Beekeeping Beekeeping Beekeeping
Lost a swarm
[28-Jul-2022] Went to the hill today to kill some ants before they became a problem. Could hear the buzz of a swarm when as I got there. Took a few minutes to find them, way up in a pine tree. No way to get them down. Will have to remember to check the swarm traps.

Hive knocked over
[24-Jun-2022] Came home and one of the hives was knocked over. Will have to look at it more in the morning but it doest look like the brood nest was torn apart, so I dont think it was a bear. One of the supers was trashed, wax melted in the heat. The other is mostly intact. At least some bees are present still. There was a 26mph gust before the power went off, that shouldnt have been enough to push over a pretty fully loaded up hive, they have survived hurricanes stronger than that with nothing more than a rock on them.

Yet another way to fail at queen rearing
[05-Apr-2022] Cage queen on Sunday. Go to remove her today. She had wedged herself into the bars of the cage and died. No eggs laid.

Disaster after disaster
[29-Mar-2022] Jeep stopped running. Initial report is that the fuel pump is dead but everyone involved thinks something else is wrong too. They gave me a giant truck get a whole 13mpg. Three swarms I caught at home absconded because there wasnt anything in the box but foundation. Had to drive to Volusia last week, managed to get move hive boxes, now dont need them. Thought there was a UPS fan going back. Turned everything off, cold still hear it. Turned out there is a leak inside the wall. Oh and found termite damage when I ripped the wall open.

2 swarms
[03-Mar-2022] Wasnt able to split everything last weekend because of weather and nasty bees. Came home to two swarms yesterday, one in the orange tree and one way up in one of the oaks. Caught the low one. No way to get the other one. Both big.

[08-Jul-2021] Lost another hive at Groveland hills. Same time as the pervious years. Removed honey last Thursday, went to feed them yesterday and it was overwhelmed with beetles. Lots of dead bees in the bottom but still had capped honey. Saw eggs, larva and capped brood last Thursday so not sure why it failed. Burned all the frames. Will relocate the other hive tonight. Thought there were a lot less beetles being out in the sun, apparently not enough less.

[06-Jul-2021] Have honey again. Abt 140 lbs. Took forever. Started around 8 and finished after midnight. Had to clean up in the morning.

Swarm #4
[22-Mar-2021] Swarm #4 is up in one of the trees abt 15ft high. Got a rope over the branch and shook it but they fall to about 5ft then fly back up before they land in a box. Cant get with the bucket on a pole. Got the 13ft ladder out and cut the limb, only did a part of it because the constant winds made it unsafe. Pulled the rest of the limb down with the rope, only to have the bees relocate to another limb 10ft higher up. Giving up.

The next day the swarm moved into the bait hive in the next tree over. Will give them a day or so to settle before transferring them to a box.

2nd & third swarms
[16-Mar-2021] Both in the orange tree again. Second on was on the same limb, its safely been caught and moved. The third one was pretty big and on the inside apiary side of the orange tree. Dropped it in a box and promptly watched the whole thing take off and fly away. Lost track of it over the street headed NW.

queen rearing off badly
[23-Feb-2021] Forgot to uncage the queen yesterday. Did it tonight, she was dead. No idea why workers in the frame so it wasnt that they couldnt get to her. That will set things back 3 days already. Might try grafting by hand tomarrow.

1st Swarm
[22-Feb-2021] Went out yesterday to remove the apiguard and setup the Jenter set for queen rearing and splits next week. Bees are in a hurry. Swarm sitting in the designated location on the orange tree. Went ahead and split everything.

Honey is gone
[16-Jul-2020] 2.5lbs to leslie, 4 3oz jars for self and family, 30lb to Sylvia, 17lbs to Rileys people. Right at 50lbs and all gone.

This years queen raising failure
[21-Feb-2020] Revolves around the weather turning to complete crap for the week I needed to move hives, graft and prep. Then the queen I picked deciding not to lay at all in the jenter set. Tried grafting by hand will see how it goes. Oh and lost the clear plastic jenter tool somewhere in the living room during it all.

Small honey harvest
[22-Jul-2019] Extracted right at 120lbs of honey. Much less than previous years. Everything dried up in May so bad that I lost several hives also, down to 6. Trying to feed them now and make the ones left stronger to do some splits in fall.

Nucs sold
[01-Apr-2019] Got rid of 4 nucs this weekend. Had 2 customers either not respond or change their minds at the last minute. May start charging a deposit next year.

Did some stuff differently this year. In past years took the old queen and put her in the nuc until had new queens in the old hives then killed them and let the nucs raise a queen. This seemed to cause a lot of swarming from the nucs.

This year raised queens in another hive When the nucs were made killed all the queens except 1 per site. Let them raise queens and/or transferred cells as available from the breeder hive. Much less swarming, only one caught in the yard and it wasn't from any of my hives as far as I can tell. Nucs were ready earlier and stronger. I did end up with 2 that seem to have drone laying workers but these didnt have cells added.

Queen production stopped after the second round because again I killed half a hive. The box I was using as a cell builder lost its queen and I transferred the cell building over to the breeder queen hive. Closed the entrance and did a news paper combine. They didnt chew through the paper and half the bees in the bottom died before they chewed the tape off the front and got out. I think it was a lack of water as they were all over the water nearby immediately after they got out.

Im using a Jenter queen rearing set now. Have so problems with the queen laying eggs and getting appropriate larva. Transferring them over to the cell bar seems to be where things go wrong. very few of the larva are accepted. 5 out of 20 the first time and 2 the second. In the first set they also burr combed in 2 cells.

1st swarm
[12-Mar-2019] Hanging on the butterfly bush, forgot to take a picture. Saw the queen in the hive, unmarked. Not sure which hive she came from. Splits were made on the 23rd 17 days ago.

Sold a full bucket of honey
[07-Nov-2018] Going to put a dent in the available honey come next spring but also it wont be sitting in the house.

Bee Lab and Florida Museum
[25-Aug-2018] Went to Gainesville for the opening of the bee lab today seeing as my name is permanently on the wall. The red of the Apalahcee Beekeepers sign is the observation hive room. Also went to the Florida Museum while I was there since its a few buildings away. The have a nice butterfly area. On the way back there were two accidents. West bound car on fire stopped traffic just a mile short of an east bound wreck that blocked both lanes and diverted all traffic on that side of the interstate. It was weird to have our lane stopped but nothing on the other side at all.

Bee disater day
[04-Aug-2018] Got to the hill early to inspect while it was cool. Found out I left the pine straw bucket open when i was there last time and the pine straw was sitting in water. Went to goveland to work there, first hive was fine. Second one overrun with wax moths and SHBs. Transferred it to a nuc and cleaned it up. Made sure the queen was in the nuc but they were doing a lot of clustering on the outside. Decided to go home and get lunch along w dry pine straw and guard star. Back to the hill. Took 3 frames of brood from there to groveland. At groveland the messed up hive had absconded in the 3 hours I was gone. Still have to go back tomorrow and do more clen up on the infested frames. 60 miles around the lake today.

Extracted honey
[14-Jul-2018] About 130lbs. Less than last year. The hill didnt produce (clear cutting near by) and didnt move hive back home. Extracting was a mess. Almost overflowed a bucket, swapped in a bucket with a honey gate the leaked, had a call about a swarm in the middle of extracting. Had 2 other buckets with cracks on the bottom or holes in the side. Left the nuts on the kitchen counter when returning the extractor.