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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Friday, January 20, 2017

Another bee class River Falls WI

There is a Beginning Beekeeping in River Falls, Wisconsin. Class being offered all day on Jan 28 through the River Falls Community Education program.
Find it at: https://rfsd.cr3.rschooltoday.com/public/costoption/class_id/1667/public/1/sp/
Presented by longtime beekeeper Jerome Rodewald and Dr. Brad Mogen.
Cost is $75 plus materials.  There are 20 seats available as of today. 

Longer hours on Saturday

We will be open 9-3 on Saturday.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dead Hive-What to do

With the warm weather, beekeepers are out looking at their colonies. So you find a dead colony, what do you do?
 If the colony died of mites or a virus from the mites, the bees are dead and so are the mites. Take the hive apart down to the bottom board. Have a cardboard box with you. Brush any dead bees and debris into the box with a bee brush. Lightly brush off any bees off the frames. Don't dump the bees in the beeyard. The dead bees contain nitrogen and are very good fertilizer. The dead bees will spur grass to grow in the beeyard and you will be mowing the grass more.
This colony has died with brood in the colony. Photo by C. Mladek
If there are dead bees in the cells do not try to remove them. If there is dead brood in the frames, do not try to remove them. Close up the hive, cork all holes and close off all entrances. Make them bee tight.
 The hive will be safe to use for bees again. Re-use all the frames and honey.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Beekeeping Class at Century College

Introduction to Beekeeping 2017
 This class series will prepare you for beginning your beekeeping hobby in early spring. All basics of beekeeping will be covered.
  • Hives and Equipment
  • Honey bee society and biology
  • Hive products and marketing
  • Diseases and pests
  • Seasonal management
  • Local ordinances
  • Local suppliers
Taught by Certified Master Beekeeper Bob Sitko

Thursdays, Feb 9th - March 30th 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm.
Eight classes, East Campus Room 2313
Course #44698 - $139.00
Call Century College 651-779-3341 to register
Bob Sitko's email: dsrhsitko@msn.com
phone # 651-436-7915

Monday, January 16, 2017

Olivarez Honey Bees

Olivarez Honey Bees is our bee supplier. They do a great job at their bees.
 We are proud to sell their quality bees and queens..

What is happening now in the hive

Things are happening in the hive and signs of spring are in the works.
Our days are getting longer. Sunset now is at 5pm. Great Horned Owls are nesting. I heard black capped Chickadees doing their fee-bee sound. This starts usually in late January. Listen for it. Especially with the upcoming warm weather.
Chickadee Fee-Bee call
 Things are changing in the hive right now. The upcoming January thaw will give colonies the opportunity to reorganize in the hive. This is the time of year when bees transition from their lower box moving into the upper box. The warmer weather makes this easier for the bees to accomplish. Some colonies have already moved up if their winter stores are lacking. If a colony is very heavy with honey, the bees may not move up for several weeks yet. But for most of us, the move will be happening from now into early February.
 There should not be any brood in the colony right now. Normally the queen starts laying in early to mid February. The upcoming warm weather should not spur brood production at the moment. If this warm weather stays around for a while, the queen may start laying early. This can be a problem if this happens, Starvation can occur if near zero weather hits for several nights in a row in February. But for now, enjoy the warm weather, the bees will be out on cleansing flights during this time. If you don't have a top entrance (1 inch hole) in your top box, go out and drill one. The bees need a top entrance now.  Check out your bees to make sure they are alive.
The warm weather is a perfect time to add winter sugar patties. This emergency food can possibly prevent starvation during any cold spell. You would hate to lose the bees now.
 Spring is coming, get that equipment painted up. The bee season is starting soon.
Painting my new five frame nuc boxes
I am getting my five frame nuc boxes ready for packages arriving in April. I start the packages in five frame nuc boxes and move the bees into 10 frame equipment in late April.

Monday, January 9, 2017

package bees 2017 update

We have emailed out information about package bees to everyone on our newsletter list this morning. If you did not get it, the email may be in your junk folder. You can also get it off our website.
 If you want, you can call the order to us.
The sales tax I have on the form, is not accurate, under the 2 lb credit card.
Do not email me your credit card number, call the number to me instead. The order form can be mailed to us, we have a secure Post Office box. If the form is emailed to us, leave off the credit card number. You can mail us a check or call us with the credit card number.
 If the order is emailed, I always respond back to the email. If there is no response from me, means I did not get the email. Technology can fail so we want to make sure that the order was received.