Monday, December 23, 2013

Unseasonably warm weather

Well, the Jan. thaw has hit us in late Dec. with temps yesterday were close to 70 degrees, setting new records.  The bees are flying so I fed them some sugar water in the entrance feeder.  Checked them today, its in the high 50's and rainy, but they are still active.  The feeder is about half full, so they have not been hitting it to hard, so their stores must be holding well.  At least there are bees around.  This is the type of weather where I lost all the other hives.  Fingers crossed.  Later

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winter Freeze is here

What a difference this year has been.  Nasty, nasty, nasty.  Have completed insulating the hive and wrapping it in tar paper.  The bees were out one last time last week when it warmed to 38, but since the cold snap, are bundled up nice and cozy, I hope.  They have enough stored food to take them trough the winter so we'll have to wait and see what develops.  Next warm snap, probably the Jan. thaw, they should be out and about so we'll have to wait till then and check the supplies at that time.

Happy holiday's to you all.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Robber bees hanging around

Each day that the weather is warm enough, the robbers are there stealing the sugar syrup that I put out in my entrance feeder.  I have squeezed the entrance down to almost nothing for defensive purposes and that is keeping them on the outside so far.  Hope the cold weather stays around, although today its close to 60 deg. again, but raining so that helps.  The mixture of swarms that make up the hive still have not mingled as they seem to stay in their separate boxes.  Maybe with the cold weather they will finally become one.  At least they are not strong enough to fly away as did the other three hives.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  Later

Happy Thanksgiving to both who read this.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bees out enjoying the warm weather

Today the temps hit in the high 50's and the bees were taking in the sunshine so I decided to give them a boost of sugar water from my entrance feeder.  Within an hour the front of the hive was abuzz with bees everywhere, even on the ground where I spilled some.  The hive seems healthy, can only hope.   Have a great winter.  Later

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Lost another hive

Looks like my best hive didn't like me going on a short vacation so they left when I wasn't watching.  Only left me with a few token bees and not much honey.  Will check tomorrow to see what's left.  That leaves me with only the multiple swarm hive.  With any luck, it will get cold and stay that way till spring.  Later

Checked the hive this morning and there is not a drop of honey in it.  That's about 25lbs gone with the bees.  Lots of nice comb though, lol,  the other hive is still working well, will just have to hope.  Later

English Pointer free to good home

Though I might update this,  She has found a great forever home in PA.  She took to the new owner immediately and just jumped into his truck like she had been his forever.  Wish her well.

Anyone interested in getting a fabulous little female pointer?  I found her last week lost, shaking and scared.  Apparently the owner doesn't care as there are no lost dog posters and calling the local SPCA and DEC wildlife division, no-one has taken ownership enough to care. Full of ticks and scratches but otherwise in great shape.  She is heartworm negative but is on anti-biotic for Lyme disease  She is developing into a great family dog and only wants to please.  I have had her hunting with my spaniels and she holds up her own (with long lead) and have shot over her (pheasant flush) with only a little excitement (where did it go).  With some TLC and good dog training skills, this will be a great devoted family dog which will do you proud in the field.  Families only please.  She gets along with other dogs well, but is protective of her new pack leader.



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Winterizing hives

The cooler weather mornings have approached so I decided to start to wrap my hives.  I'm using 3/4" closed cell Styrofoam to the exterior.  This year I'm going to leave the bottom boards out and just wrap the base in tar paper to promote heat from the bottom up.  I'm also leaving the south face of insulation off for now and will place tar paper over it when the weather really turns.  I also removed one of the lower boxes in the swarm hive as they had all moved up and I could do it early this morning without disturbing the bees to much.

The robbing has continued at the strong hive and the pile of dead bees is growing deeper by the day.   Other than that, the bees are busy preparing for winter.  I have noticed that the size of the bees seem to be getting smaller as the winter approaches.,  Later 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Robbing has ceased

The pile of bees in front of the hive is over a inch deep.  I guess the little buggers from the feral hive ran out of bees or just gave up.  Almost all the bees now are drones, kicking and squirming, trying to get back in.  Both hives are cleaning house nicely. Checked my beetle trap again and only found one, so it looks like I'm getting that under control. 

Its starting to get chilly in the evenings, so I put on a layer of insulation to the top boxes, but left the south side exposed, so the sun can warm up the hives during the day.  The bees are very active today, lots of pollen gathering, probably from the Goldenrod, although they are working my Aster quite nicely (when the Bumble bees let them), will have to plant more.

Its off to northern NY this weekend for the Grouse opener and try my luck on fall salmon.  Later

Sunday, September 15, 2013


The little black feral hive is intent on robbing one of my hives and along with the fall expulsion of the drones, there is a sizable pile of dead bees in front of the hive.  Have inspected closely to make sure its not some disease, but the hive seems normal.  Still killing beetles in my thumb trap.  The bees chase them up and I kill them, quite some team work.  The merged hive now has three independent colonies but with the cool weather I expect that they will merge into one soon.  Have some repairs to make to one of my boxes as it seems I forgot to screw it together and now its opening up at the seams.  Placed a strap around it for now.  Hunting season approaching so I need to take care of the little things before I leave.  Later

Monday, September 9, 2013

Merged another hive to the other swarm hives

Today I decided that, after a close inspection of the absconded hive, that there seemed to be no major problems inside the hive.  So I made ready the top of the merged hive and placed paper over the top and then placed the two boxes on top and replaced the cover.  We'll see how that goes.

Funny thing, Sat. when we did our inspections of the hives at the Meetup, I found that the first merge of the four boxes combined, did not really create one large colony, but there are two colonies inside, each living as if the other does not exist.  They use the same entrance and don't seem to bother each other, especially since the upper colony bees have to go through the first colony space to reach there own.  What's going to happen to the third colony, sitting atop the second? I wonder.  Will have to monitor and see.

The best hive is still doing great (knock on wood).  I did a mite dusting and it came out clean, but there are some beetles.  I placed a trap on the top bars and it created a place for the beetles to hide, so every day I open up the cover and squish them with my thumb.  At fist I would see twenty or so, but yesterday I was down to 2.  Think I may have something, as in my hives there is literally no place for the beetles to hide, and the bees chase them all over.   Works for me, will have to do the same for the other hive to.   Here's a Pic of my now three colony high shared stack.  Later

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mite check on absconded hive

Tuesday I pulled the board under hive 2, to get an idea of why they absconded.  Absolutely no mites, not even one.  But the board was full of wax moth larvae.  That afternoon the hive was a buzzing with bees, robbing no doubt, and it was after that , that I pulled the board.  My thought is that with all the activity in the hive, most of the wax moths were nocked to the bottom and out the screen onto the board.  I think the wax moths moved in after the bees left, as the hive was literally un-attended, but who knows for sure.  It was a fairly strong hive to begin with, so I don't think the moths moved them out.  Still no answers and probably never will have.

It was good that the hive is mite free, as I want to join what is left with the other swarm hive, #3.  Will do that on Saturday.  I'm giving a small talk on winterizing hives this Sat. so may do it then, as I'll have help. 

By the way.  If you try to freeze your wooden wear after a moth infestation, it takes more than 2 days to kill then.  I scraped the worms from the board after 2 days in the freezer and put them in a plastic bag for Sta., and an hour latter they were all back alive.  My suggestion would be to seal up your equipment in a plastic bag and put in moth balls.  Keep it outside for the winter, than scrub it with a bleach solution before reusing it.  Later

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Treating for Varroa w/OA

After having lost one hive this week, I spent this morning setting up to treat the #1 hive with Oxalic acid by fumigation.  First I smoked the upper box to get out most of the bees, and then I removed the box and set it aside.  I placed my special cover over the hive and then began heating the melting tube.  Soon the bees began to leave where the mist was coming out.  In two or three minutes the process was over, so I let the hive sit for a while (15 min) to absorb the mist, which cools to a fine dust on everything.  My attention now was to deal with the top box.  An inspection revealed that it had a lot of bees, more than a super full of honey should have, so I rolled it over and found not only some brood in the lower parts of the comb, but also a lot of pollen stored for next spring buildup.  So after the 15 Min.'s I replaced the top box, then put on the blanket and cover. 

When I removed the cover originally, I saw that the beetles had been using the traps and many were dead on the top bars, but my thumb crushed another half dozen or so that tried to escape.  Maybe this treatment will keep these bees from leaving like the other hive.  I will treat again next week with powdered sugar and Thyme. 

I found on line a powdered sugar with no corn starch, made by King Arthur Floor, kind of expensive for 1#, ($12.50 with shipping) but I tried making my own and its not worth the energy.  Later

This afternoon the sky behind the house was again full of flying bees.  I thought, here goes # 3 hive.  But much to my amazement, they all circled awhile and came back to the hive.  I'm going to have to stop watching, it takes to much out of me.  Later again

Friday, August 30, 2013

Mites ahoy

Pulled the sticky board today and was not to happy.  Lots of mites, bordering on the threshold of having to do a major treatment. Also had several beetle larvae squirming around.  Will have to let the traps do there thing.  Also ordered some Beetle Blaster traps to put in.

Suspecting the other hive had mites also, I put on the OA smoker and gave them a dose.  Tomorrow morning I will do the same for hive #1.  So much for Warre saying   "just watch the entrance to see how things are going".  Guess he didn't have mites or beetles in his time which never come out to say hello.

I saved the sticky board to show the Meetup group next weekend.  Later

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hive absconding

As I was enjoying my lunch sitting in the screened porch overlooking the back yard I notice abnormal activity at the hives.  Thousands of bees circling from ground to tree tops.  As I approached with the camera I saw all the activity coming from # 2 hive.  I sat down in my bee chair next to the hives ( but not close) and observed and listened as there was quite a roar and took a few movie shots of the event.  My first thought was that I had an August swarm and thought about getting my equipment out, but as I watched the bees circling, they began to diminish in numbers and then it was back to normal.   The whole event was maybe 7-8 min.  My guess is that they were being robbed but I went over to the hive to examine the bees on the ground, they were their normal docile selves (not like two days ago).  Beats me!!!  Later I checked the observation window and it seems there are a few less bees in the top box, the lower two I can't see into so don't know what's going on in there.  The honey stores seem to be in tack though so that's even more confusing. Will have to check the trees more closely for a swarm, but they did not act as if they were in the process of swarming, when I was out there.  Later

You'll have to excuse the end of the video, a bee landed on my leg and I was a bit jumpy from the other day.

I  put a sticky board under hive #1 today to get an idea of my mite counts, if any.  Saw lot of beetles again and killed several more.  Seems like the thumb method is pretty sure.  They have been eating at the traps too.  Later

PS:  Just opened my hive and to my un-surprise, found it almost empty of bees.  I guess I just witnessed and absconsion.  So long my little friends.  Its a shame, all you can do is sit there and watch them go, there's nothing that you can do to change their minds.  Will have to do a close inspection to see what was bugging them.  If all looks normal, maybe merge with the other hive.  Later

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wrong move again

If you believe in holistic medicine and bee stings are good for Rheumatism, than I'm good for at least a couple more years.  Yesterday after putting feed in the merged hive, I had some left over so I put some in an entrance feeder for hive #2.  This afternoon I saw it was empty so I decided to remove it.  I guess the bees figured it was theirs to keep because they came at me with a vengeance.  I only wear shorts and a t-shirt working the bees normally and these had been exceptionally docile so I thought nothing of going in and removing it as I had done many times before.  Mistake,  I got nailed three time on the ankle and once on the hip through my shirt.  I can only guess that maybe there was some robbing going on and that made them really aggressive.  Will have pay more attention from now on.

I have a bee meet-up coming in 2 weeks, better have them bring suits. 

The merged hive is going great guns since the merge with lots of new comb being built, will have to feed again as its better to feed to make comb than let them waste all that energy bringing in nectar for comb building and not honey storage.  Later

Monday, August 26, 2013

Inverting hive

The action from in front of the combined hive has increased from dribbles to more bees then the other swarm hive, so today I pulled the paper from between the hives.  I had originally placed the lesser hive on top so the other hive would have little disturbance having  new-comers in its presence.  So today, because they had merged, I pulled all the boxes apart and inspected them and then replaced them with the lesser hive on the bottom.  I did this because the other hive had almost a full box of filled comb for the winter stores and with their brood on the bottom, they would spend the fall moving all that honey up to the top as it should be.  This way they can spend the fall gathering new nectar and fill more comb.  I also placed the feeder back on just to give them more food to store now the two hives were one and had not enough stores for the upcoming winter.

In the whole process the bees were very gentle and I probably didn't need to suit up, but you can never tell this time of year.

Its kind of curious that when I inspected them, they had not merged as I might have expected, I think that both queens have survived the merge and just went on with their own place in the hive.  Will have to monitor and see what transpires.

I also discovered a few beetles, but the inspection found them to be mite free, or should I say, no major infusion.  I'll make up a mite traps and place inside all the hives just to be safe.  Later in the fall, when I winterize, I plan to miticide with oxalic acid just to be safe.  Later

Its later and I just finished installing the beetle traps.  All three hive had a little more than a few beetles so the traps are just in time.  The best hive had the most and I killed about 20 or so and five or six larvae also.  Hope it was beetle larvae and not moth worms, will have to look that up,  Later

Monday, August 19, 2013

Merging hives

Yesterday I looked under my lesser hive (#4) and found not much progress, but there were some brood cells.  Not much in the way of capping's on the bottom board either, so I decided to combine my 2 swarm hives.  Yesterday I moved the two hives close together so the bees in #4 could find the new hive easier when I made the switch.  This morning was cool and I new the #4 hive would be in a ball so I broke out the smoker and took the roof and blanket off #3 and removed the inner cloth and replaced it with a sheet of paper.  I then took my knife and cut some slits in it so the two hives can inter-mingle their scents.  I will remove the paper in a couple days after the have chewed through and joined together.  I then took the 2 top boxes (they had built down into the second box) from #4 and placed them on the paper.  I then opened the side entrance for the bees to use in the interim.  Within a couple minutes the bees which had been in the bottom box of #4 had found the new entrance.  So far so good.  We'll have to wait on the queens to see if they will fight it out or just accept each other.  Later  As a side note, I found six little kittens about 4 weeks old, out in the barn under the wood pile, anyone need one???  Will have to feed and make friends with them so they don't get to feral before
I give them to the HS.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The crows

I'm going to deviate from my chronicles of raising bees and write about a funny thing that happened to us on our little farm in the city.  I own about a half acre of property in NYC, well, its really Staten Island but technically its NYC.  We have apple trees, a pear tree, plum trees and vegetable gardens, plus numerous flowers gardens and elderberry, strawberry, blueberry and raspberry bushes.  keeps me sane in the big city.  Our house has a 10X24 foot screened porch which is really our living room for most of the year.  One Sunday morning as my wife and I were enjoying our coffee whilst looking at our accomplishments in the back yard, I saw something hopping along the bushes.  It was black and a first I thought it was a cat, but the hopping confused me.  Then I heard a crow call of distress.  I realized the hopping thing was a baby crow and my thoughts went back to my youth when my dad had caught a crow and tamed it for us as a pet. It could even say a few words.  So I told my wife that I was going to catch it, so I went out to where I had last seen it and started my hunt.  I soon found it under some low grass and snuck up behind it and made my lunge.  With bird in hand I brought it back to the back steps and tried to calm it, which I slowly did.  By this time the mother crow had begun an alert call for help and slowly the sky began to fill with circling crows all blaring loudly.  We thought that this was great as the church next door would be getting out soon and the sky would be full of circling birds all screaming loudly.  We laughed.  Finally the mood changed as more and more crows showed up, now approaching several hundred, and my wife said we had to let it go.  Reluctantly I agreed and took the now calm bird to where I found it and said goodbye.  Goodbye or not, the crows decided to take roost in my back yard for the next three days and every time I went outside they began screaming at me, which made my wife and daughter laugh wildly.  Finally they left  and life became routine again with weeding and other such mundane things.  Later

Vacation over

Just got back from a 2 week trip to TX seeing my brand new great grand daughter.  By the time I left they were calling me the baby whisperer because every time she cried they would give her to me and she would stop within minutes.  Only saw one bee hive on the whole driving trip up and back and that was just across the river in NJ.

Anyway, checked on the bee's.  While clearing weeds in front of the hives they came out to meet me and stung me on the hand, must have been in the weeds I was picking. Good to be back.  The lesser swarm hive hasn't improved a bit, but the other (#3) has filled the top box and is extending into the lower one.  Will have to combine the two later in the fall for sure.  Everything is still green, unusual for August, even the clover is still blooming.  I've noticed that where-ever the bumble bees hang out, the honey bees stay away, so much for planting honeybee friendly flowers in my yard, its full of bumble bees, but they are suffering too from diseases so its good to see them doing well.  Later

Monday, July 15, 2013

Local Staten Island Honey for sale 646-201-2461

Limited supply for 2015 for allergy sufferers

Local Staten Island pure honey for sale 1 and 2 lb bottles.   $10.00 ea.
Good for allergies and best on toast, cheese or try on dark chocolate.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bee dance outside LS (lesser swarm) hive

Interesting note.  Today walking by the hives in the mist, the LS hive was extremely active, flying their first test flights. Forgot that today was the due day for emergence.  Looks like this hive may have a good chance for survival as there were a lot of them.  We'll see come fall whether I have to combine the two smaller hives into one good one or not.  Stopped by my favorite summer tree today while walking the dogs and just the top branches are flowered out so far, but the bees are busy working it.  The cutting I took last year didn't make it so I'll have to get another one later in the week and try again.  I stopped to admire a neighbors garden and she came over to talk and pet the dogs, took me out back to see more gardens and my bees were busy working the liatris.  She gave me a couple of new plants to lure in hummingbirds, will have to look them up when they mature.  I planted them in the garden under the butterfly bush next to the screened porch which is my favorite spot to lounge.  She says the hummingbirds really like them, can't wait. 

As I watched the bees come home this evening my thoughts began to wander.  Everyone knows that the real bee dance is when a bee returns to the hive and runs around in circles wildly telling everyone in there just where the best plants of the day are.  I have another idea.  As I watched a bee hit the landing board, it began the infamous dance, trying to entice the others, or was it.  I wonder.  Everyday new bees hit the air for the very first time and in their enthusiasm, come back so excited that they don't even deposit their load, but just spin like crazy in front of whomever will watch, saying "this was the most exciting day of my life, and you won't believe what happened".  As I watched, other bees came in and without a shred of concern, just knocked over the dancing bee and shoved her out of the way to get inside and make a deposit, guess the excitement is gone quite quickly.  Later 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Harvesting inspection

After all my yard work this morning, I smoked the package hive and pulled the comb box off to see how it is progressing.  About half full, so I'll leave it till fall.  Pulled the top brood box to check for honey storage.  It was not as full as I would have liked for removal, and there were still a few of the lower part of the bars which contained brood, so I guess it will have to stay for the winter unless they get inspired this fall season.  All hives still bringing in pollen, but I don't have the slightest idea from where.  Guess I'll take the dogs for a stroll and check out the neighborhood.  Still some white clover around for them to gather nectar and the other flowers around are still going strong, with the Hosta just now flowering.   My plans for selling honey this summer are all but dashed for the time being.

By the way, I used some of the new, non-chemical herbal spray for sending the bees down, it stings when you get it on your hands so wear gloves.  It sent the bees below right away, but they refused to leave the box due to the brood.  I do give it a good recommendation.  Later

Sunday, July 7, 2013

White Oak Apiary

Just got another hit on how White Oak is not conforming to good business practices.  Seems like he ordered 2 nuc's that were never delivered and after many e-mails had to get his money back through PayPal.  That got me thinking so I ran a search and found a site where people who have been ripped off can spill there guts out.  Seems a person bought honey from WOA on line and never received it in the mail as promised.  Made many complaints and after three months of lies, finally tried to get his money back through PayPal, but they said the time period for claims had run out, so now he's out $48 bucks.  Should have read it here first. 

Next Saturday is honey day.  The package hive is working the comb super really hard and has filled the top box.  It has dropped down into the third box, so they should be good for the winter.  The strong swarm has just started building into the second box, but has 3/4 of the top box full of honey so that one I'll let go.  The other 2 swarm hive's are doing better since I installed the new queens, hope they build up enough for winter without feeding, but will if I have to.  We'll see when that time comes around.  Later

Friday, June 28, 2013

Brood patterns in lesser swarm hive

Inquisitiveness got the best of me today so I lifted the top box on the lesser hive to check to see if the new queen was laying.  And she was.  Now to see if the small number of bees can last until the new brood hatch.  All other hive are doing well.  I did notice a couple of beetles in the package hive the other day, but I think I'm just going to let the bees take care of them.  Maybe I'll put in a trap when I pull the honey next month. 

No more Cicada's, saw the last of them, scattered on the ground, today while I was walking the dogs.
Haven't seen one flying for 2 days, kind of sad.  The damage to the tips of the branches where they chew them through is amazing to see, all about 12 to 15 inches long, brown and dangling.  Some trees are completely covered, while others are sporadic.  They seen to like the young oaks the best.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Never disturb your hive before a storm

Today I mistakenly decided to nadir a different brood box to my package hive.  I generally work in shorts and tee shirt, that was a mistake.  A storm is in the wane and the bees were not easily put down with smoke.  The new flight bees were out circling and that was probably a good reason to delay my work, but I dove right in as usual.  I first lifted off the comb super.  They had started to build comb with honey below the queen separator so that had to be cleaned first.  That started to make them  disturbed, but not yet angry.  I then lifted the 2 brood chambers off (together) and set them aside.  At this point the bees decided that I was an intruder that needed to be dealt with so here they came.  Luckily at that point I had nothing in hand and outran all but 2, which stung me on the back of the calf.  On with the suit.  The bees had just started to build in the brood chamber I had put on a couple of weeks earlier so it was full of bees doing bee work.  I set it aside and placed the new one in its place.  Then put the hive back together and let it set for awhile.  Later I came back to check.  The bees were still in an angry mood and chased me out.  Again I returned, this time from the back.  I opened the door to the glass viewer and was assailed by bees, it seems that during all my work, one of the glass panes came undone.  Guess I'll not be viewing the progress of this brood box for a long time.

One good thing, The top brood/honey chamber is full of honey, as I had expected, so I will remove it on the 15th of next month, hopefully no storm eminent.

On another note, the constant din of the Cicada's is diminishing and you can make out their individual songs.  From the noise I thought for sure I would be swallowed by the Langoliers.  Later

Saturday, June 22, 2013

2nd queen released

Checked the hive this AM and found about 25 or so dead bees in front of the hive.  Yesterday I noticed what might have been robbing going on and looking into the hive I can see they have stored little honey, or, the honey they stored to date is being robbed.  If so, now they have a queen, maybe they are starting to defend the hive.  Or, maybe by spraying some of the bees surrounding the queen cage, I doomed them and the rest of the hive retaliated.  I did not find the queen amongst the dead bees.  Or, maybe they just got the ambition to clean out all the dead bees in the bottom of the hive.

The hive seems no different today than yesterday, so its hard to tell what's going on.  I don't go into the hives by removing frames, I just try to ascertain what's going on by observation of the flight bees, and the inspection window, which only shows the very outer edges of the combs.  I will be able to see honey and pollen buildup and some brood cells (I hope) in the near future.  If the queen took, the comb build-up should be seen also.

As I watched the package hive early this morning I saw that about 25% of the bees could not make it to the landing board they were so full, and crashed in the grass short of it.  They would rest awhile and then fly up and into the hive.  As I watched, they would come screaming down from above the trees and just before the hive they put on the brakes and hovered a second and then went inside.  Those to full and heavy to stop, ended in the grass.   Kind of fun to watch.  Later

Friday, June 21, 2013

Queen released

Its summer solstice and the queen in the lesser hive has been released and the tempo of the hive has increased.  The other hive seems to be trying to kill the queen so I sprayed them all with HBH to try and give them all the same smell.  Will check again in the morning.

Stopped in at the house with the bumble bees and found 2 still getting in.  They would land at the bottom of the wire screen and then keep bumping their head against the trap door, slowly opening it until they could crawl in.  Was amazing to watch.  Will try and get a video of it tomorrow.  Told the guy with the bees in his eave that I was not going to continue and (much to my chagrin)  he should just call an exterminator.  I might have continued but he was to cheap to understand that catching a swarm in five minutes and spending countless days trying to rid bees from a house was not the same price.  It just got to be to dangerous for me to keep climbing higher and higher trying to plug all the holes in his eave, speciously for nothing.  Later

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Queens arrived

This morning as I was removing a nest of bumble bees from a house I got the call that the package I have been long awaiting was at the post office ready to be picked up.  Finished with the bumble bees and headed for the PO.

Picked them up and they were in good shape, so after letting the bumble bees loose, I went home and installed them in both the swarm hives which have no queens.  One hive is large enough to carry over until the brood start to hatch, the other I'm not certain of so will have to keep a close watch.  Still a lot of good forage for the bees out there, so that's good.

Yesterday the back yard was alive with bees coming and going and when the new flyers came out the whole yard buzzed, or was that the Cicadas, its hard to tell.  I look around and I see the ends of branches all broken and hanging where the Cicadas have chewed them off to lay their eggs.  Natures own landscape pruners.  Later

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

No queens today

Mail came and no message my queens are here to be picked up, hopefully tomorrow.  Checked the trap today and found the splice had come open on the tubing into the trap.  The bees have found another entrance under the shingle siding further up the peek.  Will have to find a 30' ladder to close off all the entrances so they have to use the trap.  Will take some foam spray also, along with a better grade caulking.  Sucked up a couple hundred bees with the vac and let them go in front of the hive containing all the rest I have vac'd up.  No brood that I can see in 2 of the swarm hives, but the other  swarm hive has lots of new foragers coming out and I can see good laying patterns.  The honey filled comb is descending further down each day. 

I think I'll plug the bottom entrance to the package hive to force them to using the upper entrance in the comb super.  That will make their trip a lot shorter as they don't like going over stored honey to get up into the upper super anyway.  My plan is to remove it in July when we go to Texas to see my newly born grand child, just yesterday.  The upper brood box may get taken off too, if its full.  Later

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Nadir added

Going on a 4 day trip so I decided to add another brood box to the bottom of the package hive seeing as the queen is laying well.  Both the upper boxes are full and the comb super is getting there.  I would not want the bees to decide that they want to swarm while I'm away and its raining again so I can't open the hive to inspect for queen cells.  Will do that when I get back when the new queens arrive on Tuesday when I decide where to place the new queens.  Later.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New bees out

A new excitement has developed in the hive today.  Its 80 degrees and partly cloudy and right on schedule the brood is hatching and the nursery bees are celebrating their new freedom with the circle dance they perform in front of the hive.  To drink in the aroma of the hive so they can find their way back safely after the first sortie of their life.  What an exhilarating experience that must be.  I guess its time to neder another brood box under the other 2 so they have room to grow. 

The Cicada noise is deafening an very eerie.   Later

Monday, June 10, 2013

First brood hatch day

Today was suppose to be an exciting day as the first brood from the package are to hatch.  Unfortunately, its pouring outside again and will be for the next 2 days.  Guess I'll have to wait.

Put up the trap again this morning only did a better job of sealing off all the exits.  The caulking I was given to seal the holes under the shingles seemed to be a good food source for them as they ate right thru it and were out in full this morning.  It was raining and they didn't like me around so I had to work on top of the ladder in full gear, hate that.

Have 4 full hives now, one without a queen but it seems to be doing well, building good comb and all that.  Will place one of the queens I'm getting in there and will decide where to put the other when they arrive next week.  May get a queen from the trap too.  Later

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Third swarm from same house

Yesterday I got another call from Charles in Mariners Harbor and he said another swarm formed in the back of his garage.  Went to see and found them attached to a series of branches but low enough to grab.  Set up the ladder and shook most of the into one bag but those on the opposite side of the branch did not come down, so I got the other bag and tried again.  Got half of those, so tried to move the rest by hand but there were just to many branches in the way to get a good grip and the vac was out of commission so I set the trap above them in hopes they may climb in, which they started to do.  Then I went and delivered the swarm to Debra, our Staten Island Bee keepers coordinator, who had requested some if I had any extra, as I did.  As it turned out, I forgot my bee suit back at the catch site so I had to shake all the bee into the TBH bare.  One bee got stuck in my belt line of my pants and when I bent over I got stung, no big deal by now.   Did not stay to see if the bees took to the new hive.

This morning I checked on the bees at Debra's house and they have settled in nicely.  Picked up the sacks and went back to the other site to get my ladder and measured the height from ground for trapping the bee nest in the bar (got permission).  Will need to make a larger trap if its the colony that's put off all these swarms.

Checked for queen cells in the octagonal hive and was amazed at the beauty of the comb ( pictures attached) after just three weeks.  The top box must weigh over 35lb already, will have to neder  another box under as the second box is half full already.  I did add a comb super and they are working that as well.  Its a great year for nectar, may even get some honey to sell.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Summer is here

When the fireflies begin to emerge and do their mating dance is the first sign of summer for me.  The three days of extreme heat and humidity finally brought them out.  Sitting on the back porch watching them light the back yard with twinkling keeps me mesmerized for hours (Always with a wine in hand of course).  I think that the Cicada's have taken a backseat now viewing wise, but the noise level surely can't be beat by them.  The noise reminds me of the movie "The Langoliers", and sometimes I'm afraid to fall asleep. 

All bees are doing fine, except one hive is missing a queen, and replacements aren't due for 2 weeks.  It has two combined swarms and they are both huddled in separate corners and won't come out to play.  Tomorrow I'm going to mix them back in with the big swarm from Sat., that hive seems to be acting more like a colony and may have a good queen.

Got a call from "Mark" and he wants me back to collect the 200 or so bees left in the eave.  Want to stop back to the seedy bar and check them out again, maybe set up the trap there sometime.   Later

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Another swarm

Finally late yesterday I got a call from a man who said there were bees clinging to the underside of his eaves.  So off I went, so fast I forgot the camera again.  The man (Mark) said they had been there for a few days.  No longer a swarm, but a colony, I switched to plan B.  Most of the bees were still clinging to the house siding, but I noticed that there were a lot of forage bees coming in and they were going under the trim board in about 4 places.  I went back to the truck and got out the bee-vac and set up the ladders and began to vacuum up the bees.  As I worked, less and less kept coming out from beneath the trim, but after about an hour and a half I was tired and called it quits for the night.  By the time I wrapped things up there was only a handful of bees balled at the only entrance I hadn't sealed up.  Last night in the dark, I transferred the bees into the sick hive ( having treated it twice with Oxalic acid fumes) which I had moved outside.  Today I will go back and see whether to set up the trap or just vac up as many as I can get.  I think they will abandon their new home as it seems much to small, and won't have any bees returning from foraging.

On another note, yesterday I met with Mike, formerly from the Staten Island Advance, who is doing a photo essay of the bees from NYC.  He took pictures of the hives and bees and in the process I inspected the swarm hive by turning it upside down and inspecting from the bottom ( no chance to roll the queen) and he got some nice pictures of the bees on brand new comb without all that frame shit in the way.  The queen has been laying as there were capped brood cells, although they are very sporadic so one of my new queens will go there.  I guess the other will go to the new swarm, as they have none right now.  No queen cells in the hive inspected, but will look at the package hive to see if they have one to spare.

Got another call from the same gentleman I visited last week that another larger swarm had settled in his back yard.  This time I have the camera, and found them entwined in a rolled up chain link fence. It was a huge swarm, upwards of 20,000 bees but gentle as can be and I had them vac'd up in no time.  Where to put these is the problem, I guess they will go with last nights catch.  I also found the main nest in the back of a real seedy bar, don't know if I dare go in to ask permission to trap the hive.  Checked on the eave bees and only saw 20-30 or so.  Will vac tomorrow.  Later


Friday, May 24, 2013

Entrance feeder

Yesterday I installed the entrance feeder into the swarm hive, but I found that it constricted the entrance so much that the bees were having a hard time bringing in pollen and such.  So today I modified one of the brood boxes with a dovetailed slide which will accommodate the entrance feeder and will also serve as a top entrance for wintering the hives.  This will be a standard on all my boxes from now on.  This is an adaptation from the Sterwarton hive.

I also added a viewing window (slide operated) for checking on the bees activity without opening the hive.  You can see both the windows and the feeder/upper access slide.  Later

Only 50 or so bees left in the package.  Later

Thursday, May 23, 2013

One new package dead

As of this morning I am officially stating that my hive is dead.  There is no queen and only about 3-4 hundred bees hanging in a cluster.  My Oxalic acid finally came ( to late) but I gave them a dose anyway.  If I can, I will put a swarm in with them and monitor.  Still no word from NBL, so can't be sure why they died but am still clinging to Tracheal mites, but as fast as the colony died, 11 days, I can't be sure.  Will just have to wait and see.  Other hives still going strong.  Suppose to rain for the next three days so I gave them a last dose of syrup for comb building.  One bee was bound and determined to sting me but I got away both times as she chased me all the way to the house.  Neighbors must think I'm crazy, running and swatting across the yard.  Later

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Package almost gone

Checked on the status of the diseased hive this morning and found less than 1,000 or so left.  Still bees coming out to die on the ground.  I guess the activity that I saw around the entrance was from the neighbors, robbing the food that I left in the entrance feeder.  All other hives doing fine.  Probably weeks before I get results and definitely no time left for fumigation.  Viewing through the observation window I can see that there are no brood cells capped.  Guess the queen didn't make it.  Later

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Off to find a better home

While doing more spring yard work ( the wife's home on weekends) I failed to notice what was going on at the hives and when I checked around noon, I found that the small swarm had vanished.  I guess I made the mistake of not providing enough room for them in the Nuc.  Live and learn.  Although they had been pulling comb on the bars, only 2 bees are left in the hive diligently working, nothing the wiser, guess they didn't get the E-mail.

The bad hive is down to about 20% bee's remaining.  Surprising as it seems, there was some activity from the entrance.  Looking through the observation window, I can see that they have been building comb, about 5 starters in all.  The  larger swarm which I caught has comb down to the bottom board almost, the difference between package and feral I guess.
Because I don't have observation windows on the second package hive, I don't know what's going on inside of it.  They are very hungry though, as I have given them over a gallon of syrup since last Saturday.  I have new queens coming in June which are Hygienic Carneolans.  Have no idea at this time where they will go.

Still no Oxalic acid in the mail so the treatment hasn't started, better get here fast.  Definitely will treat all my hives as it causes no ill effects, so they say.  Later

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cicada's are here!!!

We have been waiting patiently for the ground to get warm enough for the 17 year Cicada hatch.  While mowing the lawn, I bumped the Rose-of-Sharon tree and the cicada's hit the air.  They crawl out of the ground, shed their skin and because they can't fly far, its kind of flap your wings like crazy and angle for the ground kind of flying, unless it is able to catch a thermal, it can actually make it up in a tree.  The higher they go up trees, the better chance of flying to a mate. 

I remember the last time (1996), my wife and daughter had gone shopping and about an hour before they got home I went out back and stood still in the middle of the yard.  The Cicada's began to crawl up my legs, HUH OH,  I had shorts on.  I ran for some duct tape and by the time my wife returned, I looked like one of these photo's of the girl covered by bees.  Sorry, no photo available.

The only bees I see coming out of the diseased hive are ones that are coming out to die.  To Bad, I wish I really knew what's going on.

Last year I had trouble inspecting my TBH because the weight of the honey kept breaking the comb off into the bottom of the hive.  So this year I have been making my section boxes shorter and have added a wire support to the frames, should do the trick.  Later

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dieing bees

Yesterday a saw bees in the bee house on the floor spinning in an erratic fashion and seem to not be able to fly.  This morning, all those were dead on the floor and there were many more, and more on the ground in front of the hive.  The other hive is strong and is hauling pollen and nectar in, in a somewhat robust fashion.

I called Joe at Better Bee and he didn't have a good answer, but as I was awaiting his return call, I started a search, and the closest I can get to the symptoms is Tracheal mites, aimlessness, spinning, can't fly, gathering hoards in front of the hive on the ground, so I sent a package to the National Bee Labs in Maryland to verify the problem.  I also ordered some Oxalic acid and will build a copper dispenser to gas the bees.  Its suppose to kill both the Varroa and Tracheal mites.  Hope they last long enough for the treatment.

The hive seem to have no purpose and have eaten little, they have built a small amount of comb, but seem to just hang from the top bars in a mass.  When I think back to releasing the queen, I remember that they hadn't even tried to get her out.  The candy plug was as good as new.  Today the feeder was only 1/4 empty, where the other hive had eaten at least a half gallon of food.

Checked on the hive this evening and I'm down to about 1/3 of the bees I started with.  Could only see 1 forager going out of the hive to gather.  Dead bees everywhere, I guess by the time the treatment gets here they will all be dead.   Will have to wait to see what the prognosis is.

I am amazed between the difference in attitude between package bees and feral swarms.  Once the swarms decided that they had a new home, they were off foraging and the entrances to both the new hives were buzzing with activity, while the sick hive had nothing going on and the other package was just going about its business with nothing spectacular happening, although, bringing in lots of pollen.  Will have to use the treatment on them too.  Later

2nd swarm

Loaded the truck and headed out at 6:30 this morning to catch the swarm before they depart as its suppose to be hot today.  Arrived on site and took a real picture this time.  Went back to the truck and gathered the gear.  The guy said they had been in the tree for a couple of days but that didn't dawn on me until they attacked.  They got me about 7-8 times about the head and neck before I could descend the ladder to safety.  That's the very first time I've been stung catching swarms.  Part of the problem was they were attached to 2 branches and I was having a hard time getting my catch sack under them.
Anyway, I put on my jacket and hood and got them out with no more trouble.  Would have been funny to watch, me swatting like crazy and trying to get off the 10' ladder without falling.

Got home and hastily built a Nuc for the small swarm I caught last night and gathered together odd parts for todays larger swarm. Then spent the rest of the day making new frames for my new hives.       Later                                       
                                                                   Real pics attached.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

First swarm caught of the year

This evening, just as my wife and I were about to dine out, I got a call from a young couple saying they had bees in their back yard and could I come over.  Much to my wife's chagrin, I said of course, as it was not to far away.  The swarm, (no picture attached because I forgot to save it) was a small one about 8' up a small tree.  For them to swarm so late in the day is unusual.  I drove home, got my gear and went right back.  I set up the ladder, took the unsaved picture, and proceeded to gather them in, all the while the couple were watching in amazement from their living room window.  He came out later and asked, " how could you do that without any protection".  I said they don't sting unless they are pinched, and I did pinch one and got a light sting on the palm.  "I still can't believe it" he said.   Just got another call through Debra, one of the SI bee keepers about a swarm, could I call the guy to arrange catching it.  I did, and am going to get it first thing in the morning.  I am totally not ready for this.  Later

Monday, May 13, 2013

Queens released

This morning, as I was feeding the bees, I lifted the top box from each hive to see if they had released the queens.  The queen from the nasty hive had been released but in the other, a piece of old comb had fallen down onto the queen cage and she had not been released yet, so I opened the cage and let her run in.  She had been with these bees in the cage since they left Georgia so I was not concerned about her being accepted. .  Kind of chilly today so the bees aren't flying much.  In the hive with no loose queen, the bees are just hanging in a ball.  Will check later to see if I can see the queen and see how they are doing.  They should get ramped up now they have a queen.  Both hives seem very docile, as I smoked very lightly and had no problems, probably from the cold weather.  Later

Solar wax collector

Yesterday I found several pieces of HDB (high density board) the neighbors had thrown away so I put them to use by creating a solar collector.  I bought  2 pieces of 10X20 in. glass ($21) and a cake pan ($4) for a total outlay of $25 bucks. 

I built the box slightly wider than the cake pan and about 5 inches longer.  At the upper end I glued a strip of wood for the lip of the pan to rest on about 1\2 in down from the top.  I then placed a stopper (so the pan stayed at the top) for the pan, just high enough to allow a piece of Tupperware (5" sq and 2 in. deep) to sit on.  I then drilled a series of 1/8" holes at the bottom end of the cake pan for the wax/honey to drain through into the collector under the pan end.  For the top, I put 2 grooves into a 3/4 X 1 in. board to fit the glass and cut and fit it just larger than the top, about 1/16+ bigger. I then fit a strip about 2" wide around this to finish the top (hinge-less)  just large enough to snuggly fit ( not to snug) over the box with about a 3/4 in lip.  I then sprayed it black on the inside.  Even though it was only 60 deg. out but sunny, I threw in some smashed comb and honey left over, which I had drained from the dead hives, comb which I had collected and put the lid on.  Later in the day, most of the wax had melted and drained into the collector, along with the honey that was still trapped in the smashed wax.  As the honey was heavier, it settled to the bottom and was easily separated.  The honey I got from this was almost white and utterly delicious, I have no idea where the bees got it as most of my honey is dark amber.

Great cheap do it yourself project that really works.  Later

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bee packages have arrived

Today I took the dogs on the 200+ mile trip to Better Bees in Greenwich, NY to pick up my bees and a few other things that I ordered.  Put them in the back of the truck and came back.  When I got home I saw I had a few straggles that road-out the trip clinging to the sides of the packages.  I was also amazed that there were no dead bees in the bottom of either box (the suppliers keep saying that it isn't unusual to find several hundred bees dead on the bottom of the package), so much the better.  I placed one package in the old nasty hive outside, put in a pollen patty and filled the top feeder.  Then I went over to the other box and began to open it and my thumb slipped down onto the screen and one stung me, just a little sore but that's all.  Went back to the house to wash my hands to remove any pheromone smell and got in my suit just in case and I feel penned in when I'm in the shed with a lot of bee's flying around.  I had given them a large dose of sugar water spray before I dumped them in the hive and not much happened, gave them a pollen patty and put the feeder in the entrance.  Checked them about 2 hrs. later and most of the sugar water is gone already, guess I'll be cooking up some more soon.

Its really good to see bees flying around again, just in time to take advantage of the Russian Olive bloom. 

Checked the bees again late afternoon and found several large dark bees on the ground in front of the hive and one with his wings tore off crawling around.  Looks like robbing from the feral hive already.  Shut down the entrance to give them more protection.  The other hive seems to be doing fine, maybe because its an entrance feeder and not a top feeder inside the hive.  Will have to monitor more closely.  Later


Monday, May 6, 2013

Bee call out

Got my first bee call out of the year yesterday, but it was a false alarm.  No bee's wasps or anything.  The woman was quite perplexed as was I as she swore she heard loud bussing when she entered her crawl space.  Maybe the first Cicada's of the year.  We found one not quite ready to pupate putting in flowers in the new garden.  5 days until I pick up the new bee's, can't wait.  Later

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Apple trees blooming

Yesterday I took a spring yard work breather and walked back to the apple trees to see how pollination was coming.  Looks like few apples again this year as unfortunately all I found was a single honey bee flitting amongst the blossoms.  Not much today either but the carpenter bees were working so maybe there's hope for some apples if the squirrels don't eat them all again.  A single bee came around when I was cleaning out my hives, but apparently was just looking as he did not come back.

The big maple tree is finally gone, 4 hard months cleaning it up by myself.  Made table slabs from the main trunk and got about a thousand bf. (winter project).  Had the stumps ground down but trying to dig out the roots was a bear.  Put in another flower garden where the maple tree was, with some annuals this time and put a Red-Bud in the center.

Acquired a dozen Heather plants from Michigan Bulb and put them in the ground in the bee garden (my wife doesn't know that all the flower gardens are for the bees).  They were 4" pots so it will take awhile for them to grow.  I also ordered 2 Oak-leaf Hydrangea's, suppose to be great bee plants too. 

Pick up my 2 packages of bees on the 11th, can't wait.  Started building another octagon hive, this one slightly bigger as I'm going to put wider bars on the two ends for more honey storage  I am also going to support the top bar combs with wire supports, have a wire bender coming soon.  The hives will be slightly larger but also shorter by 2" as I found the long combs have a tendency to break when I examine them.  Being shorter and having wire support should do the trick.  Happy summer.  Later


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring is official

Yesterday while walking the dogs, we came upon a small pond and the Spring Peepers were in signing their hearts out.  So much noise, the dogs even stopped to listen.  Nature is so glorious, we all need to get out from behind these electronic gadgets and smell the roses.  Later

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bees working my Crocus

While out in my yard, still cleaning up after super storm Sandy, I saw several bees working my Crocus, gathering pollen.  Can't seem to see which way they are coming or going to/from, so I don't know where the hive is.  Its a good sign though as I had thought the winter might have taken its toll on the feral hives too.  Maybe I'll be able to catch a few swarms this spring after all,
I thought that may have been asking to much.  My new bees arrive the last week of April, just in time for the flowering ash bloom.

The yard looks like hell from me cutting up the big tree.  I made ten or so slabs from the main trunk (table material) and have two huge piles of firewood.  The trunk had turned punky so I'm finishing it up into firewood.  Have slowed down considerably since I hurt my neck, but it hasn't stopped me.  Our next bee meet-up is next week, can't wait to here how the rest have survived the winter.  Later

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Varora inspection

Yesterday I pulled the bottom board from the nasty hive and with a magnifying glass, searched for the dreaded Varora mite.  I had been expecting to find some evidence as the reason for all my hive disappearing.
After a careful search I found only a few dead mites, not as many as I would have thought to kill off the hive. It was the first time that there was evidence of a mite problem as I had systematically inspected all summer and had found no evidence they existed in my colonies.  I did use screened bottom boards to help stem the problem anyway.  I guess this year I will switch to a resistant queen, probably a Minnesota hybrid, and do a much better job monitoring and following the instructions from the attached video.  Watch it, its very informative.  Later

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Third hive gone

Warm out the other day so I lifted the lid on the last hive and found that only a handful of dead bees were left.  Lots of honey and pollen inside.  This hive had been re-queened this spring too.  It was active right up to the last bad freeze   Have no idea where they all went, kind of sad.  I guess we'll have to see how the new batch does when they come this spring.  Spoke to another bee keeper from up in Ithaca and he says they have lost over 100 hives so far.  He says he's never seen it this bad.  Will have to monitor for mites more closely and treat just before winter.   Later

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

TBH inspection

Today I opened the TBH and found that the bees had deserted, only a handful left and dead.  Just like the nasty hive.  I am now wondering about the third hive, but its to cold right now to open it.  There was plenty of honey in the TBH so it must have been CCD or a high mite count.  My mite testing for the other hive came up negative though, so not sure just what it was.  Could not find bees anywhere, they must all have left during the last warm spell.

I ordered 2 new packages from Better Bees from upstate NY, hope I get better service than the last year from White Oak.

Got some nice comb honey, but because of the cold, and the thick honey, I'm having trouble filtering it out.  May take a couple of days.  Later

Sunday, February 3, 2013

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Two hives gone

Last week we had some brutally cold weather and I lost my TBH and the nasty hive.  Both had enough honey to last so not sure what happened to the TBH.

The nasty hive has been dwindling and when I checked this morning (60 deg.), there were only about a hundred bees left, all dead of course.  So I began processing the honey, probably about 15 lbs.  Haven't opened the TBH all the way yet so I don't have a clue as to how much is in there.  The last hive which I keep in the shed with an exit hole to the outside, is strong and active today in the warm weather.  Gave them some of the honey comb from the nasty hive, which I think they appreciated.  I think that hive will do fine for the rest of the winter.  Lets hope anyway.   Later

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year:  Well I guess the world didn't end on the 21st so I'm back to caring for the bees. Today its 55 degrees but foggy and damp.  Gave the bees some fondant (cooked sugar water with an added bonus of Honey-B-Healthy), which I have been doing all fall as none of the hives I feel have enough stores for the full winter.  Took the nasty hive into the basement as I thought they were much to small a colony to survive outside.  Another of my mistakes, as they somehow found an exit from the hive and filled the basement with bees.  Got most back and then took them back outside for the duration.  As of today I still have all three hives alive but we have a severe cold snap coming so we'll see how the do.

On another note, the Japanese Plum that I bought is filled out with buds, so I may see it blossom this year.  I didn't expect that, so that's a plus.  It blooms in late February so will be a big boon for the bees, just as they need the extra energy.  I lost the big Silver Maple to Super-storm Sandy and that's been taking up most of my time, at the rate my wood pile is expanding I think I'll have enough wood for the next 10-15 years or so.  Its 5' through at the trunk, still not sure how I can cut it up, maybe make slabs for table tops or something.  I lost my Pussy Willow last year also so that's another tree to replace, this time it going into the back yard where it's wetter.  All in all I lost 4 trees to the storm, plus 2 of my hand made canoes and my truck camper.  Meeting the adjuster here tomorrow, as I didn't like the check they sent.

Have to get some more Cedar and get busy and make more hives.  If I get a couple swarms I will put a complete package up for sale.