Indications of a Healthy Beehive: Five Things Beekeepers Notice

A beekeeper’s job is to care for bees, and many new beekeepers have decided to take part in keeping Honeybees. Some beekeepers begin the role of creating bridges for the pollination system, while others embark on this adventure to harvest the golden honey that bees produce. Beekeeping is undeniably a noble task, especially when considering the threat to the survival of several bee species and the shocking number of hive collapses reported in the last several years across our nation.

Embracing the Challenges of Beekeeping

Survival can be challenging for bees, which makes caring for them challenging as well. The wave of monoculture crops and poisonous pesticide use undeniably harms the bees. Beekeepers who embrace the challenges of beekeeping help create sustainable food systems for the bees, as well as provide plentiful water sources and do their best to support a healthy hive life for their little buzzers. Bees are wild, and even though their caretakers may claim some have individual personalities, bees do not conform to human expectations or patterns. There are always environmental factors that impact beehives, and even those wholly organic in their approach to beekeeping may find their bees exposed to diseases or contamination beyond their control.

It is crucial to regularly check hives for five key things, in addition to ensuring they have adequate water sources and food during winter and stormy seasons, which limit their foraging opportunities.

  1. Hive Activity

It may seem basic, but traffic and activity should be evident when a beekeeper approaches a beehive. Unlike being on the highway, the busier, the better for beehives! Bees often gather at the entrance to their hive or circle around the hive after pollen has been collected. An active hive is a positive sign for beekeepers. If a beehive is quiet upon approach or several dead bees are on the ground, this concern should be investigated more thoroughly and addressed immediately.

  1. Pollen Check

Bees collect little puffballs of pollen on their hind legs, and beekeepers should be able to see visible signs of these pollen dust pouches on their legs. The bees collect the pollen from plants nearby and show they are actively supplying what their hive requires, which is another sign of a healthy hive. When bees get the pollen back to the hive, they mix it to form bee bread, which is what the bees and humans eat!

  1. Honey Production

In the upper chamber of the hive is where the honey is stored by the bees, so if a beekeeper can see honey in this area of the hive, the bees are getting the nutrients and water they need to produce honey.

  1. Brooding

The queen continually lays baby bee eggs in the cells. These eggs turn into larvae or brood. Some beekeepers can see white worms in the comb cell, but sometimes the cells are capped, which indicates that mature bees will be coming soon! Every observation tells a story about the hive and where brooding is in the process.

  1. Queen’s Status

Every beekeeper will tell you they find themselves looking for the queen regularly. Doing hive checks includes locating the queen, which indicates the hive is working properly. If the queen is absent or can't be found during a check, look for the other four signs of a healthy and functioning hive.

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Get help with your beehive or bee swarm removal! Call Today 760-224-3040 Or 951-265-8292!

Beekeeping Roles

One of the best parts of beekeeping is tending bees in their natural environment. Providing care for bees without overstepping is a balance every beekeeper faces. Some experienced beekeepers believe that they should never intervene or help their hives. Others believe that the role of a beekeeper is to aid with food sources or to treat disease when there is evidence that the hive is in trouble. Each beekeeper has their own experiences, and almost all claim that hive to hive the needs vary.

Whatever your experience is with bees, whether only encountering them on a walk, having your own hives, or facing a beehive in a scary place on your property, bees are essential to the ecosystem and pollination. Much of our pollination relies on bees, so finding ways to be thoughtful and mindful when dealing with them in any capacity is best. If you have any concerns about a beehive or a swarm on or near your property, there are professional live and humane bee removal companies, like D-Tek, who often provide same-day or next-day service. D-Tek prides itself on the quality of service from its bee technicians' who are experienced and skilled in safely removing live bees and relocating them to another beekeeper (ideally in the same region).

If you have any bee concerns or questions for an experienced beekeeper, contact D-Tek today! Call anytime 760-224-3040.