Archive for August, 2012

Robbing in Progress

Normal hive activity can sometimes appear disturbingly frantic, especially as fall approaches. This makes it hard for a new beekeeper to tell whether a colony is being robbed. Here's how to tell the difference. Look for: Bees trying to get into the hive through screened ventilation holes or the seams in the woodenware. Bees crawling from the entrance and up the face of the hive body before taking flight, instead of flying directly off the landing board. More than a couple of bees fighting in front of the hive (unless the bees are drones being evicted by workers.) If any one of these signs ...

08.30.2012 Posted in Beelog by Karessa

Autumn Bounty

Bees are all over the sunflowers in the garden. To do next year: plant more!

08.30.2012 Posted in Beelog by Karessa

No Shake Package Installation

It's not the time of year to be thinking much about new package installation but there's a newish, minimally intrusive method making its way around the internet. It's definitely worth a mention, even in the fall. Here's how it works: Set up the hive as normal, with a bottom board, hive body, and inner and outer covers. You'll also need to provide an entrance reducer and a frame feeder filled with syrup. When you're ready to install your package, remove the inner and outer covers. Push the middle frames of the hive body apart. Thump the package to jolt the bees to the ...

08.27.2012 Posted in Beelog by Karessa

Beekeeper Hands

Confession time: I have a thing for hands. Not smooth, unweathered hands. Hands like these, with labor-thickened knuckles and callouses and deep, dry lines. These hands have lifted thousands of bee-covered frames, man handled box after heavy box, loaded trucks, lit fires, and labored for hours at making woodenware. They've been pierced by stingers and frame nails and slivers and burned by accidental contact with a smoker. These are tough, capable hands. And they're cradling those bees like an innocent child who is inviting you to remember the unfettered joy and fearlessness that came before you learned to be so ...

08.25.2012 Posted in Beelog by Karessa