Bee Swarm Catching

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Posted by kat | Posted in Our Bees | Posted on 01-04-2013

Today I got a call from a friend, he told me that he had a swarm of bees in his backyard.  I rushed to get my stuff together and then rushed over to his house.   I had to take all the frames and foundations out to get the bees in, and of course in all the excitemet I didn’t take pictures.   They swarmed on to one of his blueberry bushes, and I had to shake pretty hard to get them in.  I then taped the entrance and stuck them in my car and brought them home.   I stuck the nuc on my hive stand and then mixed up some sugar water for them.   Tomorrow I will switch them to my 8 frame hive and hopefully, I can find the queen and make sure I have the start to a good hive.

Hive Beetles

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Posted by kat | Posted in Our Bees | Posted on 03-09-2012

Saturday, I went and checked on my hive,  while I check them daily, the hive hasn’t been opened since April when I transferred the bees into it.   I noticed a little black beetle on the outside of the hive, so I took a picture and then searched on google to see what it was.    It ended up being a hive beetle, and my hive ended up being fairly full of the larvae of the hive beetle.    So I did some research and there are several things you can try and do to battle these pests.  Hive beetle larvae love the pollen and honey, so as they burrow through the wax, they leave behind stuff that causes the honey to ferment and the bee’s will abandon that frame of honey.  If your infected in high enough numbers, you can lose several frames of honey.  Then you have to winter feed your bee’s, which can be a pain for you and can sometimes cause you to have syrup instead of real honey.  If they weaken your hive enough, you can also leave them open to getting wax moth’s which can further damage your colony of bees.   Your hive being in full sun is supposed to help keep them at bay, as the beetles do not like light.

1)  My hive was  in partial sun, so I moved it to a full sun location.   I had to wait until after sunset when all the bee’s are supposed to be in the hive, you then trap them temporarily inside, then after a day or two you remove what ever was keeping them inside and they are now readjusted to the fact they have been moved.

2) Take out any infected frames and put in clean frames.
I added four new frames that had never been used.  I will clean the other frames and then use them later if needed.

3) Requeen the hive and add some brood.
I am not going to try this one yet, as I am not sure that my queen is dead, but I know I lost some brood.

4) Squash any and all beetles you find when you open the hive or that are crawling on the hive.
I have been doing this the few times I have opened the hive, since finding the beetles.  I also have been squashing any of the larvae I have been able to get to.

5) Put in roach station bait traps
You can also make your own version of these, or there are several different traps out there that you can buy.  I tried a mouse sticky trap and it was loaded and it was only in there overnight.  I thought it would only let the beetles in, but I found a few live bees in there as well.  So I need to find a way to make the hole smaller.

For now I am going to try the moving to a full sun location and then we will go from there.   If all else fails and I loose the whole hive, I will see if I can buy a queen and some brood and try again.  I also might be able to see if someone has a hive ready to swarm and then see if they are willing to let me have the swarm to add to the hive once I have the issues fixed.    I should know in about 6 weeks if I need to find a new queen or not.

From a Nuc to 8 frame hive

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Posted by kat | Posted in Our Bees, Sandy Creek Farm | Posted on 19-04-2012

OK, So I went out about 2:30pm and tried to switch my bee’s from the Nuc to the 8 frame hive I got for Christmas.   I love it when I get what is on my wish list.

First I put on my veil and gloves.  I put rubber bands around my wrists to keep my long sleeved shirt closed better.  Then I went and got my smoker, which I couldn’t keep going.  So I then went into the house and got spray bottle and put in sugar water, I sprayed down the opening to the Nuc a few times, then unscrewed the top to the Nuc.   I carefully took off the top to the nuc and sprayed any bee’s that were stuck to the top and any that were on the frames.  I did have to carefully pry apart the frames, the bee’s had started to stick them together, I tried to pull out the frames but I couldn’t keep a good hold of it with the gloves on, so I took them off and had an easier time of pulling them out.   Because I have an 8 frame hive and the Nuc was a 5 frame, I put two empty frames on one side and one empty frame on the other for expansion, with the 5 frames from the nuc sandwiched in the middle.  I think I might have gotten stung, but it didn’t hurt so I am wondering if I might not have hit a dead bee as there were several SMOOSHED against the side of the nuc.  All it did to my finger was make it itch and swell a little, it turned red after I started scratching it.
All in all, I am rather proud of myself for having transfered 5 frames loaded with bees and stuff into the new hive by myself and with no one there watching telling me what to do.

BEE’S

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Posted by kat | Posted in Our Bees, Sandy Creek Farm | Posted on 18-04-2012

Last month I signed up for a beginner’s bee keeping class, then at the end of the month we were going to be able to get a Nuc of bee’s.   I put my name on the list and yesterday at the bee keeping meeting, I found out that the bee’s were ready for pick up tonight.   One of the gentlemen in charge of putting the order’s together, was very nice and picked it up for me since I wasn’t able to get them at the set time as I had other obligations tonight.   So I picked them up from the gentleman and I am supposed to set them on top of the hive they will live in and then tomorrow transfer them into the big hive.    The thing I am worried about the most is making sure I have smoked them enough that they will be sleepy and be less likely to get mad and want to swarm and sting me.   The nuc I ordered has 5 frames of bee’s and my hive is an 8 frame, so I will have five extra     frames to either start a nuc with if my hive swarms or I can then add them to the hive eventually.  I really wish that I had been able to go through the class before I got the bee’s, but I am glad that I have a few people I can ask for help, if I need it.

The Bee’s Knees

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Posted by kat | Posted in Our Bees, Sandy Creek Farm | Posted on 23-02-2012

I posted around Christmas time that my husband got me a beehive for Christmas, it was one of the few things on my Christmas Wish list.  I posted a few pictures of it and I really need to get it painted so that come April I have it ready for the bees.

I recently attended a meeting for the local beekeepers meeting.  http://heartofgeorgiabeekeepers.blogspot.com/  They meet every month on the third Tuesday from 7-9pm.   Membership dues is $12.00 for a year, so I joined the club.

Now, I am no stranger to bees, growing up my dad had several hives.  My grandfather had several hives, and I remember a little of what my dad had told me the few times I decided to stick around when he was working the bees.

Why am I wanting bees???  Well!!! First off I am hoping they will help boost my garden yield.  Second, Who wouldn’t love to have fresh honey to cook with and or the beeswax to do different stuff with?

YES!!!!  My house is quite the zoo of both animals and people, and while it is at times chaotic, it can be fun.

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