Tuesday, September 28, 2010

oh and don't forget

make sure that each hive gets AT LEAST ONE batch of "MEDICATED" sugar syrup. fumagilin helps protect the bees against dysentery....a REAL PROBLEM for overwintering bees (remember - they're "holding it".

i think this is a good idea anyway - in that - SUGAR SYRUP is NO SUBSTITUTE for the REAL STUFF (nectar/honey) they store away. when their diet is switched to sugar syrup...and they come across and consume those sugar syrup cells during the winter - the lack of "true nutrients" might compromise their immune systems.

let them pack away some medicated cells for the winter.


i picked up the phone (at work) about 10:30 am one day last week...and this "WOMAN" was singing some german song...."EIN PROSIT"

i'm thinking....WHO the heck is this - i'm about to hang-up...

then it all came TOGETHER for me. i'd dropped a bottle of this year's MEAD off at my MOM'S house that morn!!! OH - IT'S MOM!!!! (this feigned drunken ein prosit thing is SO out of character for her)

anyway - she had to "report" the SUCCESS of this year's batch. she'd apparently enjoyed a sip and played her organ with "very light fingers" - she said :)

for honey producers - producing WET honey this year....TRY YOUR HAND AT MEAD...it's REALLY FUN! don't let your fermenting honey go to waste.

beekeepers BUZZ....

i'm hearing from A LOT of beekeepers that...the honey has a high MOISTURE/water content this year...YES - EVEN IF YOU HARVESTED ONLY CAPPED HONEY!

WHAT DO YOU DO if you suspect that SOMETHING is going on with this year's batch? - does it seem runny, is it cloudy? - and what if it's already IN BOTTLES???? you HAVE to evaporate the moisture out. too much moisture and your honey will FERMENT. you can take the caps off your GLASS bottles - put them on a "cookie" sheet/flat sheet and stick them in the oven at the lowest temp. and leave the door open a crack. if you used PLASTIC....you might have to go about pouring them all back into a larger container for warming - and pouring back....yes, a big sticky mess....

you might put a REFRACTOMETER on that "wish list" for Christmas......

in the future - if you suspect a "wet year".....you might want to put off extracting IMMEDIATELY. take your supers off - expose the boxes/comb to a FAN....or a dehumidifier for a week or so before extracting...

Monday, September 27, 2010

this is THE MONTH

it's TIME to get them ready for winter.

get any VARROA treatments in there/done (remember, chemical strips/trays/pads - whatever you decide have to be removed before the final wrap) - so give yourself enough time - count backwards! if you're "powdered sugar dusting"...you'll want to "hit them" a couple times...

get the WINTER RECIPE - SUGAR SYRUP on them.

and it's MOUSE time! they're looking for a nice warm place to hole-up for winter....get some "guards" on the entrances.

take a look around for any extra "shelter" materials or barriers you might offer your hives over winter....STRAW BALES?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

WHAT were they THINKING???

remember a couple blogs ago...what do you call a swarm in AUGUST? what i suspected was CONFIRMED today.

monday, we harvested the supers off the hives....VERY GOOD harvest by the way. the CLEARING BOARDS (bee mazes) that i got were WORTH $8 EVERYDAY - ANYDAY - ANYTIME. put those on 3 or 4 days before harvest and the bees clear the supers! WOW!!!

now...back to my suspicions...
i thought the august swarm issued from "HESTIA"....'cause when i hived them - some seemingly went back "home".

now that the supers are off and i could inspect things....HESTIA (the mother hive) was INDEED WITHOUT QUEEN. here's the question again: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? the swarm issued with the ONLY QUEEN?!???! there weren't any swarm cells or superscedure cells....NOTHING - NO CHANCE!

i verified the QUEEN was in the swarm have (not yet named). SO - HERE'S THE RESTACK (from the bottom board up). QUEEN DEEP, newspaper, queen excluder (even though they might still "know" each other? why take a chance), HESTIA bottom deep, HESTIA top deep...and covered.

when i get back home - i'm going to start this hive on sugar syrup. they had quite a bit in the HESTIA top deep...but the sugar syrup also gives them additional INCENTIVE to stay.

the population is not BAD....but it's going to be the "weakest" of all of them going in. (to winter)