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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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Cleansing flights

Today the warm temperatures will spur the bees to make cleansing flights. The bees will fly out and defecate and fly back into the hive. Many of the bees will flyout and drop in the snow and die. This activity is normal.
 Bees start winter with 50,000 bees and by late February are down to around 20,000 bees. So there is attrition over the winter.
This warm weather makes it easier for the bees to move around in the hive and reposition the cluster. Hopefully they will be ready for the cold blast coming late this afternoon.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Package Bees 2014

 Nature's Nectar LLC will be getting two deliveries of bees in April of 2014.
The price of package bees will rise quite a bit in the 2014 season. Beekeepers can expect the cost of package bees to rise around $15.00 per package.
 The reason for this increase is this:
  • Bulk honey prices in 55 gallon drums have increased from $1.85 per pound to $2.30 lb. There is speculation that honey prices may hit $3.00 lb by spring. I have noticed higher honey prices in grocery stores.                   Many bee producers will be running more colonies instead of selling large quantities of bees. An example: A commercial beekeeper running 1000 hives with a 100 lb average will get almost $250,000 for that crop. More if the price rises and if they have a higher yield. To get a higher yield the simple answer is to have more bees.
  • The price of bulk bees has gone up by 50% from last year. When package bee suppliers shake bees for packages they weaken their colonies. These weakened colonies will produce less honey as they move to other states for honey production.
  • Almond pollination is around $150.00 per hive. Example: A beekeeper with 1000 colonies can expect $150,000 for his pollination contract.
I should have the firm price and be mailing out order forms by mid January.
There have already been many calls for package bees and I expect the demand for the package bees to be very strong.
 To make sure you get the bees and the delivery date you want, order early. Check overwintering colonies in early February to determine their alive or dead status.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Wendy and I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our friends and their families.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Deep Freeze

I hope everyone covered their bees. The cold weather is testing the genetics of the European Honey Bee.
 The European Honey Bee is found on every continent except Antarctica. They are as mid spread as the human race and have proved time and again how adaptable they really are.
 The current cold weather should not be a problem with the bees. The few things that beekeepers do for their bees such as covering their hives, locating them in a windbreak of trees or hay bales, having a young queen that has not gone through a winter yet, treating for varroa in August, and having enough food.
 Having provided these things for the hive will greatly increase the odds of survival of the colony. Take away one or more of the wintering to do's and the odds of survival will be more challenging.
 Honey bees are amazing creatures and their will to survive never ceases to surprise a beekeeper.What a thrill it is when we check our hives in February and find the bees alive and well.
Peeking in February

Sunday, December 1, 2013

New Winter Hours

Our new winter hours are:
Monday - Friday call for appointment after 4:30 pm
Saturday - 9 am - 2 pm