Monday, August 26, 2013

Bee Vlog - August 23, 2013

A bucket of old comb from a cutout has been sitting in my garage since June 1st without problems, then a few weeks ago I removed some comb from a weak hive and put it in with the rest of the old comb. Unbeknownst to me, that comb had wax moth eggs. These eggs hatched some time in the past week and began their destruction. Eating through the old wax and spinning their silky webs and cocoons all over.

I wasn't saving this wax for anything. I was just trying to get my solar wax melter finished up so I could melt it down. So now, I'm going to just let the larvae do their thing as I feed them to my chickens! The chickens love it. At first they didn't know what to think of the combs being given to them, but once they got a taste they learned quickly how to get the most out of each comb.

I doubt I'll be able to salvage much of the wax after the chickens pick through it, but it's not a big deal.

Video Link

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bee Vlog - August 6, 2013

Most of my hives have exiled the drones by now. But this one is letting them stay on a little longer (Queen Beatrice's hive). I saw drones freely coming and going so I shot some video footage today. I slowed the footage down to 1/4 speed and give some assistance to the viewer at first. See if you can learn to spot the drones on your own.

Video Link

Monday, August 5, 2013

Bee Vlog - August 3, 2013

Queen Beatrice and Queen Flora have enough surplus honey that I can now harvest some of it. Beatrice weighs 176 lbs (132 lbs after harvest). Flora weighs 166 lbs (149 lbs after harvest. Even though Flora was 1 box shorter she essentially weighs the same. The 10 lbs difference is approximately the weight of an empty box.

I only took 5 frames from Beatrice and 2 frames from Flora. It isn't the harvest I was hoping to get because there was still some good honey frames that weren't fully ripened yet. Even though the main nectar flow is over it may have been too early to attempt a harvest. I need to give them a little more time to ripen and cap the honey. So I might be doing another harvest in a month. I do want to make sure not to take too much though so I can leave them enough to over-winter.

In this video I demonstrate 2 methods of doing crush & strain. Two of the frames I didn't crush, I just cut out sections and stored them in some storage containers for "cut comb." It can be eaten as-is, chunks can be cut off to sweeten oatmeal, or eat with cheese and crackers, etc.

Video Link

Raw honey after straining
Cut comb

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bee Vlog - July 28, 2013

I attended a treatment-free beekeeping conference at Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR. This was the first year this particular conference was put on and I'd say it was a big success. It was great to hear some lectures and have workshops with some experts in the field, as well as meet and network with other beekeepers from all over the US, Canada, and even as far as New Zealand!

This video is broken up into 3 parts. The first was a mini-workshop on swarms, taught by Dr Tom Seeley (auther of "Honeybee Democracy"). The 2nd part features some musical selections performed by Timothy Sellers from Artichoke. The 3rd part was a queen grafting workshop taught by Melanie Kirby from Zia Queenbee.

There were also lectures from Dr. Seeley, Dr. Deborah Delaney, Kirk Webster, Dr. Sujaya Rao, Eliese Watson, Dr. Lynn Royce. And workshops taught by Les Crowder and Matt Reed. I didn't get any video of any of the lectures or other workshops, but I'll update this post with links to videos other people put online as they get posted.

Dr. Tom Seeley - Honeybee Democracy (video by beethinking)
Dr. Deborah Delaney - The Sustainability of Honeybees (video by beethinking)

Video Link