Friday, May 17, 2013
I decided to try a different top bar design this year. I found that comb would break off of the flat top bars and read that this method is better. I bought some cove moulding to use as a comb guide and some very small nails.
I had to drill pilot holes to get through the oak moulding. I rubbed some bees wax on the edge of each piece of moulding.
This is the damage wax moths can do to wood. These are cedar top bars. I was pulling dead larvae out of the holes when I cleaned them up.
Thousands of bees on the dining room table. The cats kept coming up to the boxes and sniffing, then running away. These bees were packaged and picked up from Georgia by my local bee supplier in the same day.
No matter how ridiculous you look, always tuck your pants into your socks. I have heard first hand accounts of horrible / hilarious stories relating to bee stings and naughty bits.
This is when I discovered that the queen that came with this hive was dead. Bummer.
Not sure how long she made it but she looked like she had been dead for a while. You see all that white stuff on the bottom? That is a sugary substance that the colony will eat away to free the queen.
Luckily my bee supplier always gets extra queens. He gave me a marked queen. Can you tell which one is the queen? This queen has been packaged with worker bees to feed her.
After I got back from my emergency trip to the bee suppliers house I forgot to do something very important. Can you see what is wrong with this image? I am not rocking the stylish jeans tucked into socks look that is popular with the youth these days. Luckily I did not have an incident while I dumped the bees into their new home.
Here I am closing up the hive. For all the good that did me. I will elaborate later.
I am installing the sugar water that came with the colony. I have a hole drilled in the separator board so the bees can leave the main hive area and get food while still in the hive.
Here I am admiring my work. I made a critical mistake though. The hive that had the healthy queen had been together for days and the colony had enough time to accept the queen. The colony I put the new marked queen into did not care for her to much. I did not put a stopper on the entrance and all of the bees left the hive. I checked them this morning and they were all gone. I don't mind making mistakes I just don't like the ones that are $80 a pop. The other hive is doing well. I hope they make it through the winter so I can possibly split the hive next spring to put in my empty hive.
Monday, May 6, 2013
So the good news first. All four apple trees I planted last year are doing really good. Here are my first apple blossoms. Not sure if I will get any apples this year. The other apple trees are not flowering. I can't wait until my front yard food forest starts to produce for us.
I went to mow the yard recently and discovered some devil spawn rodent had chewed a hole in the gas cap of my lawn mower. I kept the mower outside with my wheelbarrow turned upside down over it to keep the rain off of it. Now I have moisture in the line and will have to take the mower apart if a water remover product doesn't do the job. So watch out, there may be a 'huffer' breed of mouse roaming SW Ohio with a taste for your gas!
This is a picture of my gin and grapefruit in a pint size mason jar. You can see that I am going to have a tough time getting a mower through this already. Its only going to get worse, I hope my mower is an easy fix. I did borrow a weed whacker on steroids from my future father-in-law. It looks like a mower that spins really thick wires from an open front. I can't wait until I have most of my yard planted with shrubs and perennials I don't have to mow.