How To Make Cheaper, Stronger, Easier Beehive

This deep super cost me $5.40 to $9.40 to build (depending on the grade of lumber)! Here’s how I did it: If you’ve read my blog at all, you probably know just how cheap I really am. When I started to rebuild my apiary, I started off repairing old rotted boxes. When I ran out…

Progress 5.5 to 35gallons

This is just a note to myself: Looking back in my blogs, I found that in 2012 (the first year we ever harvested) we collected 5 1/2 gallons. This year in 2018 we harvested 35 gallons. “There are no secretes to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” –…

Making Memories

I can’t remember the last note worthy day I had at work. Each day blurs into the next. My job pays the bills but lacks any sort of fulfillment. This is not a complaint – work is work. My personal life seems to also be passing me by. Shower, work, dinner, TV, sleep… lather rinse…

How To Prevent Moth and Prepare for Winter

My last preparations before winter: #8 hardware cloth lined with dryer-sheets and covered with cedar chips. The whole feeder cost roughly $6 to build and fill. However, I believe it will prove brilliant on all fronts. The dryer sheets should catch the beetles – the cedar should deter moths – and both should insulate the…

How To Build Useful Hive Top Feeders

If you are one of the 1000’s here from Pinterest, checkout a few of my other Beehive Builds. Just click here. I’ve used a lot of feeders but my favorite one is Don “The Fat Bee Man” Kuchenmeister’s Hive Top Feeder. They are really easy to build and make checking on your bees super convenient. However, I…

Beetle Glue Traps Were A Bust

My friend, Cindy’s first visit to a Bee Yard. My glue trap didn’t work at all. Not a single beetle died in the trap – however about a dozen bees did. Well it was worth a try. If anyone has a great beetle trap idea, please leave a comment. I’ve got to beat these beetles…

Building A Better Beetle Trap

I truly hope that someone smarter than me is working on eradicating the Small Hive Beetles. “Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson However, until then, this is my latest attempt. I bought Catchmaster Home Pest Traps (glue traps for insects) 12 pack…

Bees, Beetles, and Mosquitoes… Oh My!

Maybe I’m cheap or maybe I’m frugal but either way, I have a hard time throwing out dilapidated supers. This is my last attempt to breathe life into my original boxes. The super in the picture is about 13 years old and has been badlytreated. My latest act of malevolence was when I dropped the…

We Harvest Honey When It’s Warm For A Reason

“I am the most incurably lazy devil that ever stood in shoe leather.” – Sherlock HolmesThe picture shows the stand I built for my honey extractor, so that I could fit the 5 gallon bucket under the bung hole. I used a 4×4 that was actually only 3.5″ tall. On top of that I used…

The Accidental Split – 2018 Harvest Continues

“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents” – Bob Ross Last night, Noah and I, attempted (without success) to put the trailer tire back on the rim. I am convinced that someone crept out to my trailer in the middle of the night and put a larger thinner tire on the rim. Perhaps I’m…

Loss 13% – Time for Harvest

“It takes 15,000 casualties to train a major general.” – Ferdinand Foch. I lost 3 of my 23 hives to beetles. Actually, I lost 3 hives to neglect. While the beetles were the final cause, I think that the hives may have swarmed and left the remaining colonies too weak to defend themselves. I could…

Taste Test Sept Pear Mead: 6 months later

“To understand bad taste one must have very good taste.” – John Waters On July 24th, Noah and I opened the second bottle of the Sweet Pear Mead. Still very disappointing.On opening the bottle, I still smelled the aroma of beer. It faded after it had breathed for 20 minutes.In the glass it smelled sweet…

My first tomatoes

“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower My Papaw was a carpenter by trade and lived in the suburbs of North Miami. His tiny backyard always had chickens, fruit trees, and a small garden. Slowly, my backyard is beginning…

My Cup Runs Over

My bees are flourishing like never before. 20 of the 22 hives at Dr. D’s place are packed with bees and honey. Two needed some help but still had bees in them. I am also happy to say, that I didn’t see a single beetle yesterday – not that I looked too hard for them….

Wedding at Dr. D’s

My energy is split between what I have to do and what I want to do. However, it is absolutely impossible to devote time to everything. Family, work, and sleep are non-negotiable. So I am left to juggle downtime, beekeeping, writing, and inventing. While it sounds like a rationalization of my shortcomings, the truth is…

The Mating Sign?

Let me start this blog with a question: What does the “Mating Sign” look like? All 22 hives at Dr. D’s have bees in them. It has been two weeks since I made my last hive splits. There are lot of good reasons why I was too busy to get out to the apiary sooner…

With my shoes off, I can count to 20

“Oh heart, such disorganization!” Sylvia Plath Well, I have split 6 hives into 22 in just a couple of months. This has been the best year by far. This will be my last splits until after I harvest honey. Though, if the bees continue to do as well as they are doing, I should have…

And the splits just keep on coming

“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination,” Christopher Columbus … Big talk for a man who thought he was in India. If the following blog goes off the rails, forgive me. I woke up at 3:00am with my “Night Dreads.” If you’re not familiar with my…

2018 The Future Looks Bright

“Never pet a burning dog,” – movie quote from, A Good Year. I do my best to keep this blog purely focused on my beekeeping but something strange happened last week that I don’t want to forget – so indulge me and then I’ll tell about my extraordinary beekeeping year thus far. Or just skip…

Queen Cells: If at first you don’t succeed.

“In our response lies our growth and our freedom,” Victor Frankl Yesterday’s hive inspections couldn’t have been worse (well anything can get worse but it was bad).  The sky was sunny but the temperature was a cool 56F degrees with winds around 20mph. The weekend will been even colder and with lots of rain, so…