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 ago 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 it was 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

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Slovinian AZ hives

Staten Island Honey for sale

AZ hive buildings for sale.  Custom sheds, built to order or per-designed.   Call  464-201 2461

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Final cleanup

Just finished cleaning out all the hives.  2 had very small clusters in the center which looked like they froze during the cold snap we had.  All the others were empty of bees, less a few dead on the bottom board.  None had any full brood cells.  All hives were full of honey which is a bear to strain as it is so viscus this time of year.  My 1st swarm hive of the spring had 2 and 1/2 boxes of honey, but all hives had enough for winter survival.  I found 1 beetle larvae and only a couple of beetles dead inside the hives, the most, surprisingly were in the strongest hive.

Just ordered 2 packages, I said I wouldn't but since I caught no swarms last year, I thought it would be prudent.

Crocus were in full bloom this week, they seemed lonely without the bees.  Later

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Total loss

Just got back from our annual trip to Key West and it looks as though all my bees just up and left during the warm spell in Dec.  No dead bees in 2 of the hives and no activity in the last 3, so I'll be setting traps at friends home's this spring.  There is a slim hope that they just remained inside the hive the last warm day and didn't come out.  Will just have to wait till spring to see.  Later