May 30 – Here is how the garden looks. We’ve survived 7 inches of rain and a flood so far.
Spring is a busy time for beekeepers, especially if you have a garden as well. I may not be a great gardener, but I do keep a garden, and this year I’m trying to expand and use less water too.
I’ve got a few volunteer plants coming up that I want to keep. One is a pecan tree next to my rain barrels, I’m going to have to transplant this one farther from the house.
I’ve put in grapevines again, 2 Flame Seedless and one Concord.
I’ve put in drip irrigation but converted the emitters to go into deep pipe irrigation. So I really have deep pipe, but with controlled 1/4″ feed tubing.
Deep pipe irrigation is the most water efficient means of irrigation as tested by several universities. It is even more efficient than roman ceramic pot irrigation.
The ancient Egyptians were said to placed the hives on boats, and drifted along the Nile to provide the bees with fresh flowers on the banks. They did this when the bees had spent or depleted the flowers in any given area, to insure that honey would still be of plenty… Due to Egypt’s terrain there was little pastures for the bees in Egypt. There were no forests or meadows with wildflowers growing. So, the rivers edge provided the bees with many different species of flowers to collect their nectar. Ancient Egypt far less vegetation than it does today. Ancient Egypt also had its lotus flower, which considered sacred, and was known to provide honey that was superior in flavor.
The inhabitants of Lower Egypt knew that the blooming of fruit-trees, and flowers of Upper Egypt preceded theirs by several months. Toward the end of October, the villagers embarked on boats or rafts, packed with pyramided hives, and brought them down the Nile into Upper Egypt, just at the time when the inundations had subsided and the flowers had begun to bud. The bees soon exhausted the supply of nectar two or five miles around a new locality; then the floats were moved to another station and remained there as long as it proved desirable. These wanderers returned to their homes about February, the hives well-stocked with honey, gathered from the orange blossoms of Said and Arabian jesamine. The hives were carefully numbered and delivered to their respective owners. Niebuhr reported seeing such a flotilla of four thousand hives on the Nile…. continued on source webpage.
Finally picked the winners of the T-shirt contest, then realized as soon as I announced the winners I would have people wanting shirts. So I’ve already got the shirts set up on Printfection! Now, I just need to finish the video and post!
A nifty short 3 minute news clip on Berlin beekeeping on rooftops. What a great effort to put hives on famous buildings!
For those of you who don’t live in the US, an albatross is a bird found near oceans. The beek makes for a useful wax holder.
A fellow beek from Poland read my swarm trapping book and built a trap. It caught bees, but under it. I’ve seen this happen before. I’m interested in seeing if we, as a beekeepers, can figure out the common denominator of why.
I’m looking to see if there is a trend. In his photo, and from his video I see a undersized hole and a huge swarm.
If anyone else has caught a underslung swarm, please comment below with the:
- How large was your entrance hole? (i.e. 1″ diameter)
- How large was the swarm? (ie. small/medium/big/huge/it-carried-off-the-trap)
- How big was the trap? (about 6 frame / 8-frame / 10-frame (langstroth)
thanks! Doing my part to save the world, as we all should.
I was out in a field north of Houston and saw Indian Blanket blooming on Dec 8. Also known as Firewheel, this is the main honeyflow plant during APRIL in Texas. So I took a picture to show you how bitter cold our winters can be. :0)
I’ve been working for a while on a design for a smoker that is appropriate for third world beekeeping. The focus was on steel food cans that are ubiquitous in all countries. The can comprises the fire chamber.
I intend to make a complete video on the construction and manufacturing of this. In my own way, I want to improve the planet. I think a simply designed smoker will help many low income beekeepers throughout the world.
Design Plans Coming
I can outline how I made this third world bee smoker on another page.
A new video is put out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhCuyJ5qQKY&list=UUndWYkPK3h04-69TmN_ZcNw&index=1&feature=plcp
Covering an inspection with some creepy crawlies and a voice over commentary.