Saturday, November 7, 2015

Winterizing the yard

Today I put the final touches on insulating the hives.  I kept one hive un-insulated for comparison next spring to see if it is all worth it.  I removed the top box from the hive I combined (No 6) as the bees had moved down and no honey had been stored in it so its less area for them to keep warm.  Still unsure if this hive will make it or not, although it seem active at the moment.  I set out some sugar water with HBH for the bees and hordes of yellow jackets showed up for the feast, so now I have to make a trap for them.  Other than that, not much happening.  Time to start cleaning up the summers mess.

Decided to buy some cardboard nuc boxes for next spring.  Keep my yard to 7 hives and let the swarms move into the nucs for sale later.

Put a piece of dryer sheet inside a disk case in the hive just above the top bars as I had read it works for controlling beetles.  Checked the drop pan 2 days later to find a dozen or so dead ones.  I had placed lime  dust in the pan too, so not sure which is working.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Combined two hives

After much thought about the pro's and cons of joining two weak hives, I decided on putting them together today.  Each on its own was doomed to fail this winter so, after remembering my first hive to survive the winter 2 years ago by a combination of 3 weak hives, I decided to try and save at least one.  They were both from small swarms which I should have put together last spring, but a little greed seeped into my veins and now I will probably pay the piper.  I also added a shim with bars to the green hive.  This is one of the two that suffered from my experiment of 2 years ago by not placing bars in every box, that was a bad move but we only learn from our mistakes.   Added another box under hive No. 1 as it was almost full of comb to the bottom and top box full of honey.  This was a swarm hive so will not harvest from it.  It is almost to the wintering weight of 30lbs.   As of today I think that 4 of the 7 are heavy enough to survive the winter.  1 is close and the last which I combined today, I will probably have to feed in late Oct.  Later

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Yesterday I hosted our Staten Island Bee keeping Meetup group for a brunch meeting.  Had a great time and learned a few things.  Gave a tour of my gardens and apiary also.  By the way, I'm hosting an apiary tour and short lecture on natural bee-keeping methods on Sat. Sept. 12th between 11 and 2. All are welcome and its free.  E-mail me for directions.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Varroa has appeared

After all these years I have finally found mites in my drop pan.  Two of the overwintered hives have them.  In hive No. 3 I found one, and in hive No. 2 I found four.  Both of these hives were the ones I had made such a critical error in not using top bars in every box. Here's hoping that the bees can take care of them as they did the beetles.  I have also been finding a lot of moths in the drop pan.  This seems to be an added bonus, because I think they are trying in vane to sneak in the back but can't get in and then get covered with D. earth and die.  Have also found a couple moth larvae too, also dead.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Octagon backyard hives for sale

Complete Octagon bee hives for sale in NYC area, with established proven over wintered northern Carnolian/Russian stock included.  Raise bee's to Warres' natural bee keeping methods.

Always wanted to do something to help out the bee's?  Maybe wanted to say, " I raise bee's.  No place to put them?  No problem.  Will keep and maintain the hives in my bee yard for half the honey.  Friendly non aggressive bee's.  Enjoy our July harvest get together by helping or just keep hands off approach and we'll ship you the honey. Will also set up and maintain on your property (business or residential), or will just set up, you do the rest.  Will mentor.

Hives are 100% cedar and we raise the bee's naturally and limit interaction to as little as possible.   (Photo of 2 box setup.)

Hives consist of 4 boxes, screened bottom board with catch tray (dusting powder included), with or without Beetle trap entrance if set up on your property, pitched roof with insulated cedar shaving blanket.  Hives come with 10 top bars or, 4 center frames with 6 top bars and burlap cover cloth.  Each box holds approx. 25 lbs. of honey. Only one full box needed for over wintering.   Hives are monitored for diseases but I only naturally treat on a limited basis to keep colonies hardy.  Each hive box comes with viewing window for monitoring and enjoyment. Visit your bee's anytime.

Stock is limited to 10 hives for spring of 2016 so sign up now (more or less depending upon over wintering and if good swarm year).  No down payment needed until spring.

Cost $550.00 per hive complete.  Maintenance is 1/2 raw honey per year.

Cannot guarantee bee's once leaving my yard but will replace as necessary if I maintain.

Pete's Bees   646-201-2461

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Queen outside the hive

Doing my routine walk around the hives this morning I noticed a couple bees sunning themselves on the outside of the entrance.  A closer look revealed that one was a queen, so I picked it up for a closer examination.  Finding nothing abnormal, I put it back and it then flew off.  My only thought is that I may have killed the original queen while doing my honey harvest, but the dates didn't coincide with her appearance, maybe they are just superseding.  Hope she finds a couple good mates this time of year.  Otherwise all is normal.  I did find some beetle larvae in the drop pan from the last hive I harvested Monday this week.  Not unusual for the beetles to try and get a hold while the hive is a little disrupted.  Finding them on the bottom means the bees are back in a cleaning mode again which is what I would expect.  The harvest yielded about 15 lbs on the outside bars (5) as there was still brood in the center so I left those in and replaced the box.  Later

Monday, July 13, 2015

Treatment for Nosema

Found several bees in the yard unable to fly so decided to treat the queen castle colony for Nosema using Oxalic acid fumes.  The hive has not increased in size for more than 2 months so will have to wait to see how it works.  All the other hives are doing well.  Will have to let it go this autumn if this doesn't work.

Pulled the top box off the last hive today and harvested honey.  There was still brood in the center comb so left them in place and cleaned and returned the empty bars back and replaced the box on the hive.  Got about 16#s of honey, should have been around 25#.  Because I was experimenting (bad idea) the lower box had no top bars so had another mishap with everything falling down but eventually got it straightened out.  Honey is super sweet with a light amber color.  I bottle for allergy sufferers so leave it murky with lots of pollen.  With such a wet spring and all my hives swarming at least twice I think it was not to bad.  Creating a hardy bee line is the important thing.  Later