Archive for October, 2010

Troubles at the Apiary


2010
10.25

The landowner will be doing a major cleanup of the property for a sale. He want all my hives gone by New Years.  So I gotta go find other outyards.  On the plus side, perhaps I can find outyards to teach spring beekeeping next year.

Fall inspection and Forced Harvest


2010
10.17

I checked on my hives today, found that I have 6 langs and 4 TBH plus one TBH nuc.  My hive over at Bertils absconded, it was weak and developed an ant problem. Figures, it was my only package I bought as I wanted calm bees for his back yard.  I’ll replace his with a split from the red hive next spring.

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Red and yellow hives both did well, considering Red swarmed, was split, and yellow lost it’s queen for a few weeks.  Both are out to bar 22 or so.  Each had 3-4 solid bars of honey, enough for winter. However, they crosscombed a little bit on some of the honey bars and the edge of the broodnest, so I was forced to harvest as that was the easiest way to fix it.  For Texas, just cut crosscombed honey out at any time save December or January.

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The plainview hive recovered, and was given another medium, as goldenrod is in bloom and the flow is on, I think.  The nasty cooler hive is small, half a deep and light on stores so I gave it a super with some bees from the end hive that was 1/4 filled. That should get them thru winter easy.  The hive by the tractor wheel cowling had filled up it’s 2nd medium and needed room, so I added a 3rd medium. I’m liking that hive.  The cathouse hive has gone and crosscombed yet again on me. I harvested a little honey to fix a single bar, but I will need to remove 5 bars to decross in early spring when the combs will be empty. That will make for a good video.

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So I did all these inspection gloveless and only received one sting.  But I had one last hive to do. The undershed hive on the end with the bad attitude. Rumor has it, that hive has been talking to Iran to acquire nukes.  I’m going to have to due something about it before it go completely rogue on me, but it is such a strong producer this year that I’ve left it alone. So I donned my goat-skinned gloves, and snuck up on its flank, smoked it heavily then waited to smoke the lid.  The lid was heavily propolized, and inside I found the top super was 1/4 filled with dark honey. That is the one I gave to the cooler hive. I replaced the super with the only box I had– a deep.  Hopefully they will draw out some comb and I can use it for splits in the spring.

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Total honey harvested was about 7 pounds.

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Mystery illness wipes out bees on Vancouver Island, BC


2010
10.15

I received a dark message that something swept through Vancouver Island in Canada last year and killed of 90% of the bee population. That is a massive decimation. This came straight from veteran top bar hive beekeeper, Conrad Bérubé.  While he suspects CCD, the exact cause remains unknown.  Troubling times, these are.

Indian Honey banned in EU


2010
10.13

An EU inspection team on honey from India showed serious failings on honey safety. Mainly ‘residue monitoring’ as defined in the food safety law 2004/432/EC. So they imposed a ban from India.

I don’t really know how badly this affects Indian honey industry as the native demand is close to the country production.