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You have purchased a top bar hive with bees from Butterfield Bees. We guarantee a laying queen and a healthy hive when you pick up your hive. We are not responsible for the hive or bees once they leave the apiary.
Butterfield Bees 125 East Main Street Whitesboro, TX 76273 214-460-6859 www.butterfieldbees.com www.facebook.com/ButterfieldBees How to Take Care of Your Bees You have purchased a top bar hive with bees from Butterfield Bees. We guarantee a laying queen and a healthy hive when you pick up your hive. We are not responsible for the hive or bees once they leave the apiary. This is a low maintenance, very healthy environment for your bees. This top bar hive may have different types of bars in the hive, as some bars were taken from existing hives to start your hive. This is normal. Continue to use the bars you have in the hive. Hive Placement Place your hives in a place free from livestock, pets, and people. Face east. Afternoon shade is preferable. A south and north windbreak is also helpful. Hives should be level. Secure the roof with a strap or bungee cord. Hive Body Care Occasionally check for cracks, peeled paint, and loose parts. No other care is needed. Feeding Your Bees After receiving your bees, you need to feed them for about 4-6 weeks, twice a week. Use a 1:1 sugar water solution (1 ¾ cups of sugar, add water to make 4 cups). Make sure sugar is completely dissolved. Feed bees with a Boardman Feeder. Checking Your Bees Check your bees every two weeks at a minimum, no more than once a week. Inspect for the presence of a queen or eggs, brood, drones, pests, disease, honey, and pollen. Check the brood pattern. Check how full the hive is. Make sure there is enough room for the bees to expand with brood and honey. Use a smoker, and smoke the hive at the entrance once and then top opening of the hive once you remove the divider board. Use smoke sparingly. Use a hive tool to pry apart the bars. Place bars back in the order you remove them. Winter About November 1 to April 1, place a Boardman Feeder in the hive entrance, and block the entrance with blocks of wood so that there is an opening just wide enough for a bee or two to fit on both sides of the feeder. Be sure the top is snug and secure. Check the hive only when the temperature exceeds 50 degrees (60 degrees being preferable). Check for the queen and the presence of honey. If there is no honey, feed the bees sugar water until the nectar starts flowing in the Spring (about April 1). As a rule of thumb, there should be one full bar of honey stored per two full bars of bees or brood for the winter. Summer Once the nectar flow begins, remove the feeder and entrance reducers. Allow the bees to gather honey and pollen. Check the hive in August/September when the nectar flow is low, and make sure there is enough stored honey. If not, feed the bees. Extracting Honey In Texas, honey extractions should take place about mid July. Remove excess bars of honey until there is about 2 bars left. Brush the bees off the bars. Slice the wax right where the wood portion of the bar ends. Place in a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher. Drain through a fine sieve (paint sieve is good) for a few hours, then store the honey in a lid tight jar. The bars can be placed in the bee yard for the bees to clean up, then place back in the hive. Queen Look for your queen or eggs each time you open the hive. If you see a queen cell in the middle of a bar of wax comb, that is a supercedure cell the bees are building because they want to replace their queen, or the queen had died. Allow them to continue. If you see a queen cell or cells along the edges of the wax comb, those are swarm cells. This means there are too many bees in the hive or there is not enough space left for storing honey or brood. You have two options. Allow the bees to swarm and continue with what is left. If there is more than one swarm cell, remove all but one. Let the bees swarm and then just continue. Another option is to split the hive. Place have the bees and honey in another hive with the swarm queen cells (remove all but one). Allow the queen to hatch and continue with the hive care. Questions Call James at Butterfield Bees with questions or email. Consider joining a local honeybee association like Collin County Hobby Beekeepers Association.
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