Sunday, August 22, 2010
I had pulled what little honey stores I could take from my only hive the evening before and was able to take 4 partial frames of honey to the bee event that our local Beekeepers asssociation had at a local park. Other club members had an extractor and were demonstrating how honey is taken from the comb. I was able to extract the frames I had brought ... and secured about 3/4 gallon on honey. I stayed for a while chatting with visitors and helping to extract addtional honey from other members' frames. The event was a success with honey samples and raffles, native plant sales, an observation hive and information about this amazing insects. It was a good day.
Over the summer I lost the wild hive of bees that I had captured over the winter. Wax moths, and placement too close to a A/C unit were the probable causes.
I now have only one active hive.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Its a great resource for news and updates on the happenings in Florida. Dr. Jamie Ellis from the UF Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory announced a series of videos: A Video Field Guide to Beekeeping. They have created 4 training videos with a 5th on its way. The four are:
- Varroa Mites
- Small Hive Beetles
- Traceal Mites
View the current and past issues of the Melitto Files at:
Saturday, May 1, 2010
I only have one hive at the farm, since two others died out from CCD early in the year.
The remaining hive was overgrown with grasses and a large Brazilian Pepper tree and quite shaded. I spent an hour or so carefully cutting the branches so as to not disturb the bees. I also trimmed the grasses around the base of the hive. Hopefully the additional direct morning sunlight will get the bees active earlier and more productive.
A volunteer, Mike came over to observe and lend a hand after I had offered for him to have a look. The 2 top regular supers had drawm comb and a little honey, but not full frames or any capped. The Ross Round super below was also not with much activity since the last visit. Foundation still had yet to have comb drawn. The brood chamber was active and my inspection showed eggs, larvae, and capped brood. I found a few hive beetles, and some ants had nested in the rotting portion of a corner of the brood box ... Several frames contained queen cells which I removed. In the near future I plan to replace the brood box with a new one and exchange the solid bottom board with a screened bottom board.
Adam said the field of clover had just been cut, so the bees had a good amount of flowers with nectar for the past several weeks.
Today we went from spring to summer ... temperatures up near 90 with a return of the humidity so familar during our summer season.
I returned to the volleyball tournament with a large bag of veggies ( zuchinni, yellow squash, sunburst squash, onions, 2 types of lettuce, turnips, carrots, and mustard greens ) and a single bee sting to my left ring finger.
A good day ... happy to see that this hive made it through a particularly difficult winter and will hopefully put on a good amount of honey of the next several months.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Yesterday, Saturday Feb 20, 2010, I stopped at the office to pick up the last of 3 packages, a hive body on backorder. Most of the afternoon, I worked on assembling 1 hive body, 2 supers and several super frames, glueing and nailing each to ensure their strength. I then got a first coat of primer paint on the hive body, supers, bottom board, inner cover and telescoping outer cover. I decided to drive up to the farm … they were having a Movie night, Food, Inc. … and I wanted to check on the 3 hives. I got there about an hour before the movie and with a enough daylight to see the bees coming in for the evening. To my surprise, 2 of the 3 hives had absolutely NO activity. I pulled the tops and found both of the hives “dead” … both with lots of rotted comb, wax moths, ants, cockroaches … ugh!
I didn’t have time (or my equipment with me) to inspect the other 3rd hive, but bees were coming and going and I could hear a strong buzz when I put my head up side the hive body. I’m not sure what happened … cold weather and not enough stores of honey? … colony collapse disorder? … a queen that died off or wasn’t replaced in time? I grabbed a stick and attempt to scrape off as much crap as I could from the hives and placed the hives unassembled as they would fit and the blocks there were on into my car to bring home.
Today, I spent most of the day working on cleaning up the hive body and supers that were up at the farm ... scraping the wax moth silk and larvae from the frames and boxes. It was nasty work. I also worked on painting the 1st coat of exterior white on the new hive. This will be the new home for the Carambola bees.
Stacey came over this evening and helped. We inspected the wild bees in the waxed cardboard nuc and they we gentle, but active in the hive with new comb and more bees ... a good sign. We assemble more deep brood frames and added foundation to some of the super frames. I'll continue getting the new hive ready and we hope to move the bees into their new home soon.