Disclaimer:

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.

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Monday, December 9, 2019

Beekeeping Workshop Dunn County Beekeepers

 The Dunn County Beekeepers do a good job helping new hobbyists. Their workshops provide good information.
www.dunncountybeekeepers.org

Monday, December 2, 2019

One way to cool down creamed honey

Creamed honey after it is made, needs to set up. It usually takes 10 days to two weeks to set up. Keeping the creamed honey in cool temperatures. around 57 degrees works best.
 I have the creamed honey in my honey house, under a big window.

I take an insulated panel and lean it over the creamed honey and against the window
The insulated panel covers most of the creamed honey.
The physics is this. The room is around 64 degrees. The cold of the glass will create convection currents of air flow. The cold air is heavier than warm air. The cold air will fall over the creamed honey and spill out on the sides. This should keep the creamed honey cooler than the room and aid in a rapid set. I can monitor the set by squeezing a couple soft plastic containers I bottled. The firmness of the plastic containers will tell me when the creamed honey is properly set.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Honey and Beeswax For Sale

one pound and two pound blocks of beeswax

My wife and I are still in the honey and beeswax business.
Bees and Honey LLC. We don't sell bees, just honey and beeswax.
The beeswax is rendered and filtered, ready for candlemaking.
Beeswax is $8.00 per pound.
Five Gallon (60 lbs) pails of honey $178.00. Liquid and strained, ready to bottle.
Beeswax and Honey available at our home north of Stillwater. 
The best deals on quality Candle molds and wick can be purchased at Nature's Nectar LLC in Oakdale, MN

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Making Creamed Honey

This is how I make creamed honey. I usually make it right before Thanksgiving so it has time to set. I give the creamed honey away to my friends and relatives for Christmas gifts.
 Making creamed honey is easy. Purchase creamed honey from the grocery store. This is the seed. The seed puts the fine crystals of the creamed honey into the liquid honey. You need to add one pound of creamed honey per ten pounds of honey. I usually double the creamed honey, using two tubs of creamed honey per ten pounds of honey. Some creamed honey is in 12 ounce tubs, I use two of them per ten pounds of honey.
 The chemistry is, with time as the mixture starts to set, it replicates the fine crystals of the store bought creamed honey. The fine crystals have a nice smooth texture in your mouth.
 The first step is to take my best honey. The trick is to use honey that is free of granulation. Warm the honey to 95 degrees. Use a thermometer, don't guess.
 A crock pot set on low, usually works well for heating the honey.  Pour the warm honey into a bottling pail. If the honey is too warm, let it cool in the bottling pail. You may need to stir it slightly to move the warm honey around.
When the honey is at 95 degrees stir in the creamed honey. I usually move the mixture outside after the creamed honey is blended so the mixture can cool off rapidly. If the creamed honey stays in the heat for too long, the crystals will liquefy and the creamed honey will not set properly. You will have to repeat the whole process if the mixture does not set up. 
 Follow the directions in the video. I fast forwarded the bottling in the video, because the creamed honey had started to set up. It was very thick and hard to pour. I waited three days before I bottled it. Bottle the creamed honey after 1-2  days after stirring in the seed crystals. Always pour one plastic container so you can squeeze the container and tell when the mixture has set. The creamed honey when properly set will be very firm and feel hard when squeezing the plastic container, Put the honey somewhere where the temperature is around 57 degrees. An unheated cold basement floor works well. Honey in general, granulates best at 57 degrees. We use that fact to help set up the creamed honey.


Saturday, November 23, 2019

What's happening in the hive right now

Most beekeepers have finished wintering their bees. The bees are wrapped for the winter.
 Today, Saturday and tomorrow Sunday the temperatures will be right for treating for oxalic acid.
 Even if you wrapped your hive and have not treated with oxalic acid, this mite treatment is worth doing.
 I have talked to several beekeepers who have not treated with oxalic acid. They said they treated with Formic Acid in August. A couple of the beekeepers said they went out to their hives in early November and all their bees were gone.
This is a symptom of high Varroa mite infestation.
 Sometimes for some unexplained reason, Formic Acid may not work. This is why when any mite treatment is used, a pre-treatment and post treatment mite check is needed. This is to know first, what is the current mite load and second, did the mite treatment reduce the mite population to low levels.?
 Sometimes you need to treat with formic twice.
 A beekeeper I know last year treated ten hives with formic. He did a mite check post treatment. Three of the ten hives still had a high mite count after treatment. So he treated the three hives again, the second treatment worked in all the three hives.
 Also, sometimes a beekeeper treats their hives properly in August, the treatment works and the mite count is low. If the weather stays warm and the bees can fly in September and October, hives can pickup higher mite counts from other untreated colonies that are located near your treated hives. The mite counts in your treated hive can rise to higher levels from this transferring of mites.
 The late season mite treatment of oxalic acid, helps get your hive as mite free as possible to with stand the rigors of winter.
 The bees right now are are clustered in the box under the top deep. Bottom box if you are two deep, middle box if you are three deep, A hive with supers for brood boxes should have four supers. The two top supers should be full of honey and the bees should be clustered under these two.
 Other than that, the bees are clustered in the hive eating honey and keeping warm. They may fly out on cleansing flights if it can get to 50 degrees or so.
 The bees over the winter, will eat about 10-12 lbs of honey per month. That is about a deep frame and a quarter worth of honey. A deep frame full of honey has about nine lbs per frame.
 Hives should be covered with a winter wrap soon, if they have not been covered yet.
 Winter is coming and beekeepers are taking a break from the chores of the past season. A well deserved rest.

Monday, November 11, 2019

The Pollinators - the movie

This is an opportunity to watch the movie on the silver screen, The Pollinators.
A great movie that shows the scope of beekeeping and pollination. Most civilians have no idea of the commercial beekeeping industry in North America. This movie shows the scale of what some commercial beekeepers do to keep bees.
The movie will be shown at Marcus Theaters in Oakdale.
You need to reserve tickets: follow the link below,
https://tickets.demand.film/event/9233?ref=dempYGMX
Monday, Dec 16th, 6:30 pm
The Pollinators - movie trailer

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Last chance for Oxalic Acid?

The high on Saturday is supposed to be 40 degrees. If you haven't treated your hive with Oxalic Acid, this may be your last opportunity to do it.
 Purchasing the right Oxalic Acid is imperative. Liquid Oxalic Acid is the wrong product to use. The proper Oxalic Acid to use is a white powder.
 Mixing the proper dose of Oxalic Acid powder with sugar water gives you the solution to treat your colonies.
 Nature's Nectar LLC does have the proper Oxalic Acid for the last mite treatment of the year.
 The road construction is pretty much over with on Hadley Ave. The access to Nature's Nectar LLC is now directly open off of Hwy. 36.