Since getting involved in beekeeping I have become more aware of the world around me. While driving I look for what is in bloom and sometimes make other discoveries. This time of year I have my eyes peeled for Asters, Golden Rod, Iron Weed, and Puffball Mushrooms!
I take about 5 different routes home from work to mix things up and make the daily commute less boring. I cover a lot of ground over the course of a week, back and forth to work. Last weekend on the way home I spied a Puffball out in a pasture. It was the first one I have seen this season. I don’t know who owns the land and didn’t want to trespass after a puffball, so I just snapped a picture. A couple years ago I made a haul on the way home from painting swarm traps. I found 3 massive puffballs that day. I asked permission and loaded them in the car. There was enough for eating and dehydrating. That was 10/4/2011. Continue reading →
These things are in good shape. They must be moved.
Don’t store traps all winter in a location as pictured in the previous post. The traps were all lined up on the concrete floor with big cracks in it. Termites were in several of the boxes after only being there for 2 weeks. I didn’t spray anything because I want bees in those boxes next Spring. They weren’t established and didn’t damage anything, but they were in there snooping around. Continue reading →
The Jerusalem Artichokes (Sun chokes) have been in bloom the last couple weeks. This time of year I cut the blooms off for two reasons. I have read that when you remove the flowers, they will put more resources into making larger tubers. I don’t know if this is true, but I remove the flowers anyway because my landlord isn’t real keen on me having sun chokes anyway.
Last week I was interviewed by Jack Spirko at The Survival Podcast. When the interview was over my head was spinning and I am not confident I communicated everything as clearly as I should have. It probably didn’t sound like it, but I did prepare prior to the interview. I had an outline ready but once we began talking all of that stuff went out the window. I will admit to being nervous and there were times I rambled and as a result didn’t get to some important aspects of Swarm Trapping.
Hopefully this post can clarify some things for anyone interested in making their beekeeping life more sustainable. Resupply your vacated hive equipment for free by swarm trapping. Continue reading →
I have been trying to think about ways that new beekeepers can find locations to set swarm traps. I remember being new to this and how alien it all seemed that first year. Beekeeping was hard to “get into”. So you don’t know if you want to take the time building traps if there are no feral bees around??? Heck I understand. Depending on where you live you might be surprised though. They might just show up in the darnedest places.
Bees are in this area.
Becoming a beekeeper has made me A LOT more observant about the world around me. Bees are very good at keeping a low profile except under a few circumstances. Last week I stopped in the gas station to fill the car. I saw motion around the trash can and on closer inspection realized that there were honeybees checking out a discarded pop bottle.
Last weekend I finally got Trap 27 IN!!! It had been loaned to another beekeeper and was in their vehicle for the last several weeks. All traps are now accounted for and once #27 is cleaned up, trap work for 2013 will be done. (The picture is #27 last fall. I forgot to take a picture last weekend.)
It is important to clean traps out at the end of each season if you want them to last. There may be wax moths and larvae in there. I remove those and feed em’ to the chickens. Earwigs, ants, and spiders of several different species will set up shop also. Some of these inhabitants make a real mess inside. The unwelcome insects and all their junk should be dumped out after removing the frames. Once debugged the EMPTY frames can be put back inside the trap, along with the lid-screws and Lemon Grass Oil baggies. The lids are set on top and the traps are stacked out of the way until next Spring. Stack the ones that need work in a separate location from the ones ready for next Spring. Continue reading →
As you have noticed I haven’t been posting as much as last year. I have had a lot going on in the personal life and posting has slid A LOT. I knew early in the year that time was going to be tight in 2013 so I loaned out about 15 of my traps to two different beekeeping friends. Mike brought his back a couple of weeks ago, and last weekend I finally had a chance to open them up for cleaning prior to storage. Mike told me there was some squirrel damage, but I didn’t think much of it. I mean how bad could it be? answer: PRETTY <EXPLETIVE> BAD! Continue reading →
1110 – 7/25/11 HIT – these bees were there in the evening, but by morning 7/26/11 they had moved to TRAP12
It’s July the 1st. Where has 2013 gone? I have done an extremely poor job keeping you up to date with the goings on around here. Swarming was muted a little in May due to cooler than normal temperatures and didn’t really begin in earnest until we had some hot steamy days in June. When I first got into beekeeping I remember hearing this rhyme about, “A swarm in May, is worth a LOAD OF HEY, One in June is worth a Silver Spoon, and One in July not being worth a fly.” Those first couple of years I heard this many times from many different sources. Now I believe just like a lot of repeated B.ovine S.catology this rhyme should be put to bed.
8/4/11 – hived to become 1110
Perhaps in our world of instant gratification a swarm in July can’t give you a honey crop the first year. Asking a first year swarm to give you a crop is asking A LOT no matter what month they are caught in. Like asking a 3 month old to go get a job. I have experimented with extracting honey from first year colonies and have gotten them to produce, often times regretting the loss of many of those colonies. Continue reading →
This year overwintered colonies seem to reaffirm conclusions that I have suspected for a long period of time. Not all bees are created equal!
This is two colonies from feral stock Easter weekend 2013. 1005 (Left) is one from 2010 and 1208 (right) is one caught last summer at my next door neighbor’s. They saw it come from the woods south of their home. This video is from Easter weekend 2013. Continue reading →
Once again I have allowed a lull in posting. I want to explain myself since the busiest part of my beekeeping season is NOW and I haven’t posted at all. It is not that I have lost interest in the blog or beekeeping. I have had other things going on……
Two weeks ago today my wife gave birth to a little boy – Joel. Since then both of us have been re-prioritizing. I haven’t lost any passion for beekeeping as his first outfit will show. Our lives have been ruled by the every 2 – 3 hour feedings and diaper changes. It has been a crazy adjustment, but Mom and Joel are doing great. Continue reading →