This is a journal I will be keeping to document my experiences, both successful and unsuccessful, in beekeeping. This will be my first year, 2011, keeping bees. We'll see how it goes. I will be keeping bees naturally, letting them build on foundationless frames, and without medication. This is also my first blog I have ever done and I am by no means a journalist or English major. So, if you see grammatical errors of any and all kinds don't be surprised. The looks of things on the blog will probably change several times before I come up with something that I like.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Its been a long time.

Well it has been a very long time since I posted on the blog.  It has been a very busy summer for me as well.  I watched my wife graduate too.  She is now an RN and loving it.  I am very proud of her.

But anyway back to beekeeping.  I last left off just after I had established my second colony.  I still have both hives and both seem to be doing ok.  However, this has not been a good year for me honey wise.  I wasn't able to get any surplus honey off either hive.  As Dean Stiglitz stated in his book, "Don't risk long term success for short term gains."  Only my bee tree hive had actually stored honey, as of a couple weeks ago they only had about 3-4 frames of capped honey.  So now I am feeding sugar syrup heavily.  I had hoped not to do this but if am to keep either of the two hives through winter it looks like I will have to. 

Looking back, I should have feed both of the hives a lot more when I started them.  Since they both were foundationless they needed the sugar syrup in order to make the comb.  I could have helped out more, and should have, looking back over the year.  This was my first year and I have made some mistakes but have learned from them as well.  Hopefully things will go a little smoother next year. 

My package hive has started to kick out her drones.  Which I thought was a little late in the year to be doing, but they teach me different each time I get in the hive. 

Till next time, thanks for reading

Saturday, May 14, 2011

And then there were Two

My family had ordered a package for me and Aiden earlier this year. It was scheduled to ship out on the 3rd of May. They shipped out actually a day earlier than intended and I received them on May 4th.  I, of course, had to work over on that day and was able to get Carl to pick them up for me.  Melissa, Aiden, and I drove to Carl's to pick them up.  He told me that it would probably be best to get them hived as soon as possible.  So, once we got home Aiden and I got on our gear and went to work.  It was just starting to get dusky dark about the time we dumped them in.   I really wished I could've done it a little bit earlier than that but whats done is done. 

I let them go undisturbed for about 3 days before I check on the queen and to make sure everything was going good.  While doing the inspection on day three I saw that they had already let her out and she was already laying eggs.  They had started to build some extra comb in the open space where the queen cage once was so I removed it.  On the second frame I looked at stood the queen herself.  She wasn't quite as big as the queen in my bee tree hive.  She moved around the comb very fast.

All seems to be going very well with both hives.  I have capped honey in the bee tree hive.  Here is some  pictures of a complete frame of brood they have. 
 The brood pattern looks a little sporadic but if you click on each pic you can see that every open cell has nectar stored in it.  So I'm not sure if they just ran out of room to store it and started storing in the brood area or if she isn't laying that well.  I am guessing the first because they are still building comb as fast ast they can and using it as soon as it's built.  I have one foundationless frame that has a small band of honey across the top and nothing but pollen all throughout the rest of the comb. 

I done an inspection earlier today.  It was rainy this morning and had cleared to a nice blue sky.  Toward the end of the inspection I started hearing thunder off in the distance, I looked up and saw that the sky wasn't so blue any more.   I finished up and closed the hive and went in to eat lunch.  I came out a little bit later and saw what appears to be several bees doing orientation flights.  (Approximately 30-50)  After about 15 min or so they kinda calmed down and my other hive right beside them is starting to pick up the activity at the entrance just like its neighbor did previously.   I am not for sure as to what they were doing but it appeared to be orientation flights, but why all of a sudden that many at once?  And one hive, then the other.

This video is of the second hive doing the activity stated above.
video

The hive closest to you is the package hive.  Furthest away is the bee tree hive.  Bear in mind the amount of activity in this video is way more than normal for the package hive.  And for them to do it one right after the other is very confusing to me.  They weren't doing anything other than flying back and forth in front of the hive.  They have since calmed down and are now back to "normal" activity levels.

Here is another picture drawn by Aiden.  It's of the package he is holding at the beginning of this post.

Thanks for reading,

James

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Marked the Queen

The bee tree bees are doing great. I have been checking on them periodically to make sure they are doing good. They have only went through about 12oz. of 1:1 sugar water. They stopped drinking it sometime last week. I got a little worried about the queen last week. I did a quick inspection and couldn't find her. I looked for eggs to avail as well. (I could've just not saw them) I closed everything up and let them be for another week.

I had recently purchased a queen catcher, marking tube, and paint pen from a local supplier and decided I would delve back into the hive to see if I could find and mark her.
While looking through the frames I finally saw eggs, LOTS of them.   

It appears that she will have a great brood pattern. Apparently, I overlooked the eggs before because there were some larvae that was well along in development. Whew, that's a relief.

I have read that, when marking a queen for the first time, it's a good idea to practice first on some drones.  Now I have several marked drones in my hive.  HaHa.  Now it was time to find the queen.  I looked at each frame carefully, only to get to the last one and not find her.  So, I went back through them again scanning what seemed like each bee.and found her on frame 8.  She was a little bit skiddish of going into the marking tube, but she finally went in and I was able to get her marked and released back on the frame that she came off of. 

I have noticed that some of my drones have been flying out of the hive today and yesterday.  I can only assume that this means it is now swarm season. 

I did take a picture of some of the new, or newly reused comb that they are making.
There were some more comb that they were building that was much browner than this.  I asked on Beemaster why this would happen and learned that bees will reuse older comb to make new comb elsewhere, thus making the new comb have a brownish tint. 

They have started attaching the old comb, that was tied into the frames, so I have now removed all of the fishing line that was holding it in place.  It seems all is well so far.

Till next time, thanks for reading.

James

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Checking on the Bee Tree Bee's

We done the bee tree cutout on Wednesday, 4-13-11,  I left the hive there at the base of the old tree for two days.  I went last nite, 4-15-11, in the rain to pick them up.   I left them there so they could get used to every thing and hopefully not abscond on me.  I setup them up in my back yard this morning.  I still hadn't found the queen yet so I decided to really go thru the hive and check things out.

I saw a few hive beetles.  One or two of the bees had DWV.  I wasn't able to get a picture of them.  I checked the frames one by one and on the 9th frame I found her.  Can you find her.  Clicking on any of the photos will allow a larger picture to be view and it will allow you to zoom by clicking once more.


She is circled in this image.  It's the same picture.
I have a few of her close up here.

Click on this next picture for a closer look.  You can see the queen and a nasty visitor on one of the bees.  I didn't see this until now while editing the pics for this blog post.  It's a mite, the nasty little blood suckers.  (that's a bad thing, I don't care if you do like the twilight saga, sorry that just poped in my head and had to say it.)  If you can't find it or her highness, they are both circled in the next picture down.  It's also enlarged a bit for easier viewing.  You may be able to find more in these pictures, I didn't.


What a joy it is working with the bees. 

I have a few drawing my five year old son drawed for me of us working with bees over the past few days.  I just had to show them.  I told him I was going to put them on my blog so everyone can see, and he smiled and said on your computer and then ran and gave me a hug. 

Here's working on the bee tree.



Going thru the hive when we got them home.















I hope you enjoyed this post.  It was fun making the hide and seek photos.

Thanks for reading,
James

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Found the criminals, (I believe)

We have a local radio station in town, WYSH.
As a matter of fact, its just about 1/2 of a mile from my house. They have a program that runs in the morning called "Trading Time" This is where any one who has anything to buy, sell, trade, or give away, can call in and advertise for free.

As I stated in a previous post, I won't be getting my package in until May 3rd. And, I believe that is when they will be shipped, not when I get them. Any way, I told you about "Trading Time" for a reason. I called in Monday morning on my way to work and advertised that I was looking for open swarms, If anyone knew where any were to give me a shout. I had no sooner set the phone down in my lap and it rang.

Dang, I thought, that was quick. I answered and they man stated that he didn't have a swarm, but had a bee tree that been on his property for over 6 years.  He would like for someone to have them that would take care of them.  I went through the usual questions, making sure they were honeybees, no chemicals had been sprayed on them, etc., etc.  All questions were answered the way I'd hoped they would be.  I asked him where abouts he lived at.  He lived only about 400-500 yards away from me.  Since he was so close, I believe that these wear the bees that had robbed out the dead nuc I had.  After the conversation was over, I told him I would be by to take a look after work. 

Wow, a bee tree.  Could I handle it?  Should I take on the task of a bee tree just starting out?  Would it be worth it?  After pondering for a while I decided to go for it.  I talked with my beekeeping buddy, Carl, and he said he would come down to help.

I stopped by this mans house to look at the tree.  It was down in a little valley that was kept mowed.  There was one little apple tree at the end of the little grassy field.  Where was the tree, I wondered.  As he led the way, we started to vear off into a thicket.  Walking about 50 feet into the brush there was a split trunk cedar tree, with one of the trunks dead and rotting to some degree.  "This is it", he said.   I looked around in amazement, because I had never seen a hive in the wild like this.  Nor did I think that there were any around.  I felt like I could do this and didn't think it would be that much work for some free bees.  I called Carl to tell him what everything looked like.  He said, "lets do it".  He was just as excited for me as I was. 

Today was the day.  I got Carl and we went to the bee tree.  To make an even longer story short, we ended up doing a cutout on the tree instead of cutting a log section where the hive was.  This was because we couldn't get the tree to fall because the top was entangled in some of the overgrowth in the thicket.

We cut a big section out of the side of the tree to gain access to the comb.  And boy, was there a lot of bees.

We began gently pulling comb and tying it into frames.  All the while looking for her highness.  That is a very time consuming task.
The hive had some big black ants that had taken up residence just above it.  I only saw one small hive beetle during the whole cutout. 














The queen, who never graced us with her presence, seemed to have a good brood pattern.  The above picture doesn't seem like it, but there was brood in the open spots.

After getting most of the comb and bees in the new hive,  we set it at the base of the tree and smoked the bees down so they would hopefully start to go in. 


I tried to get some good pics of them going in but wasn't too successful.  It is very hard to remember to take pictures every once in a while and do the cutout.   I was very pleased to see them marching in with the others fanning away at the entrance.  We are not for sure that the queen went in.  I had added a lemongrass lure in the hive to draw them into the hive.  Prior to adding it, the bees were staying in the hive and not trying to fly back out.  So I can only hope that she is in there.  Carl said that he believed that she was or they wouldn't have stayed in there so easily.

The hive was left at the base of the tree they were originally cut out of so the extra stragglers will be able to find there new home over the next day or two.  These were very gently bees, and apparently are excellent survivor stock.  I can only hope that all will continue to go good with them.

I said these were free bees but in the end, it looks like they will cost me the price of a new chain saw, as the one I used was borrowed and it locked up on me halfway through the whole ordeal.  Ugh.  I keep telling myself that I will never borrow again, for that reason.  And, I got popped four times during the three and a half hours we were there.  Once on the neck before I was decked out with a jacket (not sure why that happened and they were so gentle two days prior.  I was able to stand right at the entrance without any problems) and three times on my fingers through the glove. 

Here is a short video of them fanning and marching in.  Its viewing from the top of the hive down to the landing board.  The tree they are clumped on is the bottom of the cedar they were in.

video
This was a very welcomed site at the end of the job.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it.

James

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"h" I ' VE BEEN ROBBED


My mentor gave me a nuc at the later part of the season last year.  It was started too late in the year and ended up hopping on the Jesus train this winter.  The nuc is still outside and we went out yesterday and saw 30-40 bees "visiting" it.  I am hoping that a swarm will take up residence sometime this spring.  This is the first time I have got to be around bees without protection.  Anyway, as they were robbing out the leftover honey we thought we would see if we could hold them without getting stung.  I know robbing is not something one would want to encourage but there wasn't that much left in the nuc and I know that it is common to set out "wet" frames or extractors and let the bees clean them up.  So I felt it was ok. 

This is a video of my son opening up the nuc.  We already had been in the nuc several time before this video was done.  They were very gentle and never acted like we were there.  I was very proud of him for being so brave and keeping his movements very slow.
 video


I was able to hold a frame and watch them work around on the frame, all w/out gloves or veil.  The following is a couple of pics of my wife, son and I letting them eat some of the honey off our fingers.  She through me for a loop when she said she didn't care to do it.They were surprisingly gentle.




This is what they looked like hurrying in and out of the entrance. 

This was so much fun and I can't wait until I can have some permanently.  I am a little extra excited as well because my wife has show and interest in them now. 

Thanks for reading, until next time.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Update!

This will be just a quick update since I haven't had a post in a while.  I really don't have anything going on so there isn't much to type about.  So I will just say what I've been up to the past few weeks.

To start with most of the short course around the area have been held this month.  I have gone to a couple of them.  I really didn't learn much as these are really for the person (I think) who knows absolutely nothing about beekeeping.  I was going with the hopes that I could learn something new.  My wife and son went with me to the last short course.  I am not so sure they are into it as much as I am, but we all won door prizes.  (nothing much but it gave my son something to smile about).  I did learn the basics of doing a split from a strong hive from one of the displays.  

I have been reading everyday (literally, I know it's like a drug, I just can't get enough) about beekeeping since the later part of last summer.  Watching beekeeping videos on youtube is fun as well.  JP and Hardwood from Beemasters are two of the ones I like to watch the most.  Jp brings a little humor in with his videos from time to time, which I like, but for the most part he tries to be educational with them.   

I mixed up a batch of swarm lure.  The recipe is from Linda at Linda's Bees.  I didn't have any beeswax for the lure so I got some from my local supplier who just happened to have some.  The recipe is really simple to make and based on words from others last a long time.  However, I have put it on the swarm traps and the smell is gone within about 4 days.  On the other hand, I put a pill bottle with  very small holes poked in the lid, with a cotton ball and 3-4 drops of lemongrass oil in it and strapped it with zip ties to one of the frames in the trap. A week and a half later you can still smell the lemongrass scent coming out of it. 

I have also finished getting all the necessary stuff purchased.  I get all my supplies from a local supplier, which saves on shipping.  He also is very competitive on his prices which make it even better.  I have purchased all my frames needed for my hive bodies and then some.  (I went ahead and got 100 of them, I'll use them sooner or later)  I also got my son an inspector's jacket, along with one for me, so he can be with me while I check in on them.  My supplier practically gave me a hive tool for my son when he found out he was gonna be helping me.  He said, "I'd much rather see a kid outside learning about nature, than inside playing them blame video games."  This pleased my son very much.  

I have made a frame assembly jig to put all the frames together.  These are really a time saver.  I also made a video on how to make one with a 1x4x8, but have since decided against posting it. It just wasn't informative enough.  Maybe some more practice and I can start make and posting some videos.   

I have finished up my hives and they are now awaiting bees.  Until I get some, I have rubbed the swarm lure in all the spots that Linda recommended.  I had so much fun building these. For the most part they were done, but I wanted a screened bottom board and have been tinkering with that part for a while.  But they are now done and I'm quite proud of how they turned out.  The stands that this one is on is not permanent, just something I slung together until I can build one for them.  The section of hive you can see to the left is part of a nuc that my mentor had given me back in the first part of  winter.  They died back in early December.  We didn't have much hope for these to make it from the beginning.

So that about catches up to where I am now.  I have placed a few of the traps I made around the county.  I have been told that if I haven't caught any bees by May, when the local order comes in for packages bees, that they will call me to see if I need a package of them.  So hopefully between the traps and packages I will have some bees shortly.  If not, I may try to purchase a nuc locally. 

Sorry for not posting is so long.  Hopefully, things will start to get busier here in the next little while and give me some things to talk about. 

Until next time, thanks for reading.
James

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Top Bars for Swarm Traps

After building all my swarm traps, I knew that I needed some frames to go into them.  I wanted to use frames in my swarm traps so the bees don't actually build comb on the roof of the trap, but rather on the frame.  Frames, even though they are .75 cents a piece from my local dealer, are not that cheap when you start adding them up.  .75 each x 5 per trap x 15 traps, a grand total of $56.25.  This is not what I want to spend considering I still have to buy and build 100 of them for my hives.

While cleaning out our warehouse at work I found a pallet that needed to be thrown away.  I knew I could use this for something.  I started brainstorming and realized that I could make top bars for my swarm traps, instead of frames, out of it. 

The top bars needed to be 19" long, so I measured in between the 2x4's and there was more than enough.  I did this because I didn't want the nail hole from the 2x4's going through the middle of my top bars. The planks on top were 3/4" thick, exactly the thickness of the top bar.   This would work perfectly.

I grabbed the pallet, put it in the back of the pickup, and brought it home to be put to good use later.

I went to Beesource to find some plans for top bars.  I knew they didn't have plans for the top bars for Top Bar Hives, but they did have them for the frames.  All I needed was the dimensions of the top bar section of the frame. 

So, I set out this evening, after work, working on the tablesaw outside.  It was a beautiful day and it really made me anxious to get these hive started.  I started by running the skil saw on either side of the 2x4's, then cut them to length, and started ripping them on the table saw to get the individual bars.  After several passes on the table saw, to get the bars the shape that I wanted, this is what I came out with.
I made a couple of cuts down the center of the bar, to give me 3/16" space to add a piece of corrugated plastic for the starter strip. 

Cut the starter strip, from some old political signs.  I used some more of the cigarette signs I had left over from building the swarm traps.

Insert the starter strip into the top bar.

Secure the starter strip in place with nails, to keep the strip from falling out after comb has been built on it.  I used three, one on either side and one in the middle. 

The next step I did was to nail a couple nails on either end, on the same side, of the bar.  This will act as a spacer for the following  top bar to be placed.  These nails are set and left  protruding out 1/4".  This isn't normally needed because the side bars have the 1/4" spacers built in but since mine are tops only I went ahead and put them on so beespace wouldn't be compromised.   This was not my idea, but yet another trick I got from Rob Overton's site.  He actually uses staples on his complete frames.

Clicking on this will show you better the two "spacer nails" on either end.
And here they are all in place in the swarm trap.  You can see the "spacer nails" working.
Plenty more to be working on. Actually, I only cut half of one side of the pallet.  The pallet will go a long way which is needed because I have 75 bars to build.

This, surprisingly, didn't take very long to do.  I got home at 4:00 today and was finished with all the cutting by 6:30.  It was a fun project, but not something that should be done by someone with less than average carpentry skills.  There is just a lot of tedious cuts involved on a table saw which can be dangerous when your doing something this repetitive.

I hope you enjoyed reading this.  It was fun building them and fun to tell you about the experience.
James

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Swarm Traps are Built

While I don't have much to do, (as far as beekeeping goes) waiting on spring to get here.  I decided to try and build some swarm traps to put out this spring.  This will give me some extra bees if the opportunity presents itself.  And it is an opportunity to do some more woodworking.  Which I love to do.

I search the net trying to find some plans for the traps.  I found several styles including the five gallon bucket style, the concrete form tube style, and many others.  As I said earlier, I like to work with wood so I wanted a style that you could build out of wood. 

I found what I was looking for on Rob Overtons site.  By the way, he has a great site for beekeeping stuff.  With his trap, all that needed is:
  • 2 4x8x3/8" plywood
  • 1 4x8x1/4" Luan
  • glue
  • nails
  • corrugated plastic signs  (politcal signs)

This is the all the plywood and Luan after all the cuts had been made.  The left stack is the tops.  Middle stack is the sides.  And the right stack is the front and backs.  The bottoms are made from corrugated plastic. (like the political sign)  These can be picked up free during certain times of certain years.  I have a brother in law and cousin who works with a wholesale tobacco company and was able to get some tobacco advertising signs (which are the exact same thing) that they were going to throw away.

My little helper always pitching in a hand. 















This picture is showing how you would actually remove the top cover to access the swarm inside.  I used staples here so the top could be removed easily with a hive tool.
The completed traps.  The top left one has already been painted.  I just spray painted it with some black and green that I had laying around.  I don't want them to be noticeable when they are actually up in a tree.  You know how teenagers can be so mischievous. 














These plans will make a total of 15 traps.  I suppose I'll have to make a list of where all these traps get installed so as not to lose them.  I have what I call "some-timers" and will likely forget where I put some of them.

Total spent on the plywood and Luan was about $33.00 + tax.  I already had the glue and nails.  So these traps were built for around $2.20 a piece.  Not bad considering the fiber swarm traps you can buy from the catalogs are in the $20-$30 range, each.  The traps I built will hold the frames in them too.  So all you would have to do is remove the frames and place them in the hive if they started building comb before you could get to taking them down. 

I asked a couple of questions on Beemaster concerning the lure to attract swarms.  What I have decided to do is to dab some lemongrass oil on a ball of cotton and place it in a pill bottle.  The lid of the bottle will have some very small holes drilled in the top.  This will be attached to the trap somehow. 

Here is the album of the pictures taken while building these traps. 
Building the Swarm Traps
If I was to do this over again I would probably use a thicker plywood.  Say around 1/2" or so.  The reason being is that several times, when nailing  the sides and front together, the nail would come out the side because the plywood was so thin.  That may could have been remedied by predrilling each hole, but these are just swarm traps, I wasn't building a piano.  It's not likely that the bees will care either.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

White Man's Foot

I learned something pretty neat today.  I was reading back through The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beekeeping and noticed something that I had missed.  It talked about a bee sting remedy that I had never heard about before.

The remedy was to apply a poultice of crushed or chewed plantain leaves on the sting to relieve pain and itching.  Now I had no clue what a poultice was, or what a plantain leaf looked like.  The only plantain I knew of was the fruit that looked like a banana.  So, I did what any person does now when they don't know what something is, I Googled it.

A poultice is a soft warm mass, hence the chewing of the leaf part.  The book said that the plantain growed wild in most of the United States, (I am a very outdoorsy kinda guy and consider myself to know more about nature than the average bear) but I had never heard of or seen it (to my knowledge).  Well it turns out that the plantain plant does grow everywhere, I have it all in my yard and have seen it everywhere.

I used to pick this weed out of my yard with a tool that I bought several years ago that was awesome at removing dandelions, root and all.  I guess I won't be doing that anymore, the dandelions either, having bees now I probably will not mind them growing in my yard as much.

I found out that the plantain wasn't just good for bee stings, but a number of things including:  mosquito bites, poison ivy rash, sunburn, eczema, burns, cuts, and toothaches.  Seems that this is more of an ointment than a weed.  It is also known as jewelweed, plantain major, and white man's foot.  The term white man's foot was phrased by Native American's who said the plant seemed to grow where ever the white man settled.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Latest Reads


While I have only read a limited amount of books on Beekeeping I think the latest one is the best of all. 

A few months ago I found a book by Karl Von Frisch called" The Dancing Bee" in my local library that was pretty good.  It just became too technical for me to follow very well.  While I did learn quite a lot from his book, these are the main points that I can think of.   This is where I found out exactly where the beeswax comes from.  And, what shapes bees can actually see.  He did a lot of experiments with the honey bee and proved most of his theories with them.  I also learned in more detail about a honey bees anatomy including, the pollen basket, the five eyes, and the honey stomach and how it performs. 

My latest read was Dean Stiglitz and Laurie Herboldsheimer’s
"The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping."  This book was a great read.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beekeeping

It was very easy to follow and they keep your attention throughout the book.  Dean and Laurie are avid treatment free and artificial feed free beekeepers. They stick to their story throughout the book and explain the reason why they believe the way they do.  They walk the beginning beekeeper throughout getting started and give the experienced beekeeper a turning point to get away from harsh chemicals and unnatural feeding.


I kept a few notes as I read through the book.  These are some things that I didn’t know and thought would be helpful in the future:
  • There are six days between when the egg hatches and when that egg is capped.  During that time the larva increases in weight more than 500 times with virtually no waste.
  •  A queen works in spirals laying eggs on the comb.
  •  The alarm pheromone smells a lot like banana oil, therefore, avoid eating bananas in the apiary. 
  •  If you feel something dripping “UP”, it probably is not sweat.
  •  Bees can barely sting through dishwashing gloves.
  •  Pheromone can remain on clothing unless they are washed.
  •   Feeding:  an emergency measure not a regular management practice (exceptions-newly established colonies)
  •  Feeding bees communicates “there is a flow”.  Bees should be stimulated by nature, not when we decide to feed.
  •  Resist the temptations of short term gains and work for long term sustainability.
  •  When inspecting the hive, the first frame pulled should be the frame with the least population to keep from rolling bees and possibly the queen.
  •   If you have to replace a queen, dispatch her and put her in a small jar of alcohol.  Dab this Lure Tincture on a popsicle stick and place it inside a swarm trap works great…...  This one kind of confused me.  Wouldn’t the smell of alcohol deter the bees from taking up residence in a trap with just a hint of alcohol?  Maybe essential oil of lemongrass is a better way to go.  I’m open for suggestions.
  •  Keeping bees is a lot like falling in Love.  Both provide a lot of sweetness tempered with an occasional sting.
Dean and Laurie also go into queen rearing quite extensively.   While this maybe something to go into later for my own stock, I just hope I can get my colonies to overwinter.  They offer easy suggestions for just about every aspect of beekeeping.  If you have not read this book, I strongly recommend it.  It can be found on Amazon right now for $7-$10.

If you know of other books you would recommend please leave me a comment below.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My email is on "Backwards"

I recently emailed "Backwards Beekeepers" with a couple of questions and some compliments.  I got a reply back a little while ago answering my questions and they let me know the email was gonna be on their blog.  It may not be much to some, but I thought it was pretty nice. (I was actually very excited.) The email can be seen here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Little Helper

I just found some pics from last year of my little helper.  This is my son.  He was so excited to get to help out that day.  We were at my wife's uncle's house, Carl, who was the one who got me interested in beekeeping again.