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 &…

Chickens Day 1

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” ― Theodore RooseveltSaturday I bought five Barred Rock chickens – that’s not…

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…

The Good, The Bad, The Splits

“A misery is not to be measured from the nature of the evil, but from the temper of the sufferer.” –    Joseph Addison I have another cantankerous hive – though stings don’t bother me as much as they once did. Just the same, Hive-A has become as vile as Hive-D was a few weeks back…

The Return of the Queen – Long Live The Queen!

These days I am much more reluctant to use the word “Miracle” when curiously great things happen. It seems lately every time I do, the next day it turns to crap. That being said, I was amazed to find the queen that had flown away last week had returned. It turns out that it really isn’t…

No Queens – What to do?

I finished up teaching classes on Saturday and so Sunday I finally had time to check my backyard bees — The two Mini Nucs and Hive-D.3 — sadly not one of the three had a queen. That being said, I suspected the queen was gone from Hive-D.3 as soon as I opened it because when I gave my…

Mating Nucs and Self-Loathing

I try to leave my personal business out of this blog but so much of my life is intertwined with my bees. Such was the case this weekend.I accomplished fuck-all. I was just exhausted. I’ve been working my day job and teaching at night… that combined with the 29lbs I have put on since Lent started…

Beetles – My Arch-nemisis

I’m still struggling with the Mating Nuc Concepts. The idea to leave one of the nucs closed up with tape worked out pretty well. Except for the one that I didn’t keep closed  absconded. Abscond is a beekeeping term that gets used to say the bees left. However if you look it up in Merriam’s…

I Have No Idea What I’m Doing… But I’m Doing It!

Noah and the (3) MMNs … and poison ivyall over the damn fence!!!!! The new Mini Mating Nucs (MMN) we made the other day aren’t doing well. For starters, they had dysentery as could be seen from the brown streaks on the front of each box. At first I thought it might be Nosema but…

Mini Mating Nucs – First Use

Yesterday, shortly after 5:00pm, Noah arrived and we headed out to Dr. D’s. Hive-D.1 is still full of hive beetles. All the traps were empty. But a frame of wax had (20) or (30) beetle larva that I could see and I killed about (20) additional beetles. This time I cleaned the bottom board and removed the…

The Hive Beetles – I went all Yoko Ono on thier asses

Wax flakes left after the hive beetles chewed through several frames Well I didn’t get back out to Dr. D’s place until Saturday around noon. I’d like to say it was because I worked late but truth was, I was just exhausted by the time I got home from Vicksburg on Friday. Anyway, Saturday was…

No Eggs and the Night Dreads

My daughter’s boyfriend, Noah is interested in beekeeping and so he spent the weekend helping me – which was nice since I enjoy his company. I did my best to work on interesting projects and to allow him to observe the bees without getting stung. Nothing squelches a new beekeeper’s enthusiasm quicker than getting stung repeatedly….

60 Stings – like being molested by a briar bush.

My wife, Jen I drove to Philadelphia, MS Friday and picked up my three new queens. More importantly, I got to visit with Johnny Thomson of Broke-T Apiaries – what a nice guy. He answered all of my questions, which was a huge help because I couldn’t seem to find the answers anywhere. Here were…

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…

Edge of winter 2017 – Time to try again

So this is my woodshop. Ain’t it cool?! Sorry for the huge laps in blogs, I will try to do better and at least blog once a month, if not more often, from here on out. When last I blogged, things were going bad but then they got worse. My father-in-law, Dale (who was my…