|Bee Lab and Florida Museum|
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|
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.|
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.|
|Virgin queens still swarming|
4 so far. The orange tree, branch in the pasture which interrupted dads visit, high up in the sycamore just at the limit of my pole bucket, and last night on the mayhaw. Running out of nuc boxes again, 2 left which are the ones I want to leave at the other sites in case I need to do splits. Ran out of frames had to build more last night for that swarm. |
When I went to get the extractor it was raining. Came around a corner, downhill in Killearn and skidded. While avoiding the sherrif blocking the road dealing with the previous person who did the same thing hit a tree and messed up the fender on the jeep (and later found out messed up the extractor too). Ordered new parts and replaced. Took 7 hours to get the old fender off because of 1 bolt. Bolt had a retainer on the back side that was rusted out so it just spun in place and couldnt get a grip in the nut side at all. Took about an hour to put the new one in place. Still have to paint, think I should have done that before installing however. Found out why the horn didnt work, broken in half and loose wire (broken was long before accident).
About 180 pounds. Half from groveland hills which was light in color. Still have honey left from last fall. |
|2 swarms, and a full day|
Went home and looked at the nucs. Didnt bother to notice the 2 swarms hanging in the orange and mayhaw trees right behind me for an hour. By then it was too late to box properly. Did my best. Mayhaw one was also up against the trunk had hard to get. Next morning Half the bees of that one were on the box, the other half along the base of the tree. Too cold to work with. Orange tree now had multiple other clumps.
Inspected the other bees and came back in the afternoon. Now one giant clump at the base. At one point I was scooping bees with my hand (in gloves) in to the box. Finally smoked them to force them to move. Thankfully they moved to the orange tree. By late that afternoon boxed them and took them to the Groveland site.
Tuesday moved them back and checked for queens.
|Lost a nuc|
Lost the nuc Celeste a Billet made from Double Red Fess. Was changing sugar water in the dark and smelled something odd. Looked at front of hive and it was caked with gunk and dead bees. Opened it up away from the apiary and it was overrun with small hive beetles. No live bees left.
Also caught two swarms on Sunday. One came from Celeste, watched it leave. Other one was already high in the tree. Recovered both.
|Queen rearing failure|
They accepted none of the grafted cells. Probably because i was in too much of a rush and didnt do it right. Leaving work at 6pm does not leave enough time to do things like this after work until the time changes. Tore the double deep hive part and made 2 nucs. Will raise queens for the nucs individually.|
Grafted 6 larva from Celeste into Bend which was set up with a Cloke board. That really want enough but its getting to dark to do more. Left work at 6pm not 5 so it set me back and hour. |
|Spring is here|
Had to split on of the hives, it was about to swarm. Open queen cells. Its at Harrys house.|
Completed building the fence at Harrys house today. Built and painted 2 hives for it with CeCe a while ago. Will add bee next month. Also photos of hive at hill.. Added frame hangers to the bee shed, relocated storage equipment away from the oak, it was messing a lot of it up. Repaint most the unused equipment.|
Found 4 supers in the freezer. Managed to put 1 back on hives replacing empty frames. Extracted 3 giving 60lbs. There are still 6 supers on the hive mostly full.|
Wasnt actually here fror the hurricane, left Thursday morning for Dragoncon before it even started raining. Hurricane came ashore at St. Marks early Friday morning. Power went off 11:35pm Thursday (or at least the weather station stopped reporting then) and came back on Saturday at 2:30. Servers all came back on but not PCs. Turns out BIOS settings were wrong. Couldnt get into the cameras because the PCs were off so no idea what things looked like.
Update: No problems at home other than throwing out the food. Did have to clean up some branches before mowing but nothing excessive. One large branch of the black cherry was still attached to the tree on my side but hanging over Mr. Sharps fence. He finished cutting it off and removed it on Tuesday. Didnt bother taking photos of anything at the house. Bees seemed fine. One hive on the hill had water in the bottom,fixed that.
Photos around town
Extracted near 180lbs of honey. 6 full 5 gallon buckets. Still have one caped frame in the freezer and nearly all the hives have one super of uncapped honey left.
Watched Celeste swarm about 6pm. It was good size but went way up in the oak. Next morning it moved about 10:30. Lost track of it in the sycamore tree at the end of the cul-du-sac.
|Fiasco of a swarm capture|
One of the hives swarmed last night despite the fact I checked it Sunday and it showed no signs of doing so. Landed in a tree limb just the other side of the fence, and too high to reach from a step ladder, and spread out to much to use a bucket, and the limb to large to shake adequately with a rope. Drove around to try and get it down. Dumped about half into a box likely not the queen. Got stung a number of times try to get more with an improvised bucket on a pole; both shoulders, back, hand, under the arm pit. The last in the eyelid when I decided to quit. Thats when the car wouldn't start.
Guy who works for the Sharps (cow pasture owners), and doesn't speak, towed me back around to the house. Then I went all the way out to the hill to get the right tool figuring maybe letting them calm down for an hour would help. Used the right bucket and pole to get the majority of them and stopped for the night. All this meant I didnt get to inspect the hive on the hill.
By the time I looked at this this morning the last of them had migrated down from the tree lib to the box but the way they were crawling on the queen cage I left at the entrance suggests maybe I didnt get the queen. Will find out tonight.
|Nucs almost gone|
Down two 3 nucs either not spoken for or sold and have someone interested in two of them. All the nucs are back at my house now. Swarms stopped a while ago. Need to start thinking about moving some larger hives back to the house for Chinese tallow which should bloom soon (or might already be blooming).|
Swarm 6 was in the grass yesterday when I came home. Still in the box the went in at lunch.|
|Caught a swarm, lost a swarm|
Virgin queen continue to swarm because the nucs are too strong. This morning there was one very low on the Mayhaw. Boxed it about 11:30. Everyone went into the hive. Had to use a full size box since Im out of nucs.
Came back to it at 4:30. Bees were gone. The took off for parts unknown. Probably when I was inside. Got stung while looking at the other hives under the fingernail. That hurts a lot. Finger swells and throbs almost immediately and didnt go down for about 2 hours. This is the first swarm i know I have lost this year (there is evidence other others gone).
Some other pictures of bees taken recently included.
Swarm was landing on a branch as I arrived at hill. Used broom and bucket to put in in a hive but did not get queen. She went and landed under a hive that I had to move. Then she tried to do it again before i caught her and caged her. She was unmarked but not sure which of my hives she came from. Can rule out Argent and Green Flaunches.|