The Diverse Classroom and Bees

My name is Brittney Oden and I am the educator and founder of The Diverse Classroom. I teach 7/8th grade self-contained special ed and am passionate about bringing the world into my classroom through science. Two years ago I invited ASU instructional coaches into my classroom to observe a lesson about bees. From that experience I was invited to present at ASU’s iTeachELL Stem Camp about my lesson. The next summer I presented specifically on problem-based learning in special ed. My first problem-based learning unit with my students was based on bees and how we could support our local bee population. Come join me as I walk you through our journey as my students learned about a real-life problem in our community and the solutions we explored as a class.

You can find all my resources at or on facebook. I love to help any educators whether formal or informal. Please feel free to reach out to me at I can help with anything from planning and implementing problem-based learning, come train your team on a number of science curriculum, help get your program up and running or connect you with resources

brittney odenBrittney Oden will bee speaking at the 2018 Arizona Honeybee Festival on November 10. She currently teaches 7-8th grade special education. She is passionate about bringing science to her students and helping all educators incorporate science into their daily instruction to support diverse learners in their own classrooms. Brittney presented at the ASU iTeachELL Stem Camp in 2017 and 2018. She has organized her district’s special education science fair for the last two years. Brittney recently earned the title of ASTA Middle School Science Teacher of the Year award for 2018.

Dr. Cahit Ozturk’s Selected Publications

Selected Publications

Kumova, U.,Ozturk, C. Effects of feeding and rearing methods on royal jelly yield. Apimondia 35th International Apicultural Congress. September 1-6, 1997.Antwerp, Belgium. PS: 436.

Korkmaz, A., Ozturk, C. Control of large wax moth (Galleria mellonella L.) Tayek/TUYAP year 2003. Animal group meeting on the exchange of information proceedings, May 6-8, 2003. Menemen İZMİR.

Korkmaz A., Ozturk C. Mersin province beekeeping stracture, problems and solutions Alatarım Journal, December 2003

Bayram A, Akyol E., Yeninar H., Ozturk C. Effects of pollen collection on the colony development and honey production in honey bee colonies. Uludag Bee Journal, February 2004.

Korkmaz A., Ozturk C. Possible threat of small hive beetle (Aethina Tumida  for our country. Beekeeping in the globalisation process. Alatarım Journal, Jun 2004.  

Ozturk, C., Korkmaz, A. Importance and use of Carniolan bees ( Apis mellifera carnica pollm 1978) for the Turkish beekeeping. Alatarım, June, 2005

Akyol E., Ozkok D., Ozturk C., Bayram A. Determination of swarming tendency comb building and wintering ability of some pure and hybrid honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies. Uludag Bee Journal, November 2005.

Ozturk C., Akyol E. Determination of hygienic behavior characteristics of honey bee (A. mellifera L.)  Colonies at the Eastern Mediterranean Region IV. Marmara Beekeeping Congress with International Participation, 18 Mart University, Canakkale,/ Turkey 2-4 December 2010.

Akyol, E., Yeninar, H., Ozturk, C., Ceylan, D.A. Effects of sublethal doses of some drugs used to control honey bee diseases and parasites on the lifespan of honey bees (Apis mellifera L., 1758), IV. Marmara Beekeeping Congress with International Participation, 18 Mart University, Canakkale,/ Turkey 2-4 December 2010.

Ozturk, C. The importance of queen bee pheromones in honey bee colony. Petek Journal, 6: 18-19. May 2012

Ozturk, C. Carniolan bee (Apis mellifera carnica). Petek Journal, 7:12-13. September 2012

Ozturk, C. Problems of queen rearing and necessary precautions in Turkey. İnternational Mugla Beekeeping & Pine Honey Congress 1-4 November 2012 Mugla-TURKEY.

Ozturk, C. What should we do to rear better quality queens? Voice of beekeeper Journal, 8 14-16.

Ozturk, C., Uysal, O., Subaşı,O,S., Seçer, A., Alemdar,T., Ören, M,N. A Review on Beekeeping Equipments Usage In Beekeeping Enterprises In Mediterranean Region, 12th Asian Apicultural Association Conference, April 24th – 27th, Antalya, Turkey.

Akyol E., Unalan A., Yeninar., H., Ozkok D., Ozturk C., “ Comparison Of Colony Performances Of Anatolian, Caucasian And Carniolan Honeybee (Apis Mellifera L.) Genotypes In Temperate Climate Conditions”, ITALIAN JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE, vol.13, no.3, pp.0-0, 2014

Kaftanoflu, O., Ozturk, C,.  Larval metophrene application affects the live weights of the              queen bees and ovariol numbers of the worker bees ( Apis mellifera L.). Apimondia 44 th    In ternational Apicultural Congress. September 15-20, 2015., Venue Daejeon South Korea.

Ozturk, C,. Cook, C,. Kaftanoglu, O,. Effects of glucose, fructose and high fructose corn syrup on the development, memory and learning behavior of honey bees. Apimondia 44 th    In ternational Apicultural Congress. September 29th – October 4th, 2017., Istanbul, Turkey.


Dr. Osman Kaftanoglu’s Publications

Selected Publications

Wang, Y., Kaftanoglu, O., Brent, C. S., Page, R. E., Jr. and Amdam, G. V. (2016). Starvation 

stress during larval development facilitates an adaptive response in adult worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) J. Exp. Biol. 216, 949-959 doi:10.1242/jeb.130435

Wang Y., Campbell, JB, Kaftanoglu O, Page RE Jr, Amdam GV, Harrison JF (2016) Larval  

starvation improves metabolic response to adult starvation in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)Journal of Experimental Biology 2016 219: 960 968; doi: 10.1242/jeb.136374

De Souza DA, Wang Y, Kaftanoglu O, De Jong D, Amdam GV, Gonçalves LS, Tiago M. 

Francoy TM (2015) Morphometric Identification of Queens, Workers and Intermediates in In Vitro Reared Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0123663 April 20, 2015

Wang Y, Kaftanoglu O, Fondrk KM, Page RE. (2014) Nurse be behaviour manipulates worker 

honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) reproductive development. Animal Behavior. 92:253-261

Hladun, KR., Kaftanoglu, O., Parker, DR., Tran, KD., Trumble, JT. (2013). Effects of selenium on development, survival, and accumulation in the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 32(11):2584-2592 

Siegel, AJ., Kaftanoglu, O., Fondrk, MK., Smith, NR., Page, RE. (2012). Ovarian regulation of foraging division of labor in Africanized backcross and pollen pollen-hoarding. Animal Behavior. 83(3):653-658

Linksvayer, TA., Kaftanoglu, O., Akyo,l E., Blatch, S., Amdam GV., Page RE. (2011) Larval and nurse worker control of developmental plasticity and the evolution of honey bee queen-worker dimorphism. J. of Evolutionary Biology 25(2):416-416 DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02452.x

Linksvayer, TA., Kaftanoglu, O., Akyo,l E., Blatch, S., Amdam GV., Page RE. (2011) Larval and nurse worker control of developmental plasticity and the evolution of honey bee queen-worker dimorphism. J. of Evolutionary Biology 24(9):1939-1948. DOI: 10.111/j.1420-9101.2011.02331.x

Kaftanoglu, O., Linksvayer TA, Page RE. (2011) Rearing honey bees (Apis mellifera in vitro: 1. Effects of sugar concentrations on survival and development. J. of Insect Science 11(96)

Mutti NS, Wang Y, Kaftanoglu O, Amdam GV (2011) Honey Bee PTEN-Description, Developmental Knockdown,  and Tissue-Specific Expression of Splice-Variants Correlated with Alternative Social Phenotypes. PLOS ONE 6(7): Article Number; e22195. DOI: 10.1371/journal pone.0022195

Graham AM., Munday, MD., Kaftanoglu, O., Page, RE., Amdam, GV., Rueppell, O. (2011). Support for reproductive ground plan hypothesis of social evolution and major QTL for ovary traits of Africanized worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) BMC Evolutionary Biology 11(95) DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-11-95

Kaftanoglu, O., Linksvayer, TA.,  Page, RE.(2010) Rearing honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in vitro: effects of feeding intervals on survival and development. J. of Apicultural Research  49(4):311-317

Rueppell, O., Kaftanoglu, O., Page, RE (2009) Honeybee (Apis mellifera) workers live longer in small than in large colonies. Experimental Gerontology 44(6-7):447-452. DOI: 10.1016/j.exger.2009.04.003

Linksvayer, TA., Rueppell, O., Siegel, A., Kaftanoglu, O., Page, RE., Amdam GV. (2009) The Genetic Bases of  Transgressive Ovary Size in Honeybee Workers. Genetics 183(2): 693-707

Wang, Y., Amdam GV., Rueppell, O., Walrichs, MA., Fondrk, MK., Kaftanoglu, O., Page RE. (2009) PDK1 and HR46 Gene HomologsTie Social Behavior to Ovary Signals. PLOS ONE 4(4) Article Number: e4899 DOI: 10.1317/journal pone.0004899

Akyol, E. Yeninar, H., Kaftanoglu, O. (2008) Live weight of queen honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) predicts reproductive characteristics. J. of the Kansas Entom. Soc. 81(2):92-100Wallrich

Patel, A., Fondrk, M.K., Kaftanoglu, O., Emore, C., Hunt, G., Frederick, K., Amdam, G.V. (2007). The Making of a Queen: TOR Pathway Is a Key Player in Diphenic Caste Development. PLoS ONE 2(6): e509. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000509

Eldeniz, Cankaya, N., Kaftanoglu, O. (2006). An investigation on some diseases and parasites of bumblebee queens (Bombus terrestris L) in Turkey. Pakistan J. Of Biol. Sciences. 9(7):1282-1286

Popova, M., Silici, S., Kaftanoglu, O., Bankova, V. (2005) Antibacterial activity of Turkish propolis and its qualitative and quantitative chemical composition. Phytomedicine, 12(3):221-228.

Sahinler, N., Kaftanoglu, O. (2005). Natural product propolis: chemical composition. Nat Prod Res. 19(2):183-188.

Şahinler, N. Kaftanoğlu, O. (2005). The effects of season and honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) genotype on grafting rates and royal jelly production. Turkish J. of Vet. And Anim. Sci. 29(2):499-503

Ergin C., Ilkit, M., Kaftanoglu, O. (2004) Detection of Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii in honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies. Mycoses  47:431-434

Dasgan, H. Y., Ozdogan, A.O., Kaftanoglu, O., Abak, K. (2004). Effectiveness of bumblebee pollination in anti-frost heated tomato greenhouses in the Mediterranean Basin. Turk. J. of Agric. For. 28:73-82

Akyol, E., Yeninar, H., Kaftanoglu, E., Ozkok, D. (2003). Determination of Aggressiveness behavior of  some pure and reciprocal crosses of honeybee genotypes in different seasons. Uludag Bee J. 3:38-40 

Güler, A., E. Akyol, M. Gökçe, O. Kaftanoğlu. (2002).The Discrimination of Artvin and Ardahan Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) By Morphological Characteristics. Turkish J. of Vet. And Anim. Sci.  26: 595-60353. 

Kaftanoglu, O. (2001). The consept of honeybee (Apis mellifera) races and race preference. Uludag Bee J. 1(3):11-20

Yeninar, H., Duchateau, MU., Kaftanoğlu, O., Velthuis, H. (2000). Colony developmental patterns in in different local populations of the Turkish bumble bee Bombus terrestris dalmatinus.  J. Apic. Res. 39(3-4):107-116

Palmer, M.R., Smith, D.R., Kaftanoglu, O., 2000. Turkish honeybees: Genetic variation and evidence for a fourth lineage of Apis mellifera mtDNA. J of Heredity 91(1): 42-46.

Kaftanoglu, O., Akyol, E., Yeninar, H. (2000). Effects of juvenile hormone analog on the development time and the quality of queen honeybees (Apis mellifera). Proc. 2nd  Int.  Conf.  on Africanized honey bees and bee mites. Edited by Erickson, Page and Hanna. Pp 351-3357. The A.I. Root Co. Medina, Ohio.

Kaftanoglu, O., Yeninar, H. (2000). Effectivenes of formic acid plates on the control of Varroa jacobsoni and chalkbrood disease (Ascosphaera apis) in honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies. Proc. 2nd  Int.  Conf.  on Africanized honey bees and bee mites. Edited by Erickson, Page and Hanna. Pp 308-314. The A.I. Root Co. Medina, Ohio.

Terzo, M., Kaftanoglu, O., Rasmont. P. (1999). Biogeographie du genre Ceratina Latreille dans la Cukurova et ses environs immediats (Turquie) (Hymenoptera:Apoidea). Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. (N.S.) 35(suppl.) : 328-332

Akyol, E., Kaftanoglu, O. (2001). Colony characteristics and performance of Caucasian (Apis mellifera caucasica) and Mugla (Apis mellifera anatoliaca) bees and their reciprocal crosses. J. Of Apic. Res. 40(3-4) 11-15

Kaftanoglu, O., (2000). Faunistics and diversity of bumblebees. In Sommeijer, M.C., Ruijter, A. de., Eds. Insect Pollination in Greenhouses: Proc. of the Specialists’ Meeting. Sosterberg, The Netherlands; 2000; 73-81.

Güler, A., Kaftanoglu, O., Bek, Y., Yeninar, H. (1999) Determination of the morphometric characteristics of important honeybee  (Apis mellifera L.) races and ecotypes in Turkey. Tr. J. of Veterinary and Animal Sciences 23:337-343

Güler, A., Kaftanoğlu, O. (1999). The morphometrics of the important honeybee  (Apis mellifera L.) races and ecotypes in Turkey.-I. Tr. J. of Veterinary and Animal Sciences 23(3):565-570

Güler, A., Kaftanoğlu, O. (1999). The morphometrics of the important honeybee  (Apis mellifera L.) races and ecotypes in Turkey -II. Tr. J. of Veterinary and Animal Sciences 23(3):571-575

Güler, A., Kaftanoğlu, O. (1999). The performance of the important honeybee  (Apis mellifera L.) races and ecotypes under migratory beekeeping conditions in Turkey. Tr. J. of Veterinary and Animal Sciences 23(3):577-581

Güler, A., Korkmaz, A., Kaftanoğlu, O. (1999). Reproductive characteristics of Turkish Honeybee (Apis mellifera ) genotypes. Hayvansal Uretim 39-40:113-119

Kaftanoglu, O., Yeninar, H., Kumova U., Özkök, D. (1997) Epidemiology and control of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) diseases in Turkey. Final Report. 93 pp. TÜBİTAK Project No: VHAG-925, TÜBİTAK Publication No: 92-0054, Ankara

Genç, F., Kaftanoğlu, O. (1997) The effects of the hive type and wintering methods on the winter losses of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies in the Erzurum conditions.  Tr. J. of Veterinary and Animal Sciences 21(1):1-8

Smith, D.R., Slaymaker, A., Palmer, M., Kaftanoğlu, O. (1997) Turkish honey bees belong to the east Mediterranean mitochondrial lineage. Apidologie 28:269-274.

Kaftanoğlu, O., Tanyeli, A. (1996) The use of royal jelly during treatment of childhood malignancies. Int. Conf. on Bee Products: Properties, Applications and Apitherapy. Pp: 179-183. Edited by, Mizrahi and Lensky  Plenum Press, NY and London 269 pp

Şahinler, N.K., Kaftanoglu, O. (1996) Effects of queenlessness, feeding and the age of the larvae on the production of royal jelly. Int. Conf. on Bee Products: Properties, Applications and Apitherapy. Pp: 173-178. Edited by, Mizrahi and Lensky  Plenum Press, NY and London. 269 pp

Kaftanoğlu, O., Biçici, M., Yeninar, H., Toker, S., Güler, A.(1992)  The effects of formic acid on Varroa jacobsoni and chalkbrood (Ascosphaera apis) disease in honeybee (Apis mellifera L) colonies. Doğa-Tr.J.of Veterinary and Animal Science 16(415-425) (In Turkish with Eng. summary).

Şahin, A., Kaftanoğlu, O. (1992) Effects of juvenile hormone analogue application on the development  and the cocoon yield of the silkworm (Bombyx mori L) Larvae.  J. of Sci. and Eng. 5(2):117-129

Kaftanoğlu, O., Kumova, U. (1992) The effects of rearing season on the quality of honeybees  raised under Çukurova region  conditions. Doğa . Turkish. J. of Veterinary  and Animal Science. 16:569-577.(In Turkish with Eng. summary).

Arslan, S., Kaftanoğlu, O.(1991) A study of the supplemental feeding of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies under Çukurova region conditions. Ç.Ü. J.of .Science and Eng. 5(1):35-42 (In Turkish with Eng. summary).

Kumova, U., Kaftanoğlu, O. (1987) The effects of several insecticides and acaricides on honeybees (Apis mellifera)  and the possibility of  using them for the control of Varroa jacobsoni . Ç.Ü. J.of Science and Eng. 1(1):5-19, (In Turkish with Eng. summary).

Gül, M.A.,  Kaftanoğlu, O. (1990) Effects of grafting techniques on the quality of queen bees (Apis mellifera L.) raised under Çukurova Region Conditions.  Ç.Ü. J.of .Science and Eng. 4(2):41-53 (In Turkish with Eng. summary).

Kutlu, M.A., Kaftanoğlu, O. (1990) A study on the distribution and infection rate of Nosema (Nosema apis) disease of adult honeybees (Apis mellifera L.)  Ç.Ü. J.of Science and Eng. 4(2):41-53 (In Turkish with Eng. summary).

Akdemir, S., Kumova, U., Yurdakul, O., Kaftanoğlu, O.(1990) Economic structure of beekeeping in Adana region. Ç.U. J. of the  Fac. of Agric. 5(1):123-136. (In Turkish with Eng. summary).

Kaftanoğlu, O., Peng, Y.S. (1986) Storage  of honeybee spermatozoa  in liquid nitrogen. Honeybee Science 7(4):169-172 (In Japanese).

Peng,Y.S., Marston, J.M., Kaftanoğlu, O.(1984) Effect of supplemental feeding of honeybee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) populations and the economic value of the supplemental feeding for production of package bees. J. Econ. Ent. 77: 632-636.

Kaftanoğlu, O., Peng, Y.S. (1984) Preservation of honeybee spermatozoa  in liquid nitrogen. J. Apic. Res. 23(3):157-163.

Kaftanoğlu ,O., Peng, Y.S. (1982)  Effects of insemination on the initiation of oviposition in the queen honeybees. J. Apic. Res. 21(1):3-6

Kaftanoğlu ,O. (1981) A washing technique  for  collecting   large quantities  of semen for instrumental insemination of queen honeybees. Apiacta. XVII, (3-4):115-119

Kaftanoğlu ,O., Peng, Y.S. (1980 b) A washing technique  for  collection  of semen of honeybees (Apis mellifera). J. of Apic. Res. 19(3):205-211

Kaftanoğlu ,O., Peng, Y.S. (1980 a) A new syringe for semen storage and instrumental inseminations of queen honeybees.  J.of. Apic. Res. 19(1):73-76


Class Schedule

Beekeepers’s Stage (Room A)

9:30 am   ASU Students, Research Poster Presentations
10:00 am   Principles and Practices of Ethical Beekeeping, Patrick Pyne
11:00 am   Swarm Traps, Peter Underwood
1:00 pm   Seasonal Beekeeping, Dr. Cahit Ozturk
2:00 pm   Korean Natural Farming Solutions for All Hive Solutions, Shane “Bee Charmer” Lee


Education Stage (Room B)

9:00 am   High School Beekeeping Projects, Rachna Nath
10:00 am   Bees 101: Intro to Beekeeping,  Kyle Hornbaker
11:00 am   Planting for Bees, Mike Hills
12:30 pm   Bees 101: Intro to Beekeeping: Rob Ungvary
1:30 pm   Beekeeping: Backyard to Business, Dave Peterson

We Couldn’t BEE More Grateful to Our Sponsors!

SRP logo

See what SRP is doing for Arizona HERE

crockett honey

Visit Crockett in Tempe or Online HERE

               bridle path honey

Take Care of all your furry friends, whether they are bees or bulldogs.

Bridle Path Beeyard & Rawls Veterinary, PC

arizona worm farm logo

Get your Mulch, Compost, & Worms HERE!

blooming ranch

Stop by for Honey, Chickens, Eggs, Bunnies & Produce HERE!




A Sweet Time for the Whole Family

Bring your camera and creativity to our Family Fun area

Kids of all ages will find something fun and educational at the Arizona Honeybee Festival this year.

Activities For all Ages 

  • balloon pollinating game
  • waggle dance
  • experiential beehive
  • dress-up photo station
  • coloring pages

Older Kids

  • pollinating bee finger puppet 
  • bee life cycle craft
  • antenna headbands

Younger Kids

  • circle bee craft
  • honeycomb necklace
  • paper antenna headbands



The Buzz on Our Festival Vendors

Join us this year to show your support for Arizona Honeybees and promote your bee-friendly products. 


Our unique location gives you the benefit of the Arizona Honeybee Festival visitors who come from around the state as well as the Uptown Market’s weekly 6,000 shoppers. This is a fun event that keeps getting better every year as we grow and word gets out. Honeybees are important and products that promote them are too!


Get in on our early bird special by applying HERE before July 1, 2019.


Arizona Backyard Beekeepers: Fall and Winter hive care

Get your hives ready for an Arizona Winter

Last night’s Arizona Backyard Beekeepers meeting was all about making sure we are ready to get our hives through the winter months.

It sounds a little crazy when you say “winter” in central Arizona. We don’t have mounds of snow or freezing rain, and we usually can get by most days without a coat. But if you have lived here for any length of time, you know that our temps can get down into the 40’s at night, and we have been known to even arrive the 20’s on rare occasions. December and January can also bring most of our rainfall, though not this past year.

With those chilly, damp nights our bees can be in danger of dying from the cold, even if it doesn’t freeze.

What happens is that the heat the bees are producing to maintain their ideal living conditions causes the heat and moisture to rise in the hive. It then hits the cold top and all the moisture condenses, kind of like a mini water cycle in our atmosphere. That condensed water then “rains” down into the hive making it a cold, wet environment that can kill your colony. It’s something that is often a sad surprise to new beekeepers, but can be prevented with proper hive management in the fall.

Thank you, Roy Arnold, for sharing everything we need to know to help our bees thrive through the winter.

As beekeepers, our number one objective is to maintain strong, healthy hives. This means hives that have 5-6 frames of bees per box, solid brood patterns, and 4-5 frames of food per box. In the fall, it may be necessary to take frames from your strongest hives and add them to your weak hives to give them a boost. That’s one advantage of having more than one hive.

The game plan for prepping Arizona hives for winter begins in September.

oxalic acid vaporizer


Treat for Varroa Mites (Click HERE for a thorough overview of varroa management)

  1. You can do a mite count with an alcohol wash or the powdered sugar method, or you can just choose to treat as a precaution
  2. Alternate treatments from spring to fall to reduce the mite’s resistance and to limit the chemical residue your treatment could leave in the comb. There are a number of organic treatments out there. Oxalic acid, Formic Acid, and Hopguard are good options, but must be used carefully. Roy discussed the different applications but made sure to note that if you have a plastic hive, you must be extra careful using the oxalic acid vaporizer because you can melt your hive–yikes!


  1. If queens are available and you have a hive with a queen that is a year old, this is a great time to replace her.
  2. A new, properly-mated queen will help your hive to build fast and be ready for the spring nectar flow. If you wait until the spring, you may not be able to find a queen when you need her.

Kylie holding pollen patty

Feed Your Bees

Feeding bees is important to build weak hives and maintain strong ones. The goal is to have all frames built out with comb and to have half brood and half food stored, often that means breaking the hive down to one box. If you have anything less, then feeding is imperative to help bees get through the winter strong. Starting in November, bees should not have liquid food inside the hive. This can cause mold and condensation which will kill the colony.

  1. Feed with 1:1 sugar syrup September-November to build numbers if low
  2. Feed with pollen patties, sugar blocks, and dry pollen substitute December-February

quilt box with paper shreds

Weatherize your Hive

Bees use energy to keep warm in the winter and they get that energy from consuming food stores, primarily carbohydrates in the form of sugar or honey. The better they can maintain the proper temperature (~95° F) the less food they must consume and the more they can go about raising brood.

  1. Make sure your hive does not have a lot of unused space. This may mean breaking it into one box and distributing the extra comb to weaker hives.
  2. Use a quilt box on top with shredded paper to absorb moisture. Be sure to change it out if the paper gets damp.
  3. Have upper exits and ventilation holes in all hives.
  4. Use your small entrance reducer.
  5. Make sure the hive is tilted slightly toward the bottom entrance so any moisture can exit the bottom board.
  6. When nighttime temperatures are 40° F, use incandescent Christmas lights wrapped around the bottom below the entrance on the exterior of the hive. You can leave them on 24 hours a day for pennies a day.
  7. Use a heating pad on a rheostat set at 70°-75° F in the bottom of your hive (use a reptile heating pad).
  8. Make sure there are no cracks or spaces where drafts can enter the hive and cool it. Wrapping black tar paper is a great way to do this and also allow the hive to absorb heat from the sun during the day. Don’t close off entrances. Bees in Arizona still are busy in the winter.

As beekeepers have responsibilities to our bees, to keep them healthy and safe. Sometimes we are unaware of what those responsibilities entail. That is where being part of a beekeeping community is so vital. Be sure to attend our meetings throughout the valley and take part in conversations on the Arizona Backyard Beekeepers Facebook page or whatever community you live in.

This is a fun and important job that has an impact on the entire world. Be proud of yourself for taking it on. You are amazing!  -Cricket Aldridge



Ways YOU can help honeybees

Bees and other pollinators are incredibly important to our economy and environment, but they are often in danger because of things that humans do in our farms and gardens. Pesticides are chemicals that farmers and gardeners use to kill weeds and insects they don’t want hanging around. Most of these chemicals kill or harm bees if they come in contact with it or eat it. Sometimes bees even take pollen and nectar back to their hive that has been sprayed with chemicals. When the bees use that pollen and nectar to make honey, then guess what? We get to eat it too. Yuck!

Another way bees are in danger is from lack of food sources like flowers rich in nectar and pollen. Not all flowering plants are useful to bees. Some flowers don’t have nectar or pollen. Other flowers are too ruffled or tubular and bees can’t get to the pollen or nectar. Spend some time in your own yard or park and see which flowers the bees are visiting and which one they aren’t.

Bees also need plants that bloom throughout the growing season so that they have a constant source of food. This is where your garden can make a difference. Go to the library and check out a book on gardening in your area. Find one that tells you when plants are flowering. That way you can make sure to have food for bees all year, or at least when the bees are out and about. Try to have 3 different kinds of plants blooming at a time, and plant them in clumps instead of one or two here and there. That way its more attractive to bees.

You can see how humans do, indeed impact the lives of bees, whether by doing harm or by doing good. The great thing is that you can make a difference by making sure that bees and other pollinators have plenty of safe spaces to eat and build their homes. Yes, YOU do make a difference!

Here are some resources to read more about dangers to bees and how to help:

How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides

30+ Plants for Arizona Bees

Bees at Work: Use Pesticides Carefully


Arizona Beekeeping Organizations

Join one of these groups to learn and connect

Arizona is a unique environment for keeping bees. Support groups in our various cities and regions is so important. Please connect with one of these groups to learn and become part our this amazing community.


Arizona Backyard Beekeepers
Meets monthly in two locations • Arizona Backyard Beekeepers facebook group
West Valley (location to be determined)

East Valley
4341 E Broadway Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85040

Beekeepers Association of Central Arizona
Meets monthly •
Valley Garden Center


Southern Arizona Beekeepers Association
Meets monthly  •
Ekstrom-Columbus Library
4350 E 22nd St
Tucson, AZ 85711


Northern Arizona Organic Beekeepers Association
Meets monthly  •


The Prescott Bee Club
Meets monthly  •