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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tucking in for Winter

Our neighbor at the farm, Matt Figgins, dropped off some straw bales so I could create a windbreak for the bees this winter (they had no cover from the north or west).  I had already installed metal entrance reducers to keep the mice out.  I hope this gives them good protection until the spring!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Memories from 2010

Assorted Photo Memories from the 2010 Beekeeping Season.  As you can see, it was a fun year!

The Bees Have Arrived!!!

Installation on April 17, 2010

Making Sure the Queens Are Released.

Jessica Getting More Comfortable Helping Dad.

A Proud Beekeeper and "His Girls".

Dang Girls!

The Extraction Party!  Smell That Honey!

Girl Scouts Learn About Bees.

Maybe I Need to Get Some Smaller Suits?

Preparing for More Hives in 2011.

Grandpa, Can I Help???

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Candy Boards

This week I have been continuing to feed the bees with a 1:1 sugar solution, but with the cold weather, they have not been using as much, so decided to made some candy boards.  I hunted up some recipes, picked apart the reviews and settled on this one: 5 pounds of sugar, 1/3 TBSP of cidar vinegar, and 1 cup of water.  Bring water and vinegar to a boil, then slowly add and stir the sugar until it's all in.  Raise the heat to 250 degrees F at the border between firm ball and hard ball, then turn off the heat and stir until it drops to 200 degrees and pour into the boards.  My boards are made from 1/4 inch chipboard cut 16.25X20 inches so they fit my hive boxes.  I then cut 2x4 pieces into 1.75X1 inch strips to made the sides.  I can easily made a double batch and put 10 pounds of sugar in each candy board.  My second board I tried getting to hard ball, but it didn't work that well; I boiled out too much water and it's is a bit granular on the surface.  I then placed them on the hives and I'll check in a week or so to see how the bees like them.  I plan on making another set of candy boards to keep in the ready if I need to swap them out.

Monday, November 1, 2010

100th Post

This morning I realized that I had submitted 99 posts to my beekeeping blog, so I decided to do a little reflecting for #100.  My first reaction was "WOW!"  It's hard to believe that I actually blogged this many entries...I have always abandoned any diaries or journals way before this point. 

As I looked over my first blog postings, I thought back to the beginning of this year remembering my thoughts and emotions regarding beekeeping.  Back then I was amazed with the little creatures, facinated with the craft of beekeeping, but not sure if it was going to work for me and the family.  I remember starting this blog after attending the bee school in Henderson, Kentucky.  Hearing the fantastic presenters and talking with the rep from Dadant convinced me to call Dawn and tell her I wanted to actually do this crazy idea.  For some reason she agreed, and I bought some tools and two bee suits.  The next day I decided to document this experience for myself and others and the blog "Larry's Got Bees" was born.

Have I learned anything from this beekeeping experience?  Beekeeping is a bit like herding cats...they are intelligent creatures with a stubborn will of their own, and the best you can do is follow their leading!  But again, 8 months of blogging, 100 posts, and an amazing 2010 for my new craft of beekeeping...who would have thought it???