Beekeeping Beekeeping Beekeeping
[04-Jul-2024] Spent July 4th extracting honey. Only got half a bucket not even really worth getting the extractor. Bees look much better than they did last year at this time however. Back up to 10 hives, but 3 are nucs and need queens.

Bear fence
[19-Apr-2023] Bear fence is done and bees moved in. And a turtle living near the tracks.

Moved bees
[17-Apr-2023] Moved bees to the new enclosure. It was a disaster. Weather was fine at my house, closed all the boxes and loaded them up. Thunder and Lightening by the time I got there. One of the boxes came apart during transit. Bees all over the outside. Stung like crazy trying to get it out then onto the stand. Left it closed up since they were flying all over in the headlights and pissed off had to go back the next morning to open them up and straighten out the boxes. Took one hive to the other location and it promptly poured down rain so moving that box from the jeep to the stand in the rain.

Electric Fence
[14-Apr-2023] A bear was reported on the Hill about a half mile or so from the bees so had no evacuate them all out and build an electric fence. Been meaning to move them out into the pasture anyway. Fence is up around about a 25 x 30ft area. Installed most of it last weekend and connected the charger last night. Now need to move bees back as soon as I get the nucs straightened out.

[06-Apr-2023] Was checking nucs yesterday the birds were gong nuts. finally went a looked and an oak snake was half in the bluebird nest but the little birds could do nothing about it. Pulled it out, didnt see that it had swallowed anything (but the eggs are small so it might have). Drove the snake off. Im sure it will come back when im not home.

[27-Dec-2022] Went down to 17.8 the day after Christmas with another low of 18.7 on the 24th. It been below freezing every night for 5 days now. Bees seem alive, not sure about the citrus. I did put some lights under them and pine straw around the bases but they are too tall to cover and have some frost damage thats obvious already. Fruit didnt fall off but oranges are mushy. There was a quarter inch of ice on the pond Christmas eve morning and the ice in the fsh fryer was so thick I couldnt remove the basket. That day it didnt get above freezing till 2pm and only reached 37.

Went back and looked at data from my weather station going back to Jan 2012. The coldest day before this week was Jan 7 2014 at 20 degrees.

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.