I know this has nothing to do with bees, but I thought you may enjoy this video I made of a local fly in that I attended. I flew my Challenger to the event and it was a day full of good conversation and entertainment. Who doesn't like to talk airplane anyway?
Yesterday I harvested the honey from the 4 hives that my Father has. Two of the hives were not ready to harvest in that there was largely uncapped honey. I did harvest the other 2 hives and they were full of capped honey. We received about 5 gallons of honey per hive. It was very hot in my bee garb but we made it through the 95 deree temp by harvesting early that morning. I need to figure out how to harvest these hive in the spring and fall when the temp is more tolerable. My hives are simply not ready to harvest in the spring. I just need to find out more about how this works because I know that the professional beekeepers harvest in spring ad fall around here. Any suggestions?
Just to review, I have 3 hives in my backyard. The nuc hive is the hive that I posted about in the prior post now has a laying queen. I plan to transfer the frames into a larger hive later this week. The middle hive is now 100 percent full of capped honey, plan on harvesting that this weekend as well. The 3rd and final hive was occupied by wax moths. I really dislike those little creatures. Had to destroy that hive.
This is a video of my first attempt to manipulate the queenless nuc hive to form their own queen cells from fertilized grafted larvae from a gueenright hive. It worked and I have 7 queen cells to show for this. Check it out.
This is how I make my queen cells for grafting. The mold is made from 3/8 inch hardwood dowels that are rounded on the end. Simply dip them into hot bees wax and once cool, pop them off. I add a little soap on the dowel prior to first dip to make them easier to remove. The video is self explanatory. Enjoy
I checked my bees today, and they are all doing well. The bees have not filled the honey supers yet. I had a little spare time today so I decided to build a meat cleaver. I know it has nothing to do with bees but I thought I would share this video with you guys. Thanks for watching.
The owner of a horse barn was going to have a bee hive exterminated. My friend and I interveined and saved the hive. This video shows how we salvaged the bees, the brood and wax were placed in a Langstroth hive. The bees were added and the last report was the bees were doing good. Watch the video. This is the bee vacuum that I made in action. See previous video of how to make the bee vacuum.
Today is March 19 20011. This is the first swarm of the season that we have had at our apiary and I video'd how we go about capturing the bees from a swarm. These bees were placed in a nuc hive later that evening with no problems. Check out the video and enjoy.
This weekend, I opened my backyard hives and did an inspection of the overall status of them. Not too bad, no hive beetles noted, no obvious diseases noted. The bees are going in and out with pollen. Overall, healthy assessment. Looking forward to honey this year, I am now out of honey from last year. Enjoy the inspection video.
I took a video of the oldest known civilization site found in the United States. It is called Watson Brake and is near my home. The local archeologist at University of Louisiana at Monroe has actually performed carbon dating on items found at the site that date older than Poverty Point Civilization. Not much known about this site but will more than likely become a national site of interest one day like Poverty Point. The video was at 1000 ft above ground level and although it is hard to tell by the video, there is a series of mounds located there. Hope you enjoy the video. The weather was beautiful that day.
The little birds have been feeding around in the yard probably because food is scarce for them. I decided to make a bird feeder to help them out. I had no plans or photo of bird feeders so I just went into the shop and began building. I had some left over 1/4 inch plexiglass that I used for the sides and I have lots of cedar from when I had my sawmill. In about one hour I had a bird feeder that works well. The video shows exactly how I constructed the feeder, maybe you can build one as well, the birds will thank you by eating out of your feeder. I placed my feeder near my bedroom window so I can see them each morning when I am getting dressed for work. Just a little something to brighten your day. Thanks
Today was a beautiful day and temps up to 49. I went to check out the foliage and saw that the chicasaw plum trees are budding. The bees love this little tree, it is one of the first trees to flower and usually flowers in mid March. Check out the photos. Sorry they are blurry, but you get the idea.
This winter I have been dabbling in soap making. Using the salvaged bees wax from previous uncappings and other oils I have come up with a pretty good recipe for bath soap. I use it in the shower. I needed a soap cutter, so I designed and built one. Check out the videos.
I checked out my bee hives today. The temp was around 64 F. They were very active. I could see them bringing some kind of pollen into the hives. I have no idea where they are finding this pollen but you can see for yourself on the video. Nice to see them finally get out and fly about. Looking forward to 2011 bee keeping.
I covered the two hives that are remaining in the backyard with a tarp. Was careful not to occlude their entrance/exit. I did not harvest honey from them this fall in hopes that they will have enough honey to make it through the winter without starving. I'll keep an eye on them just in case. I hope all my followers have a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Thank you for commenting on my postings, especially you Kat.
Well, Today is December 10, 2010 and I checked on the swarm that was caught earlier this year in July. See posting below. The hive was nearly empty of bees. No honey, no brood, only empty comb. This has happened to me every year when I catch a swarm after May. I am convinced a swam in July really is not worth a fly.
Regardless of the title of this post, I have caught another swarm. Today is July 2 2010. I have never had much success with swarms caught this late in the season but I am going to give it a try. I plan to feed this hive more often. Maybe it will make it through the winter. We will see. See following video of this swarm.
Today I harvested the honey from one of my hives in the backyard. This hive has one brood hive and 3 supers. All 3 supers were full of capped honey. Yielded 8.5 gallons of sweet light color honey. I was overwhelmed with the honey that this hive produced this year. Video to follow soon.
My Dad and I harvested the honey from two of his hives. We were careful to only obtain the capped frames, yielded 3 1/2 gallons. Not bad but certainly not great. This was a darker honey as well. Had fun doing this. I think our next harvest with his hives will be in about a month and a half.
Not much happening with the bees lately other than adding supers as needed. Swarm season is pretty much over here in North East Louisiana. Here they begin swarming at the end of March and the first few weeks of April. After that, swarms are not common. Should be harvesting the first hives within a couple of weeks.
Today I checked on my swarm boxes and noticed that the 5 gallon bucket (see earlier post) swarm catch now has a rather large swarm in it. I am thrilled that this worked. Now you guys can replicate what I did and feel confident that you are doing the correct thing to catch a swarm.
These are the hives that I have on my tree farm. The first hive (with 3 supers) is a hive that my Dad caught this year as a swarm. It is a very strong swarm. The bees are more black in color than the other hives that have a higher percentage of of italian breed queens. The second hive is a hive that I split from my hive at my residence. It is fairly slow to grow, but steadily improving. The last hive is a hive that I caught this year on the tree farm property. They are more italian breed type bee and they are growing fairly well. I built a metal hive stand that will hold 4 hives.
This is me transfering the swarm that I caught to a full size brood hive.
This little bee seems happy with his new home. Out of the nuc home and into the full size brood home.
This is a photo of the swarm in its original nuc catch hive. It is simply a nuc hive made from scrap wood. It works fine. The bees do not seem to care about the quality of wood the hive is made.
This is basically a note for swarms. Here in Northeast Louisiana the bees began swarming at the last week of March. My Dad has caught 4 swarms in the past 4 days in the first week of April. Lots of activity with all of the pollen. The pine trees have released their pollen and every thing is now green with pollen. They strarted releasing the pollen during the last week of March. On April 8th, all trees are full with fresh green leaves. This year I will attempt to maintain 6 hives of my own and 4 hives of my fathers.
The white nuc hive is the swarm that my Dad caught for me. It is actually a quite large hive. I plan to move them to a regular brood hive later this weekend.
This is a make shift swarm catch hive made from a discarded ice chest.
Inside view of the ice chest swarm catch. The top bars are secured with melted bees wax.
This is a discarded ice chest that I found on the side of the road. I thought this could be modified to be a top bar hive/swarm catch hive. Lets see how it works.
Ok, Today I have confirmed that I have actually caught a new swarm in one of my swarm boxes. They are moving pollen in and are very active. My Dad also brought me a new swarm that he caught yesterday. This swarm is actually larger than the one I caught.
Today I checked my swarm boxes and 2 of the 3 boxes had bees in them. I am still not convinced there is a swarm in them just yet though, maybe they are just interested in the pheremone. I'll keep watching in hopes to see a bee actually take some pollen into the hive. Then I will be confident there is a swarm /queen in there. I am loving these beautiful days we are having. Tomorrow after work, I am going to try to do some catfishing with my bud.
...another bee or two that made it through the winter.
This is my compost bin I made earlier this month. Simple
All you do is turn it manually when you feel like it. It has leaves, chicken manure and food scraps in it. It is suppose to make "..excellent quality compost." We shall see.
A blurry photo of my blueberry bushes. I have 4 of these. These are rabbiteye blueberrys, climax variety. I fertilized them this winter with azelia (spelling?) fertilize.
Just good to see these.
Temp rising. I usually smoke at anywhere from 225-250 degrees.
This is smoke coming from my newly constructed smoker. It only smokes when I first start the fire. Once the fire is established there is hardly any smoke when using charcoal as the fuel. I used some hickory but is is too smokey for me. I am going to try pecan as the fuel the next time I smoke.
This is the basket that holds the fuel for the smoker. This goes in the bottom of the smoker of course.
This is how I get the charcoal started. No lighter fluid need with one of these gizmos.
The fire basket sits on the bottom grate. You can see the air intake that directs regulated air to the bottom of the smoker basket.
This is the air intake valve. All made from scrap metal.
I have the capability of smoking on 4 racks. The inside diameter of the smoker is 23 1/2 inches. The door has a high heat silicone seal (red). There is no air leakage.
Side view with the doors shut. I have 2 temp gauges. One just below the top rack and one just below the bottom rack.
A good overall view of the smoker. Never mind all of my junk around it.
Another good view of the smoker. It is a 105 gallon propane tank that I made into a vertical smoker. Another project I made in my garage.
I am a "do it yourselfer" I am known here by by my friends and family to embark on projects that are interesting as well as challenge me. I hope my blogs inspire and educate the reader and makes life easier for them who are knowledge hungry for various topics.