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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Episode 010 - Hive Inspections - Part I

In this episode, I share ideas for performing external hive inspections. This episode is part one of a two part series where I cover both internal and external inspections.

If you would like a copy of my hive inspection log sheet, please e-mail me.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Back Checking The Hives

Time: 5:30pm
Temp: 82'
Weather: Hazy, clouding up with scattered storms, no wind

In one of my previous podcast episodes, I talked about the importance and effectiveness of simply observing your bees. Today, I employed that technique. Instead of smoking my bees, opening up the hive, and disturbing the work that the bees were doing, I just stayed a few feet back from the hive and observed the bees coming and going. Most beekeepers will tell you that it sets the bees back a day or two of production when you open the hive. Well, I don't know if that's true or not, but I don't like to open up the hive, or disturb it more than I have to.

Genesis:A beekeeping mentor of mine told me that if the bees are bringing in pollen that there are baby bees being born in the hive. There were also lots of bees coming and going. And, as an added bonus, I saw 'washboarding' bees. For those of you who have never seen it, it's either a lone bee, or a group of them, steadily rocking back and forth in rhythm. I haven't found a good explanation, but it's sure interesting to watch. (They are lined up above the mouse guard on the left side of the picture below)

Exodus:This hive had more activity going on as well. I saw some orientation flights and lots of bees coming and going.

I'll likely still do a full inspection next week and look for eggs, brood pattern, and check on the second super I put on earlier this week. I'm still preparing a few more podcasts with suggested show topics.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Honey and the County Fair

Here in Boone County Kentucky we have a great fair every summer. This year, I'm really looking forward to entering my honey and a frame of capped honey in the competition. Here are the list of possible entry categories.

Open to the World HONEY - SECTION 402
(Honey is entered in the Vegetable & Crops Bldg. on Monday)

No Class 1st ($5)2nd ($3)3rd ($2)
001 White Extracted Honey 1 lb.
002 Light Amber Extracted Honey 1 lb.
003 Amber Extracted Honey 1 lb.
004 Dark Amber Extracted Honey 1 lb.
005 Chuck Honey 1 lb.
006 Chuck Honey 2½ lb.
007 Frame of Honey, shallow or medium, any color

Episode 009 - Pests and Diseases - Varroa Mites

In this episode, I share ideas for detection and management of one of the most destructive pests that beekeepers will likely come across, the Varroa Mite.

Here is more information on treating for Varroa:

To subscribe via iTunes: Subscribe in iTunes

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hive Inspection - Show Me The Honey!

Time: 11:30 am
Temp: 73'
Weather Conditions: Hazy, Winds Calm

Today I visited my two hives. I realized it had been a while since my last inspection and I needed to cut the grass and weeds around my hives. The weather here has been a combination of both warm and wet which has given plenty of growth opportunity to the plants and flora in the area.

Both hives were extremely quiet. Not too many bees coming or going, no orientation flights, and not much activity when I opened up the hive. I'm not sure what this means and next week when I have more time, I'll have to do a very through inspection. When I checked the supers that I had put on back in April, each frame showed a beautiful amount of capped honey. The frames were about 70-80% complete. I added another super and closed up each hive.

I hope that I'll get at least one really nice frame to show at the fair this year. My friend let me borrow a really nice display case for frames which I'll detail in another post.