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, October 20, 2018

10 Frame Velcro Cover

Here is a video of a ten frame winter velcro cover. Also, how I cut in my top entrance.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Treating for mites with Oxalic Acid

Soon it will be time to treat with Oxalic Acid. I recommend doing this treatment.
 This treatment is done when no brood in the hive. With no brood in the hive, all the mites are on the exterior of the bees. These phoretic mites are riding on the adult bees. The mites are very vulnerable to Oxalic Acid at this time. The mites are not hiding in the capped brood any longer. So this external treatment is perfect for the external mites.
 Oxalic Acid is Wood Bleach. Beekeepers use the powdered kind of Wood Bleach. Wood Bleach (Oxalic Acid) can be applied with the dribble method or with vaporizer method.
 The best time to use Oxalic Acid is when there is no brood in the colony, which usually is around the third week of October. Italian honey bees can be tough to treat with Oxalic Acid, because they can run brood into November. But I would still treat any way.
 Treating with Oxalic Acid depends on the temperature at the time of treatment.
 With the dribble method, the temperature needs to be at 40 degrees at the time of application. That is four zero, 40 degrees. Not 45 degrees, or other temps in the forties. FORTY DEGREES. The temperature can rise later after the treatment without any problems. At the time of treatment it should be 40 degrees.

 The reason for me being persnickety on the temperature is this, at 40 degrees the bees will be in a tight cluster. The bees will be in a tight mass and can easily be treated with a syringe filled with the Oxalic Acid solution. As the temperature rises into the upper forties, the cluster becomes looser and the bees will start moving around the hive, making the dribble method less effective.
 The vaporizer on the other hand is much more forgiving. Because the vapor is everywhere in the hive, a treatment temperature range between 40 and 48 degrees works fine. Even if the cluster of bees loosens up and the bees are moving around, they will still get vaped. Don't treat if it is too warm, if it is in the fifties for temperature, that is too warm.
Here are a couple videos I made about treating with Oxalic Acid.
Dribble Method

Vaporizer Method:

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Winter Cover Video's

 I made this video 8 years ago and it is still current on wintering a hive in the upper Midwest using a cardboard cover. It is still too early to cover your hive. Beekeepers will be doing Oxalic Acid treatments around the third week of October. The winter covers could go on anytime after that, if the weather is cool. If the temperatures warm up in late October, we may be waiting a little longer to cover the hives. The weather person tonight said 60's in about a week. But, we can never depend on a long range forecast and should not take that outlook as gospel.
 Right now, the bees should be checked for food stores. Feed if necessary. As it gets colder, the bees will not take syrup very well. A warm late October would help get the feed into the hives.
 Entrance reducers or mouse guards should be on the hives right now.

This is a video on how to use a Bee Cozy Winter cover

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Topping Off The Hives With Feed

2-1/2 Gallon ProSweet
Beekeepers are finishing up feeding their hives. Many beekeepers need a small amount to finish feeding and want to feed ProSweet but don't want to buy a five gallon pail. Nature's Nectar LLC did get in a delivery of 2-1/2 gallon jugs. $26.00 per jug.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

New Style of Winter covers

Here are some pictures of a new style winter cover that we are currently carrying.
They are constructed of a vinyl material, that is sewn on the edges and folds of the cover. They wrap around two deep boxes and secure with a strip of velcro. The covers are a snug fit.
 There is 1/2" pink Styrofoam as an insulator in the cover.
 The covers are E-Z on and E-Z off. They store flat when not being used.
The covers are available in 10 frame, 8 frame, and coming soon, nuc size for a five over five cover.
 The covers are heavy duty and should last many years.
 Nature's Nectar LLC is the only bee supply store in Minnesota carrying these covers.
 We have the 10 frame and 8 frame in stock right now.
These are snug fit covers

Velcro seam easily seals the cover

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Cooler Weather

The weather has cooled off to more seasonable temperatures.
  • The good news is robbing will be less because bees won't be able to fly for long periods during the day. 
  • Entrance reducers or mouse guards should be installed. With the cooler weather, mice may start moving into the hives. Entrance reducers can be with the wide opening.
  • We are still a long way off before winter covers are installed. Usually winter covers are put on anytime after Nov. 1st
  • Feeding is still going on. Topping off the hive for sufficient food stores for winter. 
  • One frame about in the center of the top box, should be only partially full of honey. It helps the bees move up into the top box, if they can move up on empty comb. If all the frames are full, the bees don't like to move onto the frozen capped honey. If a frame had the bottom third of the frame, empty of honey, will help the bees move up in January.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Different honey on frame

A beekeeper sent me this photo. They were concerned that something was wrong with the frame of honey. Looking at the frame, you can see different colors on the comb. Is there something wrong with this frame? Honey tainted?
 This frame has two distinct different honey's in the frame. Looking at the frame it is easy to see where one honey stopped and another started. There is a nice white comb at the top of the frame, but in the lower part of the frame the cappings have turned to a darker color.
 For an example the light colored wax could have been clover honey. Clover is white honey, very light in color and the beeswax tends to be light as well. The darker wax was a wildflower honey. This wildflower honey is a darker color. In this case the wax was a little darker when it is compared to the whiter wax.