Sunday, March 22, 2009

bee activity & temperature

(in Fahrenheit) 45 degrees - Immobile; 50 degrees - Unable to Fly; 57 degrees - Clustering Starts; Brood Nest - 95 degrees. The general realm of activity - 50 to 110 degrees - this may not be outside temperature, rather the bee's body temperature.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

the thermology of wintering honeybees

this is a link to a very technical study of overwintering hives. if you can manage to get through it - it really gives you some insight as to how the cluster reacts to temperature changes throughout the winter. The long and the short of the article seems to indicate that strong, populated hives are more likely to survive because they can move for resources (food) and maintain temperature.

Monday, March 16, 2009

50 plus degrees in wisconsin

a sure sign of spring arriving in wisconsin....this hive is BURSTING with healthy bees....and they just couldn't wait to get out and try their wings! they were curiously flying around the backyard by 9 am....a little too close for comfort around hair, and eyes, and ears.

Spring maintenance on this hive revealed VERY FEW dead bees on the bottom board. Hive bodies were switched.

If things continue to go well with this hive - it's a definite candidate for SPLITTING. with this many bees in the box already, they will soon feel crowded and likely swarm. AND - it's proven itself through 2 winters - save these genetics!

This hive is solitary and in full sun. It get's "wrapped" in black tarpaper over the winter and straw bales on the west and east sides for a wind break. Here it's shown unwrapped, and the bales will remain for a little longer yet (well - they're frozen to the ground for one thing...)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

Honey Laundering

A simple internet search for "honey laundering" brings up lots of interesting articles like this one:

Beekeeping Notes:

  • Purchase and assemble equipment for the upcoming year.
  • Make any last minute orders for package bees.
  • Take a peek at existing over-wintered hives. Feed some emergency granulated sugar if the bees are running short of stored honey.
  • Prepare to start feeding sugar syrup in mid to late March once the daytime temperatures are in the 40’s and above.
  • Clean dead bees out of dead over-wintered hives. Dead bees start to rot and create a real mess if not cleaned out in a timely manner.
  • If this year is your first foray into beekeeping, find a mentor.

Next meeting date and time

This organization’s next meeting will be at 9:30 am on March 21, 2009. This is a change from the original schedule. The location is the same – Ripon Public Library, 120 Jefferson Street, Ripon, WI. The library is located one block behind the city building.

WHPA Southeastern District Meeting

The Wisconsin Honey Producers Association Southeastern District meeting is on Saturday, March 14, 2009. The WHPA has generously extended an invitation to the members of this organization to attend their meeting and check out what the WHPA has to offer. This meeting does include a potluck lunch. So if you attend, please bring a dish to pass and your own tableware (plates, flatware, etc.). Attendees are asked to donate a small fee to cover the cost of the hall rental. Here’s the location: Ashippun Fire Dept., New Ashippun, WI. The fire hall is located one block west off of State Hwy 67 on County Hwy O. Doors open at 9:30 am. Agenda includes: Over-wintering report, making honey, WI Dept. of Ag beekeeping update, mentoring youth, making divides, honey “laundering”, and a business meeting.