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, February 26, 2019

Where is spring

23 days until spring.
Here is a map of where spring is today.
Where is spring

Monday, February 25, 2019

We are in the process of moving to Oakdale

Tom and Wendy Setting up the new digs
We are in the process of setting up Tom and Jessie's new shop in Oakdale. We should have it full of product by Thursday open time.

Current hours and location
Map to Nature's Nectar LLC Oakdale (Suite C) 
Located just off the I - 694 and MN Hwy 36 Interchange

Package bee sales are starting to heat up. This cold spell will be very challenging for the overwintering colonies of bees.
 The bees can handle the cold, but with brood going now in the hive, there will be starvation and some dead bees before the cold is over. It is important to check your bees for alive or dead after this below zero crap is over with.
 We are moving into March and feeding and pollen can possibly be started soon. Obviously if your think your hive is almost out of food, I would bring your feeder pail to the bait store and purchase a Styrofoam minnow bucket that the feeder pail fits inside. Feed your bees syrup with the minnow bucket over the feeder pail next week, if you think they are really light.
 It doesn't look like moderating temperatures until around March 7th or so. I would hold off on the pollen until then.
 Spring is coming and should start to beat back old man winter soon.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Nature's Nectar LLC has been sold

Wendy and I have sold Nature's Nectar LLC. We are sad to be leaving, but are ready for new adventures. You beekeepers are wonderful people and we are proud to have worked with you.

 What is changing:
 Nature's Nectar LLC will be moving to:
6922 - 55th St N  Suite C
Oakdale, MN 55128  
Current Open hours: Thurs and Friday 10 - 6,  Saturday 9 - 5
Located near the Hwy 36 and 694 interchange

New Owners:
Tom and Jessica Minser.

We have received your bee orders and they are safe and sound. We still have package bees available and are still taking orders. We are working together with Tom and Jessica to provide your bees.

Bee Delivery:
The two bee deliveries will go off as planned. Wendy and I will be taking part in both bee days. The pick up location will change. It is near our present location. More information will be coming when we have a pick up date.

Over the course of the season Jim will be involved with the new owners to help them in anyway he can.

Jim will continue this bee blog and hopes to improve it and continue to support all beekeepers. Education is the key to success.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Univ of MN Bee Class

There are still openings for this bee class. Here is the link.
 The Univ of MN Keeping Bees in Northern Climates Year 1
February 23rd. 
This is a great class for novice beekeepers.
You get a booklet, they give you doughnuts and lunch.
Great class, you will get a solid foundation of beekeeping knowledge.
Sign up right away as this class will fill up.

Monday, February 11, 2019

What is happening on the bee front.

This Goldfinch says spring is coming. The feathers are starting to change to bright yellow.

Spring is coming, we can start feeding our bees syrup and pollen patties in about three weeks to a month,
February is almost half over. We are getting hammered with some snow, but the below zero temperatures seem to have gone away, at least for the near term.
 Not much to do on the bee front at the moment. When I look forward, to early next week, there is some sub zero in the forecast for a day or two. Long term extended outlooks look more seasonal as we approach March.
 We are now getting into the danger period of over wintered colonies. The queen will begin laying soon. Once brood rearing has begun in the hive, the cluster loses some of its mobility. The bees will not leave the brood and cannot just move to more honey if their stores begin to get depleted around the brood. The bees can move to honey and bring it back to the brood area. This is not a problem when the daily highs are in the 20's. If the weather turns cold, near zero, with cold days, the bees cannot move to more honey very easily. Starvation can occur if the cold event is three consecutive days or more, even though honey is in the hive. One day of very cold temperatures is usually not a problem. As beekeepers, we need to get the bees over the hump and to the balmier month of March.
 If the temperatures stays seasonal there is usually not much worry of starvation. If it gets cold, starvation can happen. There are some emergency food options that can be used, winter patties, fondant, sugar can all be used for this emergency food. Winter patties purchased from Nature's Nectar LLC are now just the sugar premix. The beekeeper needs to put the sugar premix on a sheet of wax paper and flatten out the premix to make the patty.

Spring will be here soon and we can put this winter behind us.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

A beekeeper checked their hive today

This hive of Saskatraz bees is right where bees should be at this time of year. The bees have moved up from the lower box into the top box. The Saskatraz queen may start laying in the next seven to fourteen days. The hive looks in great shape. Large cluster of Saskatraz bees. The beekeeper has a Bee Cozy winter cover around the hive and a candyboard on top with candy for extra winter feed. They did two mite treatments last year. Formic Acid in August and Oxalic Acid in late October. Mite counts were very low after treatments.
  The hive was heavy with honey going into winter.
  The results are, healthy Saskatraz bees, as shown in this picture.
Photo by N. Gores

Beekeeping Classes

This is a link to some current beekeeping classes available around the metro area.

The Art of Beekeeping in Northern Climates
Century College - White Bear Lake, MN 
5 sessions, Thursdays starting at 6pm
This class is starting this week. There are spots available. 

If you have been struggling with your bees over the last year or two. Maybe you are doing something wrong. One small management task done incorrectly can lead to poor results with colony survival. A good foundation of beekeeping knowledge can help you bee successful. This is a great beekeeping class. 
 The five sessions can give the beekeeping student time to absorb all of the information presented. The instructor is well versed in beekeeping and has taught many beekeeping classes around the metro area for several years.