Check out some of the topics below:

Queen Rearing

During routine hive inspections the Beekeeper will be sometimes faced with a Queenless colony. For some Beekeepers there is a option to rear their own Queens – click on the link here to find out more.

Varroa & Chemical Treatments

Find out more about Varroa Control Treatments and the times when to treat Hive(s) – click on the link here to find out more.

Chalk & Various types of Foul Brood

It is recommended that at least 3 or 4 times a year, that the Beekeeper should do a full health check on Hive(s). Find out how to determine Chalk Brood, European Foul Brood (EFB), and American Foul Brood (AFB) – click on the link here to find out more

Amalgamations & Combining Hives

Some Bee colonies can become Queenless with a large number of Bees, and some Queen right colonies can become weak. One method of improving the strength of the hive is to combine an weak and strong hive togther – click on the link to find out more


Swarming is the natural process whereby the colony decides to either replace an old Queen, or the Queen does not have enough space to lay eggs in the brood chamber. The Bees then will thin down the Queen ready for flight and will leave the hive usually between May to late July / August – click on the link to find out more

Comb Changing

There are various techniques for changing comb(s) on a hive. It is recommended that “Brood Comb” should be replaced every 2 to 3 years to avoid Bee disease; and also to replace damaged old comb – click on the link here to find out more

Inspections & Records

Hive Inspections should take place from mid April throught to September tailing off during October. The frequency should be 5 to 7 days depending upon what is observed (though unneccessary inspections should be avoided). Records should be kept of the hive(s) in case the Bee Inspector decides to do a routine random Inspection of a Beekeeper. If there was EBF or ABF outbreak in a Hive it should be reported to the Bee Inspector straight away and the Bee Inspector will want to see all records – click on the link here to find out more

Queen Cups & Queen Cells

As part of the process of swarming the Bees will start to take eggs of a few days old and continue to feed the cell(s) containing the eggs with Royal Jelly until the cell(s) are capped. This determines the new Queens that are produced and the Queen Cups then turn into Queen Cells. It is possible to have multiple Queen Cells in a large hive or colony – click on the link here to find out more.

Wax Moth Life Cycle & Treatment

The Wax Moth larvae hatch from eggs in 5 to 8 days, the new larvae will burrow into the BeesWax Comb trying to reach the comb midrib. It takes between 40 to 60 days for the pupa to become a Moth depending upon temperature. Large Wax Worms can grow up to 3/4 of an inch, and worms can bite or sting with hairs to defend themselves. Wax moth will destroy Honey Comb when the Bee colony is weak, as well as frames in storage. Freezing frames for up to 48 hours will kill the Moth larvae as well as other types of bacteria and parasites – click on the link here to find out more

Wax Reclaiming & Melting Techniques

One method of reclaiming wax from frames is to use a large pot on a camping stove partially filled with water. The wax is placed inside cheese or muslin cloth with both ends tied. A lid is place on top of the pot and the water is heated until the wax melts. The melted wax is then placed in fresh muslin cloth and is then reheated in fresh water a few times, and filtered again – click on the link here to find out more

Hive Health Inspections

The National Bee Unit (NBU) recommends that Beekeepers should do at least 3 Hive health inspections per year, looking for chalk and sunken brood, EFB and AFB, deformed wing virus, small hive beetles, etc.. – click on the link here to find out more

Honey Extraction & Bottling & Labelling

During the summer months the Bees store the excess Honey above the Brood Chamber in the Supers. Beekeepers will then take off the excess frames containing the honey for extraction, and will then remove the white capping from the frames with a knife. The frames will then be placeed in an extractor (machine similliar to a spin dryer where the honey is spun out of the frames). Further processes take place before the bottling – click on the link here to find out more

Asian Hornet & European Hornet

One of the biggest threats to the UK’s Honey Bee is the Asian Hornet as just one nest can cause untold loss of Bee Hives! The Asian Hornets stake out hives from a distance and any Bees that are brave enougth to take flight from the hive are attacked in flight and like Wasps they will take a Bee back to their nest. As soon as one Hornet captures a Bee a second Hornet is on station to capture the next Bee and so on – click on the link here to find out more


Wasps prey on Honey Bees, they will attack a single Bee where they will decapitate the head and the abdomen, and will take back the thorax section to their nest. Wasps can enter the Hive, but are usually out numbered and are dealt with by the bees in the Hive. Wasps do tend to get a negative press, but they are important in gardening and for feeding on aphids as well as pollination – click on the link here to find out more

Winter Feeding

During late September through October, as the Bees collect the last pollen and nectar (usually Ivy), the Hives will need to be supplemented with extra stores which consists of feeding sugar syrup solution usually in the ratio of 2:1 (2kgs of sugar to 1liter of water), the water should be warm to help dilute the sugar. Thymol Crystals in the correct measure should be added to the solution to stop mould forming in the feeders – click on the link here to find out more

Smart Hive Monitoring

The concept of a Smart Hive is to remotely monitor various parameters over time to build up an historical database and correlate and analyse the parameters with the Bee activity. This uses the Smart Hive (with inbeded sensors in the hive), as a tool to try and predict the behaviour of the Hive and the Bees like the build up to Swarming, and over wintering to determine when the Queen goes off/on laying eggs by measuring the brood temperature – click on the link here to find out more

Thermal Insulation, over wintering and Infra Red (IR) imaging

Going into winter is the major source of Hive failure, more so with small weak Hives. The thermal characteristics of hives is very dependant upon what materials the hive is constructed from (what type of wood) and the thickness as well as the types of Hives. There is some suggestion that the HBC type of hive with the exta wooden skin outside the brood chamber offers less heat loss when the winter Bees cluster in the brood chamber. But the HBC is not very practical for hive inspections as it is more time consuming. Another way of achieving the same features on non HBC Hives is to make a jacket of 25cm (1″) Celotex that is slightly oversized (for ventilation) and can be placed over the hive covering all of the Hive but allowing free access for the Bees at the entrance – click on the link here to find out more

Sounds from the Hive and Bee Sounds

Considerable amount of information can be derived from the sounds inside the Hive, using a Smart Hive with a microphone placed inside near the entrance. Special audio equipment has been constructed that filters out a range of audio frequencies from (10Hz to 3000Hz). It is claimed that the Queen can be detected by applying a sharp shock to the hive and measuring the attack and delay of noise the Bees make. The Queen will make piping and quacking sounds and tooting noises – click on the link here to find out more

Colony Collapse Disorder

A sudden reduction in the number of Bees, this is where the adult Bees disappeared suddenly and mostly together. The hive(s) were left with just the Queen and immature Bees, even though food was present in high quantities. In some cases, few adult Bees were found attending to the Queen – click on the link here to find out more

Morphometry & sub-species of the honey Bee

Morphometry is the process of measuring the external shape and dimensions of landforms, living organisms, or other objects. A means of determining the sub-species of Honeybee colonies measuring the Cubital Index & Discoidal Shift (of the forewing vein structure) with the aid of a computer program, taken from a sample of 21 dead Bees collected from a hive – click on the link here to find out more

Microscopy in the diagnosis & disection and insemination of Honeybees

Some Bee diseases can be indentified & diagnosed by Microscopic investigation, also Bee Insemination can all be performed using high powered Microscopes, as this tends to be a rather more specialised field of Beekeeping. The following can all be identified parasites (Varroa mite, Nosema, Acarine and Amoeba) easy to see with a microscope, also Fungus (Chalk and Stone Brood) is much easier to identify with a high power microscope – click the link here to find out more

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