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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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Change in Labor day hours

We will be closed labor day weekend. Fri - Monday
We will be open Thursday Sept 1st from 1 pm until 5:30 pm


I am sold out of ProSweet until after labor day.

Supers being pilfered

I am hearing that many beekeeper colonies are light on honey. The bees in many of these colonies have been going up into the supers and removing the honey and bringing it down into the brood nest. Left with this behavior the bees will clean out the supers in short order and bring all of the honey down into the brood boxes. So some beekeepers are pulling their honey off before they have none left.
Some beekeepers I have talked to that have been feeding say that the bees have been emptying one gallon feeder pails in a little more than two days.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I have a few colonies that are light on honey, some very light. The bees look healthy and all have strong populations. One colony has gone up into the supers and pulled all the honey down into the brood area because they were so light. Now is the time that I have to feed my light colonies.
I have been feeding ProSweet bee feed instead of sugar. Sugar has been going up in price. I see it in the $0.54 - $0.60 a lb range. That is around $30 for 50 lbs. ProSweet is selling for $32.00 a pail and I get a $7.50 food grade pail included in that price.
I have to mix heavy syrup by hand till it all liquefies. Then the bees have to take it down, dry it out, turn it to honey. With ProSweet, the bees take it down straight, no mixing. It goes right into the cells, no drying and that's it. 60 lbs of weight is added to a colony from one pail. ProSweet won't granulate and is a great fall feed when a beekeeper has to add food to a light colony.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Scale hive update

My scale hive weighed 343 lbs today. Down a little from before. The nectar flow appears to have slowed down considerably.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Coverall bee suit sale

I have ten new coverall type bee suits. They are the helmet style. Helmets required and are not included.
Various sizes. $30.00 each

The State Fair - Why we do it?

Honey entries at the fair

This is the time of year when the honey is coming in and that the question of what to do with my honey?
Entering the State Fair is a great way to showcase the work you have done to learn the skills necessary to be a beekeeper. While we take this role lightly, when it comes down to it, there is a fair amount of time, money and an education tied up in beekeeping.
So I think we owe it to ourselves and the beekeeping industry to promote the craft by entering the fair.
Educating the general public about bees helps us garner public support for bee research, helps stop anti - beekeeping ordinances and helps sell honey.
The competition is not about winning or losing, it is all about promoting the bee industry.
There are many areas to enter, liquid honey, photographs, bears, and baked goods are the easiest to do. There are many other entries available. Take the time and enter some honey, your family and friends will look for it at the bee booth.
Here is the link for the Ag - Hort premium book. Read and follow the directions for each entry. There is a deadline for entries.

feeding colonies

I have a couple colonies that have finally caught up to having a good population. The trouble with them is that they have not put up enough honey to winter them. I don't want to wait until Sept to start feeding. Feeding stimulates brood rearing. Feeding early when the supers are off will make the hive shut down brood production earlier. This will leave the bees more honey to winter on. Late feeding with the added brood rearing may last into late Nov. The bees will consume much more future winter stores than if the bees were fed early.
As the nectar flows slow, bees will take syrup down very quickly. Late August usually a strong colony will empty a syrup pail in three days.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Extracting Workshop

We will be having our annual extracting workshop on Aug 14th. This is a hands on workshop open to 50 people. I will demonstrate how to extract and everyone will have the chance to try it on their own. Also Master beekeeper Bob Sitko will demonstrate methods of pulling honey and wintering of beehives.
What: Extracting workshop
When: Aug 14th 1 pm
Where: my honey house
RSPV is a must, the first fifty people. Call me to reserve a spot.
Please no small children, there will be bees present.
First timers only.

The flow

I have talked to several commercial and many hobby beekeepers about their nectar flow. Reports have been spotty flows. Some very good, some very bad. Poor nectar flows have been responsible for wide spread swarming that has been occurring across the state. One commercial beekeeper said he has never seen his hives with so little honey. Normally he is extracting by now but there is nothing in his supers. He also went on to say that he sat in a bee presentation a few years ago given by a college professor whose expertise was plants. The professor said whenever we have prolonged cold spring weather the plants that come up that summer will yield very poor nectar flows.
My Basswood trees had three flowers on them this summer. That was the extent of my basswood flow this year. While most of my hives have been doing quite well I seem to be the exception. Hopefully there may be a fall flow that can help get some honey in the supers for everyone.

Scale update

I checked the scale on Sun evening. 348 lbs.