Monday, September 16, 2013

Variations..........

Liquid gold


Where has the summer gone?

It is hard to believe the last post I published was way back in January.....as I was imagining my four hives were snuggled close in cluster, and NOT dying...I was so hopeful.
And they DID survive the winter, and we had a wet spring and summer---and my hives survived......
Started the spring with one hive in my backyard, and three in "the country" (at my mentor's place).
Sometime during the year, I lost one hive in the country----but the hive in my yard swarmed 3 times. I was able to collect 2 of the swarms.....one of them on my son, Justin's birthday. Is my Justin hive, and it is doing well...queen right, will not get honey off of it, and hoping it makes it through the winter.
The other swarm is in the fancy nuc hive. It is doing so well that I bought 4 nuc-sized honey supers to just keep stacking. It was queen- right this past weekend, too. ( seems like thousands of small hive beetles in it-- bought a gimmick piece to dissuade beetles from climbing in...called bee baffle..I'll let you know how that goes!)
In the mean time, my 'mother" hive in the back yard was overcome with small hive beetle larvae. I mean creepy-crawling with larvae. I had 4 honey supers on it, all wasted. Made me sick, but I learned a valuable lesson. Just because there is 'bee activity' in and out of the front of the hive does not mean the hive is healthy...I waited much too long to inspect it, and suffered the consequences.
I dismantled it. Cleaned it well. Keeping it on hand, ready for the spring, when I split my  strong country hive. I requeened  my weak (queen less) country hive last Wednesday (9/11).  By Sunday (9/15) she was out of the cage.  I pulled a super of honey off the strong country hive, but left 2 supers on. On previous inspection, moved my queen excluder up to the top of the second deep, and the queen had moved into it. Very excited.!!  (2!!=very excited!)
So, technically, I have 3 1/2 hives......I've harvested honey twice already, and have one more super to extract. One pound of honey is $8.00...I might break even before I can no longer 'keep' these bees, but the sheer joy from doing it is worth something!!
This post is so dry and boing, but it was really for me to document/catch up what's going on in my bee yard(s).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What's Happening...early 2013...

It is almost the middle of January, and the honeybee hives I have "manged" going into the fall are still very full and active.  With unseasonably warm temps, I was allowed to go into each hiave yesterday, and am confirming their strong STRONG presence....even have brood in the hive in my yard.

I removed the queen excluders on 2 of the hives..the ones I left 2 supers of honey on through the winter, and put a pail of sugar-syrup on 2 of the hives.  All bees are bringing in lots of pollen!!

I lost 100% (3hives) of my hives last year, but hopefully am going into Spring with 4 full, happy hives of bees.

Will keep you posted!! ;0)

remember to always be kind...which is only slightly different from being nice....

kb

Friday, November 9, 2012

Good news, bad news.....

Eleven days ago I treated my green hive with Formic acid, at the suggestion of Jennifer Berry......(she actually suggested Formic acid or Apilife Var). When I went back into day, they look great!! Two supers of honey, that I am leaving for the winter.

The 3 hives at the Grebels' are looking good too!  I did move a full super from Genesis to blue, and put the half drawn out one onto Genesis.  Exodus hive seems to be weakest, but has full super waiting for winter.  My fingers are crossed that they will survive the winter.

Good news is that all hives look good......bad news--- no more harvesting of Honey this year!!
Bee kind!
K B

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The very reason.....

The very reason I started this blog was for me to document how my hives are doing....so I could keep up with them.....
I am a terrible "records keeper" as far as my hives go, and I really want to improve in that area.

Today I visited my 3 'out' hives. Those are the hives not located in my backyard, but at my mentor's place, about 12 miles from my home.  I need to name them, so I can keep them straight.

Genesis and Exodus  are now the names of my 2 original hives.  Genesis is rocking out right now. Full of bees, brood, honey and pollen, and not a terribly high number of small hive beetles.  Both of those we started in the spring from Rossman packages. I didn't see the genesis queen,but no need to....all the evidence was there.  Two weeks ago I put a gallon of sugar water syrup on all the out hives, and the Genesis & Exodus hives had consumed it all.  Goldenrod is in full bloom and gorgeous now, so I'm going to hold off on the feeding a few weeks. The Exodus hive is named that, because last year one of  my strongest hives going into the fall, obsconded.  Disappeared..took part of my heart with it.......hope that doesn't happen this year.

The 3rd 'out-hive' is my newest woodenware, painted a pale blue.  I LOVE the color.  It just so happens to be my most feisty hive.  It has a new queen I got in March of this year from Rossman 's...the bees were given to me when a friend took my empty brood chamber and put it on his deep, very early in the Spring.  Made lots of bees, so he let me have them--- I just put on a new queen.  There was about a half a quart sugar-syrup left on that hive,so I just left it.  It is 'eat up' with small hive beetles...also saw a couple wax moths on the inner cover-but none in the supers or brood chambers......also had the wax moths in the outside of the exodus hive inner cover....but nothing on the inside.  Indeed a name for my blue hive. Just might keep it simple and call it Blue...

My green hive at home in the backyard is also " eat - up" with the small hive beetles.....but it is rocking out with honey, brood and pollen too.  It is the only one with the sadsadsad varroa mite issue.  
Still not sure how I want to treat that.   Please, if you have suggestions, LET ME KNOW!!!

The three out hives were treated in the spring with vaporized vinegar and they do not have the problem my green/home hive has.  My mentor is treating the out hives on Thursday with the vinegar, again.  Maybe I could borrow his 'gizmo' for my green, home hive.

I know this is so boring...no photos or funny stuff.....but it is the START of documentation for me! I'm celebrating....it's October, and I still have my four. Yippee!

Bee kind to one another!
KB


Friday, September 28, 2012

Cause and Effect....

Last week I treated you to photos of varroa mites....those pesty mites that invade honeybee hives and wreak havoc on the brood.  I had an "extra" 15 minutes this afternoon, so I decided to just sit outside my backyard hive and watch the bee activity. There is alot of coming and going...beautiful flights both ways, some pollen baskets FULL. It is so relaxing just watching the bees...then I see 6- 8-  maybe even 10 honeybees in the grass in FRONT of the hive, struggling to crawl around....as if the St. Augustine grass was some huge jungle or something. I thought....those must be the older foragers, leaving the hive to die.  Upon closer inspection, I see the deformed wings that is a tell-tell symptom of varroa mite infestation.

What's a mother to do???

I'm in the process of deciding...treat or not to treat?  It is a VERY strong hive...I would love to see it make it through to next season. I love my little honeybees, and it makes my heart hurt to see them struggling so...

The following photos are for educational purposes only....

The first is of a bee I found in the grass...notice the misshapen (almost nothing) wings. The next one is of bees I 'rescued' from the grass to photograph (then returned them to the grass from whence they came.)
So sad...I know none of them will make it...so very sad!!)

Two little stubs where the wings should be.


Same condition here.  The top one offers more of a silhouette of the deformed wings.

so sad.....



  •  I'll let you know if///how  I treat this hive.
  • I have to check my other 3 hives this weekend:  rain is forecasted.
  • I can't figure how to get out of "caption" mode....so I'll jsut sign off from here:
  • bye now, and remember to ALWAYS bee kind!!
kb