How To Build Bee Hives At $0.02 On The Dollar

A Beekeeper can literally start with a hand saw and hammer and turn it into the American Dream.

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Work And Adversity Are Not The Same Thing

I ran a search for adversity quotes and found a long list of people who think work is the same thing as adversity. That’s when I realized I was behaving like a little bitch.

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…

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…

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…

First Split of 2018 & Big Bryan’s Beetle Box

“Necessity if the mother of invention.” – PlatoI am an inventor at heart and given my beetle problems last year, I have been trying to build a better mousetrap (beetle trap). Beetle Busters are great but they can get expensive. Fat Bee Man’s political sign traps seem reasonable but I still have beetles when I…

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…

Pear Mead: One Month Out

“In wine there is truth,” Pliny the Elder… and with a name like that, you have to believe him. I spent the weekend doing chores around the house. Of my many tasks, Sunday I bottled the Pear Mead I made on 9/24/2017. Mistake 1: While I was preparing to bottle, I kept thinking there are…

Predator-Proofing my Chicken Tractor

“Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral,” Frank Lloyd Wright My first three months of chicken husbandry was a lot more work than it needed to be. Taking the chickens outside every day and carrying them back inside every night was a hassle and quite time…

Mead – Mastering the basics

“Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy,” Benjamin FranklinBees make honey but men make mead – the latter being the more remarkable. Mead is extraordinarily simple to make and fairly idiot proof as I myself have proven. I have taken to making my mead from the cooked honey…

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 &…

More Queens Than A Cher Lookalike Contest – Graft #2

“Agh, that is bad luck. But grandfather say, ‘It never rain everyday.’” – Mr. Kim, The Fifth Element I’ve been quoting that line since 1997 (holy shit – I just realized how old that movie is… even worse… how old I am) – actually I’ve been misquoting it, as the case may be, since I always say, “It can’t rain…

A Good Day to Make Splits

“Five hundred. … five hundred fights, that’s the number I figured when I was a kid. Five hundred street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being…

First Inspection 2017 – Trying not to screw the pooch!

Hives (A) & (B) On Friday, March 24th I took my nephew Zack with me for the first hive work of the year. I went to my (4) hives at the doctor’s place and I couldn’t have been more pleased. The hives are strong and healthy. Since I didn’t gather much honey last year, the…

Mini Mating Nuc – Blueprint

Mini Mating Nucs may be the most wonderful part of modern beekeeping. I say this, because so much of modern beekeeping has become completely standardized – yet there doesn’t seem to be any standardization of the mini mating nucs. This gives the beekeeper a chance to experiment and discover without reinventing any wheels. As I…

Queen Cell Cages

There is an old episode of Frasier where Daphne gets the tune, “Flesh is burning… dana-na-na-nah… Flesh is burning… dana-na-na-nah…” the thought came to mind as I bobbled my soldering iron and could smell my skin burn before I even felt the pain – smelled like burning hair!   Nonetheless, if you are going to…