Absolutely On Target: Up 26 Hives – Down 22lbs

There is one foolproof way to kill beetles…

How To Blueprint: 1×4 Deep Beehive Super

If anyone is interested, here is the Blueprint for my 1×4 deep beehive super. “A Goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery (That’s is my new favorite quote!) As I mentioned in an earlier blog this super is built with 1×4’s and cost about $9.50 to build. Using nine 1×4’s…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Checking the Walk-Away Splits

“Success in not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill Let’s skip the suspense: 13 Healthy Hives but 3 did not make queen cells. All the splits are full of bees. Three made Queen Cells and Three did not. Now last year, I labeled the hives A,B,C,…

2018 First Inspection of Spring

“In winter, I plot and plan. In spring, I move.” – Henry Rollins Is there anything more daunting than the first hive inspections of spring? This was the harshest winter since I started keeping bees. Yet, I am happy to report that I only lost one hive. It was the VSH Hive that was full…

What if my alpacas get flees and other insane thoughts

“It is always darkest just before the day dawneth.” Thomas Fuller, circa 1650 I woke up at 3:30am and my first thought was, “What if my alpacas get flees?” It would be a reasonable question… If I had alpacas! It all started partly because my wife is afraid that opossums will eat our beloved chickens….

The Magnificent Seven

Hive-B.1.1.VSH “Adopt the pace of nature: her secrete is patients.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson I’m down to (8) hives; one at the old farm and seven at Dr. D’s. However, three of those hives are from recent splits. Given my recent loses, I’ve been obsessing over these remaining hives. The thought wakes me up at…

Swarm Prevention – I should have added a super

“Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worse fears to come true.” – Bohdi, Point Break (1991) My five frame nuc (VE) needed room to grow but I hesitated because I was afraid if I put another super on too soon, that it would cause the beetles to take over the hive. However, by…

Walkaway Splits – Right & Wrong

“If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly first.” – Joel Salatin All of my hives at Dr.D’s are spaced 18″ apart in all directions Work and weather have stifled my beekeeping but it hasn’t stopped me completely. Saturday, my wife and I went out to Dr. D’s place and split Hive-B.1 &…

Queen Cages: (4) living (3) Dead (1) Stillborn

Just a note: The Queen Cells I caged Monday have hatched. As stated in the title, (3) are dead – the cause of death is unknown but I suspect starvation. This has been a hard year filled with ups and downs. However, I take these setbacks, not as failures but as lessons. This lesson is…