Bear Country Bees Blog: Beekeeping Tips, News, Tutorials, & More
Honey Bee Smoker Usefulness - Featured
Jul 14

Are Honey Bee Smokers Actually Useful?

Master Beekeeping Basics

One of the most common tools that beekeepers use is a smoker (often called a bee smoker).

If you haven't seen a smoker before, this is what common models look like:

Honey Bee Smoker Components

The idea behind the smoker is that using it should help calm the honey bees down allowing the beekeeper to more easily perform inspections, capture swarms, etc. and (hopefully) not get stung as often.

A quick online search will give you online articles, social media posts, and videos by the dozens that make statements to support this idea.

In fact, bee smokers are viewed as such an essential piece of equipment that they are included by default with most Starter Kits.

But are bee smokers actually that effective? Does using a smoker actually help calm bees? Or is it yet another beekeeping myth that has been passed around?

Why We Don't Ship Honey Bees - Bear Country Bees
Dec 30

Why We Don’t Ship Honey Bees

Master Beekeeping Basics

​We get many questions from our customers each season across just about every range of beekeeping & honey bee related topics imaginable.

However, there is one particular question that stands out as being asked more often than most:

​Why can’t you ship bee packages & nucs directly to me?

​In this post, you’ll find out the exact reasons why we don't ​ship honey bees (at the moment).

8 Unique Holiday Honey Bee Gifts - Bear Country Bees
Nov 18

8 Unique Honey Bee Gifts For The Holidays

Help Honey Bees

​Each year as the holiday season rolls around, there’s an absolute flurry of shopping and purchasing that occurs as people try to find gifts for each other.

There are more options than ever, and yet, it often seems like it is harder than ever before to find something meaningful to give.

Luckily, we’ve compiled an entire list of awesome holiday gifts below that you can give that are sure to impress ​your recipient​ and you’ll also contribute to the world-wide efforts to help save honey bees!

Let’s take a look.

10 (+1) Ways To Help Honey Bees Without Being A Beekeeper - Featured Image
Oct 02

10 (+1) Ways To Help Honey Bees Without Being A Beekeeper

Help Honey Bees

In the past few years, backyard beekeeping has experienced a surge of interest with a lot of people starting to keep their own beehives.

Obviously, we’re pretty passionate about encouraging people to join this hobby that we love so much.

However, we also respect the fact that backyard beekeeping is not for everyone.

Not to worry though if you aren’t planning to ​take care of your own beehives. There are still plenty of ways you can help honey bees without ​being a beekeeper.

Continue on to see our 10 (+1) ways you can help honey bees no matter what situation you find yourself in.

Adopt-A-Hive Redesign - Featured Image
Aug 29

Our Adopt-A-Hive Program Gets A Major Overhaul & Page Redesign

Help Honey Bees

​Recently, we announced major changes to our branding and website that would completely reshape the future of Bear Country Bees and (hopefully) make a positive impact on the beekeeping industry.

Today, we’re announcing 3 important updates to our Adopt-A-Hive program that will continue to push our quest to help honey bees even further.

For quite some time, Adopt-A-Hive has provided wonderful opportunities for those who don’t want to or aren’t able to be backyard beekeepers help save more honey bees.


It’s time to take things to the next level (and beyond).

We’ve given the Adopt-A-Hive program some serious upgrades including an awesome new ​look for the Adopt-A-Hive page.

These changes are going into effect immediately so make sure to watch the video and then read below for the full scoop on all of the changes coming your way.

Redesign Announcement: Updates To Our Branding & Website - Featured Image
Aug 06

Redesign Announcement: Updates To Our Branding & Website

Why We're The Best

​At Bear Country Bees, we’re pretty passionate about providing the best possible experience to our beekeepers and we’ve been working hard behind the scenes on several important projects that aim to do just that.

In today’s post, we’re announcing 2 exciting changes that we’ve been working on that will provide a richer, cleaner, and more streamlined experience in how you interact with us (especially online).

We think you’re going love these 2 updates 🙂

Watch the video for the official announcement then read the post for additional (important) details.

The 3 Fragile Woodenware Traps & How To Avoid Them - Cover Photo
Jul 01

The 3 Fragile Woodenware Traps & How To Avoid Them

Master Beekeeping Basics

​It’s common for new and experienced beekeepers alike to purchase woodenware from local country supply stores or beekeeping supply shops.

After all, these nearby stores provide convenient access and stock most or all of the beekeeping supplies you need, so it makes sense to get what you need there, right?

Maybe…..or maybe not.

What you probably haven’t been told is that the woodenware you’ll get at these stores have most likely been poorly assembled and won’t last as long as you need it to.

In this post, we’ll explore what we refer to as the 3 Fragile Woodenware Traps that many beekeepers fall into and how to escape them.

Open Letter #1: Invitation For Feedback & Feature Requests
Jun 19

Open Letter #1: Invitation For Feedback & Feature Requests

Why We're The Best

This open letter blog post is a bit different from what you’re probably used to, but I’m excited for what we’re sharing with you today!  

You may have noticed that I recorded a video to go along with this blog post and posted it above.  

The reason for this is that what I’m sharing with you is possibly the most important post we’ve ever done.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out the video and then read on for more information.

How Do Wildfires Affect Your Bees?
Aug 16

How Do Wildfires Affect The Well-Being Of Your Honey Bees?

Industry News & Updates

As of this writing, massive ​wildfires are raging across most of the western United States including Utah where we’re located.

Hundreds of thousands of acres have already been scorched and according to fire officials, it’s likely going to get worse before it gets better.

While we’re far from being in the top 10 worst wildfires in US history, we know that many beekeepers (even those far from the fires) are concerned about the well-being of their bees given the amount of pollution and contaminants in the air.

Should you be concerned about the health of your bees with regards to the wildfires? Let’s take a look.

Improving Poor Customer Service In The Beekeeping Industry
Jun 27

Why Beekeeping Companies Have Poor Customer Service & What They Should Do About It

Why We're The Best

​Have you ever been to a beekeeping supply shop and ​received ​a poor customer service experience​? 

If so, you're​ certainly not the only customer that has ​had this problem.

​It seems like ​there are very few beekeeping companies ​that can both:

  1. ​understand the meaning of good service ​
  2. turn that understanding into reality for their customers

​In this blog post, you'll discover what those few select beekeeping supply companies do to make their customer experience an absolute delight.

How To Render Your Own Beeswax - Education Center Course
May 11

New Education Center Course: Render Your Own Beeswax at Home For Less Than $15

Why We're The Best

​​Due to popular request, we're excited to announce the release of our latest Education Center course: ​Render Your Own Beeswax at Home For Less Than $15.

​If you're a beekeeper that harvests your own honey and beeswax or ​consider yourself an artsy/DIY type that loves makes products out of beeswax, this is a great (free) course for you to take.

​The rest of this post explains why.

Historical Bee Package Costs
Mar 25

Why A Bee Package Costs So Much

Industry News & Updates

If you’re just getting started in beekeeping, you might not think anything of the price of your beekeeping supplies. On the other hand, you might find it hard to swallow many of the associated costs. 

One of the biggest costs beekeepers incur each year is bee packages to replenish hives lost during the previous season or to get new hives started. 

The approximate going rates (2018) for a 3 lb. package of Italian or Carniolan honey bees is a staggering $125-$140 per package

​Update (10/29/18)

​Estimated prices for some retailers for the 2019 season will be as high as $200 for a 3 lb. bee package. ​

Assuming those prices stand, this ​represents up to 60% higher bee package costs than in 2018 making this the single largest price jump for bee packages in beekeeping history.

But bee package costs haven’t always been this high which begs two questions:

  • What did they used to cost?
  • Why are they so expensive now?

Read on to find out!

Honey Bee Specie Comparison: Italian v.s. Carniolan Honey Bees
Jan 22

Italians v.s. Carniolans: Honey Bee Specie Comparison

Product Reviews

“Which honey bee specie should I get?”

This is one of the things we get asked the most from new beekeepers. Unfortunately, there is no one clear answer to this question.

For most beekeepers, this comes down to a choice between Italian and Carniolan honey bees.

Both honey bee species have pros and cons that may sway your decision. The best thing you can do is learn the differences between these two species and make your decision from there.

In this blog post, you’ll learn these differences as well as our recommendation for our favorite specie.

Beekeeping Timeline - Featured
Dec 28

The Beekeeping Timeline: The Important Dates You Need To Know As a Beekeeper

Master Beekeeping Basics

Whether you’re an aspiring beekeeper or you are one already, there are several critical times of the year you need to be aware of.

Like any other agricultural endeavor, beekeeping requires a lot of advance planning. You can’t just wake up one day and set up a beehive like you would your new grill.

It can take months of preparation to be ready in time.

In order to be successful as a beekeeper, you need to keep a running plan (preferably several months in advance) of what you need to do and when you need to do it. Having this plan in place will ensure you don’t miss any important events.

In this blog post, you’ll discover what those important events are and what you need to do to successfully prepare for them ahead of time.

In short, you'll discover the Beekeeping Timeline.

Nov 04

What Does It Take To Get Started In Beekeeping?

Master Beekeeping Basics

You might have noticed that beekeeping has become a very popular activity in recent years and for good reason — it’s a whole lot of fun! People are joining the beekeeping club every day and that trend will only continue.

In this blog post, you’ll receive an overview of what you need to get started in beekeeping. If you’re thinking about getting into beekeeping, this information will be helpful to keep in mind as you get started.

Africanized Honey Bee
Jun 01

Are Africanized Honey Bees More Deadly Than Other Bees?

Industry News & Updates

Africanized Honey Bees (AHB) have earned a bad reputation as aggressive honey bees in recent years. Popular media portrays Africanized bees as swarms that will form together in groups and seek out targets to sting to death. Myths also exist that Africanized honey bee venom is more potent and therefore more deadly than other bees. While such stories make for great news, it is unfortunate that more often people are beginning to believe such stories.