Bee Keeping here I come!


Not sure, I would only assume that the attacking bee was trying to rob the other bee of pollen it has already collected. Or simply trying to drive away from what it perceives as ITS food source.


The attacking bee is not a honeybee.


It looks like their legs or wings got tangled up. You can see another bee fly into them and they immediately disperse. Robbing is also a definite possibility.


best source online 4 beekeeping supplies? recently purchased 40 acres and thought it would b fun to have a hive or two…


You won’t go wrong with Dadant, Mann Lake, or most any of the others listed here. Rossman specializes in cypress woodenware take a look at the mini-nucs a branch of Brushy Mountain in Corvalis OR


I’m not an apiarist, but thankfully my dad is. His bees start out very docile, and after a few years they become very aggressive. They seem very healthy, just mean. Is this typical for a lot of small beekeepers?


Depends on whether or not your dad has Africanized genetics in his bees. If he does, it is very difficult to maintain docile bees. You might suggest he purchase some queens from Carpenters Apiaries. Just a heads up that Bill is in his 70’s and won’t be able to produce queens many more years.

My bees range from very docile to very hot. I requeen with queens raised from the most productive and most docile colonies. Over time, the hottest colonies have been eliminated so that my bees are manageable with smoke.


Unless you regularly put in a new queen from a easy going variety you will almost always end up with a bit more aggressive bee. I kept relatively new queens from my source but they were a little more aggressive. A good bee suit and the use of a smoker makes most bees manageable.


I’m afraid I’m probably going to give up on bee keeping. I readily admit it is mostly my own fault- I never really took the time to do the kind of in-depth reading and research and learning that I should have. As a result, I always felt a little lost.

The last 3 years in a row the same thing happened: my bees didn’t make it through winter (I guess I didn’t feed them enough or leave enough honey?). Then each spring I bought a new nuc or a new package for each of my 2 hives. Then the last 2 years they either died out or left-BEFORE winter. I wonder if it is just that my supplier (a small operation in Nashville, TN) had mites or something??? I never treated my bees and from what I’ve been told here many commercial supplier do send out infected bees.

Right now my 2 hives are both sitting empty outside. I’m open to the idea of give it one last try, but I don’t know what else to do differently. For example, should I bring my empty hives inside for the winter or treat them with something? They have a good deal of empty comb in them but no obviousl signs of bugs or moths last time I checked.

Anyway, I’d love any advice but I think its hard for you folks to give it since I can’t even explain what I may have been doing wrong. Oh well. The one thing I was surprised by was that even when I had hives with active bees, they didn’t work my fruit trees as much as I’d expected- they seemed to prefer the clover blooms under my trees much more than the trees even when they were blooming! Since pollination was my primary goal (not really honey though I was hoping for some of that too) giving up won’t be a big loss as I expected. Thanks for all your help in the past, though.


Spend the winter reading about how to keep bees. Find a local mentor who is willing to guide you through the first year. Failure to do due diligence with bees is a recipe for failure.


I would protect them from mice going in them and wax moths. There are several readings that say put them in the freezer, moth crystals, and so on. When you think you understand them, they will show you otherwise.

Good luck.


Thanks to you both. I hate to sound lazy about doing the proper research, because I’m truly not. However, I will confess that my interest level is such that I’d rather spend my spare time reading about fruit growing or some of my other hobbies and working on them. Orliginally my local mentor (who turned out not to be that great) sort of led me to believe it wouldn’t take a great deal of time and effort or knowledge. Ever since then I’ve come across one thing after another that I didn’t know about or understand and which likely contributed to my failing. SO yes, it would seem that bee keeping does require fairly extensive knowledge and expertise and I suppose I really will just have to decide whether or not I want to devote the time and effort required to keep bees, which sounds substantial!

@BobC thanks for that information. I had read about keeping them in the freezer but I just don’t have the freezer space (or close to it!). What I can do is move my 2 hives into my enclosed, unheated garage. They will still get below freezing on really cold nights and be protected from bugs and mice the rest of the time. Sounds like that would be better than just leaving them in the field?
Thanks again.


Stack them and put in large plastic trash bags. Use Para-Dichlorobenzene to treat. You can find crystals at Walmart, just make sure it is Para-Dichlorobenzene and not moth balls. Here is directions from Para-Moth:

To prevent this havoc from happening, we recommend using Para-Moth®. The active ingredient in Para-Moth® is Para-Dichlorobenzene. It comes in the form of a dry, white crystal. To use, stack your empty honey supers tightly one on top of the other, place 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) of Para-Moth® on top of newspaper or cardboard and then place on top of your stack. Cover the stack with a telescoping top and make sure the stack is as air-tight as possible. Gas is heavier than air so will escape if not tightly sealed. Check the super stack every three weeks to make sure the Para-Moth® is doing its job. Re-apply as needed. For your super stacks, only stack up to 10 shallow supers and five western or deep supers in one stack. Be sure to follow directions exactly and do not use this product on active, live hives. Thoroughly air out all stored comb before returning them to your bees. Do not use any honey in the stored and treated boxes for human consumption.


That is incredibly helpful. And I can do that! And I will. I m going to give bees one more try whether I am prepared by spring or not. I spent almost $1,000 on all my start-up supplies so why not spend a couple hundred more on bee packages this spring. Even if they die out or leave by the end of season, hopefully they will be around for pollination this spring (if I get them early enough). Thanks, BoB.


You could put some swarm traps/boxes out and give that a try. I use to put nucs in trees about 6 feet up and face S or SW.


I installed a nuc this evening. Lots of wild flowers around. Hopefully they enjoy their new home.


Free bee freebies in Virginia.


Enjoying this thread, gettting ready to pull the trigger on equipment for 2 hives. Any feedback on my list would be appreciated. Ive got a local guy that runs about 1000 hives that said I can come with him to work the bees this spring some day if I want, also he said I can use his equipment to spin out my honey this fall so I dont need any extractor equipment which is nice.

Suggestions or feedback appreciated, this equipment is from Mann Lake. Also I will be overwintering these in ND, considering Saskatraz bees… They are $200 / 3lbs, kinda pricy…

Item Qty Price Total
4 3/4" X 16 1/2" (12.07 cm x 41.91 cm) Thin Surplus - 10 Sheets 4 3/4" X 16 1/2" (12.07 cm x 41.91 cm) Thin Surplus - 10 Sheets

|8 1/2" (21.59 cm) Waxed Rite-Cell Foundation - Black - Case of 10||8 1/2" (21.59 cm) Waxed Rite-Cell Foundation - Black - Case of 10

|9 1/8" (23.18 cm) Unassembled Select Grade Frames - Groove Top & Bottom - 10 Pack||9 1/8" (23.18 cm) Unassembled Select Grade Frames - Groove Top & Bottom - 10 Pack

|10 Frame Plastic Excluder||10 Frame Plastic Excluder

|4" x 10" (10.16 cm x 25.4 cm) Smoker - Pro-Bellow - With Guard||4" x 10" (10.16 cm x 25.4 cm) Smoker - Pro-Bellow - With Guard


Sale Price: $7.00||1||$41.95 $34.95||$41.95 $34.95|
|10" (25.4 cm) Grip Hive Tool||10" (25.4 cm) Grip Hive Tool

|5 3/8" Unassembled Select Grade Frames - Wedged Top & Split Bottom/Holes Endbars - 10 Pack||5 3/8" Unassembled Select Grade Frames - Wedged Top & Split Bottom/Holes Endbars - 10 Pack

|10 Frame 9 5/8" (24.45 cm) Unassembled Complete Hive Kit - With Foundation||10 Frame 9 5/8" (24.45 cm) Unassembled Complete Hive Kit - With Foundation


Sale Price: $30.00||3||$99.95 $89.95||$299.85 $269.85|
|10 Frame Insulation for Wintering Cover||10 Frame Insulation for Wintering Cover

|10 Frame Wintering Inner Cover||10 Frame Wintering Inner Cover

|9 1/8" Max Pro Feeder - 3" Wide - 2 Gallons - With Cap/Ladder - Each||9 1/8" Max Pro Feeder - 3" Wide - 2 Gallons - With Cap/Ladder - Each

|10 Frame - 9 5/8" (24.45 cm) Unassembled Hive Body - Select Grade - Each||10 Frame - 9 5/8" (24.45 cm) Unassembled Hive Body - Select Grade - Each

|10 Frame - 5 5/8" (14.29 cm) Unassembled Shallow Super - Commercial Grade - Each||10 Frame - 5 5/8" (14.29 cm) Unassembled Shallow Super - Commercial Grade - Each

|Pollinator® Jacket with Veil - X Large||Pollinator® Jacket with Veil - X Large

|Pro-Grade Goatskin Gloves - Large||Pro-Grade Goatskin Gloves - Large



Here is a list of equipment to get 2 colonies started.
2 bottom boards with entrance reducer
2 hive covers with inner cover (or plain migratory covers instead)
60 frames (I recommend purchasing a case of 100 frames if you can afford it)
6 - deep 10 frame hive bodies
60 sheets of foundation (don’t mess with thin surplus the first year)
You can easily make an insulated cover for the hive from styrofoam sheets sourced locally.
You will also need at least 50 pounds of sugar to feed the bees so they get off to a good start.

IMO, cheap package bees from Georgia would be a very high risk for your climate. It is better to purchase good bees with good queens to start with. The problem will be getting them delivered on a timeline to fit your climate. From what I can see of the ND climate, your delivery date should be sometime in May.

Of all the things you purchase with bees, once the boxes are figured out, a suit, hive tool, and smoker are most important. You can do without gloves if you can handle an occasional sting. Don’t skimp on the suit in particular. Get at least 2 hive tools. The smoker you show is a fairly cheap model. IMO, a larger smoker is preferable. Get a 4 X 10 wooden bellow smoker in preference to the cheap models.

Don’t forget paint, glue, and nails to assemble everything with. The hive bodies are best assembled with Titebond 3 glue using 3 or 3.5 inch galvanized spiral nails. Take time to square the hive bodies up as you put them together. Once the glue is dry, paint the hives with 2 coats of good quality exterior latex paint. Be sure to paint the upper and lower edges where the boxes sit on top of each other. This will help them last for a lot of years.

1 1/4 inch nails are used to assemble frames. You can use a brad nail gun with 1.25 inch brad nails

9/16 inch nails are used to hold the wedges in the frames if using wedge style

You might also enjoy reading on beesource forum or on Beemaster


The thin surplus was for raw comb, I was hoping I might have a good enough hive to get a couple frames of comb honey off of it this year. I ended up getting 3 hive kits with 3 extra deeps. Im thinking I will order one pack of beez, they are freakin expensive at $200 / package so I might build a couple swarm traps and put them in places I have easy access to and cross my fingers about catching one. I can get some old frames to put in them to see if I catch some freebies…