Tag Archives: Beekeeping

Requeening a Honeybee Hive – Things We Didn’t Know…

By Texas Homesteader ~ 

Hobby Beekeeping is enjoying quite a popular resurgence. Many people are becoming interested in raising their own bees, whether for pollination of their own gardens, that delicious honey, valuable beeswax or just to care for our beloved pollinators.

Today I’ll be talking about requeening our hive. There are many reasons a beekeeper might want to requeen their hives. Maybe their existing queen is older and not productive anymore. Or maybe over the years the bees in the hive have swarmed and requeened their colony so many times the hive is becoming more aggressive, or ‘hot’.

You see, each time the colony makes their own queen, she must make her maiden flight for breeding with the surrounding bees. Oftentimes those are wild bees and some might even have more aggressive Africanized bee influence.

If you have very many generations taking those steps you’ve gotten too much opportunity for aggressive characteristics to be introduced into your hive.

There are several reasons beekeepers like to requeen their beehive. Recently we made a split and requeened two hive boxes. #TexasHomesteader

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How to Bottle Honey: From Beehive to Jar

by Texas Homesteader ~

It’s not hard to bottle fresh sweet honey from the apiary. But what steps need to be taken from beehive to jar?

There are things to watch for. Things such as moisture content in your honey, capped vs uncapped honeycomb, etc. But now? Finally the time is right. We’re going to take that sweet honey from frame to bottle!Honey frame. See how we took our honeybee's honey from hive to glass jars. I share tips about honey moisture monitoring and more. #TexasHomesteader

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How To Prepare A Hive For Honey Harvest

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

We have several hives in our small apiary. Here in NE Texas, we typically harvest our honey around the first week of July.

As you know, (or may not) July in NE Texas is at the near height of it’s hot and humid summer weather. So harvesting hone during this time is hot, sticky work that’s for sure.

But there’s much more to getting that honey harvest than just strolling out to the hives.

Beehive - two deeps, one honey super, telescoping cover. There's more to harvesting honey than just walking to the hives. Come see the steps we take before harvesting that sweet honey we crave. #TexasHomesteader

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How To Build A Quick 5-Frame Beehive Nuc Box

by Texas Homesteader ~

Spring is an exciting time in beekeeping. The bees are finally able to get out of the hive & forage from the blooming plants.

The number of hives grow by leaps and bounds this time of year too. It’s a good time to split the colonies to keep them from becoming too crowded.

But spring is also a time when some colonies will swarm. Sometimes when we capture a swarm we put the bees into an empty deep hive box with frames and let them get busy.

But sometimes so many swarms are caught that we don’t have a deep hive box available.

Let’s make some 5-frame nuc boxes for temporary housing for them. They’re super quick to put together & you can build four nuc boxes with a single sheet of plywood!

We needed temporary housing for a swarm of bees we caught. We can quickly build FOUR 5-frame nuc boxes from a single piece of plywood. #TexasHomesteader

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Beeswax Wraps – The Sustainable Answer to Plastic Wrap

by Texas Homesteader ~

Y’all know I shun plastic like a banshee, right? I haven’t accepted a plastic shopping bag from the store in years, much preferring my pretty shopping basket anyway.

And I refuse to buy overly-packaged items too. I’ve learned that recycling isn’t the answer to our landfill problems – PRE-Cycling is!

But what is precycling? Well that’s shunning trash from coming into your home in the first place.

But today I’m talking about cling film. You know the stuff, it’s always sticking to itself and hardly ever sticking to the item you’re trying to wrap. Use it once & throw it away. 

But whaddyagonnado??  Well, I’ve started using beeswax wraps!

Beeswax Wraps are the sustainable answer to plastic cling film. I use beeswax harvested directly from the comb in our beehives. #TexasHomesteader

 

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Frame-Swap Split for Beehives Doubles Your Hive Numbers!

by Texas Homesteader ~

Around the end of March RancherMan & I start thinking about splitting our beehives. Splitting a hive accomplishes 2 things – it expands the number of hives in your apiary. (yea!) But it also gives the bees a little elbow room by putting empty frames in each hive allowing for expansion.

You see, if the bees get to thinking things are too cramped, they’ll swarm looking for more space. And that’s something no beekeeper wants since there’s been lots of time & effort into managing their apiary. We did our splits by swapping empty frames for full ones. It was easy!

We did a hive split by swapping frames - then two hives came from just one! We find this frame-swap method helps both hives to recover quicker. #TexasHomesteader

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