Monday, June 13, 2016

Observation Hive at Festival of Flowers - Bee Vlog - Jun 13, 2016

The theme of Festival of Flowers this year at Pioneer Courthouse Square is "Be Friendly PDX." I was invited to be on KGW's morning news "Out & About" segment, bring an observation hive, and talk about bees in Portland.

Tour de Hives is on June 25-26, 2016. Buy tickets here.

Video Link

You can watch the entire interview below.

Video Link

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wasp Nest In My Trap - Bee Vlog - May 18, 2016

I was refreshing the bait in one of my swarm traps and found a wasp nest. After some slo-mo inspection of the video footage (and discussion with others in the YouTube comments), it look like this was a yellowjacket nest.

Video Link

Monday, May 9, 2016

Supers, Splits, & Starvation - Bee Vlog - May 9, 2016

So much going on in this video! I got to meet Michael Bush! I give a quick rundown on my winter successes and failures. The plan today was to just run to all my out-yards and add supers, but found queen cells in one and split them to make 2 new resource hives (more on what a resource hive is in a future video). I also go through a dead-out to see what done them in.

Video Link

Monday, April 25, 2016

How To Install A Nuc - Bee Vlog - Apr 25, 2016

Installing nucs at Zenger Farm. Also, taking a look at the monitoring system donated by (This donation was a gift to the Portland Urban Beekeepers club for use at their club apiary at Zenger Farm.)

Video Link

Monday, April 18, 2016

Flow Hive - Up Close - Apr 18, 2016

I finally got my hands on a Flow hive. In this video I cover the concerns I think are most important to address.

Video Link

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Overwintered Nuc - March 2016

I had 2 nucs going into winter, trying out a new way to insulate and protect the hive. It seemed to work okay. One hive died. I think it was due to a problem with the queen, so insulation wouldn't have helped there. The other hive did great and came out really strong. However, the insulation provided a nice space for ants to create a little nest of their own under the top. Ants everywhere! Even with Tanglefoot on the posts. Apparently Tanglefoot requires re-application from time to time.

Ready for a bigger hive

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Nuc Winter Insulation

Winter is coming (it had to be said), and I'm trying a little test on overwintering a couple 5-frame nucs. I don't normally insulate my hives because I don't think it's necessary in my area. Bees can maintain their heat within a cluster just fine. However, things might be different in these small nucs. The cluster is much closer to the walls of the hive. My hypothesis is that the cluster loses more heat due to the proximity to the cold walls in a nuc than they would in a 10-frame hive. (Think: standing against an uninsulated window on a cold day vs standing a few feet away.) So the test here is to decrease heat loss through the side walls (the ones they are most likely in contact with) and see how it improves things.

The features here are, double-thick foam insulation on the roof (like last year). 1-inch thick foam insulation on the sides. A corrugated plastic rain roof with a drip edge on the front. The hive is tilted forward to promote water runoff on the inside ceiling, so it doesn't drip on the bees. Ventilation holes in the bottom and top box. Everything is taped together with white duct tape (not very pretty, but that's not the point).

Of course there are many factors that go into hive winter survival, so if these 2 hives die it may be hard to know if the insulation helped or not. But I'll let you know how things turn out next spring.