Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spoiled Bees

My bees are spoiled.  I like to try to help them keep clean.  I haven't had a hive leave me yet! (bad reference to CCD - beekeeper humor)  These boxes, bottom boards, and covers are cycling through for WASHING, SCRAPING, PAINTING...and most importantly SCORCHING.  I'll take a propane torch to the insides of these....doesn't hurt - I guess the theory is to burn out any nosema spores, etc.

I have one hive left on the "beehouse" deck to change over to "fresh" outsides.  Then I have plenty of fresh equipment for the two packages coming in the mail...and swarm catch or two.

Moving all the frames into "new" boxes also lets you leave behind a lot of the old boxes sticky propolis "issues".  And it lets you get a real good look at every frame as they go into the new box.

UPDATE your hives on driftwatch

Another season is upon us....for those of you NOT REGISTERED - please consider it.  For those of you REGISTERED - don't forget to update:

It might not seem that programs like this have a lot of TEETH at this point - but the more (accurate) DATA entering their system, the better.  It will help them and US in the long run.  INFORMATION IS POWER.  If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.

don't forget to call the post office if you're getting bees in the mail.

I just made MY call to the POST OFFICE.  Anyone getting packages in the mail should do this.  They'll want you to come and pick-up your bees when they arrive and they'll need your phone number.  My fond du lac postal person was surprised at how many names and numbers he has "on the board" this year for bees - he asked me "what was going on?".  "Good" was my reply.  I think it's a good thing for people to be trying some different breeds - some different genetic stock maybe.  So - with that - LET'S HOPE THAT EVERYONE'S MAILED BEES ARRIVE HEALTHY and HEARTY :)  Good Luck Everyone!

LOL! I think I've seen it ALL now.....

beekeepers really are interesting folks!

Friday, April 25, 2014


I found a NEW RESOURCE for WOODWARE.  PARISH's BEE FARM - James Parish.  W2631 State Road 16 - Columbus.  920-382-4922.  HE MAKES everything HIMSELF.  I just saw the quality (another beekeeper stopped by with his stuff)'s very nice.  Give him a call and price the parts out...

(rumor has it) according to the beekeeper that stopped by,  that he also makes his own nucs, etc...and is messing around with some queen rearing!  we'll have to find out MORE about mr. parish :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

ECWBA Newsletter March 29, 2014

ECWBA Meeting Schedule 2014
• June 7, 2014.  Start time is 2:00 pm.  Location is at Denise Palkovich’s apiary.  See “field day” note below for meeting details.
• August, 2014.  Location will be Ripon.  Date and time to be determined.
• September, 2014.  Location will be Fond du Lac.  Date and time to be determined.

June Field Day
This year’s field day will be hosted by Denise Palkovich at her apiary on June 7, 2014.  We will get started at 2:00 pm.  Unless something comes up, there is not a formal meeting to take place, just a few announcements.  Denise will show us her beehives.  Then at about 3:00 pm, Craig Petros, the State Apiary Inspector, will arrive to demonstrate his process of inspecting beehives for the state.
Address and Driving directions:  Address is:  N7928 County Road WH, Fond du Lac.  To drive there:  On the east side of Fond du Lac, travel north on Highway 151.  There is a stop light at the intersection of Hwy. 151 and Hwy. WH.  Turn and travel east on WH from off of Hwy. 151.  Go up and around the corner staying on WH (toward St. Peter).  If you pass the nice pond on the left side, you just missed the driveway.  Denise will try to post a sign out front.  (a map has already been posted ECWBA website - under the PLACES tab)

Memberships for 2014
The membership dues have been reduced to $5.00 for a one year membership.  One membership entitles the member(s) to receive the newsletter, to vote on officer elections and organizational business issues, and to hold a position as an officer.  A membership may include more than one person (e.g. husband/wife, parent/child, etc.), but only one newsletter will be sent out and only one vote may be cast per membership.

Officer Election at February meeting
Thank-you to Patti Ingram for accepting the position of secretary as an officer of the ECWBA.  Andy Krueger has served us well as secretary for the past five years.  Andy will continue as the association’s librarian.  As secretary, Patti will record and maintain the minutes of the association’s meetings.

ECWBA Library
The ECWBA maintains a library from which members can check out beekeeping books.  Andy Krueger has been doing a great job as our association librarian.  If you have ECWBA books, please bring them back so we can keep those books circulating.  If you are exploring something new in beekeeping, the library probably has a book or DVD for you to check out.  This is a valuable resource – use it to your advantage!!!

Beekeeping Notes:
Prepare to start feeding sugar syrup in mid to late March once the daytime temperatures are in the 40’s and above. Continue feeding overwintered hives until we see something on which the bees can forage.
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.  Due to the long and continuing winter and the absence of any resemblance of spring time weather, the new package bees will definitely have to be fed sugar syrup and pollen substitutes.  Feeding sugar syrup is especially necessary for new beekeepers installing bees into hives with only foundation in the frame. If you apply any disease or mite controls in the spring, get what you need now and be prepared to apply the controls when necessary.  Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s directives on the label for the recommended dosage and application technique.  If you pick up bees at a beekeepers supply store, the suppliers usually have a good inventory of medications for controlling diseases and mites. Don’t forget to take your shopping list along to the beekeeper supply store when you pick-up your package bees.  It is a good time to pick-up your extra supplies while you are there.

Best of Beekeeping,
Jeff Champeau

APRIL 14...and for the journals

the beehouse is back to a SHUT-DOWN state - panels BACK ON...and canvas BACK DOWN....oy.  extra boxes and parts came to work with me today. they're in for maintenance and painting.  (WEATHER PERMITTING) these hives will get the CLEAN boxes soon.  i will take each frame out one by one and place them into the "revived" REALLY gives me a chance to go through EVERY FRAME...  then these boxes (and bottom boards, etc) will come in for maintenance and painting.

Monday, April 7, 2014

weather BREAKING ...finally!!!

this weekend was definitely a good time to get some "first of the season" beekeeping done. clean-up deadout hives, sort through frames, (i make a "to burn" pile - i just don't mess around with any nosema staining), shake out and pull out dead bees, get some of the exterior parts in shape for painting.

and for the SURVIVORS - first of all - CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!.  get a good assessment of population, if the queen is laying / brood, and do a HIVE BODY SWITCH.

your survivor hives should have some brood by now...small amounts, given the lack of resources and cool temps yet.  if you get the opportunity to really GET INTO the frames - now is the time (when your population is lower) to MARK (in your mind at least) any frames that you'll want to cycle out....and get ready to throw some new foundation in within the next week or so, and do any rearranging.  keep in mind - DO NOT MESS AROUND WITH THE BROOD AREA - don't break them apart....the nights are still cold and they have to be able to keep babies warm.

if any of you are going to throw some "super" frames into "deeps" for DRONE CUT OUT this season - get those ready (marked).  for those of you keeping all supers and no deeps - you'll have to alter a couple of super frames.  like in the picture -only your frame is shorter.  note: in the picture how these cutout frames are marked.

beekeeper wanted - waupaca area

beekeeping supplies at FLEET FARM!!!

there are BASIC items, not a lot of selection - but i think it's interesting that they're making an attempt: