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 (tiny.cc/PLNT-4-POLL) 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
- 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