Archive for March, 2011

Mar 27 2011

Splitting hives

It’s a good thing I go to bee classes. I read a lot about splitting hives and thought I had it all planned out, nice and neat, for this year. I would have totally blown it. I was just going to set up the new hive next to the old hive, move the queen and […]

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Mar 27 2011

Swarm preparation

At 2nd year beekeeping class we learned about prepping for swarming. Swarming is entirely natural to the bees as they do this to propagate themselves. We just don’t like them swarming because it means 1/2 or more of our bees leave and we can end up with a weak hive that will die over winter […]

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Mar 27 2011

Requeening & Queen tips

In bee class we talked about requeening. These days, queens only last about a year. They used to lay for a good 2-3 years well, but our old beekeepers have been trying everything for the last few years and the queens just aren’t laying well¬† after a year and the colony supersedes them. They think […]

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Mar 26 2011

girls out again

It got sunny for a few hours today and the girls were out flying like crazy again. They’re really bringing in the pollen (from somewhere).¬† Most of it is bright yellow. I do have purple, white and yellow crocuses popping up all over but their pollen is bright orange. I have nothing else blooming and […]

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Mar 23 2011

warm day, bees flying, good food

It got into the 50’s today and was very sunny. The girls were out at the hive and flying like crazy. It’s still not warm enough to do a full inspection, but I decided to do a little cleaning and a short peek. I suited up around 2pm and went to the bee deck. I […]

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Mar 19 2011

Interesting Propolis facts

Propolis is the dark brown gooey glue that bees make out of a mixture of sap, protein, nectar and enzymes. This is the gunk that they use to seal up every crack, glue the boxes together to keep the wind out, glue the frames to the runners and gunk up just about everywhere else. When […]

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Mar 19 2011

Collecting pollen

Some people collect pollen either to sell to health food stores (it’s very expensive) or to save for feeding the bees the next spring so they don’t have to buy pollen patties. There is a gizmo that is basically a second bottom to the hive. It has a screen of about 1/4″, and a drawer […]

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Mar 19 2011

Spring cleaning and Reversing hives

You can do your first long inspection on a day when it’s sunny and temp is in the 60’s. At this time, you’ll want to do your thorough spring cleaning and Reversing. Reversing: This is the process of getting the bees back into the best place for brood and honey production for spring and summer. […]

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Mar 19 2011

Spring temperatures, starvation

The most important element in spring temperatures is the low temps, not the high temps. When we get into the mid and high 30’s at night, the queens will be happy and start to really produce brood. After 3 days, the bees are larvae and will need lots of food so the nurse bees will […]

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Mar 19 2011

Honey Banks

2nd year beekeeping class said that everyone should keep a honey bank. This is basically a savings bank of honey frames for times of food dearth. You should have two frames of honey for each hive box that you’ll have in the spring. So during the year, especially early, as the bees make honey, as […]

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