D.E. Hive Demo

The pandemic has knocked my sleeping patterns out of whack. I’ve had to rely on coffee to keep me going at times, and every time I do it I seem to make one of these rambling beekeeping videos — or several of them. But I’m getting tired of listening to my caffeinated voice. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll keep it up. At any rate, here’s a hodgepodge of little bits that I deleted from other videos because the videos were already long enough, or I just forgot about them. Either way, this is the last video I post until my next blast of caffeine.

00:00 — In theory, if I want to artificially stimulate the queen to lay eggs so that the foraging bee population peaks around May when nectar and pollen sources become available in my area, then I should drop in the pollen patties about six weeks ahead of that date. Adding pollen patties now is way too early for that. But in practice, which often differs from theory, it could take the bees up to a month to consume the half-pound pollen patty I’ve given them. If I wrapped my hives so that the bees were ultra warm, maybe they would consume more pollen and produce more baby bees. But that’s not my style. I thoroughly enjoy taking it slow, letting the bees build up the in the spring at less stimulated pace so that swarming is rarely something I have to worry about.

03:20 — Sugar bricks, how I install them.

04:30 — A demonstration of the D.E. Hive, how the holes in the ventilation rim are blocked during the winter by a big ventilation/insulation box on top.

06:10 — Defective supers that create cracks between the supers, among other things.

2 thoughts on “D.E. Hive Demo

  1. Phillip. I have some pollen patties 3 have been in the freezer for couple of years and are dark brown and then I had 1 in the refrigerator not frozen for the same amount go time it is light brown..just want your opinion on if there still good….can pollen patties turn and not be good for the bees…also when do you get your patties is there some one in St. John`s selling them? thanks for great web site…

    • Hi Charles. As far as I know, most pollen patties can be frozen up to three years. I’m not sure how long they last when refrigerated. Unless it smells fermented or you can see mould growing on it, I’d say it’s safe for the bees.

      The nutritional value of pollen patties (especially powder) drops quickly over time, but if the bees don’t want it, they’ll just toss it out. It doesn’t hurt them as far as I know. There’s a fair bit of debate about this topic, but I’ve used pollen patties that were frozen for three years and the bees didn’t seem to mind. Some patties are dark, some are light. I think the darker ones have more protein, but don’t quote me on that.

      I’ve seen my bees completely ignore the patties, but I’ve never had patties make my bees sick.

      I buy most of my beekeeping supplies from a local commercial beekeeper who I don’t think sells to the public anymore. He used to, but he gave it up because it was too much hassle. Locally, I don’t think anyone sells pollen patties, at least not at an affordable price.

      A lot of people in NL seem to order from Country Fields. The last time I ordered patties online, I did it through them. I bought this 40 pound box:


      The shipping costs almost doubled the price, though. Apparently Dancing Bee provides free shipping for certain orders. That might be the way to go:


      For buying hive components, I’ve never found a better deal than Lewis and Sons — for bulk orders anyway.


      Country Fields and some other suppliers that seem popular for members of the NL beekeeping association don’t even come close to Lewis and Sons. I’m not sure why Lewis and Sons are unknown in NL. The prices from Dancing Bee, these days, seem comparable, but for years I saw other suppliers being advertised through the association whose prices were sometimes double that of what I got from Lewis and Sons (with large group orders at least).

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