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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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Last feeding?

Shielded Immersion Heater
Heater has to be fully submerged in the syrup
This pail of corn syrup was granulated, You can see the granulation in the bottom of pail. One hour of heating, and it was clear.
It is getting late, very late. When it is getting chilly out the bees don't take the syrup very well. They don't like cold syrup.
When I have to feed late in the season, it is important to give them warm syrup.
The easiest way to heat syrup is an immersion heater.
I use a 120 volt heater. It is made to drop it in the syrup. It is not to be used with honey, as it is not food safe.
The syrup warms quickly, caution is required not to leave it unattended when in a plastic pail.
The warm syrup is put on the hive and is taken down very fast by the bees.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Early Oct, What is left?

It is the first week of Oct. By now mite treatments should be getting finished up.
If you haven't fed 2 gallons of fumigilin do so now. The later it gets, the less likely the bees will take down syrup.
Make sure entrance reducers are in. The cooler weather will make the mice look for a warm place.
Other than that it is a waiting game.
I usually put winter covers on around Thanksgiving. To early and the hive is to warm. They might then keep raising brood and eat their winter stores.
Keep an eye on the weather, if we are going to get a big snowstorm, put them on.
Last year it didn't get cold until mid Jan. That is when I covered mine, and they all made it.
Temps in the 30's are a cakewalk for bees. It is the teens and lower that make covering a must.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Bear Story is becoming a Saga

Claw marks and teeth marks are a bears calling card.
a bite of beeswax.
Last night I was hit by the bear again.
This time it was my shop. The bear got the door opened and was surrounded by a roomful of beekeeping equipment.
Woodenware, bee suits, feeders, extractor, all of no interest to the bear.
He did head over to the box of beeswax blocks and handled them with reckless abandon.
I saw the door open at 5:30 am. A mangled beeswax block, now a welcome mat at the doorway entrance.
Luckily the beeswax was all that was damaged.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Bears are not photogenic.

The camera is turned, not in the direction it was in before.

On the right side of this picture it looks like the face of the bear. The reader has to be the judge.

I was hoping for a picture of the bear with the trail camera.
Unfortunately the bear doesn't like the paparazzi chasing him.
The camera popped off 3 pictures at 4:02 am. One is of some branches the other is what looks like a bear, but is quite fuzzy. The third was unreadable.
When I went to change out the SD card I found the camera ripped off the tree and laying on the ground.
The buckle is broken, I hope the camera is still ok.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Nightmare at the Honey House, BEAR!!!!!

I had a visitor last night.
A Black Bear (Ursus americanus).
It was trying to break into my honey house. Lucky for me it came up short.
I think my Golden Retriever (Canis lupus familiaris) put the run on him.
My wife heard the dog barking.
A pail of wax cappings was tipped over and a few honey bees (Apis mellifera) were robbing off the cappings, the bear did consume some of the cappings.
My bee yard has a electric fence ( joltus hurtus) around it, and was untouched.