One of Ohio’s finest beekeepers, Wayne Stoller, spoke at a bee meeting about how his family operates its business. It was peppered with priceless information passed down through generations.
1. Haul bees, not equipment. A corollary might be that equipment makes work while bees make honey.
2. Dig a hole, then fill it up. Or first things first.
3. Make splits rather than use packages. This saves a cycle of brood.
4. Put two supers on. This saves time and money.
5. Get your colony ready; you won’t make honey building equipment while the honey flow is on.
6. Clip your queens for absolute control.
The above points are oriented toward beekeeping operations in the mid west where Mr. Stoller lives. They also emphasize honey production as an enterprise.
Bee colonies behave quite differently depending on geographic location (they are not all alike). The kind of bee product desired or service rendered also influences management decisions. No counsel is universal when carefully scrutinized through the glasses of different climactic regimes or operating philosophies.
By the same token, here’s a list of advice for beekeepers to forgo. The same caveats exist as for adopting any advice.
Homespun advice, therefore, is just that. It’s valid for a particular outfit in a specific geographic location. Only by using it successfully in one’s own operation should it become doctrine.