Ideal Hive Attributes

To bee … or not to bee?

If you don’t want honey, propolis, wax and the joys that come with being a honeybee-guardian, here's your guide for native pollinators.

If you DO want honey etc, use these resources to be a bee-guardian:

  • Plant ( esp well to avoid starvation of native bees now pressured by honeybees bees.
  • Provide year round bee-safe probiotic water source.

Given the pressures on all pollinators nowadays ... 

  • forage diversity decline
  • loss of natural nesting habitat
  • increasing climate chaos
  • pollution from light to a many-knives chemical load

offering pollinators habitat and working to shed toxins from within your circle of influence is vital.

Best practices for honeybees, Urban Bees and Gardens suggests these:

  • Wood box interiors are painted with propolis / beeswax … for probiotics.
  • Foundationless frames are 
    • glued
    • stapled 6 ways
    • wood strips with non-treatment beeswax to guide comb in straight lines.

Why foundationless frames?
Lets bees grow plenty of drones: essential for better bee genetics.
Reduces toxic load: plastic and wax foundations hold toxins.
Improves communication: in the hives’ darkness, comb without stiff foundation vibrates more to allow natural communication between bees. 

  • Small round holes in box. These allow best temp/moisture control for bees and help thwart yellow jackets.
  • Moist probiotic bottom board. Replicates typical beetree habitat, where even 30’ up beetree base is moist loose soil from wood and insect frass, filled with small red worms (!) 
  • Propolis trays on top … again probiotics
  • 2” insulation wrap eases bees’ ability, like beetrees, to keep their brood chambers in the 90s and humidity at 85%. This 
    • reduces mite and virus counts 
    • reduces honey eaten thru winter
    • increases number of spring foragers hive can release into field
    • improves survival rates