Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bee Vlog - March 9, 2013

In this episode I talk about my location in Beaverton, Oregon. I talk about the major forage for nectar and pollen sources, as well as the green space and wetlands commonly found here. The weather is a big factor on how we manage bees and some of the difficulties it can present.

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In this inspection I was only trying to get an idea of the population size. We're coming up on swarm season soon and I needed to know if they were getting crowded and if they were building queen cells.

Some beekeepers will also switch the boxes this part of the season. During the winter the bees move up into the upper boxes as they eat their honey stores. So moving the upper boxes to the bottom pushes them back down again and encourages brood to stay down low instead of getting up into the honey. I contemplated doing this, but ultimately changed my mind. I didn't want to separate the cluster from their honey. And I think they'll move back down as necessary. So I'm leaving things alone and just seeing how it all works out. I've done more manipulations with this hive than I'd normally like to do anyway.

My smoker wasn't working right so I wasn't able to properly smoke them. I was having trouble because I was trying out burlap as the fuel instead of my usual pine needles and wood chips blend (because it was all wet). I've tried burlap before with no success, but I thought I'd give it a second chance. Well, the bees never got smoked right and were on high alert and I got stung.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Bee Vlog - March 2, 2013

I don't do a full inspection today, just take a peek under the hood and swap out some frames of honey. Last fall I moved some frames of honey from Queen Anne to Queen Beatrice. Those frames where drawn out very thick and didn't fit together very well. Now that Queen Anne is dead I have some extra frames of honey that are moldy and I can't extract or use. So I'm harvesting the really thick frame of honey and giving Beatrice 4 new frames of dirty honey in its place. The bees can clean up the mold and use it just fine.

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