A bee smoker for the third world

2012
11.20

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.

 Design done

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.

Scorpion and a Commentary

2012
10.29

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.

New Video added on Tips and Tricks

2012
09.11

A few interesting tricks learned at the outyard are explained in our new video on tips and tricks.

 

Beekeeping photography

2012
08.30

The coolest beekeeping photos around! Worth a click. or two. or three. or…hell, I lost an hour here.

https://www.facebook.com/beekeeping.photo

Beekeeping Fan Store Added

2012
08.20

So I’ve been wanting to put out some T-shirts that help promote beekeepers in our society. You know – cool shirts beeks would love to where. The problem is, I’m just an engineer and my aesthetic aptitude scores show I’m in the bottom 2% of the nation. I mean hey, you’ve seen the shirts I wear in the videos. Nuff said.

So I want to try to tap into my audience. I’m looking for any artist out there who’s got really cool ideas for a Beekeeping shirt.  I think I’m going to make a contest. Get artists to put forward their shirt designs and let my YouTube audience decide the top designs. Then I’ll submit the designs to my Printfection store for folks to get their cool Beek shirts.  ( I chose Printfection over Cafe Press solely on quality reviews)

Any comments on this plan?

oh and the current Printfection account for the shirts is here – http://www.printfection.com/learningbeekeeping

Trip to OutYard Video added

2012
06.27

Did an inspection, some honey harvesting, and a bit of repair.

NY Swarms in the news

2012
06.19

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/nyregion/honeybee-swarms-increase-in-nyc-after-mild-spring.html?_r=2&hp
“One swarm covered the side-view mirror of a Volvo station wagon in a lot by the Hudson River, trapping a family of three inside. Another humming cluster the size of a watermelon bent a tree branch in front of a Chase Bank on the Lower East Side, attracting a crowd of gasping onlookers. And for several hours, thousands of bees carpeted a two-foot-tall red standpipe on the patio of a South Street Seaport restaurant, sending would-be outdoor diners elsewhere. “

Free Webinar by Dr Seeley on bee swarming today!

2012
05.16

ForestConnect Webinar Series
How Honeybees Choose a Forest Home
Thomas Seeley, Cornell University
Department of Neurobiology and Behavior
May 16, 2012  (my mt – Hey! I don’t know the exact time, I think you have to register first!)
Early Alert – register here (
http://www2.dnr.cornell.edu/ext/forestconnect/web.htm )if you haven’t
previously registered.

How Honeybees Choose a Forest Home. In the late spring and early
summer, when a honeybee colony becomes overcrowded in its hive, it will
cast a swarm. When this happens, about a third of the worker bees stay
at home and rear a new queen, thereby perpetuating the mother colony,
while the other two-thirds of the workforce – a crowd of some ten
thousand – rushes off with the old queen to set up a daughter colony.
The migrating bees travel only about 100 feet before coalescing into a
beardlike cluster hanging from a tree branch. Here they will remain
bivouacked for a few days. During this time, several hundred of its
oldest bees will spring into action as nest-site scouts, explore about
30 square miles of the surrounding landscape for potential nesting
cavities in trees and buildings, locate a dozen or more possibilities,
and democratically select a favorite for their new dwelling place. We
will see how can a bunch of tiny-brained bees, hanging from a tree
branch, can make such a complex decision and can make it well. Presented
by Dr. Tom Seeley, Cornell University Department of Neurobiology and
Behavior.

This webinar has been approved for 1.0 credits of Society of American
Foresters CFE category 2.

Once registered, you will receive connection details the Tuesday before
the webinar.

First Swarm of 2012

2012
03.04

I’ve heard reports of the first swarm of 2012 on Feb 29.  I think our season is 2 week ahead of our normal schedule here in Texas.  So if you are going to be swarm trapping, you should put your traps out 1-2 weeks before your first known swarm. For Texas, that date just got moved up to about Feb 20 for next year.

The bloom is already out in the Texas Hill Country. I saw Henbit, and wild Mustard in late January. Irises blooming in February and mayflies out in late February, so it looks like a weird Spring.  Right now my bees are bringing in plenty of pollen and aren’t eating much pollen patties.  Pollen is yellow and a little bright red. (no idea). Mountain Laurel and dandelion is being worked.

I’ve already seen Bluebonnets out and our major honeyflow plant, Indian Blanket, shows up after Bluebonnets. So that may show early and stay a while.

Swarm Trap Book makes top 100

2012
02.26

Maybe not top 100 for all of Amazon, but it really does well under “Insects and Spiders”

A definative guide to swarm traps for the beginner

I’m not sure if I should be proud or just laugh at myself. Still a book over 80,000 is good on Amazon. So I’m happy being at 23,000, It is a vote of confidence by beekeepers that my swarm trap book is useful and worthwhile.