Thursday, April 27, 2017

Starting over again

Last Sat, the 21 st of April I went up to get my 3 packages and then took them to the bee farm and installed them.  The next Monday I went up to check on the food supply and discovered that they may be infected with Nosema, a stomach fungal disease that makes them defecate all over the front of the hive.  I gave them more food and then went home to make up some medication (a mixture of Tea tree oil and Wintergreen oil)  which I added to a gal of sugar syrup.  I cleaned up some, and then checked on the queens, to see if they had been let out.  The bees had built comb completely over the cage making it impossible for the queen to get free so I had to cut out the queen cages.  As soon as I did, the queen and the attendants scrambled out of the cage, 2 of them may have escaped.  I went to Monroe NJ on Weds. morning and picked up 2 queen cells to install in the suspect boxes, picked up my bottom trays which I had made up and headed back north.  Bees dead everywhere by the thousands with some still alive crawling around unable to fly due to K-wing, another symptom of Nosema.  I installed the new queen cells and then headed to Hudson Valley Bee Supply, where I purchased the packages to show them evidence on the package boxes (shit everywhere literally).  I told him that I suspected Nosema and had lost 1/4th of my bees.  He shook his head and said, "that's too bad, but they should have time to build up."  I would have thought he be more concerned with his customers, and that he may have others out there with the same problem.  If you are reading this and have this problem, let me no so we can approach them en mass.  Fill you in later.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sunday, June 19, 2016

New bee house complete

Finished up the bee house on Friday and then Sat. morning began the haul north to the "farm".

On the way the trailer spring broke which then blew out the tire so I had to make an exit off the thruway.  Luckily there was a tire sales place within 10 blocks so on the rim I hauled.  Of course they didn't handle my size tire so I had to drive (leaving the trailer)  and get a new tire and a rim.  Of course on the way was a parade which caused me a 2 hour delay, but I made it there and back in 2 1/2 hours.  Fixed the tire and then that's when I found the broken spring, so I told the store manager, who was helping, to raise the trailer up and I put in 2 short sections of 2X4's to hold it up.  He just shook his head and said he hoped I wasn't going to far.  All done I asked how much? and he just said, Happy Fathers day.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Are we killing our bees with kindness

Last week when it was raining, I watched for the umpteenth time, "More than Honey".  The very first time I saw it I was interested in the beekeeping methods used in the mountains of Europe, but of course, did nothing about it.  But after I lost all my hives last winter, I thought that maybe there was a better solution, so as an experiment I purchased 2 Slovenian hives and am now building a 2nd bee house. But I digress.  As I watched the documentary this time, my attention was attracted to one of the bee keepers from, what looks like Texas, talking about how his bees have become Africanized and how aggressive they had become.  But, along with there manageable aggression, he states that his mite and beetle problems have disappeared.  This then got me thinking on the subject of queen rearing and how ( because we are such pussies) they are working harder and harder to develop strains of bees that are more and more gentle.  The bees it seems, have now become so gentle that they could give a shit on who or what has invaded the hive.  For me, I work without a suit and when the bees don't want me around, they let me know.  I for one, would rather a few stings than deal with all the other problems.  By the way, last year I found 1 mite in all of my drop boards in all 7 of my hives.  Later

Sunday, May 22, 2016

First swarm caught this season.

I had set up my trap behind Debra's house a week aga and checked it Friday.  It had a large amount of activity so I picked up my wife from the ferry and after a beer, it was dark enough to close up the entrance.  Any bees not making it back could go to the original hive and live.

Got back just at dark so I decided to just transfer the frames into one of the Octagons.  Yesterday its cold and rainy so I fed them some honey comb and added some sugar water with HBH.  Today they are flying strong.  Will check on Thursday to see if the queen is laying.  Later

Monday, May 16, 2016

Showing my new A_Z hives to Staten Island Beekeepers

Saturday we held our annual spring meeting of the SIBA.  We discussed winter survival and what techniques were used by those who had survivals.  Almost everyone lost 1 hive, I was the clear winner with 6.  2 weeks ago I drove to NH to pick up my new A_Z hives and they became the center piece of the conversation as I demonstrated the unique features of the hive (  As I was doing the demonstration I shifted to my recently populated Octagon hive and pulled the bottom tray to show how I use lime in the drop pan under the screened bottom board.  To our surprise, it was crawling with beetle larva, just as it was suppose to, but I didn't think so soon.  Only 3 weeks since I installed the package.  All I can think of was that 1 or 2 beetles must have come with the package.  I killed the only beetle I saw and all the larva were dried up by this morning.  I think the lime works better than Diatomaceous earth, and a lot less expensive.  I sprinkled a little more lime in and will inspect again later in the week.  My new package upstate at my new property is doing great in the Top Bar hive but I am going to switch it over to the new AZ hive later if it ever warms up.  I am presently working on a portable 10 box unit to take upstate.  With wheels, they can't tax me for having a structure on the property.  Later

The picture shows my 2 AZ hives stacked on top of each other with a shed built around them.  The access doors are in the back.  If interested, watch this video