Posted on Oct 5th, 2011

Earlier today I spent some time with Charlie Nicholson going through what was my strongest hive and the only one to produce any harvestable honey for me this year.  I say was because the hive seems to be dropping off every week in health.  There are fewer and fewer bees and they are taking very little of the heavy, 2:1 sugar syrup I am feedign them to try and get them to build up more stores for winter.  Maybe I shouldn't have harvested any honey from them, but at the time I was not only excited to harvest but the hive seemed to be doing just fine and have plenty of time to build up for... more

Posted on Sep 24th, 2011

It appears the year of crazy queens has reached its finally.  The middle hive that was having problems was doing so-so after I requeened it back in July.  The queen had a good laying pattern and was doing what she could, but despite her laying efforts the workers drew out very little, if any, new comb.  I have been feeding them a light, 1:1 mix of sugar syrup all year to try and get them to draw out comb but they never got past a handful of frames.  Rather than stay in what I assume was a horrid living situation for them they decided to abscond from the hive.  Its the end of September and... more

Posted on Sep 11th, 2011

I did my first extraction yesterday at Philadelphia's 2nd annual honey fest for a crowd of honey enthusiasts attending the festivities at Bartram's Garden in West Philadelphia.  There was a great turn out and lots of kids stealing tastes of honey while I was removing the cappings.

People gathering to watch the extraction process and ask questions about bee keeping.

Using the uncapping... more

Posted on Jul 17th, 2011

The hive I swapped to the middle a couple months back is not doing well.  I learned they were queenless several weeks back and despite giving them frames with brood and eggs from the other two hives they have failed to make a queen on their own.  I am installing a queen for them today that I picked up at my last bee class this morning.  I am worried for this hive, not just because they have been queenless but because they have only drawn out about 4 frames of wax on their own.  I am going to need to feed them like crazy if they have any hope to survive the winter at this point in the... more

Posted on May 13th, 2011

I did an inspection today, good news and bad from it. The contrast between these hives amazes me every time. I fully understand now why they suggest beginners start with at least two hives.  If I only had the problem hive I am pretty sure I would be beeless by now and out of luck for the year, as well as extremely frustrated with a new hobby.  Instead I have a fabulous first year challenge!  The hive that has been having queen problems appears to be ok. They have accepted the third queen and she is laying.

One of the other hives is doing great. I added a second deep filled with... more

Posted on May 1st, 2011

The regicide hive continues to have issues.  I do not know what the workers were thinking when they convinced the attendants to murder their mistress, but it appears all their plans have gone awry every since.  Though switching places with one of the outer hives has helped population in this hive, it has just caused population problems due to drifting in the now center hive.  In an attempt to fix this I have staggered the hive positions a bit and slightly altered entrance angles.  I hope it will be enough.  I don't have all that much room to work with, so I need to make do.  One of the... more


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