How-To


To Catch a Swarm

The first video is a pretty good explanation of catching a swarm. Some comments on the technique to consider: Avoid over spraying the bees, especially if you are putting them into a bucket or container that has no frames. Don’t spray sugar water on the hive entrance either, to avoid robbing. […]


First Inspection of a New Hive

Now that you’ve installed your NUC into a nest box, what comes next? When and how do you do your first inspection? It’s best to leave the bees alone for at least 2 weeks after installation, except to add more syrup as necessary.  I prefer using jar feeders above the […]


Protect Your Bees From Bears

Contributed by Ellen Wright Fencing is an important part of creating an apiary if you share your yard with bears. It is expensive and disheartening to have your apiary destroyed by one. You can build an electric bear fence using a solar charger that delivers an annoying but safe shock. The key is […]


Winter Feeding

After the daytime temperatures fall below about 60 degrees it’s time to stop using a liquid syrup to feed the bees, and to remove any remaining pollen patties from the hive. In our area that generally means early October. Bees don’t take up syrup when it is below 50 degrees, and […]


Tools for Varroa Management

Dr. Dewey Caron is the Principal Drafter on a new publication entitled “Tools for Varroa Management, A Guide to Effective Varroa Sampling & Control” “Every honey bee colony in the continental United States and Canada either has Varroa mites today or will have them within several months. Varroa mite infestation represents […]


Feeding Fall Colonies

Contributed by Dr. Dewey M. Caron Feeding bees in the fall was brought up by all the SOBA Fall bee course instructors and we got several questions about feeding. Feeding is unquestionably a way to make the difference in whether a colony survives overwinter or not.  Feeding does have some […]

Mason Jar Feede

Old Sol Apiaries

Old Sol Bees Recipe for Homemade ApiGuard

Here’s John’s recipe for an organic, thymol based treatment for Varroa mites. This is a great treatment for summer/fall, after honey has been pulled. If you need to treat for mites when you have honey supers on the hive, Mite Away Quick Strips (formic acid) can be used instead. Old […]


How to Install a NUC

You’ve taken the classes, bought/built the hive components, and now it’s time to pick up your bees! Nucleus hives (nucs) are a great way to start your first hive. The nuc contains 3 to 5 frames of bees with a proven queen, lots of bees, and frames filled with brood, […]


Shaking mites out from an alcohol wash for counting.

How to Sample Bees for a Varroa Mite Count

Contributed by Dewey Caron   Mite monitoring is good bee stewardship. It lets you know precisely how the bees are doing and how successful everything you may have done for mite management so far this season has helped the bees. Monitoring means taking the pulse of the colony – are […]


Bee Hive Box Handles

Santa Clara Valley Beekeepers Guild member Vince Endter has created some “how to” videos for making bee equipment. This one explains how to make beehive body handles with a table saw and dado blade.


Bee Hive Inner Cover/Feeder

Santa Clara Valley Beekeepers Guild member Vince Endter has created some “how to” videos for making bee equipment. This inner cover is made so that you can use feeder jars and not have to disturb the bees when you change the sugar solution.