Learning about Beekeeping

watch and learn

I was able to hitch a ride with an experienced beekeeper today, as he went to check on his bees. Here’s what I learned, in order of importance:

1. If a bee stings you, scrape off the stinger and put a penny on the spot with duct tape. I swear it works. Normally I would have swelling but there’s absolutely none from the sting I got today. Before the penny was put on, I could feel it starting to swell into my thumb and wrist (sting was top of my hand/base of thumb). After the penny went on, the swelling went down and you can’t even see it now.

2. Use old carpet to keep down the grass around your beehives – put the carpet down first then the hives.

3. Put each hive on a large patio stone, it’s easier to shim than 4x4s.

4. Double brood chambers are probably better for the bees. Better winter survival, more space to prevent swarming, more room for bees to store honey for themselves (related to winter survival). So I’ll probably rethink my single brood box plan.

5. Spring is actually the trickiest time for bees – they could be alive in March but dead in April.

So much to think about, but I’m enjoying the learning curve.

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