Split Update

 This is just a short update on the recent splits. Hive-A.1.VSH has two queen cells. It is also fairly populated with bees. I was worried that the bees may have all returned to Hive-A but it turned out to be a fairly even split. Hive-D.3.VSH did not make any queen cells and is showing…

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…

Before you win big. you have to lose big…

“If you want to win big, first you have to lose big. So what are we doing now? We’re losing big!” Some Kind Of Wonderful, 1987. It was odd line that has always stayed burrowed in the back of my mind. Yesterday it seemed to fit more than usual. My queen grafts didn’t take, so Noah and I…

Grafting – Attempt #1

Each day I become more and more convinced that success is 30% preparation through study, 30% perspiration through long hours of work, and 40% determination as in never giving up. The last being the hardest. I think this applies to everything in life. Ross Perot once said, “Most people give up just when they are…

Hive Location – A tip for the beginner

I cut a 1″ hole in the cheese cloth this morningto let Hive-D.3’s foraging bees slowly enter. I swapped Hive-D with Hive-D.3 yesterday. This segues into today’s topic – Hive Placement. Most books will tell you that the best location to place a hive is in a sunny area, with a windbreak, and an easterly view… and…

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 Best Easter Eggs Of All – Queen Eggs

My biggest hurdle of beekeeping is not mites, moths, or beetles – it’s self-doubt. It took all my resolve to go out to the bee yard at Dr. D’s.   Actually, Noah wanting to go with me is what tipped the scales. I would have gone anyway, but it might have been later Saturday or…

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…

How Many Stings Does It Take?

Last night I divided 1 ½ gallons of 1:1 sugar syrup mixed with 3/8 cup (90ml) of Don’s Brood Builder between the (4) hives at Dr.D’s place. I went out after work with just a veil so I got stung… again. However, unlike last Friday when I got stung(4) times or Sunday when I got stung (9) times (on…

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…

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…