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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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The 2nd delivery of bees may be early.

The second delivery of bees may be coming in a day early. Stay tuned for any changes to the pick up day. We should know more by tomorrow, Thursday morning.

The next day after installing a package of bees

After you put in your package bees, you need to check on them the next day. The grass needs to be removed from the entrance and the feeder pail needs to be checked.
 Take off the Telescoping cover, lift up the feeder pail, the weight will tell you that it is full of syrup. If it has leaked out, the pail needs to be filled up and there must be a reason the syrup leaked out.
 The pail should be filled with syrup, not a 1/2 a pail, a full pail. The hive has to be reasonably level or the syrup can leak out. You can level the pail instead of the hive to make it easy.
 Also, the beekeeper needs to make sure the bees main cluster is directly under the feeder pail. If a beekeeper does not check on this, there is a possibility the bees can starve if the bees are not under the feeder. It is going to cool off late in the week. The main cluster needs to be under the feeder pail.
 Bees sometime migrate to the outside frames of the hive when the sun is shining on the side of the hive. The bees move to the warmth. That is why putting bees in near dusk works better. There is no sun warming the hive.
 If the bees are on the outside frames of the hive,  and it gets cold, the bees will not be able to break cluster to go to the feeder pail which is four frames away from them, and the bees may starve.
 When you lift the pail, look to make sure there is a large cluster of bees under the pail. If you only see a few bees, there may be a problem. Light a smoker, remove the feeder pail. Lift up the inner cover, a couple puffs of smoke. Look at where the main cluster of bees are. If they have moved to the outside frames and are not underneath the feeder pail, you need to move the cluster. Pull out frames on the opposite side of the hive from the bees. Then, gently slide the frames with the bees on them to the center of the hive, under the feeder pail. Put the frames back into the hive box where the bees were. No you can close up the hive and the bees will stay there.
  If the bees are under the feeder pail, they should be fine.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Nature's Nectar Store/ Queens

The Nature's Nectar LLC
 Oakdale store,  will be open on Thursday only, this week. 10 am - 6 pm
Nature's Nectar LLC does have a few queens available for purchase right now. Please call if interested.

Monday, April 6, 2020

First Delivery Of Bees Update

The First delivery bees have arrived.
Please follow the pickup schedule below. The best time to put bees in is around 6:30 pm. Don't forget to put grass in the entrance.

Pickup time will go by the first initial of your last name:  This year the alphabet will be spread out in TWO days.  This is due to Covid-19 as we will have fewer workers on site.

FIRST PICK UP Monday April 6th & SECOND PICK UP April 11th - Pick up Schedule:

L       7:30 – 8:30
M      8:30 – 9:30
N-O   9:30 – 10:30
P       10:30 – 11:30
CREW LUNCH 11:30-12:30
R      12:30 - 1:30
S       1:30 - 2:30
T-V   2:30 - 3:30
W-Z  3:30 – 4:30
Open Time (If the schedule is not possible) 4:30 – 7pm


FIRST PICK UP Tuesday April  7th & SECOND PICK UP April 12th - Pick up Schedule:

A       7:30 – 8:30
B        8:30 – 9:30
C        9:30 – 10:30
D-E    10:30 – 11:30
CREW LUNCH 11:30-12:30
F-G    12:30 - 1:30
H      1:30 - 2:30
I-J     2:30 - 3:30
K      3:30 – 4:30
Open Time (If the schedule is not possible) 4:30 – 7pm

The OAKDALE Store is CLOSED during bee pick up.  If you need equipment, please plan ahead and get those items picked up before the store is closed.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Bees will be arriving one day early. Monday - Tuesday pickup.

I updated this at 6:30 pm Saturday. The first delivery of bees will be here early. The first delivery of bees will be available for pickup starting Monday morning. Please follow the pickup schedule posted below.

Bee Pick up Schedule for 2020: ****READ THIS WHOLE POST!****

The FIRST pick up is SOLD OUT.  We have some extra bees on the second pick up, so if you need bees, call ASAP to 651-242-2233 to place your order.  If you mail in the order you will be too late.  We will discontinue taking bee orders on April 1st for the second delivery.


Arrival dates for the first and second pick up are APRIL 6th – First Delivery and around April 10th - Second Delivery.  Please note, these could be subject to change.  Check this blog every day because the date can still change.  

Check the blog before coming to pick up.  The bees are scheduled to arrive sometime on these days. The arrival time is not known so please watch the blog for an announcement that we are ready to distribute packages. No bees will be distributed prior to announcement on blog. Do not come here before it is announced that the bees are ready to pick up. You will be asked to leave.  You are not allowed to park on the road and wait.

ADHERE TO THE PICK-UP SCHEDULE.  Due to COVID-19 we will have fewer workers on site, so it is even more important to follow the pickup schedule.  Please do not call and request to come at another time frame.  I know this maybe inconvenient, but we all need to work together to keep each other safe and keep this as seamless as possible.  This schedule is to keep traffic at a minimum and in doing so, there will be less people on site. 

UPON PICK UP DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR VEHICLE.  Give us your name, and we will place your bees in the vehicle for you.  This is for everyone’s safety.  Prepare ahead of time, legibly write the name of the person whose order is being picked up with black sharpie on a piece of paper and put it on your window.  This way, you can keep your window rolled up.  You can also write what additional items you are purchasing.  Do not hand cash or check to the people loading bees and product into your vehicle.  We have a separate crew designated to handle the money that will not be handling the product.  They will come to you.
The following will be items available for purchase when you pick up your bees.  These are cash and check only.  We will not accept credit cards.  If you use cash, BRING THE EXACT AMOUNT OF CASH so currency doesn’t need to be returned to you.  This is an additional safety measure so please comply.  These prices include sales tax so you can prepare prior to pick up.
$7.00 - 1 Gallon Feeder Pail
$6.00 – Feeder pail insulation
$5.00 – Queen Cage Holder
$9.00 – 2 pack pollen patties
$30.00 – 10 pack pollen patties
$80.00 – 40lb pollen patties
$35.00 – 2.5 gal Pro-Sweet
$55.00 – 5 gal Pro-Sweet

Pickup time will go by the first initial of your last name:  This year the alphabet will be spread out in TWO days.  This is due to Covid-19 as we will have fewer workers on site.

FIRST PICK UP Monday April 6th & SECOND PICK UP April 11th - Pick up Schedule:

L       7:30 – 8:30
M      8:30 – 9:30
N-O   9:30 – 10:30
P       10:30 – 11:30
CREW LUNCH 11:30-12:30
R      12:30 - 1:30
S       1:30 - 2:30
T-V   2:30 - 3:30
W-Z  3:30 – 4:30
Open Time (If the schedule is not possible) 4:30 – 7pm


FIRST PICK UP Tuesday April  7th & SECOND PICK UP April 12th - Pick up Schedule:

A       7:30 – 8:30
B        8:30 – 9:30
C        9:30 – 10:30
D-E    10:30 – 11:30
CREW LUNCH 11:30-12:30
F-G    12:30 - 1:30
H      1:30 - 2:30
I-J     2:30 - 3:30
K      3:30 – 4:30
Open Time (If the schedule is not possible) 4:30 – 7pm

The OAKDALE Store is CLOSED during bee pick up.  If you need equipment, please plan ahead and get those items picked up before the store is closed.








Sunday, March 29, 2020

Nature's Nectar LLC - First Delivery of Bees, Updated Again


Make a sign for your window on bee pickup day. We can get it ready for you easier. The price of all the items will be coming very soon

 Nature's Nectar LLC called to tell me that their first delivery of bees will be coming in sometime in the first week of April. Dates are not solid as of this morning. More information will be published later today or tomorrow morning.
 The second delivery of bees may follow soon after the first delivery.
Because of the COVID-19 we are trying to minimize exposure to our customers and our workers. When you pickup:
  • Stay in your car
  • Make a paper up written with a dark marker with your name and what else you want to purchase. Be ready to hold this up so we can see it.
  • Have exact cash or check with you. We would rather not have to give change back.
  • Make sure your vehicle is empty and cleaned out so the bees go in the vehicle quickly

Friday, March 27, 2020

What I should be doing with my bees



 Right now the overwintered colonies are on their spring time build up. Not a huge amount of work to do today. But pretty soon our workload will be increasing.
In the short term winter covers can still be on. We will have a warm day it looks like on Monday. But then it cools off a bit. I look at the extended forecast and I think by April 10th the winter covers could be removed.
 We should now be starting weekly inspections. We will be looking at food stores. If a hive has three frames of honey in the same box the bees are in, that should be enough food for easily two weeks. Usually a lift of the box will tell us by the weight of the box, if the hive needs to be fed or not.
 Pollen patties should be checked weekly to see if more are needed. Beekeepers need to stay on top of the pollen patties. We don't want the patties to run out before placing another one on the hive.
 On Monday it is supposed to be warm out. A hive could be knocked down and we can do some spring cleaning. When breaking down a colony in the spring, do not put a box up on end. If there is a breeze, the wind can whistle through the box. The brood may get chilled and die. So keep the brood boxes parallel to the ground. I usually turn my telescoping cover upside down and put a brood box across the wooden edges of the cover while I am working on the hive.  
  The bottom board may be full of debris, when the hive is broke down, bring a box out with you, clean of the bottom board into the debris box. The dead bees have a lot of nitrogen in their carcasses. Dumping them in the bee yard will give the weeds more energy to grow and may attract critters. Dump the debris away from the beeyard.
  Total food assessment can be done at this time. Each box can be judged for weight. A frame or two of honey can be moved to the box where the bees are if needed. But, don't give the bees too many frames of honey. The queen should have five or six of relatively empty frames to lay on. There will be some minor nectar flows going on before the dandelions bloom, so the bees will bring in some nectar. There will not be enough nectar coming in to sustain a strong colony. So watch the food stores. Feed syrup if needed, do not over feed.
 If the overwintered colony is strong a reversal could be done at this time. If the colony is weak, it maybe too early to reverse. A reversal will give the bees an opportunity to expand their brood nest.
Reverse like this:
On a three deep colony, boxes are numbered.
Existing              Reversed
1    top                      3 bottom
2    middle                1 top
3    bottom                2 middle
Two deep reversal is simple:
1                               2
2                               1
Keep a pollen patty on the box where the bees are, you can put a 1/2 a pollen patty on the top box after the reversal.
The winter cover can go back on for the short term.
Colonies are building, doing reversals and keeping pollen on will increase hive populations. This will bring give us a strong colony when we can do a divide. Divides usually happen in May, or when we have eight frames of brood and bees. 
 Last remark, beekeepers cannot do a walk away split reliably in MN or WI until early June. Drone populations are not large enough for proper mating until around June 10th.
 Trying to make your own queen in the month of May is usually a waste of good brood.