If the weather holds up, I’ll be able to start harvesting honey from the beehives. It’s been a busy Summer so I haven’t be able to add very many supers to the hives but there should still be quite a lot there.
Today the boys and I began harvesting honey. But it quickly becomes a race against time because even as we put the frames in the extractor, yellow jackets are everywhere trying to steal our honey (well steal the honey we stole from the bees).
One of my hives swarmed today. I chased them but they’re gone now. Rats!
This year I've got 8 hives. Of those 8 hives, none of them are doing what I'd say great but all but one is doing okay.
Though, the ones doing okay I use the term loosely.
One of them is doing crazy stuff inside the hive.
So last year I started beekeeping. I got 3 bee hives. 1 died off and the other two survived the Winter. One of the two has egg laying workers which means the hive is probably doomed.
Yesterday we got 4 boxes of bees to install into new hives. Now, we're talking 2 to 3 pounds of bees per box (mostly 3 pounds each).
So how do you get the bees out of the box? You shake them out. Which, of course, means there are bees all over the place.
Here are some pictures.
So the new bees have arrived. I got 4 packages of them today and my son and I installed them into their new homes. We were horribly inept while doing it as the picture shows (I'm reaching down to pick up the queen cage that I dropped).
Definitely not for the faint hearted.
I merged the two hives -- just in time as the queen in one of the hives had died. I am pretty confident one of the hives will survive the Winter but I have reservations the other honey bee hive will make it but I'll do my best.
Next year I plan to try to get up to 5 hives. My friends think I'm nuts (they're probably right). I don't really like honey, I'm in it for the bees. We need them (they are the primary pollinator of flowering plants including much of our food supply) and...
My first Summer as a bee keeper is starting to draw to a close. I've had decidedly mixed results. Of the 3 hives, one of them is thriving and the other two are failing. The bees in those two other hives just don't seem that interested in building comb (they have to build comb in order for the queen to lay eggs or store honey and pollen).
When I get back from my latest trip (I'm currently on a plane on the way to San Fran) I am going to merge the two weak hives in the hopes that it will...
Summer is starting to wane. I have 3 honey bee hives this year. All 3 I started this year.
One is doing great. It has 3 mediums full of bees.
One is doing not so great with 2 mediums full of bees and starting on a third but with a pile of dead bees in front of the hive.
And the last is doing terrible. 1 medium mostly full of bees with little progress being made.
I'm not sure what the deal is with the last two hives here. I think one was exposed to some pesticides but I have no ...
To say my boys are comfortable around bees is an understatement. It probably helps that they are largely immune to them.
My youngest son got a good lesson on the difference between domesticated bees and feral bees (and a healthier respect of bees in general) after getting stung by a feral bee (after the pic of the bee on his ear). He had gotten into the habit of picking up worker bees (which can sting) and letting them crawl on him. Our bees are pretty docile but he tried to...
My son and I did our first inspection of our two new hives. Hive 1 looks pretty good with lots of capped brood and we found a healthy queen running around. Hive 2, on the other hand, seems a lot less populated and we couldn't find the queen. Only 3 of the frames in Hive 2 are drawn with comb (about 5 are drawn in hive 1).
Hive 2 was so tame that I was able to work with it without smoking the bees or a head net on.
Hive 2 has some drone cells, couldn't find the queen.&nb...
It's a beautiful day today, perfect weather for "working with the bees". Today is the day I do my first inspection of the hive to make sure it's coming along nicely.
Odds are, I'm going to get stung (not a prospect I'm looking forward to). But with any luck, the two hives I have will be in good shape.
I am not officially a beekeeper. Thanks to pointers from SEMBA and the folks at Turtlebee Farms, I am now up and running with two hives.
While I have purchased some equipment and supplies on-line, Turtlebee Farms, which is located near Byron Michigan was able to provide me with basically everything I'd need from queen excluders, to frames, to basically everything else. I'll be writing a series of blogs on my beekeeping experiences.
Beekeeping for BeginnersThe first thing to understand abou...