Friday, December 24, 2010

Dad's Hive On Christmas Eve 45 degs in New Kent

Visiting the parents for Christmas and added some Fondant Patties and removed some feeders (should have been done a while ago). After that the temps got up some into the mid forties. Bee flight was excellant in all 4 hives 3 in triple mediums and 1 in a deep and medium.

Incase your wondering and to avoid confusion, those boardman feeders are EMPTY, i only kept them there to reduce the entrance some... The bees cant evaporate the water in the winter and you shouldnt be feeding sugar water in the winter IMO. This is what the Fondant is for...

HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Future Buffalo Bee Farm Beekeepers

My Twin 2 year old girls (Today is their Birthday...)

Your notice my Bee Equipment Assembly room is actually my Dinning Room!!! What a Great Wife!!

Karalyn Belle and Madalyn Grace 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dead Bees In December

Here is a hive i have which is typical of the dead bees during "No Fly Days" in all it seems consistant around my 18 hives that i have a cup full of dead bees on the bottom boards and in front, so in all about 300-400 dead bees. I remember this same "look" this time last year so i am not worried.

What i did notice is the hives that had the Zia Queens, Bobby Oakes Queens, and Mike Carney Queens had little or no dead bees!!! These however are a little more on the Hygenic Carnolian side and less of Italian stock like the other hives i have. So maybe this is the difference??? Something to think about. Liek i said i am not worried i saw this last year and i had 100% overwinter! So i will keep my fingers crossed. If we had warm days you possibly wouldnt notice the dead bees b/c the workers would have removed them hiding this death toll from you.

Marshmallow Sugar Patties Fondant

Well, i did it. I made 18 sugar patties via the recipe below on the previous post. It turned out excellent and easy. I was very pleased.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mashmallow Fondant

This is the Fondant that Tommy Nelson made for us last night, needless to say I was VERY impressed with the results. Here is his Blog,

·         1 lb of small marshmallows
·         2 lbs of powdered sugar
·         4 table spoons of water (or maybe 3 tbs of water and 1 tbs of Honey Bee Healthy)
·         A little Crisco

1.       Grease a large bowl and a wooden spoon with Crisco to keep the mix from sticking
2.       Add 1lb of marshmallows in a large bowl
3.   Add 2 lbs of powdered sugar in a separate bowl for easy pouring later
4.       Heat the marshmallows for 1 min 30 seconds in the microwave.
5.    Add 4 tbs of water to the melted marshmallows
6.       Knead the marshmallows into a ball in the bowl with the wooden spoon while mixin in the powdered sugar.
7.       Grease an area/table with Crisco to keep the mixture from sticking
8.   Grease your hands with Crisco
9.       Knead the ball on the table with your hands when the mix starts to cling to the side of the bowl
10.    Roll the finished ball on wax paper and cut to size (about the size of a pollen patty)
             11.     Place on the top bars of your hives

Cost = About $4
Time = About 10 minutes for about 4 hives…

Monday, December 6, 2010

12-5-2010 Snow Pictures of Garden Hive

Here is a picture of the garden hive below freezing Sunday Morning with all the snow. I was very pleased at the beemax tops i am using as the snow took almost all day to melt even though they were in full sun... I highly recommend spending the money on them. I know i will be.

Saturday 12/4/2010 28 deg F. Main Hive Location

Here are the three hives in my main hive area. as you can see ZERO moisture issues, but at the same time i have not seen issues in these yet either.

A few other interest of mine Hogs and Meat Rabbits

Monday, November 29, 2010

11-29-2010 6am 19deg F, Garden Hive

This is the Garden Hive at 6am and 19 deg F. I still have yet to see the "dripping" killing moisture everyone talks about. Maybe in Feb or March when brood rearing kicks up, but so far so good. This cluster looking down, was a nice tight cluster where i could see all the edges and it is about the size of a basketball, although i dont know how "deep" the cluster runs. Sure would be nice to have an IR camera...

Thanksgiving Day Garden Hive

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cluster Difference Observation

So i was looking back at my previous post and noticed more than just condensation. I noticed how the garden hive's cluster has reduced in size. Take a look at the 11/7 picture on top compared to the 11/19 picture. The 11/7 picture was about 10 degrees colder than when i took the 11/19 picture but yet the 11/19 picture shows a smaller cluster. Nothing wrong with this. Just wanted to pass on a neat tidbit i noticed based on this blog and the pictures. Of course we are getting deeper and deeper into winter...

Friday Morning Quick Pic By the Garden 11/19/2010

Hive by the garden, by far this one always seems to have the most moisture... although it doesnt hang around long. Maybe i need to start taking "follow-up" pictures at timed intervals.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Early Morning Before Sun Up on Wednesday

Here is a single picture i took of the hive i have near my garden which is a single deep and one medium. It is the same hive two post below which has all the moisture. Due to the lack of moisture i wonder if its temperature related or have they hatched all the brood they had? I am sure its a little of both. The temperature at 5:45 am was right at 50 deg F...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday Morning Moisture At My In Laws

I finally got around to moving three hives i had at my in laws which i had placed near his pond. Great summer location and it looked nice, but horrible possibly moist location for the cool winter. So i moved them up the hill beside the chicken houses so that the houses blocked the Northwest Winds, plus they get all day sun and face south!!!

As you can see very little if any moisture at this point. The pictures were taken right around 8am Sunday morning prior to bee flight with temps in the mid 30's F...

Here are a few pictures of two different hives with my "darker" bees from queens i got from Mike Carney this year. So far i have been very pleased...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday Morning Moisture

Below you will find a few pictures of 3 different hives in 3 different areas around my property. The one with all the mositure contains the most brood (atleast as of last weekend), the others had or has pretty much shut down brood rearing, hence the least amount of moisture. These pictures were taken around 7am with first light just hitting the hives, heavy frost was still on the outer covers and water was frozen as you can see. It only took the hives about 1 hour to clean up all the mositure if they had any...

The one with all the mosture is a deep and one medium, the others are double deeps. All contain huge amounts of bees and honey.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Plexiglass Inner Covers

I am planning on using these to montior moisture levels in 6 of my hives since i DONT ventilate the top part of my hives. Last year i had great success not ventilating the top and want to confirm some other thoughts that can be seen on Dennis Murrell's site ...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall Dogwood near my hives from yesterday

How i miss the green spring, the busy hives, growing, expanding in numbers, now we have declining hives, going into 30 deg nights, clustering, and no activity by the time i get home from work... very sad. Now the waiting game begins and see what spring hold in regards to hive numbers and health. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Buckingham Bee Classes

I will be putting on a 3 part Beginners Bee Class at the Buckingham County Extension Office.

All classes will begin at 6:30 pm and run till about 9:00 pm depending on content and questions etc. The April class is still up in the air right now...

More information will follow but i wanted to get this out here so people can start making plans.

If you have any question please feel free to contact me.

Here is the basic Agenda:

December 15th:

·         Introduction to Bee Keeping [Books, Websites, What to expect](10 minutes)
·         Basic Bee Keeping Equipment and Terminology (60 minutes)
o    Hive Bodies
o    Supers
o    Frames
o    Foundation
o    Bottom Board
o    Inner and Outer Cover
o    Feeders
·         The Colony (Queen, Drone, and Workers) (30 minutes)
·         Basic “How To” Hive Inspection (30 minutes)
·         Q&A (20 minutes)

January 12th:

·         Recap of December’s Class (10 minutes)
·         Detailed Hive Inspection (60 minutes)
o   Disease
o   Pest
o   Seasonal Changes
·         The Colony (Queen, Drone, and Workers) (10 minutes)
o   Breeds
·         Hive Expansion (40 minutes)
o   Basic Splits
o   Basic Queen Breeding “Things to Know”
·         Q&A (30 minutes)

February 16th: (I would like to highlight that Mark Bennett the General Manager of Dadant in Chatham VA will be onsite taking orders for equipment and package bees)

·         Recap of January’s Class (10 minutes)
·         Packages vs. Nucs (30 minutes)
o   Package Installation
o   Nuc Installation
o   Getting them off on the right foot
·         Review of basic equipment needed for ordering (30 minutes)
·         Ordering Equipment with Mark Bennett from Dadant (30 minutes)
·         Ordering Packages with Mark Bennett from Dadant (30 minutes)
·         Q&A (20 minutes)

April ??th: (Sometime before the second week in April, but no earlier than the end of March (weather dependent), which is usually when the first packages arrive)

·         Review of installing a package
·         Review of installing a nuc
·         Review of new bees care list
·         Hands on (2 hives) inspection.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Basic bee yard info

So I have 18 very strong hives in either double deeps or one deep and two mediums. My current queens are either made onsite usinf open mating or from the following sources: zia queen bees , carnie queens, hunter apiaries, bobby oakes, honey rustlin farms, and one excellant package queen from gardner bees from my first year!

I am planning on going head first into grafting in the upcoming spring to start producing from my best hives and hopefully so called local survivor hives.

My overall expectations are to have around 50 healthy hives and then start selling nucs.

New Site

So this is my FIRST Blog ever!!! I have been wanting to start one for some time to chit chat about my bees and things and now i have it using Google Blogger...

So bare with me, i am sure it wont be fancy or colorful, but practical and fun i hope it will be.