New – Gifts For Yourself Or Others is a map-based public website where beekeepers and the general public can see the extensive data being collected across the country through BroodMinder products. This information will enable new insights into hive distress and help develop new interventions to improve outcomes. It will give researchers, clubs and backyard beekeepers alike the opportunity to examine a large, standardized data set from which to find solutions to common issues. is the latest offering from BroodMinder, a company conceived by Rich Morris, a backyard beekeeper with a product design background. All BroodMinder products have been developed to address a huge issue that plagues beekeepers: how to get the best decision-making data to keep their bees alive.

According to company founder Rich Morris, “Our message is simple: every hive counts and BroodMinder products have been created to give you the reliable, consistent and trackable information you need. is the next logical step.”

It all started simply when Rich was frustrated at losing bees in the Wisconsin winter. In many Midwestern states, more than 40% of hives were lost in 2016. The real issue is that it is difficult to resolve a problem that has no solid information from which to draw conclusions.

From his experience working on medical products, Rich knew that the answer was to develop a system that gives you data that can be measured accurately, installed economically and shared widely.

Broodminder has created these devices using Internet of Things (IoT) interconnectivity principles: first, to measure hive temperature and humidity (BroodMinder-TH); second, to measure hive weight (BroodMinder-W). Continual testing all over the United States (with new sites coming on board every month) has enabled them to evolve the devices and their operation. So far, over 5,000 devices have been installed covering more than 1,000 hives with a reachable goal of over 10,000 devices by the end of 2017.

For information, see or

You can reach Rich Morris at 608.201.6227.

SWARM TROOPER – Innovative and easy to use Swarm catcher has the ideal space needed for a swarm to begin a new hive. The inside volume (40 litres) and entrance size (two square inches) are from the studies done by Tom Seeley in his scientific exploration of the swarm in the Honeybee Democracy. The Trap Body is made from super strong and stiff CON-Pearl a new style of polypropylene board, made in Germany. The lid is made from corrugated PVC. Both are UV and weather resistant, very light weigh only four pounds. The trap has two tiers of five Langstroth frame rests. Straps included are threaded through slots in the bottom to hold the Swarm Trooper together and hang from a tree. User supplied ropes may be tied through the straps, to hoist the trap up in a tree. No ladders or tree climbing needed. Additional rope or twine may be tied to the straps on the bottom of the trap and secured to prevent the trap from swinging or twisting. We recommend putting one to three frames preferably with drawn foundation and swarm attractant or lemongrass oil. Leave the bottom frame rests empty. No need to check the Trooper daily because, when a swarm moves in it will immediately start filling, building and laying in the frames. Checking weekly is recommended. After honey bee swarm moves in, lower the trap, in the evening after all bees are inside. Close the entrance door and open two screened ventilation windows. Take the swarm home. A pre-punched opening may be removed from the top and accessory feeder may be added until a permanent home is ready. The Trooper with new swarm may be left in a shady spot for a few days, reopen the entrance door and close the screen doors. When a permanent home is ready, frames may be lifted out of the Trooper and placed in the new home. The Swarm Trooper is ready to catch another swarm. The current record is four Swarms in one Swarm Trooper in one season. See Swarm Trooper videos on youtube. Swarm Trooper made in USA.

Available from

The Observation Hive Handbook. Studying Honey Bees At Home. By Frank Linton. Published by Cornell University Press. ISBN 13 9781501712210. 7” x 10”, color throughout, 95 pages. Soft cover. SRP $24.95.

The Observation Hive Handbook is a comprehensive text that provides all the necessary information needed for a beekeeper to select an observation hive design, stock it with bees, maintain it, and enjoy the experience that the hive will provide. This is from Jim Tew’s blurb on the back of Frank’s new book. It sums up nicely what this book does in only 95 pages. I couldn’t have said it better.

But I’ll tell you, I wish I would have had this book 30 years ago when I started my first observation hive. It would have saved me a lot of time and energy and money, and if you don’t already have one (and why not?), it will do the same for you.

I’ve managed observation hives off and on for that long, and I think I’ve seen nearly everything that can go wrong. Starting with which hive do you buy? That’s a good question because every location has  different requirements. This book reviews all the commercial models available and will save you a lot of grief down the road.

But it also looks at installation, how to work an observation hive (easier than you think if you know how), general management (like overwintering, feeding, cleaning), keeping a hive in a public place, both permanent and temporary, and fun things you can do with a hive once installed.

If you have plans for, or already have one of these, you need this book. It’s worth every penny.

– Kim Flottum

Available from Bee Culture Book Store @