Friday, July 31, 2009
I have been speaking to beekeepers up and down the east coast and most agree that this has been a terrible honey year. It was a wetter than average spring, and continues to be so in the northeast. I harvested the spring crop in June and averaged just 8 pounds per hive. Granted I left some behind to get the bees through to the sourwood flow. I now have no sourwood and honey which was left has been consumed.
Certainly, there are areas that are doing better, but for the most part its the same story. The reason I mention this is not to express my disappointment in the honey crop, but rather to warn of insufficient reserves in the hives. Right now I am feeding because they don't have, nor can they make, enough honey to sustain the colony, let alone get it through winter. Nutrient is one of the most under-recognized factor in colony health. Be sure your bees are not hungry bees.
This is the main reason I left so much honey on the hive for my bees. I don't want them to starve and I don't want to be feeding them now. I have four very strong hives - we'll see how it goes for the remainder of the summer.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
So the three options (I checked with my beekeeper friend, Mr. Ellis, and some of these were his suggestions and opinions and from others too):
This is Hive #4 which nothing was changed except this hive was beside Hive #6 and the robbers were still hanging around so I put an entrance reducer on this hive.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Steve brought his blower and you just set the super on top of the hive and blow away. Makes the bees a little disoriented but they settle down quickly. Used Steve's bee brush to brush off the girls that stayed on the frames before taking them to the house.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Missy is fascinated with Buttercup but the kitties don't bother the chickens. Of course, the chickens think they're dogs.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
My bolonga has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R
My bolonga had a second name - it's M-A-Y-E-R
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Milkweed - this is what I have in my garden - not Joe Pye Weed as I've been telling everybody in the world!
Folks have said to me, "wow, that doesn't look like my Joe Pye Weed". And I would say "whatever" and still insist it was Joe-Pye Weed. So I was wrong and I stand corrected!
The milkweed in my garden is wonderful and the bees (honey, bumble and all other kinds of stuff) just love it.
And I got a lot of other plants that I really like and I know you're not supposed to say "thank you" for plants but I sure was excited to get them.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
No wax moths and they had filled out a frame or two with honey but I took it off and also put the entrance reducer back on the hive. No reason other than it makes me feel better. I may start feeding this hive - I've got to check with some of my fellow beekeepers and see what they think. I really need a queen and may have to end up buying one.
The Swarm Hive is still bursting at the seams so I put the super from Hive #6 on their hive. Shook off the bees before doing this and it should give them plenty of room - the hive is so full of bees - it's awesome!
These photos were taken about 3:30 Tues afternoon - it was hot, hot, hot!