Friday, March 22, 2013

Lazy Beekeeping Continued

Continuing on after my phone is not cooperating, Mike is talking about frames and how he switch to foundationless frames which were made with a V on the underside of the top bar.  As you may know by now, putting wire and foundation in frames is really time consuming. 

Next is no chemicals and artificial feed.  As this is the Lazy Beekeeping presentation, the main reasoning here is that it saves a lot of work.  Who wants to go put something in, take it out, wear gloves, etc. etc. etc.  Feeding is the same way.  Making syrup and feeding it takes time and energy and it costs too. 

Next is carts.  Easy on the back.  I use the pickup or wheel barrow when possible, but I have thought about building a cart but have never gotten around to it. 

Leave the burr comb between boxes.  The queen uses it as a ladder. 

Don't cut queen cells.  Destroying queen cells a lot of times ends up causing queenlessness because the queen may have left or will be leaving soon anyway. 

Stop fighting your bees.  How do you make your bees do whatever?  Don't.  Maybe fool them or stack the deck, but you can't make them do anything. 

Rule of thumb, if you're not sure what to do, don't do anything. 

Don't wrap hives, just seals in the moisture.  Cold has a beneficial effect on bees.  Further north means more honey.  Don't make your hive a damp tomb. 

Stop painting your hives.  According to Richard Taylor, the hives will last longer if you don't paint them.  Mike disagrees. 

Stop switching hive bodies.  Stops swarming, yes, by confusing things which is not productive. 

 Don't look for the queen.  Takes a lot of time and you can find anything you need to find without her usually. 

Don't wait.  Not a good enough reason to wait between making the hive queenless and giving them a new one. 

Feed dry sugar, much quicker and easier and can do it in the winter. 

Split by the box.  Much quicker making splits.  Works much better with 8-frame mediums.  Not so well with deeps.


  1. Thanks for the summary... one question. "Don't make your hive a damp tomb. Stop painting your hives. According to Richard Taylor, the hives will last longer if you don't paint them. Mike disagrees."

    Am I reading this right - Mike says paint and Richard says not to paint?

    1. I'm sorry about that, I am going to be going back through the posts and editing and fixing them. My keyboard on my phone was not cooperating with Firefox and Blogger. It wouldn't let me put in returns. I've fixed it now. The damp tomb was related to the wrapping hives part and not the painting hives part.

      Taylor (and other beekeepers in history) said not to paint as it was a waste of money. Mike doesn't necessarily agree. Many of his he dipped in hot wax with rosin and basically deep fried them. That definitely works if you can do it.

      For my own part, I'm thinking of leaving a batch of boxes unpainted to see how they work out.

    2. Thanks for the clarification. I don't paint any of my hives and the bees are doing fine propolizing the insides. If I could mimic what they are doing I would, but rarely do I see painted trees out there... sticky trees with sappy bark however I see all the time.

      - Jeff

    3. What is the lifespan on those boxes? We're pretty wet here during major portions of the year and wood can rot pretty quickly.