Archive for the ‘beekeeping’ Category

I checked the hives today to see if the queens had started laying and I found eggs in both hives.  You can see them easily against the black foundation; they look like a little grain of rice standing up in the cell.


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Bees and Pollen

I managed to take some pictures of the bees collecting pollen from a flowering tree in our yard.  I think it might even be an apple tree.  Notice the pollen sacs on their legs full of bright yellow pollen (also from the dandelions).

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I did it!



I managed to install 2 packages last night, that’s about 18,000 bees, or 6 pounds of them.  It went really well (I think).   Dan came out with me and proved to be a great help and extra pair of hands.  Hive one are Carniolan bees and hive two are MN hygenic (resistant to varroa mites).  Tonight I will do a quick check and make sure that they are getting their sugar syrup ok and I will unplug their entrance so they can start to leave the hive.  Then I will leave them alone for 4-5 days until I check for eggs and/or larvae to make sure that the Queen is laying.

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Bee hives keeping me busy




The Bees are coming (6 pounds of them!) around April 24th which also happens to be Ethan’s birthday.  He’s really excited and now he wants to have a bee cake.  I have a lot of work to do!  There are 10 boxes which must be glued and nailed together, then painted.  There are 100 frames to assemble too.  I still need to purchase my bee suit and gloves, and a couple other small tools.  I was told that it is a matter of when, not if, that a bear will eventually get to the hives.  They are acually after the larvae not the honey, although I’m sure they still love to eat it.  I’m not sure if I want a big electric fence up in the yard either.  I have at least one child who would learn the hard way the effects of electricity!

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Beekeeping Supplies

List of beekeeping supplies and equiptment that I need to start ordering:

bee suit with veil (would like to get 2 of these)

gloves (cow hide was recommended)

hive tool, smoker, smoker fuel, bee brush, scratcher

Each colony (hive):

bottom board w/entrance reducer

deep hive bodies (3), unassembled

deep frames with foundation (30)

telescoping cover with inner cover

queen excluder

medium honey supers (1-3)

medium frames with foundation (10-30)

2# package of bees

sugar feeder bucket

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Notes on the Honeybee

I’m learning some very cool things about bees in my class.  Bees can see in ultraviolet light; we can’t.  These pictures are representative of how some flowers look to bees:

The first is how humans see the flower and the second is what a bee sees.

The queen bee, when laying eggs into the honey comb cells, can determine if she should lay a fertilized egg or an unfertilized egg by measuring the cell with her forelegs.  She would place an unfertilized egg (male, drone) into a slightly larger cell, than one meant for a fertilized egg (female, worker).

Bees have hairs which stick out between their thousands of eyes lenses that are actually air speed indicators.

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Beekeeping 101

I’m taking a beekeeping class at a local community college in preparation for starting 2 colonies this spring.  At the first class we learned about the history and evolution of beekeeping practices and hives throughout the world.  These are my favorite pics:

Honey Hunter from Cameroon (I think Hunter is a well-deserved title)

An eyehole was woven into the mask

Wow! I don’t think they are working with the calm, docile bees that I will have either.  I’ll be ordering mine next week hopefully.

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