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…

Miller Method – (8) Cells and (1) Virgin Queen

“You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometimes, well you might find, you get what you need.” – the Stones I miscalculated the birth of the queens. On my queen rearing spreadsheet, queens hatch at (16) days – however, that is from the day the egg is laid. The queen actually hatches just…

Third Graft Attempt

“Many of the projects that we do that appear quite successful, it’s actually often the second or third time we’ve given it a try.” Dr. Edward Boyden, MIT Yesterday, I made my third attempt to graft. We pulled a frame from Hive-B.1 and transported it to the house. I left it covered in bees and placed…

Uncapping Knife Explosion

“The last time I heard a boom like that, Japan surrendered the war.” Nelly I bought an Uncapping Knife last year and just got around to trying it out this week. The first time it worked okay but kept getting so hot that it burned the honey – perhaps that is normal. What is not…

My First Successful Grafts

“The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.” James Allen At least two of my grafts have been accepted. This is…

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 New Hope and a small harvest

“We seem to be made to suffer. It’s our lot in life.” – C3PO Maybe a little dramatic for an opener but it has been an up hill battle with these beetles. However, yesterday it appeared that I have finally gotten the upper hand. “Great, kid! Don’t get cocky.” – Han Solo I only found (1)…

The Beetles Kill Another Hive

The bottom board of Hive-D “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me,” John Lennon… but then John never kept bees! I was sure that all was well in my home apiary. I had strong (though queenless) hives and minimal comb. So you can imagine my surprise yesterday afternoon, when I went to check…

The Harvard of Bee Yards

If “failure is the best teacher” then my bee yard is the Harvard of bee yards. This weekend proved to be heartbreaking. The two Five Frame Nucs I made have both been destroyed by hive beetles. Out of the two nucs, one was filled with lots of bees from Hive-A. It should have been a…

Summer of 2015 Final Tally: 7-Hives

Dale (father-n-law) moving supers Hello beekeeping fans, Well, it is now the end of summer and time to tally my efforts for the 2015 year.  No suspense, the answer is 7 hives. So here is a summery of this years splits.  I started with 4 hives but one of those died shortly after the spring…

Supersedure – Queen Cell

Very little knowledge is ever gained through success – it is through failure that we truly learn.   I’m sure I am not the first one to say that but nonetheless, it’s absolutely true.  So it is with beekeeping.  As Andrew Davis said in, The Wonders of Beekeeping, “Bees survive, not because of the beekeepers…

Failure to Thrive

Failure to Thrive is a medical term to describe children who are not gaining weight as expected and have poor height growth.  However, today is seems like a good description of my beehives. Today I visited my hives at Dr. D’s place – I have been avoiding my 3 hives at the old farm since…

No Bees – No Pumpkins

When people find out that I keep bees, their first question is always, “Well how did you get into that?”  Pumpkin Flower The answer to that is unique and goes back to the movie, A Walk In The Clouds.  If you’ve seen it, then you are probably thinking that there weren’t any bees in…

The Breath of Death – oh how my bees hate CO2

Found on iwastesomuchtime.com My mother had a stroke about ten years ago.  She has recovered but the stoke left the left-side of her body paralyzed.  After a few months of therapy, she was able to walk short distances and is able to live alone – though my brother lives across the street from her and…

Wax Moths and Heart Break

I have often wondered why it is so important to inspect hives on a weekly basis.  Once the hives have been treated for mites, treated for hive beetles, and supers have been added, what’s left?  The answer, “WAX MOTHS!” Wax Moth Damage I like the quote by Gillard who said, “Wax moths keep us from…

The New "Bee"ginning

As previously stated I bought 50 bee hives in 2006.  At the time the plan was for me and my brother to go into the business together and build up to 1000 hives.  Since I worked offshore and was between wives at the time, I had a bit of disposable income.  So I put up…