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Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Beekeepers Pollinating Agricultural Crops

elearning modules
Module 2:
Best Management Practices
Hive Maintenance/Equipment
Beekeepers agree that the most
important piece of equipment in
the apiary is the beehive, the home
of the honey bee.

Lets look at some of the ways we can

maintain this equipment that is
found housed in apiaries (bee yards).
The following three areas are most
critical to our equipment care:

hive maintenance
hive security
Hive Maintenance

Can we extend the life and quality of our current


Does it make sense to always buy new?

Does this mean I have to work harder during the

peak season?
Hive Maintenance

What are some smart moves we beekeepers

can make to keep our equipment
well- maintained?
Hive Maintenance

Start by being observant.

Look around your apiary.
Inspect your equipment regularly.

Just what are we looking for?

Hive Maintenance

Look for: rotten, loose or broken boards,

broken frames, covers, or bottoms
damaged entrance reducers or excluders
weathered paint.

OK. We found some damaged equipment.

What do we do now?
Hive Maintenance
Reconstruct, tighten, or replace hive bodies,
supers, frames and other parts.

Should I do this during summer?

Hive Maintenance
Use your time efficiently!
Take advantage of the slow winter
months to do maintenance and
prepare for the upcoming season.

Also during the off-season,

paint your equipment with light
colors to help beat the summer
heat and preserve the wood.
Hive Maintenance

Remember, just a little effort goes a long

way in keeping costs down and
prevents you from being forced to
spend your hard earned money on
brand new equipment!
Equipment Maintenance

What about checking our bee attire and

inspecting our essential two pieces of

Can you guess what I am referring to?

Equipment Maintenance

Bee suits, veils, gloves, smoker and hive tools

Equipment Maintenance

Remember to inspect and maintain trucks,

trailers, loaders, forklifts and bunkhouses,
if applicable.
Equipment Maintenance
Weve covered lots of equipment

Did we miss anything?

Equipment Care what have we missed?

These pictures symbolize

two more points:

1. Keep your apiary trash free

2. Practice fire safety when using a bee smoker.

Weve learned the
importance of maintaining
the hive equipment.

Now lets look at hygiene and


Practice good hygiene with hands, gloves,

hive tools and other equipment to reduce
the transmission of pathogens between

What is a pathogen?
A pathogen is an infectious agent, germ
or microbe such as a bacteria, virus
or fungus.

What other steps can be taken to

reduce or eliminate these pathogens?

Replace old comb with new foundation to

minimize residual chemicals in old wax and
prevent the spread of disease.

Develop a comb replacement schedule.


Finally, if you purchase used equipment,

purchase equipment only if it has a history
of clean health and you know the source.

hive security.
Hive Security

Be aware that the probability of hive theft has

increased with the increased value of pollinating

Can you think of any of the four methods we

should use to prevent these thefts from occurring?
Hive Security

1. Keep equipment simple to identify.

2. ID hives with a brand or name.

3. Secure a signed contract

when entering into a wintering deal.

4. Practice discretion when showing

where your yards are located.
The Beekeepers Goal:
Weve learned the following:

Keep equipment in good condition.

Good maintenance prolongs the life of hive
parts, clothing, vehicles and other equipment.
Good hygiene reduces the incidences of pests
and diseases.
Hive security can minimize economic losses.

Any questions? Want more information?