Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I have had several calls and emails regarding the aggressiveness of our bees this year. I'm not sure why they are so much more aggressive. Perhaps they did not like the heavy rain we just recently had. What I am doing is smoking my bees several to five min. before I open the hive. Another trick I use is to spray them with sugar water or sprinkle a little powdered sugar on them. These are all good ways to distract them from your presence during hive checks. Wearing a bee suit is mandatory for our family!!

I have also had numerous people call asking for help because their bees swarmed. Dan and I coached Cameron on catching his swarm and he called back to say "It worked" so that's a story that ends well but most swarms are not caught and the colony that is left doesn't usually have enough time to build populations up for a maximum honey harvest.   I am completely out of queens and it will cost a pretty penny to get one this time of year. Probably around $50 because we live in Alaska where the weather is very unpredictable and the shipping is terrible. Continuing regular hive checks every 10 - 12 days and giving the bees plenty of "bee space" is the method we use to prevent swarms.


  1. I had another interesting problem. All 3 of my extra caged queens escaped their cages!

    1. And. . . ? I'm sure there was a battle. Do you still have a queen alive and well?

    2. One hive is queens-less. There are a huge number of drones. I think the other 3 hives have queens, but will know for sure when I check again. I am going to try to place a frame with eggs from a good hive into the queen-less hive. I'll use this queen-less hive as an excuse to do some experiments I would not likely do otherwise. Next year, I will staple aluminum foil over the corks of the queen cages to keep the workers from chewing out the corks.