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!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The very reason.....

The very reason I started this blog was for me to document how my hives are 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 photos or funny stuff.....but it is the START of documentation for me! I'm's October, and I still have my four. Yippee!

Bee kind to one another!

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 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 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" I'll jsut sign off from here:
  • bye now, and remember to ALWAYS bee kind!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just a few hours left.....

My kitchen is clean. That's really not a big deal, because my kitchen is usually clean, because I don't 'cook' like I used to do.  Tonight, because of the fresh vegetables on hand, and pork chops begging to be fried the old fashioned way, I cooked. I used 2 iron skillets seasoned to perfection and a teflon coated one, just so the "all done" timing would be just right (meant to be said with that squeaky little voice--so annoying).

Anyway, supper was is all cleaned and the coffee pot is set to come on at 0515 because I have to work tomorrow.

Just after the aforementioned tasks were completed, I strolled outside...just because...and I realized this is the last day of summer, 2012......the last day of summer....I stooped down four feet in front {and slightly to the side} of my backyard beehive, just to see what honeybees do on the last day of summer.  I so much enjoy watching them flying in and out...There is pollen still around here!!!! (Goldenrod is blooming now, and I love thinking how much that will help my bees get through the growth spurt (Lord-willing) in the spring. The bees were flying in low, coming in from all directions--like the airplanes do at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson international.....such task oriented.  I might even harvest another super of honey in a few weeks...The top super is FULL now...but I can't decide whether or not it is 'excess' yet..I'll see what happens in the next few weeks with this fall "flow" on.  I have started feeding sugar-syrup to all 4 of my hives this week.  Hopefully, they will all make it through the winter..but today is the last day of summer, not the last day of autumn.....not too early to be thinking of the springtime!!!

Its not supposed to be this dark when the clock strikes eight o'clock.   Tomorrow equal hours of light as dark, then the dark starts to 'take over'. I'll be counting the days till Dec. 21st when the light begins to make its move back....just a few hours left of has been a mighty good one. I am so thankful.

'see' you in the fall!!!
in the mean time.....bee kind!! ;0)

If I were more "computer saavy" I could get the captions lined up with the photos....HELP!!
Anyway--here is what they are:
first photo:  drone brood......
second photo:  uncapped drone brood wtih visible varroa mite
third: an uncapped drone larvae with varroa mite attached......culprit.....that's all I gotta say.....
///except these are MY frames, so they are MY varroa mites..ughhhh!!!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Five-minute Frida (see Gypsy Mama!!)

Subject matter for Gypsy mama's five-minute Friday is
If "Every picture tells a story" and "A picture paints a thousand words", i wonder what teh picture of my life is telling....
As I look at the picture of the top of my desk, I see such a collection of things. it tells a story of what we put in front of us, every time we sit here.  Depending on WHO is looking, it could tell a different story.
Transfer that thought to the picture of my life...I am wondering how many different stories it tells , depending on WHO is there enough of a common thread to tell the story I want to be told--or am I so different, that 2 people who do not know each other could swap notes on who they think I am, and agree--yes--that is the person I know her to be...
every life tells a story!!

oops..five minutes up...not enough said!! ;0) 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Five-minute Friday: Expectation

The five-minute Friday is from the Gypsy Mama blog, and challenges us to just write for 5 minutes on given subject. I have set the timer and am off with it!!! Expectation.....this word struck me as I read it because I am a Labor and Delivery nurse, and every patient I see has definite expectations regarding the new life coming into the world. Sometimes our 'expectations' get tangled up with 'potential' and neither are met....I have been accused of setting expectations of others too high, but I am a believer that all things should be done to the best of our ability, and I am left confused why anyone would do anything otherwise....A scripture comes to mind: "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as unto the Lord"....expecting today to be a great day, full of thankfulness and gratitude for all thd expectations I have seen fulfilled--with joy and laughter--and I am content.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Honeybees in the Backyard

I've been absent from my blogspot for a while--just don't have too much to add to your day...but I am excited about one thing: it is the middle of May, and I have 4 hives that don't need queens.  I hope I am not speaking too soon, but the last time  I looked, all my hives were "queen-right" and happy. I have very calm bees.

One of the hives is in my backyard, where I get to watch them every day, if I so choose, Today, I took pictures of my 'green' hive.  There are 2 reasons I call it my green hive.
1.) It is green in color. I used a green stain that I had leftover from adirondack chairs my neighbor made for us.

Just added the second deep last weekend!

The 'girls' are so busy--see the pollen?

2.)  I call it green because I am treating it a little different than the other 3 hives.  I am not going to use any chemicals at all on this hive....I have one of those annoying oil-filled beetle traps on it instead of that XXXeversopoisonousXXX fiprinol (or something like that).  So, we'll see how that goes.

Pink salvia blooming now!!!

 I have more honey-frames filled on this one at home than my other 3 hives...I think since the neighborhood I live in has mostly irrigated lawns, flower gardens and small vegetable gardens, there is no drought here.  Its awfully dry out where my other hives are. See if you can spot the pollen on one of the bees on the landing board.....also there is pink salvia new to my yard this year...thanks VHB for the seeds!!!

That's all for day I will learn how to format these photos and the text to go with them.

till next time, remember to bee kind!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Queen-right is a good sight!

I have a peculiar way of "doing business"....I lost all three colonies over the past season, but bought a new hive to begin this year with 4... My husband asked me this question: "Aren't you supposed to learn how to do this right, before you expand the operation?" When I think of how much sense that makes, I wonder to myself....why? Why did I get another an extra deep (so perhaps, one of my colonies will be so awesome I'll run one with a double deep). What is so compelling that I would spend this money in these tight times? What makes it worth it? It's not for the money I get from selling's not because I have nothing else to's not because it is a hobby I know everything about! I think it has something to do with the wonder of Mother Nature. The sweet way honeybees work together to serve a common purpose. I am fascinated just watching the activity on the landing board...and imagining what's going on in secret between the man-made frames inside. I'm installing a new colony in my backyard this weekend. I've checked with my neighbors and they don't mind...a couple even want to watch me!! I have a beekeeper friend who gave me a split a few weeks ago. I checked on my newly accepted queen yesterday, and she is a laying it OK to talk about a honeybee that way?? She had at least 4 frames of capped brood, eggs, larvae , the whole works. I'm excited. Hopefully the 3 new packages coming this weekend will get as good a start, and then we'll have rain and nectar this year!! Queen-right just feels so good!! Till next time, Bee kind! Kb

Monday, March 12, 2012

Back in the Bee Business!

After having one colony obscond sometime in December...and finding my double-deep dead-out in The winter, I'm back in the bee business! Which is kinda funny, -cause I'm not actually in any business at all! By saying I'm back in the business, all I mean is that I have a new colony, new queen, and a new attitude! I CAN DO THIS!!! First week of April will find me with 3 more I'll manage 4 hives I this year....and actually keep records! Hopefully, you'll benefit from my new year's effort! Bee kind, KB

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Double deeps, no more

Collected sample of bees from my bottom deep......all dead, a little handful of a cluster. Will send to the lab to see if there is any disease detected. I suspect they just froze to south Georgia....froze to death. Crazy.I'm. so. Sad. Now I have just a 5-frame nuc I hope makes it through winter.....a sort of starting over. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May he Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you bees.....I mean peace. ;0) Bee kind, Kb