2017 May 6 What a Cinco de Mayo???? Nothing but cold and rain for the last 5 or so days. Makes Queen mating difficult if not impossible. I have been feeding nucs and starters for some time now - now if queens take some of these nucs can start leaving! It's pretty green but I sure could use some sunshine here.
Join the Medina County Beekeepers Association at a FREE presentation on how to use OSBA’s Apiary Diagnostic Kit. DATE: June 12 LOCATION: The Medina County District Library TIME: 7pm PRESENTER: Christine Cain New beekeepers often wonder exactly what they are looking for when they inspect their hives. The OSBA Apiary Diagnostic Kit committee developed a portable kit complete with tools and a full-color, waterproof laminated field guide to help monitor and diagnose pests and pathogens, in addition to providing a tracking form for each hive visit. The goal is to increase beekeeper knowledge and confidence in hive management by providing tools to help identify problematic changes in the hive before the bees reach a critical stage and die. Join Christine as she demonstrates how to use the tools in the kit. FREE kits are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. To qualify you MUST have 1) completed a new beekeeping class through a local association in 2016 or 2017, 2) registered your hives with the Ohio Department of Agriculture ($5), and 3) present a receipt showing the purchase of woodenware or bees. Kits are available for purchase: http://www.ohiostatebeekeepers.org/apiary-diagnostic-kit/ $49.99 plus shipping. The laminated spiral bound manuals are also available for purchase: $24.99 (shipping is included). MCBA is placing a bulk order for the manuals and the price break means that club members only pay $12.50. To sign up for this FREE class go to the link. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/osbas-apiary-diagnostic-kit-presentation-tickets-34077766517
2017 May 31
What a crazy-weather spring this has been. Nucs and queens have been slow with the cool night temps but are finally coming around. Interesting that the queens were having trouble returning from mating flights. I think is was turning too cool in the late afternoon for their safe return. This year has been my lowest return rate ever. I hope warm weather and less rain is in the forecast soon.
2017 April 29
End of April is here already and the queens and nucs are growing slowly. Cold nights are making it difficult to keep them warm and the rainy days are not allowing mating flights. Looking forward to some nice warm days. I was in Columbus at an ADK talk and they have blooming everything! Jealous? :)
2017 April 20
Third graft is underway - ankle biters this time. 10 out of 10! Queens due out today or tomorrow - hope the weather is mating cooperative... One of the grafts was torn down when the cold nights hit again! Gee - when is spring going to stay? Production hives are at 4 deeps = split time soon. Now I just need to stay home. :)
2017 April 7
Well my bee yard recd 6 inches of snow last night! Good Grief-poor flowering trees and shrubs. I will be Grafting this Sunday since today is way too cold to even open hives.It's pretty crazy but I have lots a drones now. Nuc building will start in this week.
Can't believe it's March 1st! This crazy weather has the bees all confused - warm/cold/warm... So far the hives are expanding and no issues of moisture. Church bees all are great but the Flow hive perished when the lid blew off while the owners were on vacation during a snow/ice storm. The good news is that they have drawn comb and honey for a fresh start! I hope there are bricks in their future, too. I've taken off the black cardboard boxes but left the foam board and wrap on some of the nuc size hives. Just a bit of insurance for these random cold nights. Trees are budded and I have crocus open - spring can't be far away.
Bees were out in force today flying and digging in the bird feeders. Supposed to hit 60 degrees tomorrow - hard to believe it's February. Feed levels are still in good shape but I added some candy bricks to the Church Hives that I manage. Better safe than sorry. All are alive in both locations and I am looking forward to the weather evening out. I'll check on the Flow Hive, too. Heard it took a hit from a large branch. Hope they are still alive. Out to prune all the apple trees tomorrow. Trees look like they want to be budding?
Here in Galveston, Texas with fellow beekeepers learning all kinds of new concepts and treatments. Lots of vendors and old friends... It's nice to be around such great minds and learn from them. USDA Robert Danka talked about the queen work being done there... Hmmmm. I'll check on what one has to do to obtain one. :) There must have been a lot of wind while I was gone, empty equipment blown about. So far most all the bees are hanging in there. Will check feed and add sugar blocks if needed. All of the hives that I checked today were still alive with abundant stores of capped honey still in their hive. Keeping fingers crossed. Lost 6 so far. Keep watching my page, workshop news is coming soon.
I'm worried about all the bees this year. I think there will be heavy losses across the board this winter. Some of my own hives have failed already for no good reason. Plenty of honey and bees but the hive is dead. I think some of this issue will be blamed on the crazy weather we keep having. Warm days then sudden temp drops at night are catching the bees out of cluster. I hope it gets cold and stays that way. Today the temp reached 62 here at my bee yard on 12-26-16. Tonight it will drop to 31 and then the high tomorrow of only 34 degrees. It's no wonder the girls are having issue.
CANDY BOARD MAKING
I hosted a candy board making session at my house and enjoyed sharing bee candy with the group! We made both the boiled method and the dry/spritz method with the group taking home a block of bee candy for their hive! I'll have to do this again! Too much fun!!!!
Just came back from OSBA FALL CONFERENCE! Great event and lots of socializing was done. 4-H displays were well done and I'm looking forward to 2017. Deadline ends for applications on Nov. 21, 2016. Rockbridge Trees was there with beautiful plants and trees for fall plantings. Glad I have a truck. Thank you Jamie Ellis and Steven Repasky for Keynote Talks to remember.
Gee time goes too fast! Hectic month for me... still fighting the yellow jackets, both large and small. Seems they are bumper-crop insects this year. I had to reduce the entrances to but a fraction of the space both in the top entrance and the bottom entrance. At times, the bottom entrance had to be completely closed. Sentinal Hive samples were sent in... showing some mites. Not splitting this summer seems to be an issue now. We will see how this pans out. It's interesting to see the hive information live!
I guess we didn't have enough rain in July... the goldenrod nectar flow is very light. Hardly a scent can be detected in my bee yards. Feeding will need to be done here shortly. Hope I have enough sugar! This year I will be adding the remainder of the Vita Feed Green and I will be trying out a new product for me called Hive Alive. I'll start noseama counts now and monitor thru the winter months. Samples of bees from 8 hives were sent in to University of Maryland for the sentinel hive... Thanks to Mike M. for helping collect the samples. I still have about 50 more hives to check on. Mites, small hive beetles and winter stores! Off to the bees!
Whew! Wedding is done and time to get back to bees! I had to move about 45 hives for the wedding guests to feel comfortable... gosh I thought everyone loves honey bees. Goldenrod is coming in strong now - smelling up the backyard. Glad it wasn't for the wedding! Time to check for any condensing of weak hives and adding pollen patties for the first week of September to fatten the bees up for the upcoming winter. My sentinel hive is up and transmitting data... now for the bee samples to be sent.
Just returned from the EAS Conference in New Jersey. Great speakers and having to chance to catch up with favorite beekeeper friends! What a great time... Wow this summer has gone fast! I'll go back and add in the missed months later. Nucs have gotten off to a great start and the queen rearing part of my life if fabulous. So far only two 'date' mishaps... I really hate when the calendar is right. My new "Purdue x Purdue" is laying and I will make time tomorrow and graft from her even though it's not Friday. I'll make sure I mark this one on the calendar in red! Nectar is coming in at a record pace also. Hard to keep the boxes open enough for brood. The wedding is only weeks away!!!! :)
Darn Mother Nature! Cold snaps every time I turn around here. Haven't grafted yet - too worried that those nite temps will take out the mating nucs. I have kept feed and pollen available for those that might need it. So far only lost a few. Hope the weather goes back to warm again. I'm just itching to get grafting! 4/12/16 - Grafting this week was successful - now just to wait for mating. Looks like the weather will cooperate for a change. Lots of drones available now! It must be spring….
Beautiful weather in March enabled me to add candy boards and more brood boxes to the overwintered hives and nucs. Dry pollen was served at every chance I could! he hives took down 3/4 of a 40# bag of Ultra Bee! Good Drones for the neighborhood for mating this year. No mites so far... will keep checking. Heavy splits last year did the trick again!!! :)
50 degrees and cleansing flights are in full swing. Checked on food supplies and most are still safe. Two nucs have eaten through their stores, so I added a super of capped honey to them. It's good to keep some capped honey aside and not harvest everything … You never know when you need to give a hive a boost. Doesn't look like i'll need to make candy boards this year. Spring is just around the corner. I might try some of the new Winter patties… ???? Found another empty hive full of honey and not a single bee. This is still puzzling to me.
2-11 still cold and getting colder. this weekend single digits and negative numbers at night. so far lost 3! Still many left though…so that's good. I feel terrible about the loses…when weather permits its time for an autopsy. Foam boards and black cardboard boxes are providing the windbreaks. now just hope there are enough bees to keep new brood and the queen warm. Scary time of the year for the beekeeper! did I do everything I could? and correctly? Wish the bees read the same books I have- bee keeping would be easier!
2-25 Making Candy Boards and Blocks today - Using the Danny Slabaugh's recipe. Probably make a double batch for lots of bricks. I'll use 3 stacked&glued popsicle sticks to add the needed bee space below the blocks. Expecting 3 inches of snow today - can't work outside even though I need to do equipment and frame inventory. Maybe this weekend. Tri-Cty is fast approaching with free shipping from many vendors!
10th of January and winter has finally decided to make an appearance. I just returned from ABF in Jax, Fla. yesterday and today was snowing and freezing! The wind was something else. I put black boxes over some of the free-standing nucs. So far, all are alive and well. Pushed them together to share a common warm wall, then slid the waxed box over the top. This will block the wind. the other free standing hives will be three sides of Styrofoam - but the greenhouse door has to thaw. Frozen shut today. :( I had one production hive disappear... left 1 1/2 deeps and a honey super full of honey. Not a bee in the box. ????? What was that about? anyone with ANY thoughts - let me know??????
Crazy month! I wish it would get cold and stay that way. I am worried that the bees won't have enough stored honey if this warm winter continues. The bees are consuming instead of clustering. I left about 100# of capped honey for the bees... I am hoping that is enough. I do worry about new beekeepers taking too much honey before winter, spring is a better time to harvest any extra honey. Hope to finish the honey house this month. baseboards are going in now - new bottling tanks, settling tank and counters are ready to install. Exciting!!!
===2015 Nov=== A sad month for me... I will not be running for President this time around. I will support Jim Alysworth as President and continue to help the club where I can. The bees have been storing pollen like crazy, and I found a couple of light nucs that needed some extra feeding. those silly late swarms actually built up and should make it thru winter with out a problem... still DUMB BEES! I guess they know better then the humans... but it's un-nerving to see a swarm so late. I hate to lose any bees for any reason. Time to refocus on bees and life -
October was a busy home month with family. Unfortunately the bees didn't get the attention they needed. Hope they are storing lots of honey and pollen. I did manage to get some dry Ultra Bee out for them and they took down 1/4 of a 40# bag! Yikes - they must have needed that! I hope you are filling your home feeders. Pollen stored now will feed the young in January and February.
September was still a swarm month here... Yes, I did have three jump their hive and land in the tree! Dumb bees! I put them in nucs and will try to over winter them that way. They are drawing comb and producing bees... but I guess the real question is will the virgins queens be able to mate? with the tough month of August some of the hives tossed out the drones already. Fingers are crossed or there will be combining of hives soon.
ok - that didn't work. Time sure can be an issue for writing. Sorry about this everyone. August was hot and dry - very dry. A lot of stored honey has been consumed and I hope the fall goldenrod come thru for the bees! Or there will be a lot of feeding going on!
Ok this month I am going to be better about writing.
We have had a lot of family issues and injuries to deal with and the bees have been a great source of therapy for me. The quietness of the bees and their ability to go about their chores without worrying about the outside influences. Sometimes I just need to step back and think like them... life will bee what it is no matter what I do or don't do. How many times have the bees completely ignored all your good intentions and did their job their way? Thoughts....
2015 June 16
Wow, where did May go? I have been soooo busy, haven't had time to journal. Sorry! The Bee Yard is super busy with queens and nucs. Nucs are winding down this week and queen production will kick in with new mating nucs. I have had alot of problems this year with virgins queens not returning to the correct box or just not returning. Too many dragonflies and purple martins... i have watched a couple get chased! The queens are not fast flyers! The top bar made it thru winter but swarmed last weekend, so now the club's bee yard has a split. i will check it this week between the rain to see if it requeened.
2015 April 10
tough storm last night with some angry nucs in the morning. I woke to the sound of thunder and when I looked out the kitchen window - two 3 story nucs had been blown over. You would think that they would have been happier that I righted them.
+++ Mental Note to Self: wear a bee suit after a storm +++
With that said, I checked the hives and nucs on Monday to find we are still about 2 weeks behind. I think it's the cold nights as the clusters are in two boxes, 4 frames in the center... COME ON SPRING!
The bee yard is ready for the spring clean up! raking, staking of boxes and checking for reversals has been done. Nucs came thru great and are eating their pollen patties and sucking down syrup like crazy. now just for some warmer days to inspect for brood. Production hives have drone frames in now!
2015 February 26
They are ALIVE!!!!! I was in the bees yesterday and at 21 degrees the little bees were flying! I could have cried..... I peeked in on two nucs and they were at the top - but alive.The snow was golden colored from cleansing flights but the light snow that fell this morning covered it... Good genetics, proper nutrition and good management - important factors in these tough winters.
2015 February 4
2015 January 26
2014 December 29
The few weather breaks have given the bees a chance for cleansing flights. The candy boards are being eaten and I have removed any uneaten pollen patty from the hives. So far all the hives and nucs are alive! I still haven't wrapped a couple of exposed nucs. I put some foam board on three sides and want to cover all sides with tar paper. On these last warm days, the bees consumed dry pollen by cupfuls! Hmmmm...interesting!
2014 November 25
Made Cooked Candy Boards this weekend and placed 14 of them on the nucs yesterday! Last nice day for a while...the bees were gentle and busy! I placed the candy board right on the cluster and then replaced the inner cover, hole side down for ventilation. So far all are alive and doing great! Two nucs that are 2 deep/1 medium tall blew over but I will try to move them off the beach today. Don't know where I will put them - a bit out of room! Candy boards were made with 1 qt water, 1/4 c white vinegar, 20 lbs sugar, 1 lb buckwheat honey, 1 oz HBH - this made 6 nuc size boards.
Too cold and not enough time in the day! With the time change now, I will have even less time outside. Luckily I now have electric in both bee barns - so bee life will go on!!!! i will make some candy boards for the nucs this year and see if that controls the moisture better. So far all seem very heavy and happy! Me, too! I plan on going to the PSBA meeting and meet with some queen producers from their area. The quest for northern queens and breeder stock continues.
Brisk start to the month...cold! two frosts so far and it's only the 6th of the month. Will work hard now to winterize the hives and nucs. this year I plan to overwinter nucs above the production hives and have some nucs in 6 frame styrene boxes. Lots to do now... if I have extra queens, would like to send them off to NC University for genetic diversity testing - how any drones were they mated with and such. Would be interesting to find out. This year's drones were from VSH, Ankle biter, Buckfast and Mike Palmer's stock. All the queens this year(except for one)did well...will try to keep in touch with their new beekeeper on how long they live. My oldest queen is 4 years old! Good Breeder Stock!
Attended Dr. Latshaw's Insemination Class and brought home 7 inseminated queens. so far 3 are still alive and laying. I am hoping to overwinter them as nucs and have them into full hives in the spring. Lots of queens needed this year, seems like a lot of beekeepers were having swarms and then ending up queenless. tough summer for many. lots of nucs going into winter. should have lots of resource bees for spring nuc building. I have two daughters of the ankle-biters and the VSH queen produced many nice sized daughters. will be interesting on how they wintered here.
August was a blurr! Lots of queen rearing and nuc building. Then MCBA County Fair, Ohio State Fair and EAS! Next year not so much travel, for sure. The girls are doing very well in spite of the rainy season. Three drone hives for mating has done the trick this year. lots of work though adding a frame of capped brood each week.
July is as busy as June was!!! Nucs are done now and queen production is on it's way. Wish the rain would stop though. I look at the extended forecast to time my grafting. the new "ankle-biter" queen didn't make it but I did manage to salvage a daughter. Any thoughts from anyone on skunks?? The VSH queen from Dr. Harbo has been great. Pattern is near perfect in my opinion. Will start mite checks this month to compare to my regular girls. Haven't had time to bottle entries for the fair - I need more time in my day! I guess no fair this year! EAS, Medina County Fair and Ohio State Fair - all in the same week!!! Good Grief!!!
I have been so busy with bees that I haven't had the time to post. Sorry!!! My bees have been doing good and the nucs that were started have picked up fine. some had some "skunk" issues but I think we have moved past that now! Queens will be put on hold till the nuc production is done...I could produce more but space is an issue.
2014 May 13
What a storm last night!!! Tornado warning sirens broke the silence of the full moon...and my sleep! At 12:30 am I was outside putting lids with bricks back on hives and up righting the lighter hives...even with bricks they got moved! At daybreak, all bees were inside their hive so I hope all is well. I will check before evening. The nucs are finally starting to fill in...the cool night temps were hard to keep the brood warm. There were a couple of below freezing nights that killed some early brood but they seem to be catching up now. I know many beekeepers are eagerly awaiting their pick-up dates!
2014 April 6
Bees are cruising along now. I still have 4 feeding stations available to the girls. I haven't checked patterns yet as it has been to cold or windy when I have been in the yard. Crocus are blooming so spring can't be far behind!
2014 March 19
Here we are at the computer lab trying to teach me to load pictures!!! Again!!! Maybe this time I can get it right...
I fed the production hives dry pollen sustitute by open feeding and each production hive has had a feed jar of 2-1 sugar syrup. They seem to be building nicely and most are on their third deep brood box. Whe I peek in they are munching on pollen patty and drinking syrup-what a life!!!!
Nice picture of my part of the world on the front page this month...my girls are very happy!
2014 March 3
Another lovely day in the bee yard. A new friend, Daniel, from Nigeria came to the bee yard to see how our hives in the northern United States were fairing in this harsh weather...we opened one styrene nuc and the bees were quite calm. Daniel was surprised to see live bees in this cold. On to the wooden hives and the first one(wrapped in tar paper) we opened had the bees up around the feed jar. This will be one of the grafting hives selected for the 2014 grafts. Nice Italian hybrids. The next two wooden hives (darker bees) were just below the feed jar and slightly moving. Daniel was surprised that the top bar was skinned with 2 inch foam board for it's insulation. I know he will have lots to talk about and pictures to share when he goes home to Nigeria tomorrow. Too cold here was what he kept expressing - the man was right! But I thought the calendar said March - we should be warmer! Come on Spring!!!
2014 Feb 5
8 more inches of snow and a layer of ice was the fair for today. Boy am I tired of this! Tomorrow night will be back down to -2 again...are these poor bees ever going to get a break? I am glad that I wrapped some of the hives last fall. I keep checking to see if there is a moisture issue developing. That seemed to do in may hives that people wrapped last year. I have the pollen patties ready just can't get in the hives yet. Hope we get a warm day soon so I can check inside the feeder box...just keep waiting and waiting.
2014 Jan 26Another cold one! Someone asked how my bees were doing in this cold and I told them they were munching away. No way he said...so I
took this picture of the nuc before I opened it and then a shot of the inside where they were up on their syrup jar and pollen glob! I love these bees! Nucs Rock!
2014 Jan 22
Cold start to the year! Too Cold for Too Long...this will be a huge problems for beekeepers. So far in my bee yard, all the production hives have survived and are buzzing. The nucs are hanging in there with only one lost so far. Being positioned on the end of the row has had a lot to do with it's dying. More windbreak next winter for the nucs. The styrene nucs are amazing! the extra R factor is making a difference for sure. Will keep you posted...tried to upload a picture(Mike will be yelling!) Hope to figure that out soon - keeping bees is easier than uploading pics!
2013 Dec 22
Beautiful day 64 degrees at the beeyard! All the production hives and all but 2 of the nucs are flying. Even the topbar has flight activity. This is a Palmer queen in the topbar so we will see how few bees go into winter and how those "real northern" girls keep house. The styrene nucs are fabulous! They went into winter with a new queen (8-17-13) and two frames of capped brood, 4 frames of plastic foundation to draw out. All mated and set-up. They are now at 4 to 5 frames drawn w bees. Feeder trays are still on with 2-1 syrup. There is still a lot of winter left-will see how they go from here. Looks very promising...the company is bringing in styrene mating nucs-I will have to give those a try this year seeing how these nucs are doing so well.
I wonder what the girls want for Christmas this year??? Maybe a new bottling tank? Is there a Santa for honey bees?
2013 Nov 10
The wind is howling today with a high of 42 degrees. I will finish wrapping the nucs for winter. This is the first time I have wrapped nucs so it's been a time consuming task. I am using the 15lb felt, measuring, folding and then stapling to the hive. Two nucs are being set together so they share a common heat wall then wrapped. I have two nucs I have set in a divided deep then wrapped. The production hives are on their own. Two deeps and a medium and super heavy! No wrapping them- as usual they are strong going into winter. I have 6 styrene nucs that I have to check on-they looked really good in October. I think is needs to be a bit warmer to open them. Will see. If the wind settles down, I will put up the windbreak-but right now it would just sail away. Winds are 32 miles an hour! Hope everyone is ready for winter-HERE IT COMES!
2013 Oct 22
Burrrr....32 degrees this morning! Time to think about moving nucs to their winter sheltered areas. Lots to do and too cold to do it now. Will wait for the sun to shine!
2013 July 6
Playing hooky today from the day job. Mike Palmer queens are due today and I am ultra excited!!! Some have been spoken for and I will be doing splits at the club's bee yard and installing 2 queens there on Sunday. (if you want to come, bring a suit as the weather sucks!) I will be making my first queen bank to hold some for a friend. Pictures will be taken for my next power point. I, again, will try to upload some for this site and not crash the page like last time. I have a new camera now I just need some tech skills. The grafting this year has done very well and so far mating is good. Trying to schedule emerging queens with clear flying weather has bee a challenge. I talked to Betsy Kling and was informed that most of the summer will be wet...:( I hope she is wrong! The garden is drowning and the poor bees need more nectar. Will be heading to HAS for the conference. Hope it's a good one.
2013 June 13
Cut comb boxes are going on this weekend on the booming hives...looking for the white wax and light honey. I hope it will be ready for the fair entries. Grafting is going well, about an 80% take but the return from the mating flight is about 60 to 75% percent. too many birds this year I think. Got some very nice queens from Tim Arheit (Sue Colby stock) to add a new dimension to the drone side I hope. Another one of those dark bees...Marking the queens has been a challenge for me. I lost one-just flew away. One got her wing marked-does that count? I am going to keep practicing on drones for a while.
2013 May 29
At the computer class-again! Hopefully, I can learn to add pictures to this bee yard report. I have so many pictures taken and they are just sitting there, waiting to be uploaded without crashing the page. Mike has been so patient, as usual, with explaining the whole picture thing. The nucs are starting to go home finally. They are on two to three frames of capped brood. This year I am marking the queens so the new beekeepers can keep track of where and how long this girl is in their hive. So far my fingers have been marked as often as the queen. They sure can run fast! After losing one because I tried to grab her twice, she decided to fly off. Hope she comes back...I feel bad! Worse yet, I hope she doesn't fly into the wrong hive. Beautiful Italian queen cross. This blood-line goes back to the first OSBA queen rearing class I took in Newton Falls. Well, back to the computer class...
2013 May 24
This month has buzzed right past! The nucs and queens are slow with all the cold snaps we are having. Just started more nucs and cold nights again...hope there are enough bees to keep brood warm in the nucs. First nucs should be leaving this weekend. Lots of dark queens this time mixed in. Great layers! Lots of Bees!
2013 April 29
Drone frames came out clean and I am glad. Breaking the brood cycle in August helps in the spring. Missed on the reversing, the girls are building up steady. Did the frist graft on 4-22 and tonight got the nucs ready for the queen cells. Now cross my fingers for good weather for mating flights! Will graft again on Weds. for the second round. Will probably need alot of queens this year - everyone seems to have had winter kills to deal with. Finally came in from the bees at 9:30...it's dark out there!
Ordered more equipment and got it painted and assembled. Put the pollen patties on the second week of March, too cold to go in before that. All the production hives look good and strong. Lots of bees - makes me smile!
2013 Feb 10
Not too bad out today-going up to 43 degrees. The girls are crawling around and eating their candy bricks-one nuc has just about eaten the whole thing! I guess I will make another batch today to keep on hand. I will order pollen patties for the girls and some extra for the upcoming meeting. March is just around the corner and the bees will be looking for pollen. Not a bad winter so far...hope the groundhog was right and spring is close. The daffoldils are already coming up!
2013 Jan. 6
New Year!!! So far all are alive and tucked in the snow. Kinda free insulation for all. The other day it warmed enough for some to venture out and die in the snow. I just hate to see bodies on the white snow...you would think that they would know better than to go out in the cold. Getting ready to put on the sugar bricks I made at the end of this week when the temps go up to 50. Just a quick in and out. Checked today and some were on a small brick that was placed in December. Hope this winter stays mild!
2012 Dec 23
Cold today, but the sun is out. Some of the snow and ice is melting but no bees are stirring. The wind break held for the wild winds the other night. I hope the girls will be warm enough...time to think of next year and what I will do different and what will stay the same. New mating nucs, new grafting scheduales and new equipment to put into use. Maybe trap pollen this year?
2012 Nov 18
Beautiful day...sunny and 57 degrees-warm for today. The bees are very busy collecting the dry pollen that I set out for them. One day I will learn how to insert a picture...got a few of them today but can't get them to post on the report. Something else to add to the list to learn this winter...MIKE-HELP!!!
2012 Nov 2
All is quiet now at the Garnes Apiary. The last of the nucs are tucked in for the winter, nice and heavy with stores. The garden will supply a nice windbreak for the girls. Equipment has been sorted and stored. The new french hive has been stained and is ready for the first spring swarm to populate it. It's like a tiny top bar hive, but square. (with windows to peek in ) All the bottom boards are in now and I am getting the insulation inserts ready for the tops now(or as soon as Chuck gets them finished). He is such a great husband! I am off to the OSBA meeting in the morning to learn more on raising queens. Hope to help produce more area queens next year!
2012 Oct 10
Strong winds today and cool with bits of sun...sounds like a day to work in the beeyard (instead of planting blueberries, junipers and winterberry bushes). I still have nucs to move to their winter location, but not enough time today for that. Combined a queenless hive with a stronger hive and moved that to the side of the bee barn for winter. They should like it there, sun and a great view of the yard. This week I want to move out some of the nucs and reset the tar paper underneath them and re-board the area for grass control for next year. These nucs are barely moveable now with so much stores and bees. I hope that they winter well. The big hives are so heavy now that I can't lift one side of them at all. These bees have done a great job of getting ready early for winter. All are still being well-behaved when I peek in on them. I just love my girls!!!
2012 Sept 16
Lots of activity today...can't go in because I'm canning today. Lots of beautiful pollen! Goldenrod smell can't get much stronger at this apiary! :( Keep looking at those honey supers that need to get taken off and know they have to be next on the to-do-list! Time...never enough of it.
2012 Sept 12
Bee Inspector came today, all is well but apparently the bees didn't like the intrusion. Have been testy since the look-through. Goldenrod continues to come in full force and tons of fresh pollen.
2012 Sept 10
Good grief....time goes too fast. The girls are getting the goldenrod in and smelling up the whole yard. I'm sure the neighbors are wondering what happened over here. Time to put three nucs in styrofoam to see how they do. The rest of the nucs will be moved to their winter spot soon. Lots of bees going into winter...
2012 Aug 23
Got throught the mating nucs yesterday...Lots of bees and queens. A bit of robbing started and the yellow jackets need something done about them. Made all the entrances smaller and now have to decide on wintering in wood or styrofoam. Anyone have some thoughts??? Will check the regular hives this weekend and tidy the beeyard abit. Can't belive it will be Labor Day soon.
2012 Aug 9
The last group of queens have emerged and are now in their mating nucs. Time to start condensing for winter. Styrofoam nucs need to be ordered and assembled. Pollen patties and feed ordered. New gravel paths made to the bee barn. Lots to do...so why am I taking time to go to Vermont? Oh yes, to order all of this with free shipping? No, maybe just a vacation from Medina. Hate to see summer come to an end.
2012 July 22
Hot but beautiful day. Checked on the hives at the Root Homestead...doing great. Went out to a member's home and checked on their bees. Their hive is doing good and the new beekeepers are on track. Tomorrow I need to work on the fair entries and the products for sale. Such a busy time for me and my bees.
2012 July 15
What a month for honey! With all this heat and the bees are still bring in nector. The queens are mating and laying beautiful frames and grafting sessions are doing great. It's about time to start getting ready for winter...checking for mite load and hive beetle, requeening old hives and getting entries ready for the fair. Time is such an issue.
2012 June 29
This heat is making the girls hangout on the front of the hives, this is when a hive painted brown is not a good thing. Lids have been opened and shades put on some of the nucs. The queens seem to enjoy this extra heat and have been mated successfully. Their patterns are full and complete on the deep frames provided. Still can't get over the black color. Hope this next batch of queens move along as nice. Getting a little tired of feeding so many. It's almost time to be shutting down production and getting ready for winter. I think that I might try styrofoam nucs???
2012 June 3
All the bees are doing great. The club's hives have gone to live at the bee yard and most of the nucs have gone to their new homes. The OSBA Queen project has given me alot more to do with the 48 hr cells (3 of 5)and the fresh graft cells (11 of 15) - the new virgin queens are either in nucs or queen castles and weather cooperating, will be mated soon. Lots of mouths to feed in the meantime. Glad I stock piled equipment...just about used it all. Happy the swarm calls have slowed down. Honey supers are going on weekly on many hives. Should be a good year for honey surplus. Going to try some new honey comb ideas.
2012 May 3
What crazy weather we keep having. Spent 5 1/2 hours in the bee yard yesterday doing splits, making nucs and rearranging brood chambers. Then I got a swarm call and off I went! New drawn comb on the way. Can we ever get enough drawn out? All is quiet today, all the rearranging seems to have settled in quite well. The club packages are doing great. Drinking down a quart of syrup every two days. The queens are gaining weight and are looking great. Can't wait to get them to the redesigned club bee yard. Lots of new equipment to generate more interest! Got a new camera for the bees...got banished from using the house camera...somehow propolis got on it??How did that happen?
2012 April 4
Beautiful day today. New bees out orientating and there is lots of activity. The sound of bees fills the air. Reversing is complete and several hives have an extra deep added for more bees. All the pollen patties are about consumed and feed jars have all been removed with the nectar starting to come in finally. Can't wait for the drone population to get to the purple eye stage for grafting to start. I love this time of the year, don't you?? This year I am going to mark my queens, so get ready to see the drones in my area painted, too. Just for practice, of course.
2012 Feb 22
Warm, sunny day for the bees. 50ish temps...crazy for this February! Hung out the dry pollen substitute feeder and it's covered with bees. All the hives and nucs have someone bringing in the dry pollen I put out in the feeder. The feeder jars in the hives and nucs are being worked nicely. With that, hopefully, I should have some very happy girls coming out of winter! It's a good day in the beeyard.
2012 Feb 6
Very nice weather for this time of the year. The girls appreciate the chance to get out and stretch. I have been putting out dry pollen substitute and they are taking it in like mad. A good sign..babies to feed! I worry that all this warm weather will deplete the winter stores. So far everyone is doing great. One nuc didn't make it :( not enough bees going in. I probably should have combined it with another. Can't find my picture...I need a computer class! TRACY???? Just kidding.
2012 Jan 18
Finally snow! The bees are tucked in and waiting for spring. With such a long time time before a hard cold, I hope that there will be enough stores to get them through the rest of winter. Here's hoping for the best.
2012 Jan 7
Still not cold, a few bees out on Friday flying. Ground too wet to check hives. This up and down temps are making ME crazy. I will have to keep checking weights so they don't run out out food.
2011 Dec 31
The year has ended and the bees are resting. I hope they have enough stores and that the weather gets cold soon and stays that way. Still feeding and they are still taking dry pollen from the bag. The new equipment came and will give me something to do this winter. Looking forward to spring and the bees flying once again!!
2011 Dec 6
Rain!!! Still have 4 nucs to move to their winter resting place but not cold enough for them to cluster yet. Still have some wrapping I could do. Need a week off! Two nucs still taking syrup...this cold coming will put an end to that. Hope they stored enough. Sunday I set out the powdered pollen and the bees were all over it again. Still amazes me. Time to get out the catalogs...order some projects for winter. Maybe find free shipping!
2011 Nov 28
Great weather still. Some of the nucs are still taking syrup and the visitors to the pollen bag are surprising. The bees dive in and come out coated in pollen. It seems that all the hives have some coming in. I still have 4 nucs to move to their winter resting place, but the temps need to drop before I can get these moved. Finally got the two windbreaks in place and secured. Thank goodness for the nice weather. With each warm day, I have to wonder how much they are eating of their winter stores?? Will there be enough to get them thru the cold ahead? I guess we will find out come spring.
2011 Oct 11
Out looking for a queen I can get out for Ken. They are not very happy about me looking around at this time. All seem to be doing fine and are progressing nicely toward their winter store goals. I think that Ken may be out of luck...I had to leave before all the inspections were complete so I will try to finish tomorrow if the weather permits. I hope that a queen from one of the late swarms will be able to relocate and then I will combine the girls left behind with another nuc. All in all, they weren't too angry, just two hives. Seems there is always someone in the group that has to make a statement.
2011 Oct 10
What a great day today...the bees are flying like crazy. Bringing in heavy pollen and lots of nectar. I don't know from where but do I really need to know? They have done fantastic this summer even the nucs are filling their second box of comb. I think that I will bundle two nucs together and then wrap them with a foam lid for extra protection. Unfortunately they will have to get moved off the beach to a more protected area. That I think I will do that in November once they cluster up. The "mother" hives are filling fast and getting heavier by the day. They should be ready soon for their wintering mode. Will try to get some pictures tomorrow before the computer class.
2011 Sept 11
This is a little late to be relocating...what are these girls thinking. It will be a neat experiment to see if they can make enough comb and stores for the winter.I think I found where this came from. Gave me something to do on this rainy afternoon. The girls are collecting pollen and nectar like crazy. Even a slight rain doesn't stop them. I just love my girls!!!
2011 Aug 13
The hives and nucs are just exploding. I am so pleased with the progress the nucs have made. Some have had to be moved into 10 deeps to contain them. The queens are laying full framed, both sides. I will try and get a picture posted. Honey did well this year considering that I wanted bees not honey. I still have extracting to finish and cut comb to get boxed. Not enough time.
This month is crazy with family and fair prep. I will post in August. Have to get my entries in!!!
2011 June 7
Wow, time is just flying. The hives are roaring with bees busy bringing in nectar. The nucs have progressed well. Some even have had to be moved into deeps. I have been keeping them long enough to insure that the queens are laying a good, consistant pattern before letting them leave to their new home. Looks like I will have to do some splits, too. I think I need more equipment!!! I hope that everyone is having a good year!
2011 May 11
Great day to be in my beeyard. The hives are bubbling over with bees. Started doing nucs today using the overwintered stock. Lots of queen cells to choose from. So far eight are looking good. Lots of brood, honey, pollen and bees!!!
2011 April 29
What a whirl wind we had at the house. One hive with nucs on top was blown over, scattering bees and equipment. Lots of bees!!! I think the bees were happy just to be uprighted and covered. A hurried reassembly and back indoors was all I could manage and then off to work. Once a break in this weather occurs, I will reassess the damages. One would think a good size rock would hold things in place. Can anyone stop some of this rain????
2011 April 20
Nothing in the drawn comb department yet, but the girls are hanging out up there. Maybe I will add some to a couple of other hives, too. Still too wet to open the brood chambers to get another peek. Would like to spread out the brood nest some. Hope this rain stops soon before the hives float away.
2011 April 10
Dreary day again, but the bees are humming along nicely. Pollen is coming in like crazy. Added two nucs with foundation to two of the heavy, overwintered hives in hopes that when the nector flow starts they can draw out the comb. Hope it works.
2011 March 12
Work starts today on assembling nucs for the Ohio queens that have been ordered. Ten to assemble, prime, paint and store until the queens get here. I think we will give them a beach front view.
2011 March 10
Mixed sugar water 1 to 1 ration and added honey b healthy, amino-b and noseama liquid treatment together and then put a pint on each hive. All the girls, except hive 3, were calm and accepted the jar without incident. Looks like hive #3 will have a new queen in their furture. After about an hour, I rechecked the hives and everyone was busy on the jars. Looks good. I marked the calendar to repeat this on the 20th of the month. Now all I need is a nice warm day to reverse the deeps.
2011 March 8
Beautiful day for the beekeeper...a little soggy but sunny. The girls are out flying and I scraped out the bottom boards as best I could. All the hives are still heavy but everyone seems to be hanging out at the top. I need to get them reversed, but I didn't have the smoker lit. Tomorrow I will add some sugar water with noseama treatment for prevention. At the Wooster meeting they advised to treat in the spring and then again in the fall. One pint per colony with treatment will be easy to apply. Hope it's not raining too hard.
2011 February 20
Got the girls loaded up and moved about a week ago when the weather was milder. They had a day and a night the recluster after their ride on tractor. A couple of days ago, when the temps were up, all the hives were out flying. Everyone made the trip and survived.
2011 January 25
Starting to think about moving hives this winter while they are still clustering.
Not looking forward to it.
2011 January 10
This is my first entry.
After my first computer training session with Mike I am ready to start keeping my bee log online with you. So far this year the girls are doing great. During the 2 day warm spell that we had, the girls were out flying. It's quite a sight to see so many out and doing a bit of house cleaning. Dead bodies were being thrown out into the snow! Less for me to clean in the spring. So far all look good. I hope it stays that way. All but one is still good and heavy. The light one will have to be fed as soon as weather permits. I will try to attach a picture tomorrow.