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Archive for the ‘beekeeping’ Category

worked diligently to get the second super ready and installed on the new hive yesterday. doing something new this year folks. i am going to foundationless frames in the new hive. i will post about that soon. pretty excited about it! so i was in the gardens all day working on this project, so got to see some cool wildlife flitting in and out amongst the new flowers and around the pond. there were little baby goldfinch fledglings flying from the bleeding hearts, to the pond and all around. the carpenter bees were really busy too! been seeing a pair of blue jays every day so figured they nested close. there was a robin fighting with a blue jay yesterday, and my neighbor found some robin eggs in his yard. well i finally located the blue jay nest in my pine tree and i have a suspicion that the jays outsed the robins eggs and took over the nest! whenever the jays aren’t in the nest i kept catching the robin up there looking around. jays eat bees and they keep sitting on the fence where the hives are and i can see them snatching a few. hope everyone had a beautiful mothers day! hugs 🙂
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saturday, my brother eric and granddaughter taylor and i went to my friend ron’s house to pick up our new nucs. eric and i both got one. ron goes down to florida and works at a bee farm there for a few weeks each spring, and then brings back in his truck nucs for all of us who have ordered them. these bees are carniolans and i just love them. very hard workers and gentle too! within an hour of being hived these girls were busily bringing in pollen. it was so much fun as it was taylors first time getting to help and she had a blast! she also spotted the queen for me. this year the queen is marked with a green dot. each year is a different color. after we got the bees hived we made some more violet jelly! seems everyone wants a jar to try and i gotta get cracking and get some more made to keep up with the demand! lol love and hugs to everyone who visits here at comfrey cottages!!

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just thought i would share a few more pics from the pink hive. in the one you will see lots of little bee butts sticking up from the cells. you typically see this in hives that have starved out. little beasties just dying while trying to find food. but in the other pics you will see there was just tons of honey, both uncapped and capped still in the hive! another indication that this poor little community had just lost too many members to keep warm enough to even search around their own town for food. so sad! trying to focus on the positive that at least the yellow hive is strong. also, to be thankful for all the plants that are emerging in the garden!

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pollen and honey galore

i was feeling so blue when i posted about the pink hive and in a hurry too! i am a granny/nanny to lily, who is 4, (she gets on bus at noon at my house, and gets off bus at 3, at her mom’s house, where her brother,evan age8 also gets off bus at same time), so there is always precious little time for any intense things other than children!lol i had discovered the deadout about 1:30 and hurriedly posted about it before i had to dash to my daughters to meet the bus. now that i am back home i thought to share with you some more pics. these frames were in the pink hive. on them you can see there was lots of fresh uncapped honey they had made during the last warm spell, plus lots of pollen had been coming in. the orangeish looking cells are where the pollen is, the sparkley, watery looking ones is the fresh uncapped honey, and the solid looking spots on the pic with the pollen and also of a whole frame, is capped honey. so you see, these bees were being productive during the last warm spell we had and did have a chance if not for that freaky wet and freezing spell we are just coming out of. just thought to show you what nice frames there were in that hive. the pollen would have been used to make the larvae bees beebread, so makes me sure the queen was viable during the last warm spell. well as my friend jennifer says, we can just learn from this and be thankful the yellow hive is strong. by the way, the yellow hive is not mourning their neighbors loss at all!lol the bees you see in the picks are from that hive, merrily robbing the pink hives frames!lol hugs all around!

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the bad and the good

wow, i have suspected that maybe our last wet/freezing spell might have done in the pink hive, and i was right:( could have just cried when i opened it today. right away i saw one of the blasted wax moths in it and then i started pulling frames. it was weird and spooky too, just like walking through a ghost town. here and there on some of the frames i saw bees that were dead, but buried up head first in empty cells. there was still alot of honey in the box though. i wonder if their just got to be too many of them to stay warm. found two seperate clusters of dead bees that were just absolutely gross as mold had grown on them. sad as hell and i am sure bummed. i had fretted and worried about this hive all winter. there was pollen already brought in too which makes it doubly sad. if we hadn’t had this last bad freezing spell and it would have stayed warm, they might have been able to build back up strong. the good news is the yellow hive is still strong so i went ahead and put a honey super on it. last year i didn’t put the supers on until may and i ended up with a swarm from my strongest hive. really sucks i am down to one hive. thank heavens i ordered a new nuc to be delivered the first weekend in may. for those that have been following my blog. i want to reiterate, if you start with used equipment, please make sure and make it as water tight as possible. i have a feeling that this poor pink hive had a disadvantage all winter from water getting in and weakening their numbers in late fall. the less bees in the hive going into winter, the less chances they will be able to stay warm and survive. this winter was a very hard one and i think these poor girls just had the odds against them all along. darn this last late freezing spell though, i think they would have still had a chance if the weather would have held this month. but ultimately i have to blame myself 😦

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novice

for those of you who follow my blog i must apologise for being such a novice to this site. if you care to, please take a peak at the older blogs. i just realized today that i was posting each new thing as its own blog and you couldn’t follow them if you were linked to this original. so imported the few older things i had posted seperately, by mistake. i’m learning still! lol hugs to all

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Wow, the first day of spring is a historic one for any beekeepers, or organic/backyard gardener! This article was in the Bee Culture newsletter and I wanted to post it here in case someone missed it! I am thrilled and proud of our CURRENT presidential first family!! I will come back and post here as new pics and info comes in about this!

An Organic Garden and honey bees move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
From the perspective of probably every beekeeper in the U.S., the first day of spring, 2009, should be one of the most memorable in decades. It was on that day that Michelle Obama announced that not only would there be a garden on the White House lawn, the first since FDR’s Victory Garden, but there would be, yes, BEE HIVES!
The chefs at the white house are looking forward to cooking with locally grown fresh vegetables (and sharing what they can’t use with a soup kitchen near the White House), and being able to use honey in some of their recipes. Honey produced right outside their kitchen door.
Mrs Obama readied the garden plot on the first day of spring with the help of a couple dozen local fifth graders. They worked to remove the sod and loosen the soil in preparation of planting of the spring crops. The L-shaped plot will contain year-round vegetables once completely established, with vegetables, berries and other tasty edibles. All will be raised organically.
To complete the garden, two bee hives will be moved in early this week. They will be managed by a White House employee who is a beekeeper and lives nearby. The hives belong to the beekeeper.
We found out that the beekeeper was a subscriber to our magazine, so we had a contact and were fortunate to have a phone conversation late last week. But, of course, there has to be some preparation for all this, so everything we discussed had to remain off the record. He is, however, a three year veteran beekeeper and had a strong desire to keep bees and beekeeping in front of the folks who live where he works, and to keep reminding them of the importance of the pollination efforts their bees will be performing.

As far as we can tell, there’s never been a bee hive at the White House, so this first-ever apiary event is something that beekeepers everywhere are excited about. The calls and contacts received in our office once this broke exceeded any event in the 23 years I’ve been here.

At the ground breaking on Friday the kids, with the help of the First Lady removed sod and started the process. In a couple of weeks the planting will take place. The early spring garden, as with many early spring gardens will be red romaine lettuce, oakleaf lettuce, sugar snap peas, butterhead lettuce, radishes, shallots and shell peas, onions, chard spinach, kale, collards and a host of herbs including sorrel, thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, marjoram, chives, chamomile, garlic chives and hyssop. There’s also carrots, dill, cilantro and parsley. Some mints and rhubarb will be going in too. Later, squash, tomatillos, some berries, and perhaps more, since the garden is to be a year-round source of vegetables.
The L shaped garden is 40’ tall, 40’ wide at the bottom, and the width at the top of the L is 20’. There are marigolds, nasturtiums and zinnas lining the two walkways through the garden. Several raised beds surround the garden.
An organic garden and beehives at the White House…it doesn’t get much better, does it?
This message brought to you by Bee Culture, The Magazine Of American Beekeeping

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