Labor day is past.The yellow buses are rolling again, kicking up the dust from the farm roads. Bone Lake Meadows apiary is winding up the honey harvest for the 2013 season. I have posted a few photos of an harvest outing from last week. After a slow start to the season, I am very happy and proud of these Russian hives fortitude and tenacity in the face of all that mother nature had to offer and throw at the bees since the start of the year. Now, winter is coming….
October Hives October 2, 2011
The past cool crisp October weekend was spent inspecting the hives in our other yards. I always get a little fall reflective this time of the year when checking the bees because you are always wondering: did I do my best or did I miss something earlier in the season that will come back to haunt the hive this Halloween. This is really important this year because we are not treating our bees with chems or doing high fructose crappy syrup additional feeding. We are asking our bees to be self efficient and strong enough to sustain themselves through the upcoming winter. This year it required us to leave more honey on the hive for the bees than what would be considered normal by other bee people. What we are finding is that the bees look to be in great shape with lots of stored away honey. The photo show one of our Russian hives filled to the brim with fall nectar. It was very encouraging to see that the different varieties of bees in our yards all seem to be in decent shape as far as population, temperament, hive health, sassy young queens and plenty of honey weight in the individual colony. Now if those bear sightings we have been hearing about from other beekeepers stay to our north, I like our chances this winter.
this is how you get rid of american foulbrood November 7, 2010
Alright, we did not have AFB but we have some very old equipment that needed be taken care of. It’s a good idea to get new frames and boxes about every 5 (ish) years.. and some of our stuff was pretty holey (and not in the amen kind of way(yes, that was kind of a pun).
Although we don’t use chemicals in our hives, there are many out there where bees forage to. They might pick them up and carry them back to the hive. This junk they might collect is then stored in the wax comb. Same goes for diseases. I guess the comb is doing exactly what it’s made for: storage.
That being said, best thing to do to avoid any of that is get new frames when the wood or wax is looking shabby. Great way to get rid of it is to have one heck of a bonfire – especially in this chilly weather.
snazzy October 24, 2010
We had a fancypants hive left over that was never used this summer. I had big plans to paint doors, windows and trees on it to make it look like a mini house. Yeah, well, those plans were smashed when I realized how detailed that would be. Either way, it’s better than plain white boxes..