Today I will show you how to put together a bottom board for a Langstroth beehive. The bottom board sits beneath all the hive bodies. This particular bottom board is formed using four different panels, two side rails and a top and bottom cleat. The pieces are assembled using wood glue and nails. See my video below to follow along as I build the bottom board for my hive.


A queen honeybee with a green dot on her back

Photo provided by Steve Burt and used under Creative Commons license.

Did you know that many queen bees are painted soon after emerging from their queen cells? There are two main reasons that breeders paint their queens:

The first reason queens are painted is because it allows beekeepers to quickly and easily find their queens on frames during hive inspections. More importantly however, the paint colour indicates the bee’s age. A typical lifespan for a queen bee is 2-5 years, so 5 colours were chosen as a standard and are cycled every 5 years.

For example, a queen bee born in 2012 is painted with a small yellow dot. Those born in 2011 were painted with a small white dot. Here’s a chart that can help you determine what year your queen was born:

Years that end with: Queen colour:
1 or 6 White
2 or 7 Yellow
3 or 8 Red
4 or 9 Green
5 or 0 Blue

My bees are ordered and I will likely be receiving them sometime in May. I ordered my bees from Better Bee Supplies in Cambridge, Ontario. Lil at Better Bees receives her nucs (pronounced “nukes”) from several Ontario breeders. The nuc of bees will cost me $175.

As a first-time bee purchaser, I would like to make sure that I’m getting high quality bees and that they are well adapted to my local climate. Buying an “overwintered nuc” means that I’ll be buying a queen that has survived at least one winter and has already mated and is laying eggs. These eggs will hatch in my hive in May and beging working for their queen soon after.

I have pulled up some information on purchasing nucs from the Ontario Beekeepers Association site which I have reposted here to help anyone else purchasing a nuc of bees this spring: Read the rest of this entry »

As reported today on, a recent study has shown that honeybees have distinct personalities and that not all bees are cut out for all jobs within the hive. This is not talking about the difference between male bees (Drones) and female bees (Workers), but rather the difference in personalities of individual females.

The research, published in the journal Science gives the example that only about 5% of the colony is cut out for being nest scouts. That means that out of approximately 50,000 bees, only 2,500 are the thrill-seeking bees that will venture out of the hive to scout out new locations to set up a hive. The researchers also published that there are differences in the brains of these thrill-seeking bees compared to the timid bees that would rather stay at home. The more adventurous bees’ brains are stimulated by these risk-taking activities.

To read more about the research, visit the article on


Heather found this at the LCBO today. A 2010 Cabernet Merlot from Niagara-on-the-Lake.