Benjamin Franklin Quotes

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall pictures

As the Goldenrod is just getting started I decided to take some pictures of the Hives going into the fall. As I said in the beginning I started with two Hives both with Russian / VSH they seemed to be doing OK . Then the next thing I knew the bees did not care for them so they changed them out and things started to really get going. Those two hive are three mediums high going into winter and real strong. the days are starting to only get in the mid 80's. So I was not surprised when one of the hives started to slow down before the goldenrod started. Then a friend gave me a hive with a Russian queen they were doing well until that great day when 18 came to meet me and say hello like only a honeybee can. So I decided to replace that queen with a Minnesota Hygienic x VSH stock. from Olivarez Honey Bees. What a great Queen.

This is the Queen I added in Mid August I think she is doing Great. What do you think?
Boy can these girls bring in the goldenron.

It was like a snow day for the girls.

I wounder if they do have fun while they work???

Family does not understand how I can watch these girls fly and do there thing.
 Well hope you all enjoy the pictures. We still have some warm weather to come so I will take more in the next two weeks.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Late in the season

It is getting late in the season but I wanted to try some things out for next year. The first thing I tried was how do I want to feed the bees if I have to. I tested three ways. The top hive feeder, open feeding, and the front entrance feeder or boardmen feeder.

Boardman (Entrance) Feeder
This feeder fits in the entrance of the hive.  It is simple to use without disturbing the bees much, but care should be taken so as not to cause robbing because of it's proximity to the entrance.  It is also not good for cold weather feeding as the bees won't break the cluster to access the feeder.   One other good use of this feeder is to supply water to the bees when the weather is hot and dry. Not my favorite feeder bees are everywhere and until the feeder is empty you can not get near it. This could of been because at this time of year 8/30/2010 in SC there is very little of anything around for the bees other then pollen.

The second feeder I tried is the open feeder. don't try this feeder unless you are in an area with very little traffic. Not a good feeder for the home bee hive. It was like putting out the old spot light to get people to come to your store bees came from everywhere all day even when the feeders were dry the bees still came. I was like I was an air traffic controller at a very busy airport  like Chicago. Neighbors stood in wounder staring at the sky filled with bees every were bees. if you walked in the yard they would just bounce off you.
These bees are alive some where under all those females there is a wooden doughnut and a screen and every type of bee that likes sugar water.

The third one was the top hive feeder from brushy mountain. This one was the hardest to maintain but worked the best for our purpose. We have three hives on a 1/2 acre with a built in pool and a small wild flower nature area and we love to be and work out side the top hive feeder gave us that. It is hard to fill because you need to lift the top off each time to check it and fill it. But after you do it a few times you get the hang of it and spill less and lees all over the bees but they do clean it up. We had very little bees gone wild and no robbing for the most part, other then the crazy things the beekeeper did everything went well. I will add some pictures.

The hive in the bottom Right is very very hot. I will be changing the queen out this weekend. The other two Hives you can work them some with out any protective clothing . This one I was walking over to it the other day took the lid off for just a peak and pop 18 stings before I had if lifted an inch. 4 days latter was about 15 feet away and 18 more stings. This is the crazy hive. Hopefully the new queen will fix that.
This is the top hive feeder which we think worked great for what we have
Friends Paula and Ed looking at all the bees in the air

Sunday, June 20, 2010

This is the new top entrance I started using with a landing . It is working great so far.

I checked the bees today last week I did my first news paper combine and after I finished I received a desperate phone call from the person that gave me the bees . He thoubht that I might have the Queen in the 3 pound package he gave me.Did I start to worry because the Queen I had in that hive was doing great. So on to the internet I went to a chat romm called Beesource
to try and find out how to fix the problem. Well after everyone stopped laughing and teasing me about what I did. Remind you I did not do it on purpose. They told me to try and put a Queen exclude at the bottom of the new package I introduced. I went to do what they told me and I found that they had already started to combine. So they told me that the two Queens would fight it out and the strongest would win. I should also leave them alone for 3 to 5 days and then go back and look. I got to tell you that it was the hardest 5 days I can remember. The first night was like a bunch of crazy bees flying around the hive making all kinds of noise . Did not get much sleep that first night. Seems crazy to me loosing sleep over a bunch of bugs that I just met. So every day I kept feeding them and each day they calmed done more and more Well in five days I did go back in and sure enough there was only one Queen and it seems she was doing well. I would like to mention one thing about doing a newspaper combine remember to put the old bees on top and the new bees on the bottom, they tell me it works out better that way, not sure why. I was also told that if you do put two Queens together  the one you put in the top box is 9 times out of 10 the one that will survive.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Some times it is easier to find the court first. Try it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Pictures

We just took some pictures to day of the bees and the back yard. Hope you enjoy.
This is the watering hole. Keeps them away from the salt water pool.

Picture of our garden.
We do not use any harmful Chemicals, All organic.Except for fire ants. We hate those little buggers.

This is a picture of an Experiment  top entrance

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Great Inspection

Today I did an inspection of my two Hives. The last time I did an inspection one hive was doing great. The queen was laying like a machine, beekeepers that have come to help me out said I should start making queens of that one. The second hive I have not found the queen for two and a half three weeks
But today there she was just doing great. She is Golden in color and very long and fat. I do go on beesource chat a lot in the evening and everyone was starting to give me a hard time because I have whined about my missing queen. They tell me I am a worry wart. I guess I am, But missing a queen is a hard thing to go threw for a first time beekeeper. It felt like I did something wrong and she left me. But now I have a new one and she is great. The hives look good. The one with the queen is doing ok, I would of thought that starting out with a Nuc they would be going like gang busters, but that did not happen, I did lose the queen early in the season two weeks after they were installed. So if you look at it that way they are doing just fine, I think a little lite. The second hive lost its queen like I said 2 ½ to 3 weeks ago and have not recovered just yet. I have been lucky have only had maybe 20 SHB and have not seen the verroa Mite yet. But they tell me it is still early. I try to use little smoke when I inspect the hives so this is what I do. Remember I am new at this just a Rookie and this might not work for you. I smoke the entrance and bottom of the hive. I use a SBB. Wait a minute or so, then lift the top and smoke just a little. Wait two Minutes then open her up. No more smoke is used. When I inspect the hives I will mist the bees with sugar water and some HBH,this calms them down fast and lets me work the hive for at least an hour. I am not that fast. Each frame gets a little mist . This could also help with the verroa because the bees are cleaning themselves and others. I was also getting worried because I did not see any drones, but this time there they were with their big bug eyes and fat bodies they do stick out. My next inspection will have a lot of pictures. Also three days ago the bees in the lite hive were in a frenzy just flying every were and making all kinds of noise. I thought it could have been a swarm starting. But lucky me it was not. A big yellow jacket got into the hive and they all attacked it and killed it then they were dragging it out the front door. Me and the wife say them drag it out and toss it over the edge and then giving the team high fives going back to the bar for some more refills. Go home team!!!! It is hard to not root for the home team. We have a salt water pool 75 feet from the hives so we thought we might have some problems with so un wanted swimmers so we set up a small 24 X 12 plastic container with rocks sticks and pine straw on the other side of our garden hopping to get them to swim there, and it worked they love it and very few bees have had any swimming accidents so far. Three of my neighbors have commented that they have seen more bees in there garden this year than ever before. Not sure it is because of our bees but I still take credit. So tonight all is good in bee land. One other thing I did find out just by accident. When I am done with the bees I will go smoke all the shrubs and plants in the back yard and some of the grass area, we have found less mosquitoes and we are now able to sit outside during the early evening and enjoy the yard. Good by for now and remember keep you jacket zipped and your smoker lit and have fun, because they are.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Got a call today asking about the bees

The person who sold me the two NUCS of bees called today asking how the bees were doing . I told him we could not find the queen and some of the bees looked a little lite. He said he will be sending 3 to 5 pounds for me to install. One more thing to learn how to do the news paper install, should be fun. I made this watering hole out of a large plastic bucket, some rocks to fill the bottom, laid pine straw on it . The filled it with water. used some sticks to help keep the pine straw so what out of the water. The bees love it and they stay away from my built in pool.

I have to be one of the luckiest first time beekeepers these two NUCS are so gentle that the neighbors, my family all just walk up to the hives and watch the bees, they should not stand in the flight path and don't go closer then the white fence and so far everyone has been fine , even my two boxers the older one cleio lays under the plum tree and they do not bother her. 

we don't even mind that the blue birds fly and catch some of the bees for there young
I do a hive inspection every Friday afternoon We do no treatment any synthetic chemicals. I will do a bee drench, powder sugar, etc.... The bees I am using are Russian/ VSh . I would love to get some bees from the Purvis brothers in late summer ( The Golden Bee Line ) after reading about the success with this bee I want to try two.If I start two Nucs late summer.