Beverly Bees

Anita Deeley of Beverly Bees

March 28, 2017
by David Sinclair
Comments Off on Anita Deeley on Get Your Garden Growing

Anita Deeley on Get Your Garden Growing

Take a video tour of our hives with Anita Deeley!

Watch Anita Deeley of Beverly Bees demonstrate the inner workings of a honey bee hive to Sandra Lawson of Get Your Garden Growing. This video was recorded by BevCam in July 2016. Anita explains how to keep bees healthy, the problems bees are facing today, then dons a bee veil and opens up a hive to show Sandra around.  

See what honey looks like in a real live bee hive and determine when it is ready to harvest. Learn why you use smoke and how to smoke bees properly. Watch Anita go through a hive inspection giving tips along the way.  View where the bees keep their babies in the hive and the importance of the queen, workers and drones.  Review what to do if you get stung. Understand the honey bee life cycle,  products of the hive and more! No experience with beekeeping needed. No need for a bee veil or smoker, just sit back, relax and enjoy the video below.  

The hive opening starts at 8 minutes in for those who want to dive right into the bees.  Also MA beekeepers please note the requirements for opting out of Mosquito Spraying have recently changed.  You can now opt out online here. 

Meet Us In Person

Local residents please come visit us at one of our farmers markets this year! We love to talk about bees and beekeeping and answer any questions you may have.  For an updated list visit our Markets page here or subscribe to our events page on facebook. 

Visit our Store

To purchase a No Spraying Sign mentioned in the video please visit our online store.  You can also purchase beeswax candles and natural body care products through our webstore.

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July 25, 2015
by David Sinclair
4 Comments

Open Air Bee Hive Removal in MA

Open Air Bee Hive Removal in MA

It’s honey bee removal season here in Massachusetts! If you have bees and are within an hour of Beverly, MA please call us at 978-778-8276.

It’s been a pretty intense swarm season this year in MA. Believe it or not bees are still swarming here. The cold start to spring and the sudden burst of summer caused an intense honey flow in many areas and the bees got crowded fast! A few weeks ago we got a call to remove a swarm from the side of a house. Upon further inspection it became apparent that this was no honey bee swarm but in fact a thriving honey bee colony that decided to build its nest out in the open. This open air bee hive is a rare sight and even rarer here in Massachusetts.openairbeehiveUsually honey bees prefer a dark cavity to build their comb inside but these girls chose a bright sunny spot right out in the open. If you get bees inside your house walls this is what the hive looks like inside the walls and it can get much bigger.  Bees can build comb really fast and these girls are evidence of that being here for only a few weeks. Luckily for the bees the homeowner called us to remove and relocate them. This type of hive would not survive our harsh winters here.

These bees had already started raising baby bees seen in the comb below.  Brian was the lucky one who got to remove this hive. He used a specially built bee vacuum which removes the bees without harming them. Then he took down the comb, placed it into a hive to be reunited with the bees and relocated to a place where it can be cared for by a beekeeper.openairbroodcombOnce the combs were removed it was easier to see what the bees had anchored them too. Quite artistic bees indeed!combremovedAfter this picture was taken, Brian cleaned off the wax remnants and rescued the remaining bees. Unless you had seen these pictures you would never know bees had ever lived here.

Beverly Bees rescues and removes honey bees and bumble bees from trees, houses, structures and just about anywhere they are unwanted. We remove and relocate bees to a safe location where they can be cared for by a beekeeper. If you have unwanted bees and are within an hour of Beverly, Ma please call us at 978-778-8276. Visit our Bee Removal Page here to learn more.

Copyright © 2011-2015. Anita Deeley, BeverlyBees.com. All rights reserved.

June 25, 2015
by David Sinclair
7 Comments

Honey Bee Swarm on a Boat

Honey Bee Swarm on a Boat

honey bee swarm on a boat

Honey bees we rescued from a boat in Gloucester.

It’s honey bee swarm season here in Massachusetts! Every year Beverly Bees rescues wayward bee swarms and relocates them to one of our honey bee yards where they can be cared for by a beekeeper. If you are in eastern, MA and have a honey bee swarm please call us at 978-778-8276.

It has been a great year for swarming and we have had a number of swarm calls this year, but this one has been the most interesting by far. These girls decided to leave the safe refuge of their hive and take up temporary residence on a boat in a marina.  I think they were hoping to hitch a ride to some nice island somewhere and get away from the hustle and bustle of mainland, Massachusetts.

Thankfully we were called in to save them and my husband, Brian was the lucky one who got to capture these bees!  He brought a nuc box with a frame of honey and used it to entice the honey bees to stop their boating ways and get back to being bees!

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A deafening roar of delight emanated from the bees when Brian pulled out the frame of honey and placed it in the middle of the swarm. These lost girls were glad to see something familiar.  He then placed the frame inside the nuc and placed the nuc on the boat and watched as the bees marched right in!

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Brian recorded a video on his cell phone so you can see too. These were very happy bees indeed thanks to the people who called us to save them!


If you find a honey bee swarm please call a beekeeper to save and relocate them. If you are in eastern, MA please call us at 978-778-8276. Visit our Bee Removal Page here to learn more.

Copyright © 2011-2015. Anita Deeley, BeverlyBees.com. All rights reserved.

May 25, 2015
by David Sinclair
3 Comments

Riley’s First Bee Swarm Capture

Riley’s First Bee Swarm Capture

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Local bees have started to swarm and we received our first honey bee swarm call of the season a few days ago. It was a nicely formed cluster of bees, low to the ground and a perfect opportunity to teach my seven-year old how to catch his very first bee swarm. Riley was so excited to help and made it look so easy. Luckily, the homeowner caught the whole thing on video – enjoy!

If you see a honey bee swarm, please call a beekeeper to remove them. If you are in Eastern, MA, please call us and maybe even Riley will show up to help!

Have a honey bee swarm?  We offer a free honey bee removal service for honey bee swarms in Essex County, Middlesex County and the Boston, MA area.  Please call us at 978-778-8276.

Read more about our bee removal services here.

September 16, 2014
by David Sinclair
17 Comments

What is Treatment Free Beekeeping?

What is Treatment Free Beekeeping?

You may have heard the term “Treatment Free Beekeeping” or “Treatment Free Beekeeper.” You also many have heard a beekeeper or two get riled up in great support or vehemently against this type of beekeeping. This term draws great criticism and emotion from many beekeepers. But why? What does it mean exactly? What is all the fuss with treatment free beekeeping about? What is this great divide?

Top Bar Hive Anarchy Apiaries

One of my treatment free top bar hives.

Treatment Free Beekeeping means that nothing is put into the hive that bees do not put there, except hive parts and occasional feeding (although feeding at all and feeding sugar instead of honey is met with great debate among treatment free beekeepers).  Anything a beekeeper puts inside the hive in order to kill or prevent pests or disease is considered a treatment. This includes all pesticides, antibiotics, essential oils, organically approved mite treatments like Apiguard (thymol) and even things like Honey B Healthy, mineral oil and powdered sugar, since these are treatments for some “condition” in the hive.

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So why would a beekeeper want to do this? Wouldn’t you want to get rid of pests in the hive? Bees across America are dying out and struggling, wouldn’t you want to help them out?

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Brian who is 6′ 4″ is checking if the honey is capped in one of our treatment free hives.

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This is me checking the same hive via my new sport  – hive climbing!

Why Do Treatment Free Beekeeping?

The answer is simply a philosophy that goes something like this ~ any time you treat your hive for any kind of pest or disease you are selecting for bees that cannot take care of that pest or disease without your help. By continuing on the path of using treatments you end up breeding stronger pests and diseases resistant to treatments, instead of breeding better bees resistant to pests and disease.

A bee with a varroa mite on it’s back. Varroa mites,  similar to ticks, are a pest to honey bees and responsible for spreading many bee viruses.

By helping out the bees, by killing the pests with a treatment, you are selecting for pests that are resistant to that treatment.  When you treat, most pests die, except for the ones who can survive in spite of treatments. These survivor pests are the ones that go on to propagate and make new pests. Then you need a new treatment to combat them. This puts you as a beekeeper on a treadmill for using new treatment after new treatment to kill the pests as they develop resistance. Clearly time and evidence have shown this way is not working. Many mite treatments are no longer as effective. Mites are becoming resistant to them, and treatments need to be switched up or altered to prevent resistance. Even a disease like American Foulbrood is showing resistance to antibiotics used prophylacticly to prevent it from occurring.

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These bees had been living on their own “treatment free” for several years before we rescued and relocated them from a chimney.

Everything alive wants to survive and learns to adapt to selective pressures and this includes pests and diseases. Man cannot beat nature, nature always finds a way. So instead of putting the selective pressure on bees to adapt to these pest and disease pressures and survive in spite of them, (which is what we should be doing as beekeepers),  by using treatments you are putting pressure on the pests and diseases to adapt and survive. Treatment free beekeepers believe by using treatments you may be doing more harm than good for bees in the long run.

One of my hives with foundationless frames.

A foundationless frame from one of my treatment free hives.

There are other reasons people are treatment free beekeepers, such as wanting to keep bees as natural as possible and keeping your honey and wax as clean and free from beekeeper applied pesticides as possible. As well as the understanding that a bee colony has a unique set of microbes (similar in some ways to our gut microbes) that help it to function as healthy as possible and any type of substance you introduce into the hive has the possibility of altering these microbes.  And I’m sure there are more reasons that I have not mentioned.

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A foundationless honey frame from one of my treatment free hives, harvested a few weeks before my son was born.

So why are people against treatment free beekeeping? What is the opposition all about? I think mostly it’s fear. Fear of the unknown and worrying about your bees dying if you go treatment free. Fear of losing money and investment in your current stock of bees that may not be able to survive without treatments.  Fear and concern about being harmed by someone else’s bees who may be sick with a contagious disease.  But it also includes beekeepers set in their ways, money backing treatments and simply feeling you need to do something and everything possible to keep your bees from dying.  And not wanting or having the time, money and effort needed to get local survivor stock that works in your area.

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Teaching my son how to be a beekeeper while holding up a small cell brood frame from one of my treatment free hives.

Will My Bees Die If I Become A Treatment Free Beekeeper?

Yes the harsh reality is that bees will and do die when you start keeping them treatment free, but bees also die when you keep them with treatments, so either way bees die,  as a beekeeper you need to accept that. The difference is when bees die treatment free you are letting genetics die out that need your help in order to survive, you are not propping up sick and chemically dependent bees and allowing them to propagate.  The fear is when going treatment free that your bees will die and if you have the wrong bees they will, so it helps to start with bees breed from a treatment free beekeeper, or mite resistant bees or local bees.

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These bees are rockin’! Small cell and treatment free! This is one of my hives that has been around for over 2 years without treatments and is using a mixture of small cell and foundationless frames.

Please understand this does not mean as a treatment free beekeeper you put your bees in a hive and do not do anything at all.  It does no one any good to keep sick bees. There are many things you can do as a beekeeper to alleviate some conditions bees have. Many times simply requeening changes the genetics of the hive and can be very helpful, as well as breaking the brood cycle to break the mite cycle by letting the hive swarm and/or raise their own queens. Some management methods such as using local stock, small cell foundation or foundationless comb work for some treatment free beekeepers. As a treatment free beekeeper you are signing on to help bees in the most natural way possible as well as become a bee breeder of your local survivor stock.  You need to make you own splits and queens from hives that survive without treatments. You need to help propagate these survivor stock bees. If you want to go treatment free you need to learn the methods of keeping bees alive this way, that are the best for your local area (since all beekeeping is local). I encourage you to learn treatment free methods from people who are successfully doing it and keeping their hives alive year to year.  Some gurus I would recommend listening to if you want to be treatment free include – Dee Lusby, Michael Bush, Sam Comfort, Solomon Parker, Dean Stiglitz, Laurie Herboldsheimer, Les Crowder, Kirk Webster, Jason Bruns and Tim Ives.

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Another one of the small cell frames in my treatment free hives.

If you want to have only one or two hives and buy packages every year or so, or take all the honey you can get, then treatment free beekeeping may not be for you. It is up to you to decide if that is how you want to keep your bees.  There are many ways to keep bees and treatment free is just one. It is the method I use and strongly implore others to follow, but it is not the only way to keep bees.

For more information on treatment free beekeeping click here.

Copyright © 2011-2014. Anita Deeley, BeverlyBees.com. All rights reserved.

August 15, 2014
by David Sinclair
2 Comments

7 Steps to Take After a Honey Bee Pesticide Kill

7 Steps to Take After a Honey Bee Pesticide Kill

If your bees died from pesticide poisoning follow these 7 steps to report and document your honey bee pesticide kill.

First let me say, I am so sorry. It is disheartening and upsetting to see this happen to your bees firsthand. I have seen a number of pesticide kills with honey bees. Every one of them is depressing and upsetting to witness. But believe it or not many of the hives will make miraculous unbelievable comebacks, despite the massive amount of dead bees outside. Bees are amazingly resilient when it comes to this. Still it is important that you report your bee kill so a record is made with the correct agencies, to try to prevent this from happening in the future.  Here are 7 steps you should take after you experience a pesticide kill in your hive.

Bees killed from pesticide poisoning.

Bees killed from pesticide poisoning.

1. You should report your bee kill to the state pesticide inspector for the state where the bill kill happened. If your honey bee pesticide kill happened in Massachusetts you can call 617-626-1781 to report your kill.  Find out more information about pesticide enforcement in Massachusetts here. A pesticide inspector should come out and verify your kill, take samples and file a report with the state. This way your bee kill will go on record.

2. Call your state bee inspector to come out to verify the pesticide kill. In a honey bee pesticide kill you may see a large number of dead and dying bees pouring out of the hive, evacuating it, unable to fly, and moving in a jerky, shaky back and forth motion.  Bees inside the hive may be unable to hang onto the frames and drop off the sides of the frames like a waterfall of bees when you remove them.  Dead bees may have their tongues sticking out and live bees may look like that drank too many cups of coffee the way they are jerking, trembling and shaking. It is a very disturbing site.

Bees killed from pesticide poisoning.

Bees killed from pesticide poisoning.

It is important to understand that there are several other things that can happen to bees that cause a large number or dead and dying bees to be outside the hive with tongues sticking out.  It is not always pesticide poisoning – robbing and paralysis virus (which also causes shaking) are examples of a few.  And a large number of dead bees inside the hive could also be from robbing or starvation, among other things.  A bee inspector is an expert witness who specializes in identifying sick hives and should be able to tell you if they think it is from pesticides or something else.  A bee inspector will also file a report with the state to make note of your kill.

You can also try to self assess what happened to your bees by Autopsying Your Hive  and sending bees to the USDA for free bee disease diagnosis if you think something other than pesticides and viruses (mites, nosema, European or American Foulbrood) killed them.

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Bees killed from pesticide poisoning.

3. Contact the EPA to report your honey bee pesticide kill so they have a record. Here is the contact link.

4. Since sometimes it is hard to get anywhere with any of the above places, be sure to report your bee kill to the Pollinator Stewardship Council here. Michelle Colopy at the Pollinator Stewardship Council is working hard to protect bees from pesticides and has a lot of knowledge about how to report bee kills. Contact her if you need help.

5. Take lots of pictures so you have visual proof of your kill.

6. Immediately, take samples of dead and dying bees and place them in your freezer asap.  Many pesticides degrade quickly in sunlight and warm temperatures so if you wait to freeze a sample of bees, it may be too late for testing. Here is a link with information about how to send samples of dead bees to a lab for testing.  This post also describes how to collect dead bees for pesticide testing.  In addition, the EPA has a 35 page protocol for collecting dead bees after a honey bee pesticide kill. You can read it here.

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Protect bees from pesticides with a No Spraying Sign for your yard. Buy yours here!

7. Put up a No Spraying Sign to raise awareness and help protect your bees in the future. You can purchase one from our store here.  To learn more about protecting bees from pesticides click here.

It is really upsetting to go through this, some of the honey bee pesticide kills I have seen involve numerous hives and the images of the dead and dying bees still haunt me. But in many of the cases all is not lost, the bees do recover. If the colony survives, the queen may stop laying for a while, when the live bees are still jerky and shaky, then she may resume again. If she does not you will need to replace her.

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Copyright © 2011-2014. Anita Deeley, BeverlyBees.com. All rights reserved.