Beekeeping Beekeeping Beekeeping
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.

Virgin queens still swarming
[21-Mar-2018] 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.

Fixing Jeep
[25-Jul-2017] 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).

Before:

After:


Spring extraction
[08-Jul-2017] 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
[17-Mar-2017] 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
[14-Mar-2017] 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
[28-Feb-2017] 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.

Queen rearing
[20-Feb-2017] 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
[14-Feb-2017] Had to split on of the hives, it was about to swarm. Open queen cells. Its at Harrys house.

New Apiary
[01-Feb-2017] 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.

Fall honey
[28-Jan-2017] 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.

Hurricane Hermine
[03-Sep-2016] 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

Honey
[10-Jul-2016] 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
[25-May-2016] 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.