Bee Blog

Honey Flow

 A medium frame with bees capping the cured honey.  Over the past few weeks, the bees have been collecting nectar and packing it away.  We did harvest  several honey supers last week. We did extract the full honey supers so we can put the supers back on the hives  Today, I was checking the 6 hives at one of my apiaries on the farm. The hives were package bees installed in mid April. All of the hives needed another honey super. Good thing I put extra boxes in my truck. The best hive had bees 10 frames wide in the honey super and capping the center frames. This hive has already produced 35-40lbs. That is from a new package installed on drawn comb not on foundation. That's not to shabby. I will be checking all my hives to harvest honey and add new honey supers. 

Checking Queens

 The weather hasn't been the best for beekeeping. But you have to check the bees. In the past few days, we have gone through many hives. Adding honey supers on some hives and second deep boxes on the packages installed about a month ago. I have to inspect 15 nucs today. I will bring a bottom boards, covers,boxes and extra frames to the apiary. I might have to install nucs into 10 frame equipment. I have found the queens we installed into these nucs are great. They all have had nice brood patterns and built up quickly.


   I caught a 4lb swarm on mothers day. The call came in around 10:30am Sunday morning. I jumped in the truck and drove up the street to Bradford to catch it. It was only about 6 feet off the ground. I got up on the second step of the ladder and snipped a couple small branches. Then fit the swarm into a the bucket and shook the branch. All the bees fell into the bucket. I put screen cover on the bucket quickly. Thats about it. The actual capture time was less than 10 minutes. 

  Monday, the call came in 2;30 in the afternoon. I drove over to Salem and caught a swarm that was only 5 ft off the ground in a shrub. This swarm was musher bigger. It was about 7lbs. The swarm fit into the bucket. I didn't cut any branches on this one. I shook it into the bucket and placed the cover on quickly. I waited for many of the bees to land on the cover before placing the bucket into the screened swarm box. The capture took less then 10 minutes.

  Today, I was busy tending to my hives. It was about 3;30. Yup, you guessed it. I went to Ipswich to catch my third swarm in 3 days. This swarm was only a couple feet off the ground. It was the quickest capture ever. I went over to the swarm and fit it into the bucket. I snipped the branch and put the screen cover on the bucket. I caught every bee. 

Varroa Mites

  This spring was the same as every other year. We clean our deadouts and go through the hives that survived the winter. We had a very successful survival rate this year. I feel one reason is the treatment for the varroa mite in the fall.  There are obviously many other variables. But right now its about the varroa. While doing our spring cleaning, We didn't see many varroa either. We treated in the spring and now have honey supers on most of our hives.



   The swarm season is upon us already. There should be many swarms this year. Since we had such a mild winter. There were a hand full of beekeepers mentioning swarms in the store over the weekend. We are suppose to get rain all week. I'm sure some strong hives are going to feel congested and end up swarming.  There will probably be a few swarms on the next few sunny days. We carry a swarm box, swarm buckets and bee vacuum around with us for the next month or so.  Hopefully I catch a swarm or two. I'll keep track of the amount of swarms I catch this year.  The swarm in the Pine tree is from a friends hive. His swarms go to the same spot year after year.

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