top of page


Find the answers here

Have a question? Want to learn more about our store and policies? We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular questions, accompanied by our thorough answers. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact us.

DO I NEED A BEE HOUSE FOR MY INSULATED AZ HIVES?  No, my hives are designed with R-7 insulation sides and R-20 above the colony in the winter.  These insulated AZ hives should be fastened with screws to a stable hive stand roughly 24 inches off the ground making access into bottom chamber convenient.

CAN I USE LANGSTROTH FRAMES IN MY AZ HIVE?  Not recommended.  Bees will get rolled anytime your pull a Lang frame out for inspection.  The bees will also glue the Lang frame shoulders together and make the removal near impossible.  If you are starting with a nuc with Lang frames you will need to cut the foundation out of Lang frame and insert it in an AZ frame.  I build an AZ frame with a removal top bar that makes this procedure not as bad as it sounds.  

HOW DO I TREAT FOR MITES?    We do not use any synthetic chemicals to treat for Varroa mites.  Oxalic Acid Vaporization can be used when brood is limited in early spring and late fall.  Formic Pro or HopGuard can be used when honey supers on if needed.  Slow release glycerin oxalic acid Swedish towels can be used all summer long if you live in an area where they are legal.

SHOULD I USE AN ALCOHOL WASH FOR MITES?   Once a month test 300 nurse bees on brood frame for mites using Isopropyl Alcohol.  If you are under 3 mites per 300 bees you do not have to treat.  If you find 4 or more mites it is time to treat with something safe for the bees and any honey supers that may be on.

HOW DO I PREPARE AN AZ HIVE FOR WINTER?   We add extra insulation above the colony creating a “condensing” hive environment with no top entrance.  Pack your hives as close together as possible and insulate the top of each colony with 4” of foil faced polyisocyanurate rigid insulation.  We stack 4 sheets 1” thick insulation on top of a colony. The goal is R-20 above the colony and R-7 on all the walls.  Protect all exposed edges of insulation with duct tape or the bees will start chewing it. 

HOW DO I FEED  BEES IN AZ HIVES?  Spring, summer and early fall feeding can be best accomplished with sugar syrup using a pail feeder above the colony on simple inner cover with 2-1/2” to 3” diameter hole in the center.  Winter emergency feeding can be done with a Mountain Camp type rim feeder using cane sugar atop newspaper supported by a ½” x ½” wire mesh screen.  You can run your sugar through a food processor to pulverize and make easier for the bees to eat. 

HOW DO I CLEAN THE BOTTOM BOARD IN THE SPRING?  There is a 4” x 8”insulated removable panel in the bottom board that allows you to scrape debris with your hive tool out of the hive.  

SHOULD I USE A SMOKER WHEN DOING AZ HIVE INSPECTIONS?  We do not use any smoke when inspecting our AZ hive colonies.  So few bees come out to greet you that smoke is not needed.  It is much nicer not to have smoke floating around when you are in the hive.

bottom of page