Tag Archives: honeybees

Batten Down The Hatches! Prepping for Hurricane Sandy

28 Oct
Ventilation holes up top, Pre-Duct-Taping

Ventilation holes up top, Pre-Duct-Taping

Duct-Taped Ventilation Holes

Duct-Taped Ventilation Holes. Ready to ride out the storm!

With the impending storm, I have finally gotten enough pressure to clean up the roof and tie down anything loose with a bungee cord. The hives have always been storm proofed, tied down to four concrete blocks with two cargo ratcheting straps. Along with about 100+ lbs of honey, the hives are not going anywhere.

Since Hive A had the modification from last check-in (where I doubled up on the top ventilation shims to accommodate the beautiful work of “freestyle” combs they created right off the inner cover), I sealed up all of the ventilation holes on the shims. The hive still has the main ventilation in the inner cover and bottom screen board has not been covered up, so I hope that should be enough ventilation but keep the water and wind out during the storm.

Freestlyin' Inner-Cover

Freestlyin’ Inner-Cover

I confess, I still have not prepped the hives for the winter.

My main decision in making sure that the bees survive the winter, is to not harvest at all this year.

Kickstarter sponsors: Please bear with us as we are setting ourselves up for a good, plentiful summer harvest in 2013.

Before the first frost, my intention is to create a new shim for Hive B, so that there is enough space to insert a chunk of dry sugar in there. For Hive A, I’ll insert the sugar next to the freestyle combs, which are only covering about 50% of the inner cover. The freestyle combs look like the combs in a top bar hive or skeps. Next year, I plan to cut the combs out and tie them to frames, but for now, they look too beautiful for me to mess with them.

I laid out a whole lot of intentions and plans, but the bees usually laugh at all of them, and I usually have to invent something new…

May everyone and their bees stay safe.

Here’s a glob of propolis I scraped out in the last check-in. For good luck.

Gob-O-Propolis from last check-in for good luck

Gob-O-Propolis from last check-in for good luck

UPDATE: The honeybees made it through Sandy!!!


Third Check-In: Got Stung. And Burnt.

20 Jun

I checked in on the bees for the first time, solo, and here’s the report I wrote to our beekeeper Phil:

date: Sun, Jun 19, 2011 at 10:56 PM
subject: Third Check-In

Hi Phil,

I checked in on the bees today, cleaned up the feeder and replaced the syrup.

I saw the queen as well. Our queen is only slightly bigger than a drone, but definitely had longer, pointy tail and did not have big eyes like the drones.

I think they were happy and OK, but one thing concerned me. They built upwards, and began a big comb right into the feeder.

I did not want to take it out, as I didn’t know what to do.
So rather than do something drastic, I just left them in there.

It seems that because they built upwards, they haven’t gone sideways. Like last time, only 4 five wax foundations are filled (pollen, bigger grubs, and more capped comb), and they haven’t expanded to the six five other foundations on both sides….

Should I take it out?
When are you going on vacation?
Wanna come look before you go?

I got stung on my finger when I accidentally grabbed a bee along with a frame, but it didn’t hurt as bad as when, earlier, I accidentally overreached for the smoker and burned the same finger.

I think I flicked the bee in time so the stinger didn’t stay in the skin, and the finger didn’t swell. Got a blister for the burn though.

Live and learn.