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, January 22, 2018

The heavy snow

If you experienced a big snow dump at your place like I did. About 9 inches at 6 pm with more coming.
 If the hives get buried with snow, it is usually not a problem. The snow will add some insulation to the hives. It doesn't look like big cold after this storm as would be normal after a January snow storm. Warm weather will be following the snow. With the black covers and warm sunny days expected, the snow will melt quickly from around the hives.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Two More Bee Classes

This class is a year in beekeeping.
Taught by Mike Mackiewicz. Mike is an experienced beekeeper. He has kept bees for many years. His class covers a wide variety of subjects that every beekeeper can use.
More info: A year in the life of bees. 
 A year in the life of bees click this link for more info.
Class schedule for the entire 2018 season:                                              
  • February 25:  Introduction to Organic Bee-Keeping
  • March 25:  Building Hives Boxes and  Frames/Equipment Overview
  • April 22:  Setting up Hives and Installing  Bees/ Splitting Second-Year Hives
  • May 20:  Hive Day/Planning Flower Power for Pollinators
  • June 24:  Hive Day/ Assessing Honey in the Hives
  • July 22:  Hive Day/Mite Controls
  • Aug 26:  Extracting Honey
  • Sept.23:  Making Mead, Autumn mite assessment
  • Oct. 28:  Beeswax, Winterizing the Hives, WEI Swarm Party Celebrating Honey
The next class is:
Beekeeping Basics
Tamarack Nature Center
Sunday, January 28, 2018; 1:00-4:00 p.m.
$25 per person
For adults and older teens (16 and older)
Pre-registration is required: www.tamaracknaturecenter.org
This is a beekeeping class for the curious! Come find out why there’s so much buzz about bees everywhere and determine if beekeeping might be in your future. This is not a comprehensive class for new beekeepers, but it will definitely get you headed in the right direction. We’ll discuss basic bee biology and ecology, beekeeping tools and equipment, the costs associated with beekeeping, and bee resources available in the Twin Cities. Plus, honey tasting will be part of our sweet afternoon snack!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Honeybee Netflix documentary

Netflix has a good documentary series called Rotton.
The first episode is about honeybees. They talk about struggles of a beekeeper, adulterated honey and how it happened and the theft of several thousand beehives over four years.

More Bee Classes

The Art of Beekeeping (In Northern Climates)

January 27, 8:00 am - 6:00 pm $40.00
North Branch Area High School, 38175 Grand Avenue
North Branch, MN 55056 United States
+ Google Map

Is Beekeeping for You?

February 7, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Harding High School, 1540 E. Sixth Street
St. Paul, MN 55106
+ Google Map

Monday, January 8, 2018

January Thaw

 This video I made a few years ago. The pics were from Jerry Linsers hive. He demonstrates one way to look at a hive on a cold morning. On a cold Jan 29th day. The bees were still peeking out the top hole of the top box.

It will be warm for the next couple of days. This is good timing after our long cold spell. With the warmer weather the bees can move their cluster easily and hopefully re-position slightly on a fresh frame of honey. This will prep them for the next cold blast later this week.
 There should be no brood in a colony right now.
 Bees will be going on cleansing flights over the next few days. It is a good time to see if your hive(s) are alive. There will be bees dying in the snow. This is normal.
 If you don't see bees on cleansing flights, it doesn't  mean that the hive is dead. If a colony was very heavy with honey especially a three deep hive. The bees could still be down deep in the box and can't break cluster to get out. You can rap on the side of the hive and listen for a buzz. If you get physical with the hive, a beesuit may be in order. An interloper could fly out and give you some payback for the disturbance.
 Not seeing cleansing flights today is not a huge problem at the moment. As time goes on, the cluster will shift into the top box and cleansing flights will be more frequent with the warmer February weather.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

2018 Package Bee Prices

Here is our 2018 package bee pricing.
Only thing different than last year is we will be offering Saskatraz Queens with our 2 lb and 3 lb packages. There is a $2.00 Royalty fee on all Saskatraz packages. This Royalty fee is paid to the developer of the Saskatraz line of queens.
 Also, the large quantity pricing has gone down.
2018 Package Bees Pricing

Queen types. Click on the queen type and scroll down for description.
Queen types from OHB

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Local Bee Classes

University of MN Year 1 Beekeeping in Northern Climates
Instructors Dr Marla Spivak and Mr Gary Reuter 
Feb 24th. Click link for info
University of MN Beekeeping in Northern Climates

The Art of Beekeeping in Northern Climates at Century College
Course #1TEC-0082 $149.0  
Feb 8–Mar 5 session JoAnn Sabin Instructor
Th 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
https://www.century.edu/sites/default/files/CECT-schedule.pdf page 32

An Introduction to Beekeeping
-->Instructors:  Jerome Rodewald, beekeeper for over 40 years and Dr. Brad Mogen, Biology Professor at UW-River Falls and beekeeper for over 10 years. -->
When:  Saturday Feb 3, 2018  Registration 9-9:30 AM  Class End 4:30 PM
Where:  Hammond WI. Town Hall. 
Take Cty Rd T North, go Right (East) on Cty E to 1816 Cty Rd E
Bring:  Sack Lunch – Water and Coffee will be provided.
Cost:  $75 per person, $25 for each additional family member.  Students $25
Reservations:  jrodewald63@gmail.com
Questions:  Jerome 715-307-1774

Beginning Beekeeping
 McColl Pond Environmental Learning Center in Savage, MN
Saturday Feb 10th - 8:30 - 5:30
Instuctor: Joe Coffey  Master Beekeeper/ Entomologist