Bee Blog

Beekeeping Advice

  This is for the new beekeepers. While working in the Crystal Bee Supply store, I hear to many stories about how a new beekeeper took advice from unknown sources or inexperienced beekeepers.  In 1993, I started working the bees with my father. Never had to ask anyone  for beekeeping advice.  My father would explain what he was doing and why. My father,Vin is one of the most knowledgeable beekeepers around. That made it easy for me to learn about bees. I have been to lectures, conferences and classes for beekeeping to further my beekeeping education. Taking a good bee class, read books and learn on your own is the best advice i can give.  Don't depend on others to keep your bees. I answer questions from my beekeeping students during the spring and summer. It shows me they want to learn. I try to take the time to make sure their question is answered and they feel confident in their choice.This season was a great honey production for many first year beekeepers. Congrats!!!!!  Now get your bees ready for winter. 

September Beekeeping

  The summer is ending. We are pulling all of our honey supers off and starting to treat for varroa mites and nosima. The first thing put a rim on top of the top box for the Apiguard treatment. Start feeding a 2-1 syrup with Fumigilin B. Follow directions of all treatments and never purchase any pre mixed medicated sugar syrup  or  any treatment not in manufacturers packaging. 

Preparing Your Honey Bees For Winter

  Yes, thats right. Lets start preparing our bees for winter. It starts with removing all the honey supers. Then I weigh each hive. I put a med/feeder rim on top of the hive. I treat for Varroa mites using Apiguard. I feel it is one of the best treatments available. You should follow directions of treatment. It covers 24-28 days and eliminates 99% or so of the mites. Since Apiguard is a vapor. It treats for tracheal mites as well. We will start feeding the bees with a 2 to 1 sugar syrup with Fumigilin B.  Most of our hives seem full of honey. If the bees do not touch the medicated syrup. I will drizzle it over them to force them to clean it up and store or eat it. We can wait to rap the hive and put the mouse guard on.

Late Summer Nectar Flow

  There is still nectar for the honey bees to collect. I have seen golden rod, purple loosestrife and japanese bamboo with bees of all kinds on them. We are removing all our honey supers and preparing the hives for winter. So our bees will be able to fill their hive with enough stores to survive the winter. Most of the hives I have weighed have been nice and heavy. 

Honey Flow

  This blog is dedicated to those people who tell new beekeepers."You will never produce honey on their first season." That kind of makes me laugh. Those people most likely know very little about beekeeping and producing honey. Many first year beekeepers have already extracted honey this year. There is still several weeks left to have the bees collect more nectar. Ive noticed purple loosestrife with honey bees all over it. I have also chatted with many  beekeepers whose hives were honey bound.  Whether they put the honey super on late or not enough honey supers on the hive. It could have been just because there was such a great nectar flow this season. This year we have rented and sold more extractors, buckets, sieves and honey jars than in years past.  So I know its a good year for honey.

  We have had the best honey producing year in over a decade. The packages which we installed in April have mostly all produced about 4 honey supers. A few of them produce only a few honey supers. I think we only had a handful of hives that didn't produced much. Our over wintered hives have produced a ton. Unless of course it swarmed. The best hive we have has produced 8 honey super so far this season.  We have also tested the honey of many beekeepers and finding the moisture content is between 15-15.6%. Which is on the low side. Probably due to the lack of rain. It makes it a little longer to extract. If your hive did not produce honey or have your hive swarm. Maybe your hive is in an area that lacks good nectar sources.

  Today, I went to a few apiaries in the morning to harvest some full honey supers. The picture below shows the hive with 2 deep brood boxes, a queen excluder, 2 honey supers, a bee escape(with white stripe on  left side of box), 4 full capped honey supers, and then the inner & outer covers.  I removed the 4 full supers and found the bees drawing comb in the bee escape. The 2 supers under the bee escape had bees heavy on each frame. The supers were almost full. I put another super on. I will check these hives in 10 days. This hive has produced 8 honey supers and has 2 more that will be harvested on my next visit. What a great honey producing year. I will probably say that many more times before the season is over. 

Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint