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…

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…

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…

Schrödinger’s Cat and My Bees

“Now he found himself lying in his rumpled bed and wondering if this was how you came untethered from the real, rational world. If this was how it started when you lost your mind.” Stephen King – Four Past Midnight. I held my breath while I searched the hive but it was for nothing – the…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Attack of the Small Hive Beetles

Brood Comb destroyed by Small Hive Beetles Wikipedia: “The small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) is a beekeeping pest.”Now there is an understatement. I’ve always had issues with hive beetles. For the most part I have used dryer sheets with a fair bit of success (though I am trying Don the fat bee man’s traps with less success). However, when I…