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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Monday, April 24, 2017

How to do a divide

A divide is when a strong overwintered colony is split into two hives. If strong overwintered colonies are not split, the hive will more than likely swarm. If the hive swarms, that colony will probably not yield an excess honey crop.
A divide can happen when a colony has eight frames of brood and bees. If you do not have that much brood yet, wait a week and check again. Make sure a queen is available when the divide is ready for a queen.
Steps to make a split:
  1. Divide eight frames of brood between two boxes on the hive. Brood is, frames containing eggs, larvae and capped brood. I like to mix up the brood types in the divide. This assures getting bees of all ages on the split frames.
  2. Put a queen excluder between the two boxes of brood. Wait four full days.
  3. After four full days, go into the hive and inspect the boxes where the brood frames have been placed. You are looking for eggs. Whichever box with the brood has eggs, then that is where your existing queen is. Leave the box with eggs called the Parent, and takeaway the other box. Put honey supers on the parent.
  4. Put the removed box with brood, called the divide, by itself in the bee yard. Put a feeder pail on the divide. There is better queen acceptance during a nectar flow. Approximately 24 hours later install the new queen using the slow release method, using a hard candy plug.
  5. Seven days later, check the divide for eggs. If it has eggs, the queen has been accepted. Now the divide is in a single box. It will remain this way for around a two weeks when another brood box is added. Add honey supers before the nectar flow starts, usually around mid June.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Queens

Marked Saskatraz Queen on a frame of QuickDraw foundation. Notice the eggs in the open cells at the top of the pic.

I will be getting queens starting next week and will be getting weekly shipment of queens for the next month.
Please call or email to reserve a queen(s). I will be getting 300 queens to start. There will be a 3 - queen limit the first week of queens.
Carniolan - unmarked $31.00, marked $33.00
Italian - unmarked $31.00, marked $33.00
Saskatraz - unmarked $33.00, marked $35.00
Queens will only be available to my current customers.
If you are not in my customer list or no longer buy your bees from me, try Olivarez Honey Bees or Big Island Queens for queens.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pollen


Pollen clings to the hair of a honeybee. The pollen is dry. The bees will regurgitate nectar from their honey stomach, then rake their legs over their body. The nectar will get mixed into the dry pollen. As the bees groom themselves, they rake the now moist pollen into a pellet and it is attached to their pollen baskets on their rear legs.
There is pollen coming in right now. Hives are limited on collecting pollen by cool temperatures and rain. If it is cool in the early part of the day, sometimes pollen collection is limited to just a few hours a day. Rainy days keeps the bees in the hive.
Strong colonies use quite a bit of pollen this time of year. Keeping pollen patties on through the month of May assures proper nutrition for the spring brood build up.
 By not providing the needed nutrition can hurt the overall quality of the bees. When bees don't get the proper pollen during their development, the resulting bee, can have a shorter life spans and their glands may not develop properly.
 I always keep a pollen patty on my hives. As the calendar moves into May, a half a pollen patty sits on the top bars of my hives. I check them weekly and replace as needed. The weather is always hard to predict but I want healthy bees as we move towards the June nectar flow.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Package Bee Cages

We do not want the plastic bee cages or the wooden queen cages back. Please recycle them.
The plastic cages are a recycler number 5. Not all recycler's take number 5.

Friday, April 14, 2017

3 lb Package Bee Pickup Schedule

  • Read this whole Post.  

    Please stick to the pickup schedule below.

The feeder cans are low on feed. You need install the bees right away, or spray the cage with syrup several times a day. Shake the package and listen for the slosh of syrup in the can. If you don't hear liquid sloshing around, then the feeder can is empty.
 Sunday, April 16th and Monday, 17th pick up day:
Sunday and Monday will be the main pick up days and we will follow the schedule below: 

 Please Stick To The Pick Up Schedule Below.

 If everyone came at once there would be several hours wait to get your bees. With the schedule, everyone is spread out through the day, no one is here more than five minutes.
If you live over 100 miles away come when you can.

  Pickup time will go by the first initial of your last name:


N - R  7:30 - 8:30am
S        8:30 - 9:30am
T - Z   9:30 - 10:30am
A - B  10:30 - 11:30am
Crew Lunch 11:30am - 12:30pm
C - D  12:30 - 1:30pm
E - G  1:30 - 2:30pm
H - J   2:30 - 3:30pm
K - M  3:30 - 4:30pm
Open Time (if the schedule time is not possible)  4:30 - 7 pm


The store is closed during bee pick up. We will sell:
Pollen Patties 2 packs ............. $9.00
Pollen Patties 10 patties ......... $37.00
Pollen Patties 40 lbs .............. $80.00
Feeder Pails ............................ $7.00

Sales tax is included in the pricing.
We will not take credit or debit cards because we are working outside and will have no way to process the card. 

If you have never been here before,  here are two videos of what the road looks like one mile from our house.
If you are coming from the south:


If you are coming from the north:

Thursday, April 13, 2017

3 lb Package bee update 4/13 - 7am

I think the bees will be delivered sometime this weekend. I do not know when at this time. It all depends on when the truck leaves California and the weather along the route. The bee supplier is working in between rain storms loading up the package bee cages.
I know this is Easter weekend and many people may be out of town. The pickup days will also go into early next week.
 But if you are around, watch for updates.
I will be publishing a pickup schedule, giving you a time to pickup, going by the first initial of your last name. For this to work, I need you to pickup with the schedule. There are 800 beekeepers on this delivery and pickups needs to be spread out through the day.
There should be solid pickup dates and a pickup schedule published by Friday.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hive Check one full week after installation

A week after installation the hive needs to be checked for queen acceptance. We are looking to see eggs in the newly drawn comb. If you don't see eggs after 7 days, check again after 10 full days from the time of putting the bees in.
Failure to check for queen acceptance may put your colony in peril. If for some reason your queen was killed or was injured when installing the bees, you may be queenless and the hive will not survive without a queen.
Double Click on the pic for a bigger view. You can see the white eggs in the back of the cells. The eggs are coming out straight at you. The yellow stuff in the cells is pollen. The glistening liquid at the top of the frame is nectar (sugar syrup).
This is the video of the first inspection looking for eggs.