"Free Range Bees"

Rohe Bee Ranch

Beekeeping Information

Who is Bob and why is his way of doing things (beekeeping) important to me?  Well Bob is a local and very long time beekeeper that has been both a mentor and a wealth of information for me on the wonderful world of Beekeeping.  Whenever I run into a situation that is new or even slightly different than before he has been my main go-to guy for help and advice.  There are a few other experienced beekeepers that I also go to for much needed help and advice; like Bill, Lyonel, and Charles just to name a few.  But Bob was the first person that I spoke to about beekeeping and he has been a great influence on my beekeeping abilities and style.  So the following ideas are a compilation of Bob’s advice and my personal experiences.

When you start in beekeeping it is best if you start with at least two hives.  This will give you the chance to compare one hives’ progress to another and allow you to evaluate their needs better.  Also if one hive doesn’t do well you can use frames from the other to help the weaker one out.  You will also have a better chance of getting more honey with two hives should one fail.  Don’t expect a lot of honey your first year.  It takes at least a full year for the girls to get things constructed and built up to produce a surplus.  You will be fortunate if you get 6 fully capped frames of honey your first year from two hives.

When you are re-queening DO NOT squish the old queen on a tree or some hard surface in your bee yard.  This really pisses off the girls big time.  Place the old queen in a plastic bag and take her home and put the bag in a freezer.  This is a more humane way of disposing of her and causes less stress in the bee yard.

Always use smoke when you open a hive. Duh!

If you need to have some drawn comb on hand for swarm traps or for starting a nuc use a hive body for a super one season.  After you extract the honey from the frames you can reuse them as starter frames in a new colony.

“What would Bob do?”

Copyright Rohe Bee Ranch & Dale Rohe September 2001.  All Rights Reserved.  Free Range Bees copyright September 2001.