Message Forum

Welcome to the Beekeepers of Northern Shenandoah Message Forum.

Message forum etiquette 

The message forum is an ongoing dialogue between registered club members. The forum is not open to non-club members.The message forum is perfect for the exchange of ideas related to beekeeping and club issues or questions. All registered club members will receive a notification that there is a new message posted on the forum and have the ability to post a response.

Forums work when people participate - so don't be bashful! Click the "Post Response" button to add your entry to the forum.

To create a new meaage or reply to an existing message select, POST RESPONSE and add your message/reply. You may always return to the message forum to edit or delete your response. Just select, EDIT or the DELETE choice above your message and make the modifications. It's that easy! Remember, the message forum posts responses from oldest to the newest. On the top right side select, VIEW NEWEST AT THE TOP to view the latest message. I'd be glad to assist you if you have any message forum issues.
Please send me an email,
Paul Peters 

go to bottom 
  Post Message
    Prior Page

09/04/21 10:55 PM #31    

Steven Sabol

If I use the dribble method of oxalic acid in my hives do I have to remove all honey supers?  If yes how long do they need to be off of the hives?  Thank you 

09/06/21 08:54 AM #32    

Timo & Shannon Brandstetter

Steven- yes you have to remove the honey supers (that you plan on extracting  for human consumption). Are you planning on extracting? I don't know how long they need to be off.  OA is used with little to no brood, so this time of year isn't good for OA. Therefore, honey supers are usually removed by now and extracted and when OA is used in the winter months, honey isn't an issue. Formic Acid is the only treatment rated for use with honey supers, but temp ranges for the product is important to follow.

Here's a good article:

09/12/21 08:57 PM #33    

Jennifer Blakley(*)

As the summer winds down, I wanted to send my  "Thanks" for all the instruction and guidance I've received via this club this year. Also, I wanted to express my gratitude to Doug Morris for being my mentor and advising me every time I have a question, for checking out my hive set-up to provide additional guidance, and for sending me to Clermont for hands-on training. Finally and most importantly, I want to thank Branson (and Doug and Cindy) for all the guidance at Clermont this summer. As a first-year, Clermont has been a game-changer for me. I wait to go into my hives until the afternoon of a Clermont instruction - because the hands-on experience there lets me know what I need to be doing with my own hives. Thank you all for all you have done to make this year a very enjoyable experience, I honestly don't like to think about how the year would have gone without all the help!

09/13/21 05:50 PM #34    

Luke Iwanowicz

Quick question. I am using screen bottom boards on my two hives. This is my first year using these. Can they be used during the winter? I have read conflicting articles on this.

Thanks in advance.



09/14/21 06:04 AM #35    

Dane Wence


I put the cor-a-plast inserts in my screen bottom boards when things start cooling off.

If yours do not have the slots in the back for that, it may be worth swapping them for solid bottom boards for the winter time.

09/15/21 11:56 AM #36    

Wallys Peltier

Where did you get the cor-a-plast for bottoms?

09/15/21 01:38 PM #37    

Timo & Shannon Brandstetter

We just use our mite boards and it works just fine 

09/15/21 03:47 PM #38    

Luke Iwanowicz


Thanks for the information. I made mites boards out of coroplast sheets that I picked up from Lowes during late Spring. It sounds like I'm good to go using these during the winter. 

09/15/21 07:52 PM #39    

Steven Sabol

We frequently sweep up dead bees on our back porch. Any ideas why this happens?





09/19/21 07:15 PM #40    


Larry Gniewek

Y'all remember the feeders we got with the ladders going down inside?  I called em the bee killers as every time I opened one up, there were hundreds of drowned bees inside. We went to the ramp style after that. Well, it was bugging me, so I pulled one out & studied it, the only way for bees to enter the thing was down the ladder, so I cut wine corks down and jammed them in the bottom of the ladder. I've tested over the last two months and haven't drowned a single bee yet. Easy peasey fix, or if you don't want yours, I'll take them!

09/24/21 01:59 PM #41    


Paul Peters

What is it and why do I need it?

Mouse guards, like the one pictured is a simple piece of equipment placed over the entrance of the hive that prevents mice from entering the hive while still allowing the bees to come and go freely. Typically, they’re made of metal so mice can’t chew through them. You can purchase them from most beekeeping supply stores, or you can do what I do and do-it-yourself.

(Below is a typical commercially produced mouse entrance guard) 





When should you put the mouse guard on your hives?
I install my mouse guard as soon as the weather begins to cool down in September. Generally, about the time we begin preparing for winter rodents begin to think about finding a place to call home for the winter.

Get buzzing and do it!
Whether you choose to purchase your mouse guard from a beekeeping supplier or prefer the do it yourself mouse guards, the important thing is that you make the time to get this equipment on before the mice move in. Like so many other instances in beekeeping, it’s all about timing.


Thanks to Doug Koch for reminding us to add our rodent protection!

09/26/21 08:46 AM #42    

Thomas L. Clarke

I have 2 strong hives, IMO, 1 deep- brood/ honey but 3 frames not drawn out.  I've checker boarded, and still not drawn out.  2 medium supers, both full of capped and uncapped honey.  Middle box ( super) also has some brood.

there are bees on all frames.  I do not have a queen excluder on.  Took it off early September.  I want to over winter them in the current configuration.  1 deep, 2 supers.  I have a in hive feeder in both, and have been feeding pro sweet for a couple months.  Mite treatment done end of august/ September.

Question- is the 1 deep,  2 supers a reasonable configuration, or is it too much room?


10/03/21 07:43 PM #43    


Denise Vowell

I have two packages of MAQS that expire in December.  Can anyone use them?  Free to a good home.

10/09/21 10:10 PM #44    


Laurie L. Shifflett

What a great day! I went to the Grand Opening of the Shenandoah Bee Supply store in Woodstock, Va. Met the owners and chatted about Bee's. They have A great supply of bee keeping equipment. We talked box hives, long langstoph,  and of course my favorite, TopBar. He said he would be able to order in whatever we needed. Just give him a call. 1(540)-481-9555.

After 33 years I finally won a drawing, get outta here! Second place!!! So heading back up next week to pick up my prize,.What a great day today was. Wish you could have been there too.

10/24/21 07:42 AM #45    

Douglas Koch

Does anyone have plans to build (DYI) solar wax melter you will share?  It could be a good winter project.

Thanks!  Either post or send to

10/31/21 10:59 AM #46    

Marty & Tom Morrow

Bruce- a Saturday picnic type meeting in December would be fine for us.  As long as it is not too cold.  Maybe can use a park where we can light a fire if gets too cold? smiley

11/04/21 02:01 PM #47    


Paul Peters

We’re saddened and sorry to announce that the club has lost another member. Jill was a past treasurer of the club and loved her grandchildren, beekeeping, gardening, and birding.  Due to her illness, she was unable to raise and work her bees over the last few years.   Jill was a remarkable woman. In addition to being a good friend and a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother she had a long and successful career as a science teacher in the Loudoun County public school system. She had a profound impact on their studies, many of whom made choices about their lives and learned to see things differently and more clearly as a result of her influence and example.  Jill was very strong-willed and determined when the situation called for it; it still amazes us that, undeterred by a little thing like a worldwide pandemic and advanced cancer, this spring Jill and her twin sister managed to fulfill a longtime dream by arranging and treating themselves to an African safari.                     

We'll miss her smiling face and can-do attitude!

11/15/21 11:57 AM #48    

Douglas Koch

If you use or plan to use Apivar at some time this would be a good short read for you.  It comes from Phil Craft who spoke to our club in September 2020 at our zoom education meeting.  If you missed it most of them are on the BONS website but here is that one:  "Why We Should Treat and Our Options"

11/23/21 12:21 PM #49    


Tim Riggleman

Need Feedback - I have a potential customer asking for quarts of honey.  I've never sold my honey in quarts.  What is the going price for a quart of honey?

11/24/21 01:27 PM #50    

Marty & Tom Morrow

Tim I sell my quarts for $32 (quart = approx 2# 13oz x $10/# +overhead for jars)  If you do not understand my shorthand let me know.  I often have requests in the country for quarts and half gallons ( $62)  Have sold out of all my quarts and half gallons.  Have about 3 doz comb honey left and 1-2 doz pint jars left out of 35 gallons we processed.  Good year for honey for us (our first year harvesting)

11/30/21 10:17 AM #51    


John Petrie

Good morning!

Has anyone had to move their hives during the winter months?  We may have to move ours soon and I am worried that messing with them during the cold months will kill them.  

Thanks!  John

12/01/21 11:45 AM #52    

Timo & Shannon Brandstetter

Sorry for the sideways pic, but I'm looking for a good home for this. It's a Scensy brand scented wax melter. Never been used. It's about 6" tall. Comes with 6 different kinds of scented wax melts and an extra light bulb. Let me know if you're interested!



12/30/21 11:04 AM #53    

Anthony Murray

Hi all, unforunately I lost my hives already. I inspected and I found some varroa mites on the bottom board, but I also noticed a lot of honey left. Reseraching online  it seemed likely that it might be CCD or varroa. There were also bees that whose bodies were split in half, this happed with a couple of the hives I had and I could not find information about that. I was wondering if anyone could help me identify the problem that killed the hives. Thank you

12/31/21 09:06 AM #54    


John Petrie

It could be moisture in the hive.  We lost ours between March 10-20th and they still had lots of honey left and no mites.  The guy at Hive House told us that when there are drastic swings in temperatures during the day/night, that causes moisture in the hive and will kill the bees.  I am worried about tomorrow (Sat.) because it will be in the 60's during the day and drop to the 20's at night.  Not a good scenario for our hives. 

01/02/22 09:20 AM #55    

Douglas Koch

To Anthony and everyone,

We have on our website under Resources many bits of information.  You are capable of sending samples of dead bees to the Beltsville Laboratory.  I have attached the link for you and others to use if needed.  The service is free.  Check this out it may help you solve your problem:  Covid has affected their abilitiy to service everyone but you should see what is available.  Good Luck!

go to top 
  Post Message
    Prior Page