Ten Tips for Healthy Bees

Keep the apiary clean and tidy and practice good hygiene. Clean hive tools in washing soda and use disposable or washable gloves. Wash bee suits, when dirty, and tuck the hood into the body or inside an arm to protect it. 

Make sure you are familiar with the symptoms and causes of brood disorders especially the foul broods. Inspect your colonies, at the very least every spring and autumn, specifically to check for brood disease. If you are unsure, seek expert advice.

Never buy old combs. Always sterilise second hand equipment by thoroughly scorching with a blow lamp before use. Polystyrene or plastic hives should be sterilised by cleaning them with washing soda followed by immersion for at least 20 minutes in 0.5% bleach.

Never buy colonies of bees unless you are sure that they come from disease free apiaries. Swarms should be hived onto foundation and kept in an isolation apiary until you are sure they are disease free. 

If a colony of bees dies out at any time, seal the hive to prevent robbing, and when convenient examine the brood comb for signs of disease. 

If a colony is not thriving and the reason is unknown, examine the brood for signs of disease. 

 Replace old brood combs regularly by melting them down and replacing with frames fitted with foundation.

Prevent robbing in the apiary. Do not discard comb or spill honey or syrup in the apiary.

Never feed honey from another source to your bees. 

Arrange hives in such a way that drifting is kept to a minimum.