Bee Keeping here I come!


a couple were swarms but most weren’t, just worker bees that are lost… occasionally he brings in a queen with his supers accidentally, if excluders fail for some reason. he’s got about 2500 hives and doesn’t mess around. normally he just kills the lost bees off right away but he’s letting them collect for me this year to b nice…


I assume he just buys tankers of high fructose corn syrup?


i don’t think so, corn syrup for feeding bees? i don’t really have any shelter to keep bees in unfortunately right now. i could try to construct something possibly…




Ahh i figured he was a commercial honey distributor.

That’s what i figured he was doing to feed the 2500 hives? Usually they buy these huge tankers of high fructose corn syrup and plumb them into there feeding tanks which takes days to fill and they just keep filling them up and then have soy flour and a few other things to feed them fake pollen. My assumption was they just keep them up there for summer and then bring them south for winter. The italian bees they raise are strange robbing bees that do not really attack each other and all swarm into each others hives until they are full. Its strange.


I gave up on Italian bees back in 1989. There are too many negatives such as continual brood rearing all summer long. That is expensive in terms of honey consumed here in north Alabama where we have a 2 month long summer dearth of nectar producing flowers.


I also noticed a drop in stored honey during the time (summer) of limited nectar availability. What type bee did you go with? Were they as productive as the Italians? Thanks, Bill


he leases the bees, owner hauls them up in June and picks them up again in fall. he doesn’t feed or test them while here.


Gotcha. What are they eating around you safflower or sunflower or alfalfa?

Is that just one semis worth?


I kept Buckfast until 2004, then switched to mite resistant genetics. My bees have not been treated since the end of 2004. I also have some Buckfast that I am gradually introgressing into the mite resistant bees. High quality Buckfast queens are available from Ferguson Apiaries in Canada


we have a lot of wild flowers, clover, alfalfa, canola, sunflowers etc. Interesting fact, ND is the #1 honey producing state in the country, which is surprising considering our short growing season…


Thanks again. I had forgotten that you covered this in another post.


Here in Iowa, you’ll need 100-125 lbs. of honey to overwinter. Probably 150+lbs in ND. That’s 2 deep supers very full! The value of that much honey far exceeds the value of the bees. Sounds harsh but most of those bees will starve this winter, that’s why commercial beeks go south with their bees in the winter. What is your plan for mite control, if he is at all like the pros I know, technical miticides (straight chemical, no dilution) have been sprayed into the entrance of each colony to control mites. This leads to very rapid mite resistant to all chemicals.
The owner who leases the bees to your local feeds them high fructose syrup. He has to to keep them alive on the road. The main ND honey flow is from white sweet clover, the roads are lined with it for miles and miles.


I’m going to start feeding them fairly heavily. because they were drawing comb they didn’t produce much honey this summer. I’ve been hitting them with oa vapor occasionally but haven’t been treating regularly because things have been hectic. i know a local beek that has 10 hives and 9 of the 10 survived last winter so it can b done. often he needs to start feeding early spring i guess


Seeing bees here hitting the last of the wild flowers. I thought I would try to course them and see where their hive is so I put out a spoonful of honey and they directly mobbed it. I tried to get a sight on their beeline two evenings in a row but sure am having a hard time seeing them line out for home. Any suggestions? Maybe a certain time of day is better ? It was a little breezy , maybe that was the issue?