If you are interested in becoming a beekeeper, or you want to become a better beekeeper, join me for thoughts on beekeeping in the news, honeybee research, book and equipment reviews, interviews, and other beekeeping topics.

Subscribe in iTunes

Subscribe in Zune

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Goodbye to 2008 Beekeeping Season

Date: October 28, 2008
Time: 2:00 PM
Temp: 47'
Weather: Cold, Dry, and Windy

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye...the 2008 beekeeping season is done. Today I closed up the hives and did a final check in the bees. Nothing much to report as the temperature was only in the 40's. I didn't even use a veil. Although I nailed in the mouse guards, I would recommend screwing them in. I was only challenged by a bee or two which promptly went back inside after not finding me too interesting. There was plenty of activity inside the hives and they seem like they have plenty of honey stored up for the upcoming winter.

I removed the top feeders, added the mouse guards, tilted the hives forward with a few pieces of scrap wood, spaced the top cover for ventilation, and closed up the screened bottom board.

Thanks to all of you who have written me e-mail or have simply checked out the website. I have some very cool ideas for next year and promise to keep the website interesting and informative in the months to come.

In the mean time, I'll be attending and working to build up our local beekeeping club and look forward to meeting all of the local beekeepers who have contacted me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

First Frost

Here in Northern Kentucky the weather has definitely turned towards winter.  The leaves have been changing, the grass has stopped growing, and while deer hunting near my hives last week, I noticed minimal activity coming from the hives.  The temperatures here have been in the 60'-40's range, but tonight is expected to be the first frost of the season.

Tomorrow, I'll head out to the hives for one last seasonal visit.  I need to remove the top feeders, tilt the hives a little more, install mouse guards, remove the ApiGaurd, and say good bye to the 2008 beekeeping season. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Visits from Around the World

I'm amazed at the number of people from all over the world who have visited my website.  To date, visitors from six continents have visited.  

Thanks to all of you who have sent me e-mails and continue t0 make my website interesting.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Cleaning up and a Bee Battlefield

Date: October 3, 2008
Time: 2:00 PM
Temp: 67'
Weather: Cool and Dry

This afternoon I went to the hives to install the second round of Apigaurd treatment in both hives. Apigaurd is used to kill off the Varroa mites that have infested my hives. I picked up a few leaves of tobacco from the field and added it to my smoker...mmmmm good. It's said that tobacco smoke is also good for treating Varroa. Both Genesis and Exodus were pretty quite. I checked the weight of both hives and both seem to have a good amount stored up for the winter. I'm terrible as estimating weight, so I'll just say 50lbs? Here's a video of Exodus. (Notice how slow the bees were moving)

I removed the empty supers that were on top of each hive and fed the bees a winter syrup mixture. The recipe is 2.5 qts water and 10 lbs of sugar. Each hive got about 1.5 gallons.

Bee Battlefield
On top of Exodus, underneath the empty super that the bees had been cleaning up, I found dozens of dead bees, cut in half. Strange...I suppose they were battling robbing yellow jackets.

I also saw a field mouse in the area of my hives. So, sometime very soon I'll be installing the mouse guards on each hive.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"You are an adequate beekeeper"

I took an online beekeeping test.  I scored 29/50.  The result is the title of this post.  I suppose that that's not too bad because the questions were pretty difficult.  

Here's the link:  Online Beekeeping Test

Let me know how you did...