Brother’s Hive!!


By the way, my brother just won a hive the same way I did.  He wrote an essay and submitted it to the UCBA.  Now his hive sits right next to mine in our “Beeyard”.  He also is starting a blog.  The URL is honeysuper.wordpress.com .  It is called Honey Bee Haven.  Go check it out to see his hive!!

So if you see a random hive in some of my pictures, you know what it is!

It’s Been a While!!


Wow… It’s been a really long time since I’ve written on here. I just checked my hive a few days back and it’s doing great!! As we speak (or more like type) my bees are out there working on their fourth super!! Hurray!! That’s already more than I had last year!! When I checked them, the super only had four or five frames left to build. That means I might just have to add another super sometime next week. And I thought buying a couple more supers was over doing it.

Anyway, while I was out there, we decided to put on a screened bottom board. I talked about that a while back in my Ventilation post. It is a bottom board that is mostly screen. It has two main purposes. The first, ventilation. It helps air flow through the hive and help keep it cool. This will help the honey dry faster and let the bees work on other things. It also keeps mold and crap from growing. If it gets too moist in there, the bees get stressed. When the bees get stressed, Varroa mites start to take over. Which leads us to the next reason for a screened bottom board. When mites fall off of bees, they will fall through the screen and to the ground. With a normal bottom board, the mites fall off and just crawl back onto another bee. Now they just fall through.

After I had checked the supers and put the screened bottom board on, I Powder-Sugared my hive. I got a bunch of Powdered-Sugar and sifted it into my hive. You see, powdered-sugar is actually a lot of small crystals. These crystals when dropped on mites, cause a bunch of small cuts. The mite population is injured horribly by this. Some mites die while others just let go and fall through the bottom board. (Good thing I got that screen!!) I went and did it to every box.

Not that I saw any mites in my hive. They seem to be doing great!!! I just wanted to make sure that there weren’t any mites. I mean hey!! What will a little sugar do to my hive, right?

Mapping Bees


Have you ever wanted to know how far your bees fly?  Have you ever wanted to see what other beekeepers are around.  If so, there is this way awesome website that another beekeepers showed me.  Basically, you enter in your address and some information.  Then it uses a Google based map to show you how far your bees fly.  It is so cool.  Then, if you want to see the other beekeepers in your area, you can search around and find how to contact them.  I hope you all will go and try this out.  It is so COOL!!!

The link is mapmybees.com.  Please go and try it out.  I think that it will help beekeepers to communicate better.  It is a rather new website, so there aren’t many apiaries listed yet.  Hopefully, though, you will go and put yours on.  I found out that there are like ten hives that all belong to one guy, that are posted around my area.

Please go try it out!!  Have Fun!!!

The First Opening!!!!!


I opened my hive for the first time. It was awesome. There were still tons of bees all over. I thought that by now most of them would be dead, but I was wrong. They still had a little bit of honey left in store, and we saw some larvae so the queen is alive. However, there were a couple of things that I saw that I didn’t like.

As soon as I opened the hive, a nasty smell wafted out. The top popped open to reveal a small puddle of water in one of the corners. This spot had grown plenty of mold over the winter. The inner cover and the bottom of the cover had it in the corners. Then we pulled the inner cover out to see that some of the frames had mold on them. So, as I have found out in the past, my hive still needs more ventilation.    I think to get this ventilation, we are going to drill small holes in the side of the hive so that air will flow in and out freely.

We also added a pollen patty to the hive.  We had some Pollen Patty powder stuff where you just add corn syrup.  We made it according to the instructions but it never quite got thick enough.  We thought that it might have to be put in a freezer for a while so we stuck it in.  After about six hours, we pulled it out and it still wasn’t frozen all the way but we cut it in half, put it in wax paper, and put it on our hive.  It still was a little runny.  If any of you have any recipes, ideas, or tips for making pollen patties, please leave a comment telling us how.  It would help a ton if you did.  Thanks!!!

After we put the pollen patty on, we put the inside cover back on and then added a top feeder.  I got it new from Mann Lake this year.  We filled it with sugar-water (with some essential oils in it) and put it in a super.  I’m hoping the bees will start to using it so that they don’t die.  Then we switched out our old Migratory Cover with a new telescoping cover.  We are hoping that will help them survive also.

You know,  I thought that the bees were doing a great job.  I see them out and about every once in a while, and I always am just waiting for a good time when I can go out and see them again.

Now, if you have any tips our tricks that pertain to anything I have blogged about, PLEASE leave a comment.  Thanks!!!!

My Second Year!


Hurray, the second year for my hive has started!  Soon I’ll go check up on my hive and see if I need to start feeding them or anything.  Before I do that though, I’ve decided to invest in a couple more things for my hive.  First,  I definitely want to get a screened bottom board.  As you may remember I a couple problems with ventilation last year.  Now, I want to deal with that by getting a screened bottom board.  Hopefully this will help my hive not get Varroa Mites.  The second thing I want to get is a top feeder.  Last year I just had a frame feeder.  There was nothing wrong with it, we just had to go out almost every week and get into the hive to refill it.  This year, with a top, we can put more in and not have to get into the hive to refill it.  I also have to invest in a couple more supers so that I can build higher.

I will probably get these from Mann Lake.  They seem to work pretty well.

By the way,  If anyone knows of any good plants that I can plant (Flowers, Vegetables, Fruits, etc…) Please tell me.

Moths


Okay, I noticed about a trillion moths in my backyard this year. I mean by the trillions. I also have been told that moth larvae in the hive is a really really bad thing. So I started wondering if these moths would affect my hive. I’m putting this up to see if anyone knows how to keep moths away from the hive, or if anyone knows any special methods to get them out of my yard.
If you have any comments please post them. Thanks!

Mouse Guard and Entrance Reducer


Ok, so I’ve heard that you are supposed to put on your entrance reducer as the weather starts to get colder so the bees can fight off other bugs easier. I put this back on my hive so they could do so.
I’ve also heard that I’m supposed to put on a mouse guard. I put this on but now it looks like they can’t get in our out.
So what should I do? Is this right? Do I leave both on?