Checkerboarding with Fat Bee Man

I don’t usually post videos that aren’t my own, but this video from Fat Bee Man works well as a follow-up to yesterday’s long winded post about our first checkerboarded hive. Fat Bee Man says, “When the bees get full [i.e., when the hive gets full], they do what’s natural. They’re going to multiply, so they subdivide.” That is, the crowded colony produces queen cells in preparation for swarming. And then they swarm. Adding empty frames between every other frame gives them something else to do.

Fat Bee Man’s version of checkerboarding completely splits up the brood nest. He can get away with that in a warm place like Georgia. Cold-climate beekeepers may want to stick to checkerboarding only honey frames.

The video is also full of excellent hive inspection tips for beginners. How to smoke the bees gently, how to spot real queen cells — all kinds of good stuff. Note that Fat Bee Man doesn’t wear any protective clothing. Do not try that at home. He’s apparently bred a strain of stingless bee. That’s almost too good to be true.

2 thoughts on “Checkerboarding with Fat Bee Man

  1. I LOVE Fatbeeman. Among several things, he schooled me in how to light a smoker, and more importantly, how to keep it lit.

  2. I’m already following his tip about smoking the edge frames to get the queen moving to the middle of the hive.

    I haven’t seen his video on how to light a smoker, though recently I switched to cedar mulch and it’s working great.

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