Mike Champlin - Beekeeping Hacks & Gadgets

From the SIBA May 2023 meeting, Mike Champlin said he'd share his slide deck for posting on our site. It includes pictures and information on making your own gadgets to help in your beekeeping.

PDF - Beekeeping Hacks & Gadgets, by Mike Champlin

Meadmaking 101

Download the Meadmaking 101 slide deck Don Burkart provided from his December 2021 presentation.

SIBA Club Library

We have books that you can check out free of charge. You just have to promise to return them! Visit the club library to see what books are available.

Club Library

David Hocutt - Honey bee Biology

Here is David's Slide Deck that he sent to us from his Nov. 2021 presentation. Learn more about the honeybee and it's amazing anatomy and physiology. We have requested his permission to post only on our website. Please respect the authors request of not posting on any social media platform.

Make a dry pollen feeder

Thanks to Karen Ferguson for sharing this PDF on how to make a quick, cheap dry pollen feeder out of a used plastic coffee can. Click the link below to view, print or download the PDF.

Make a propolis varnish

You can paint the inside of your hive bodies to collect enough quality propolis to fill a quart mason jar about 1/3 full and then add 70% alcohol leaving plenty of room for stirring and shaking. When it gets to a rich red color it's ready - takes a few weeks of occasional stirring and shaking. At some point, you can strain out the varnish into a finished jar and start over. The propolis never really dissolves completely.  

Bee Health App

The Bee Health app is based on current scientific knowledge to address honey bee diseases and pests. It is a handy resource to help beekeepers and other users to detect, diagnose, manage and treat honey bee diseases and pests. It includes pictures and treatment options which will aid beekeepers in adopting appropriate pest management practices. Thus, beekeepers can improve bee health and enhance on-farm food safety and biosecurity practices in their operations.

Go to Bee Health App home page

More resources

How to Help the Bees

Documents from IN State Apiarist, Kathleen Prough

Hive Body Cut Guide

Here is an excel sheet provided by Jim Orem and Rick Orr that enables you to understand the lumber you need to buy in order to make X number of hive bodies. Handles 8 and 10-frame set-ups.

Please note, you will need to adjust your security settings in the "macro" settings in Excel for this sheet to work. Here are instructions.

Select the Tools menu option and then select Macro, then Security. In the resulting Security dialog, set the security level to Medium or Low, by clicking the appropriate radio button. Then, restart excel and open this sheet.

Download worksheet

Queen Grafting Calculator

Going to be queen-rearing? Check out this cool Queen Rearing Calendar Generator, brought to you by Kamloops Beekeepers Club.

View and use calculator

Doors for Nucs and Swarm Traps made from Coffee Can Lid

Tony Addison shared this pic with us and told us how he makes the doors for his nucs and swarm traps out of coffee can lids. Take a look at the picture at right. Thanks Tony.


General Purpose Essential Oil Mixture

Do you use Honey B Healthy? Here's a recipe to make your own

The following recipe should work about as well as honeybee healthy, yet prove to be cheaper. It can be added in small quantities to feed to encourage feeding, however it has been known to occasionally cause Robbing behavior due to its great appeal to bees.

  • 5 cups water
  • 2 ½ pounds of sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon lecithin granules (Used as an emulsifier)
  • 15 drops spearmint oil
  • 15 drops lemongrass oil

Bring the water to a boil and integrate the sugar until dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved remove the mixture from the heat and quickly add the lecithin and the essential oils. Stir until everything is evenly distributed. This solution should have a strong scent and not be left open around bees. Cool before using.

To use: Add 4 teaspoons of essential oil mixture to 1 quart of 1:1 sugar water. Proper 1:1 sugar water is made by mixing 4 lbs. of sugar to 1/2 gallon of water.

Bee Candy

  • 15-16 lb. of sugar
  • ~3 cups water
  • 1 tsp. plain white vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Honey B Healthy (optional)

If you choose to use the vinegar (as a mold inhibitor) and HBH, add to the water and stir before adding to sugar.

Pour sugar into a very large container and gradually add about half the water, stirring to wet the sugar well. Continue adding and mixing water until all the sugar is cakey, but not runny.

Put newspaper or waxed paper under your candy board, and fill with sugar. Screen the sugar off level with the top of the board. Allow to harden overnight.

To add to your hive, remove inner cover from hive, and replace with candy board, screen side down. Replace outer cover. You can easily raise the outer cover on warmer days during the winter and slip in additional sugar bricks if you need them. Click here to see detailed photos and video on making candy boards.

Sugar Water Mixing Spreadsheet

Thanks to Richard Stewart at Carriage House Farm for providing this handy excel spreadsheet that allows you to plug in your weights and measure 1:1 and 2:1 sugar water. Download thissspreadsheet by right-clicking the link and downloading it to your computer. Launch it in Excel. Enter a number in the yellow shaded areas... and it spits out anything you need so long as you can measure either volume or weight you can use it to mix just about any combination. Thanks Richard