Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Urban Beekeeping Webinar

Brushy Mountain Bee Farm is offering a webinar on urban beekeeping, for all you city folk. It's free but you need to register.

Online Seminars:

Urban Beekeeping: Dos and Don'ts - Ins and Outs

If you live in an urban area and are keeping bees or have thought about keeping bees than you won't want to miss this. We will have a conversation with 3 urban beekeepers with very different backgrounds and approaches. Cindy Bee, a beekeeper in the Atlanta, GA area, Toni Burnham in Washington, DC, and Cameo Wood in San Francisco. Registration is free but space is limited.

Title: Urban Beekeeping: Dos and Don'ts - Ins and Outs
Date: Sunday, January 24. 2010
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EDT
Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/153470658

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements:
PC-based attendees Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendees Required: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter bee update

As 2009 draws to a close, I have two full hives and a nuc that I am attempting to overwinter. One of my hives died out in November (I think mites got them, but I'm not too sure. A family of mice quickly moved into the hive and I don't have the heart to evict them since it's so cold.)

We just got about 15 inches of snow. I made sure there was adequate ventilation in each hive, but there's not a whole lot more I can do. The over-winter fate of each hive is pretty much determined in the fall. They either have adequate food and are mite free enough to make it through the winter, or they are not. Hopefully, all three of my hives will make it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Slideshow of White House bees

Here is a link to an interesting slideshow in the New York Times featuring the White House beekeeper. Pretty cool.

It's totally awesome that anarchist bees are living on the grounds of the most recognizable symbol of our republic. Yay anarchy!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Harvest time!

I harvested two medium supers of honey from my carnies. They made three supers of honey this year, but I am leaving them with one super for winter. The two supers I took yielded about 4 gallons of honey, which weighs about 50 pounds.

I used a honey extractor which worked pretty well. Some people prefer to use the "crush and strain" method, which boggles me. To me, that is akin to destroying the greenhouse to get out the plants. The most valuable asset a beekeeper has is drawn comb, so crushing the comb to get honey seems a little strange to me. By extracting, I can use the same frames with already drawn comb to give my bees a jump on storing nectar next year.

The worst part was getting the honey from the bees, mostly because it was a hot July day and it was no fun to wear a bee suit. I used a combination of a fume board and an air compressor to blow the bees off the frames. Both of these methods worked well.

I drained all the honey into a clean bucket, and I will filter and bottle it later. Yay!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Necar flow drawing to a close

The main nectar flow in my area is just about over for the year. I had a pretty good year, as I have at least 3 medium supers full of honey and I captured a swarm from one of my hives which is doing great. The second swarm that I captured appears to have absconded.

My Carniolans have done especially well this year. I have two full supers of honey from that hive and added a third super of foundation which they are drawing out. That hive is on a scale and I take daily weight measurements. One day they gained 17 pounds! That is quite a lot of nectar. They have had lots of other days in which they gained more than 10 pounds. During the month of May, they gained about 100 pounds (that 100 pounds is adjusted to account for the weight of stuff that I added like the super bodies, frames, etc., so it represents only the weight of what the bees have collected from flowers). They did not swarm and have worked hard all spring.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another swarm!

My Italians swarmed again. In fact, they threw off two swarms at the exact same time, and I was fortunate enough to witness the entire thing. In fact, I was able to capture one of the swarms, but the other was much too high up in a tree.

Below are some pics of me capturing one of the swarms. I am fresh out of spare hives to put any more bees in, although I do have an order from BetterBee for two more hive bodies and plastic frames that shipped the same day I got this swarm.

Hopefully this swarm will not get too restless in a cardboard nuc box, which is their home for now.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Swarm is queenright!

I inspected the swarm that I captured earlier this week, and I located the queen. She is not marked, which surprised me because I thought she would be this queen. She is laying lots of eggs already (some can be seen in the photo of the queen below), and I am sure this is going to be a great hive.

The swarm is not drawing out the plastic frames at all. However, these particular plastic frames are not coated with beeswax which makes a big difference in how well the bees will draw comb on them. The reason there is drawn comb in this photo is because I put some frames in with my swarm that were already drawn. Today, I added three wooden frames with beeswax foundation. I'll be curious to see how quickly those get drawn out.