Thursday, January 18, 2018


Capital Bee Supply of Colombus, Wisconsin will be hosting two beekeeping classes this year.  For the beginner there will be a 4 day class spread through the spring and summer beginning March 4th.  These classes will be held in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.  Cost is $100.

For the 2nd year beekeeper there will be a more advanced 1 day class held on February 18th.  This class will be held in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.  Cost is $60.

If interested or in need of more details go to the Capital Bee Supply web site.  Click on the "services" page and then scroll down to the 2018 class offerings.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Here is an article describing a potential new mite treatment using lithium chloride.  Of course it will take many years for this chemical to be evaluated and get approval for use.

Monday, January 15, 2018

CLUB MEETING, January 20th

This Saturday, January 20th, at 9:30AM will be the first club meeting of 2018.  All meetings this year are scheduled to be held at the Caestecker Library in Green Lake, Wisconsin. 

Annual dues of $10 can be submitted at the meeting or by sending them to either the club secretary.  

Elections for the posts of President and Secretary will be held.  If interested in serving in either of these offices please make your interest know.  The non-elected post of the club blogmaster is also open to an interested clubmember.

The State Bee Inspector will give a short presentation followed by other topics brought up by the meeting attendees.


Follow this link:

So if you have a sore throat this winter think honey!

Friday, January 12, 2018


The club honey extractor has been delivered to its new location at the Rushford Winery.  The extractor is mounted to a plastic pallet so that it can easily be moved to a storage location when not in use.  Included with the extractor is a decapping tank, staging table plus to sets of sieves.  Next summer a on location training session will be held at the winery for those who may want to take advantage of this club perk.  Thanks to Al and Fred for doing the initial setup.

 Extractor on pallet
 Decapping tank and staging table
 Another view
Honey buckets in position

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Here is information on a local beekeeping class for beginners.  Graduation from this class is accepted by the city of Fond du Lac if you want to raise bees within the Fond du Lac city limits.

Parts 1 and 2 of the class will be held at the Fond du Lac Skyport, 260 S. Rolling Meadows Dr., Fond du Lac.  Class date is February 3rd, 8:30AM to 3PM.  Cost is $70.

Part 3 is a field day to be held at D's Apiary on July 7th.

The class size is limited to 20 people maximum.  You must sign up by January 31st.

To sign up contact Denise at 920-922-7487 or

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


In central Wisconsin last summer's weird weather has left many hives short on winter stores.  to prevent winter starvation we ask ourselves the question "when is it too cold to open the hive".  Here is your answer.

Monday, January 1, 2018


The past 10 days of below zero temperatures has put our central Wisconsin bees under a good deal of stress.  Any hives infected with a lot of varroa mites and the associated viruses will have had a tough time coping do to a lower bee population and smaller cluster size.   My records from previous years show the demise of most hives occurs after a below 0 F cold snap.  After the many below zero nights in the last ten days it was with a good bit of trepidation that I went out and checked on the status of my hives.  Listening with a stethoscope through the upper winter entrance (also acts as a moisture vent) I hoped to hear the comforting hum of the bee cluster warming themselves. 

Prior to this cold snap my hive survival was at an excellent 94%.  After this 10 day cold snap the survival rate has dropped to 88% with the demise of several more hives.   It looks like another 3 or 4 below zero nights yet to go before a slight warmup. 

In the next few days I will be checking each hive.  This involves a quick removal of the outer and inner covers to assess their food situation.  I try to do this on a windless day.   I fully expect the bee cluster will have moved from the lower to the upper brood chamber in all hives.   I will add additional emergency food (sugar discs) to any hives that look in need.  Total time the hive is open is usually less than 30 seconds.   I will be repeating this procedure every two weeks until spring.   Although I don’t like the thought, I suspect I will have further losses yet this winter. 

Here are a few other tidbits about my apiary as of today.

-Survival of Ankle Biter hives is 100% so far.  10 of 11 hives are 1st year queens. 

-Survival of Saskatraz hives is also 100% so far.  All 1st year queens.

-Russian hives are at 85%.  All but one Russian hives lost had 2nd year queens.

-Survival of package queen (California Italians?) hives is 67%.  All 1st year queens.

-Wrapped hive survival is at 84%, while unwrapped hives are at 91%. 

At this point, other than the occasional addition of emergency food, beekeeping is pretty much a waiting game until warmer weather arrives in March.   Cold weather adapted queens seem to do better in our Wisconsin weather.