How to Maintain Bee Hives
- 1). Dust the bee hive for mites, as required, using the powdered sugar method. Cut a piece of cardboard in the shape of the bottom of the hive. Smear petroleum jelly on one side with a knife. Place at the bottom of the hive. Fill a sugar shaker full of powdered sugar. Open the top of the hive and shake. The mites will fall off the bodies of the bees onto the cardboard. This method is effective at keeping mites at bay.
- 2). Treat the bee hive for winter dysentery by feeding the bees a 2:1 mixture of sugar syrup and Fumidil-B. Mix the sugar syrup using hot water and sugar and allow to cool before adding the Fumidil-B.
- 3). Feed sugar syrup to the bee hive in the winter and early spring months if the hive's food source drops to less than twenty pounds. In the winter create a 2:1 sugar syrup mixture, and in the spring create a 1:1 sugar syrup mixture so as to not overfeed.
- 4). Merge a weak colony to a strong colony in the spring if necessary. A weak colony will have a weak queen or be queenless. Smoke the bees prior to merging hives to placate the insects. Open the hive and place white paper over the top frame of the strong hive. Drop the bees from the weak colony onto the paper. Cover the hive and smoke the bees to assist in the process.
- 5). Replace rotten or broken boards on the bee hive. Measure the dimensions of the board and use a table saw to cut the new boards to proper size. Use a hammer and nails to fasten in place. Paint the outside to the hive with white or light-colored paint to reflect the summer sunlight. Varnish the roof and stand legs.
- 6). Apply petroleum jelly and linseed oil to the upper and lower rims of the cover boards to prevent propolis, the sticky substance that bees collect, from sticking to the hives.