This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Be a State Fair Bee Interpreter - Sign up today

Beekeeper Steve talking bees with a civilian at the fair
Be a State Fair Bee Interpreter. Sign up by Saturday the 18th to get a free ticket to get into the State Fair. I can't say enough about this. Everyone who has done this has enjoyed doing it.
 All you do is sit on a stool with an observation hive and answer questions from the general public. Any new beekeepers is qualified to do this. Don't sell yourself short, any new beekeeper has the knowledge and expertise to interact with the general public. Most new beekeepers have the education and almost a full season of beekeeping under their belt. So you are the expert. Sign up, get into the fair for free, have a great time supporting the beekeeping industry.

Find an open slot on the schedule. Click on the sign up and submit button at the bottom and fill out the form for the shift you want. Submit the form and you will see your name on the shift you want.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Pulling Honey off the hive

Here are a couple videos of how to pull honey off the hive.

Different items used for pulling honey:

Using a brush to remove supers:

Using a fume board to remove supers:

Friday, August 10, 2018

What is happening right now in the hive

Right now the nectar flow has grown very spotty. Some beekeepers are getting some nectar but,  I think most of us are done getting any more surplus honey.
Now we have to turn our attention to some pressing issues.
  • Mites, it is time to treat your bees NOW. It looks like the weather next week from Tuesday on should be acceptable weather to put on Formic Acid. Either Formic Pro or Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS). The longer we wait to put on mite treatments, the more mite issues can develop. When I say mite issues I mean, possible virus exposure, damaged bees and new larvae being weakened by the increased mite population. So what are you waiting for!
  • Feeding, if you inspect your colony and your top box is not full, the time to feed is now. If you are using Formic Acid to treat your hives, you cannot feed. But, once the formic is finished, feeding has to be put on the front burner.  If you did a reversal after mid June, and you put the top box on the bottom and when you did this the box was very heavy. That box was your winter honey. You need to put the heaviest brood box on top of the hive. Bees will not go down to get this honey and the bees will starve later on in the winter. By having the top box basically full of honey, insures that the bees will have enough food for winter. Feeding in late August and into early September is the right time to feed. Feeding is a nectar flow. A nectar flow spurs the queen to lay more eggs. The more brood in the colony means more mites in the colony.  Beekeepers want the hive to stop rearing brood by early October. By feeding late into September usually means that brood will be in the hive until late October or early November. If the feeding lasts into late October there may be brood in the colony into late November. More brood means more mites. Again, this is a problem. The late feeding leads to bees being heavily parisatized by mites and will likely not survive.
Now is the time to get a plan on mites and feeding. Delaying can lead to a negative outcome of winter hive survival.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Extractor Sale

We are taking pre orders for extractors
3 frame hand crank, same as in the video in the previous post.
3 frame hand crank
Regular price $425.95 Sale price $395.00
3 frame motorized
Regular price $749.95 Sale Price $695.00
9 - 18 hand crank
Regular  Price $799.95 Sale Price $699.95
9 - 18 motorized extractor
Regular price $1295.95 Sale Price $1095.00
Delivery should be by Aug 17th
All of the hand crank extractors can be updated to a motorized extractor by purchasing a motorized conversion kit at a later date.
We service all extactors that we sell. Any warranty work is done here.
If you buy extractors online, what would you do if you had to send it back for repair?
That is the advantage of buying local.

Monday, July 30, 2018

How to extract honey

Here is a video that we made last year on how to extract honey. This 3 frame extractor is the same extractor that we rent for $30.00 a day. We have four extractors available and we are taking reservations for them at this time. All of the equipment in this video is available at Nature's Nectar LLC. We can explain how to use the tools if you need more instruction than this video provides. We also sell extractors and will be having an extractor sale coming up the week of August 13th through the 18th. There will be significant savings. All our extractors are quality built. All warranties are serviced here. When you purchase extractors online, you may have to ship them back to whomever you bought them from for warranty work. Depending on the size of the extractor that can lead up to a lot of money. Plus you need to crate it up. Buying local in the long run will save you time and money.
Also, Nature's Nectar LLC will be closing early on Sat. August 4th at 1 pm. We will be open regular hours on Saturday August 11th. If you need anything you can always order it off our online store www.naturesnectaronline.com

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Putting On Formic This Week

I will be putting formic acid on my hives this week, no later than Wednesday. I was watching the weather this morning and the long term forecast calls for 90's coming back next weekend. I want to make sure I can get my mite treatment on before it gets hot again.
 There are several posts about mite treatments over the last week. Scroll down to see the older posts.

Friday, July 27, 2018

MAQS or Formic Pro and the nectar flow

Nature's Nectar LLC does carry both Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS) and Formic Pro. We can show you how to put them on your colony and answer all of your mite treatment questions.
 FYI did you know Nature's Nectar LLC rents three frame extractors by the day? If you need to rent an extractor, we are taking reservations now.

 The nectar flow has slowed down for me quite a bit. I am not sure if it is over in the Stillwater area or there may be some late summer nectar ahead.
 I did see Goldenrod starting to bloom. Goldenrod will be very widespread when it peaks out usually in late August. What looks so promising of acres and acres of yellow flowering Goldenrod, more times than not, yields very little of a nectar flow. The bees do work it for the pollen and the nectar if it is present. For me, about every ten years I get a decent crop of nectar off of Goldenrod. You know you are getting Goldenrod nectar if you stand near your hives and the odor of wet sweat socks permeates the beeyard. This odor while it is a little stinky, does go away as the Goldenrod nectar ripens into honey. Goldenrod honey is actually quite tasty.
 As beekeepers we are naturally greedy and we want to get as much honey as we can. I think beekeepers need to resist that notion and plan on mite treatment and to make sure the hive has sufficient winter store of honey.
 Treating with formic acid forces the beekeeper to remove the top brood box to put the formic acid strips on. This removal of the top deep will clue in the beekeeper if there is enough honey for winter. Beekeepers like to see the top box basically full of honey. After the mite treatment beekeepers need to get serious about if they need to feed. Feeding cannot be done will formic acid is on the hive. So after the mite treatment is done, get any feeding done right away. Don't wait to feed. August turns into October before you know it and the next thing you know there is not enough food in the hive for winter.
 I will be talking about how to pull your honey off the hive and extracting your honey crop in my next few posts and videos, stay tuned. I have made many posts about mites, so scroll down and look at some older posts if you missed them.