Hive Beetles Kill My Hives And My Spirit

26 hives have been reduced to 21 healthy and 2 on life support.

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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…

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,…

Failure: My First Hive Removal

He looked so happy… He had no idea ofthe carnage to come. My fortune cookie Saturday night read, “Failure is the chance to do better next time.”  Saturday, Noah and I performed our first hive removal. While this could prove to be a good little side business, we didn’t charge. One reason that we didn’t…

Facing Reality – The Hive Count

“Most people give up just when they are about to achieve success.” – Ross Perot My heart kept whispering that quote in my ear yesterday to keep my brain from acknowledging my eyes. So what had my eyes seen? Hive-A.1.VSH was empty. The strong, healthy hive that I had harvested from this year and was…

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 &…

The Queen Is Dead – Long Live The Queen

“Death is but a door. Time is but a window. I’ll be back.” – Vigo the Scourge of Carpathia, Ghost Busters III got up early Saturday morning to find all the caged queens had died – though there is still the sole survivor in Hive-VE that I didn’t cage. Given each queen cost about $30 (if sold), I lost $240 worth…

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…

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…

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…