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How to Make Bees Do What YOU want... (or not) :)


I just got notification of this article by Rusty Burlew. I know that Michael Bush and many others have said similar things in the past. But if you get a feeling that you need your bees to DO a certain thing for you, you might want to consider the thoughts encapsulated here:

Or in other words, think not what your honey bees can do for you, rather, think what you can do for your honey bees. :blush:


Thanks. I needed that.


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Hi Dawn, that’s a great article, He must have had a strong hive for that many bees to start a new colony. Then again, I guess if he didn’t move the hive all that far away, all the bees except the nurse bees will go back to the old site. Something I wouldn’t recommend in a SHB area unless one was prepared to keep an eye on things. Maybe remove some brood from the old hive to add to the new one.


PS, there’s plenty of things you can make the bees do that you want them to.

For example: You can make them produce more workers than they actually want. You can encourage them to store honey faster than they normally would. You can suppress the colonies desire to swarm or even postpone it for as long as you want.


I agree with Jeff
It’s called beekeeping :wink:
The caveat is " good beekeeper works with the bees, not against them" which is said very early on in the article.
It’s knowing how that comes with listening, learning and experience which is where this forum is so good. Most folk steer bum decisions gently rather than shooting folk down.


Sounds like the first chapter of my book…

"Learn from the bees
“Let the bees tell you”-Brother Adam
"BLUF stands for Bottom Line Up Front. That’s what this chapter is. I am going to give you the shortcut to success in beekeeping right here and now. Not that the rest isn’t worth reading, but the rest is merely elaboration and details. With apologies to C.S. Lewis (who said in A Horse and His Boy, “no one teaches riding quite as well as a horse”) I think you need to realize that “no one teaches beekeeping quite as well as bees.” Listen to them and they will teach you.
"Trust the Bees
“There are a few rules of thumb that are useful guides. One is that when you are confronted with some problem in the apiary and you do not know what to do, then do nothing. Matters are seldom made worse by doing nothing and are often made much worse by inept intervention.” —The How-To-Do-It book of Beekeeping, Richard Taylor
"If the question in your mind starts “how do I make the bees …” then you are already thinking wrongly. If your question is “how can I help them with what they are trying to do…” you are on your way to becoming a beekeeper.
"Here, then, is the short answer to every beekeeping issue. Give them the resources to resolve the problem and let them. If you can’t give them the resources, then limit the need for the resources.
For instance if they are being robbed, what they need is more bees to defend the hive, but if you can’t give them that, then reduce the entrance to one bee wide and you will create the “pass at Thermopylae where numbers count for nothing”. If they are having wax moth issues in the hive, what they need are more bees to guard the comb. If you can’t give them that then reduce the area they need to guard by removing empty combs and empty space.
“In other words, give them resources or reduce the need for the resources they don’t have…”


Does that make sense? :wink: