Just bought a filing cabinet. Why should this be news? I’m going to make some frames for it and see how successfully I can use it for a hive. The ability to be able to slide out a set of frames and check each one and then slide it back, without having to lift a box to do so is pretty appealing. I’m sure I’ll have to take measures to keep the girls away from the rollers and the like but I’ve got till Spring to do this so I should have a good idea of what to engineer. Bonus for this is that since they’re metal, I can insulate and heat them much more easily during the harsh winters. (more on that at a later date)
Today I went out to feed my girls and I noticed one of the nucs wasn’t active so I took a peek inside to see if there was a problem and as soon as I did I could tell immediately what the problem was because I could smell it: hive beetles. I swore I had these things under control but apparently this nuc was weakened. The hive probably absconded because I didn’t see a lot of bee bodies in the hive. Well it could be worse. I’m doing a cut-out in a few days so at least I’ll be back to normal soon.
Gave the hives a brief inspection today to see how the Apivar strips were working on the varroa mites. The strips seem to be doing their job as I saw no signs of mites, especially compared to when I first noticed the mites when I saw many deformed bees.
I seem to have lost one of my nucs to something ominous. It could have been robbing bees or hornets(which several have been spotted a lot recently) but something killed off the queen and the hive is almost completely dead. Sad but I’ll deal.
Now it’s time to start preparing them for winter.
Found my “new” queen today. That’s bittersweet because having NOT found her by last week and having had found all that comb full of drone brood made me think I had a hive full of laying workers and go through some extreme measures that eventually got me stung.
I pinned her down and marked her so I can find her again a lot more easily next time. The good news is that means I have a laying queen and I can get back to being a regular beekeeper now.
A joke for beekeepers:
I think bees teach us an important lesson.
You may be small. You may be tiny. But when you’re chasing somebody with a sharp object… people still run away from you.
Feeding time at the Ha Harem
You probably call this “whipped honey” and you likely think it’s made by whipping air into the honey. It’s actually finely crystallized honey that can be made very easily. All you need is some starter creamed honey and then you can have an unlimited supply. Since it’s already crystallized you don’t have to worry about it doing so in that kinda gross way, and the crystals will stay that small pretty much forever(they’ve found honey that’s been preserved for thousands of years).
I made my first batch and it turned out better than the “seed” honey that was used. I’ll probably offer mine like this if there is any demand for it.
Checked on the girls today and found out that I’ve got to go visit them in a few days to move a swarm cell and some brood/honey comb to my nuc which apparently didn’t take off. Anyone who was interested in attending one of my sessions should let me know either in the comments or via IM. It’ll be a short but sweet session but will probably teach you a thing or two.
IF you want to attend one you will probably want a bee suit as I don’t have any. What I use is a Tyvek painting suit(with hood and booties) from Home Depot. It MUST say Tyvek on it or you’ll find that you’re unprepared. I’ve got a veil/hat and some gloves that you can use.. They cost about $10-ish, and get one a bit large for your build so you don’t tear it taking it on or off.
Movin’ on up! I was getting tired of lifting the boxes to check in on the girls and so I moved them into a skyscraper, of sorts. The one on the left is the main hive. The center is an empty hive and the one on the right is a 2-level “nuc”. They were a little upset with the move but seem to be getting along fine now..though they’re not gonna let me anywhere near the hive without sending an investigative team to harass me at this point. They won’t even let me behind the hives(a place that was normally safe).