It was actually the first time I saw any in my hive all year. Because they’ve found their way to my hive now, I know I’ll need to get some of those traps next year. (At least I think that is the best way of dealing with hive beetles- is it? I’m talking about the little long, shallow trays that you put between the frames, fill with something like vegitable oil, and let the bees chase the beetles into the traps where they will drown)

But here is my question: Do I need to worry about hive beetles this winter? Can I wait until spring to buy and install the traps or should I do it now? From what I’ve read, I THINK the hive beetles sort of disappear (not sure if they die or just hibernate somewhere outside the hive) during winter, but I may be confusing them with wax moths?

So again, I’m simply asking if hive beetles have to be addressed now because they are actively feeding on the honey stores, or are they basically not a problem in winter time and I can safely wait for spring to go after them? Thanks, all.


So, my bees are all dead :worried:, most likely they did not have sufficient numbers to stay warm during our recent -23F night. My question is, is the honey any good now that it has frozen with no cluster of bees keeping it warm? Can I harvest it? Will it be ok just to leave it till spring? I estimate there is 50 to 60 lbs of honey out there


WOW Mike! I’m really sorry to hear that. -23 is crazy cold but I didn’t know it would kill bees,then again, I don’t know much about bees! You know I’m way too new to this to offer any information, but I look forward to hearing what people tell you. With all that honey out there I’d have to try and collect it! Good Luck


sorry to hear about your loss :frowning:


Mike. If you haven’t used mite or foul brood treatment, you can harvest it or use it for feed with your bees this spring. I’d recommend you feed it back, you can feed it if you’ve medicated your bees this fall.[quote=“thecityman, post:362, topic:4536”]
I may be confusing them with wax moths?

You are, if you’re cold enough, beetles will only bee a problem in the cluster.


Mike, there is no problem with honey that has been frozen in fact freezing is often used to kill larvae and eggs of things like the small hive beetle. I would take off all honey that capped and freeze anything left outside the hive. If you leave it in the hive you risk losing it to pests like the SHB and wax moth as the weather warms.

It will be worth your effort to get on a forum like where you can get help with things like keeping your bees alive over winter.

Hope you enjoy your honey and have a great Christmas



Thanks for the pity and the tips guys!


Mites frequently kill bees in winter. My guess is that was the culprits.


Hey Mike.
Just wondering what you ended up doing with that honey :blush:


Hi Mick, sorry for the late reply, just got back from a cruise. I harvested all the capped honey about a month ago, got just over 25 lbs total. I don’t have an extractor so I used a low tech technique from youtube which basically consisted of setting a fine strainer inside of a funnel over a jar, then I scooped in the honey, wax and all, and let gravity do its thing. I was surprised how much I enjoyed doing it.
I sometimes had 3 funnels and strainers going at the same time, it took a couple days. Every couple hours I removed the leftover wax and scooped in more comb. I’m sure its not as fast or efficient as an extractor but I bet I got 95% of the honey.


Sounds like a great harvest there Mike. That will keep you going for a good while now. I have 2 hives now and have been doing this thing for about 20 years or so. For a long time I used the old crush and strain method which is basically what you used… crush the comb strain the honey from it. Slow but it works well. The biggest problem is for the bees,they have to keep reconstructing their comb. Well last November I bought a small 2 frame extractor… works well :ok_hand:and makes things easier for the bees and me.
Keep your bees alive next winter and you can do it all over again in spring :smiley:


Had to bump this thread because our local NBC affiliate here in San Diego Country ran a pretty cool piece on a gal here in the county that maintains bees in people’s back yards. Thought you all would enjoy this:


Aren’t there African bees there?


Just a reminder to the beeks out there, If you haven’t ordered queens or packages, do it now!!
This is the time of the year that bees starve if your up north anywhere, especially in warm weather, get feed on them if you don’t want them dead in April


Not in our area that I’m aware of, Phil.


We had such a mild winter here both of my hives still have a full super. With all of the stuff starting to bloom I’m going to checkerboard both hives this weekend to hopefully prevent swarming. Hope it works!


About 2 weeks ago I looked in my hive when it was cold and there were dead bees everywhere. It looked like they were just frozen in place because the bodies looked good and fresh but there was absolutely no movement anywhere. Not sure if they starved (probably, though I saw some pollen cells and honey cells…but not many. And I didn’t haven’t fed because I thought they had enough stores.

Anyway, today- just 10 days later, it was almost 70 degrees here (unbelievable!!!) and I walked by my hive and noticed there were bees everywhere!!! I also saw them working my fully bloomed pluot. Well, obviously I am thrilled that my have has bees again…but I’m very confused (a state I stay in when it comes to bee keeping). What happened do you think? Is it possible that the day i looked in the hive, the bees I thought were dead were just in some kind of suspended animation/hibernation ? You think there would have been SOME movement, or one or two odd bees would have been climbing around? It seems impossible that I couldn’t tell dead bees from live ones, and I doubt very seriously they weren’t dead, but I don’t know how else to explain what is going on???

Another possible explanation/scenario is that a swarm came along and took up residence in my hive. That seems unlikely this early but I sure don’t know. I just can’t see how I had a hive full of dead bees (pretty sure) and then 10 days later it seems to have a huge number of bees in it. What the heck? Thanks all.

And that was a cool video, @hoosierquilt . Recently on LaBron James reality tv show where he (his people) pick 2 up and coming small businesses and have them compete for a big LeBron cash infusion and “partnership”, one of the businesses they had was an urban beekeeper who put hives in peoples yards around downtown CLEVELAND Ohio of all places. Just like in your video. I was blown away. I wouldn’t have imagined there would be enough blooming plants to support bees in those places (maybe they just fed them everything they needed?). It was so amazing because it would show all these slums and abandon factories and crack houses and then bee hives and a guy from that area making a living off bees. It was just such an amazing contrast and seemed like such a wonderful project. (he didn’t get picked, though- darn it). But your video and that show really put bee keeping in a new and neat light for me.


This will be a high swarm year due to warm weather. If your looking to make an increase get those empty boxes out there. As mentioned above keep an eye on your own bees.


The dead bees were probably normal winter die-offs that the worker bees did not remove from the hive until it warmed up enough to fly. This is a critical time for bees raising brood. They will consume stored food fast but this is how they get ready for the honey flows. Check hive weight frequently by lifting the back of hive.