Search This Blog

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rearranged for Winter

Today I went to the farm to check on the bees, see if any needed to be fed, and to rearrange the hives for winter.  I brought up some concrete blocks, removed the empty hives, removed the "high rise", and moved everything closer together with entrances facing south to avoid the northwest winds of winter.  It was relatively cool today, so I was hoping the bees would be staying inside for the move, but enough came out that some had a hard time finding their way back home.  Several were still looking for the "north entrance" on their hive.  Also there was a fair amount of fighting when the foraging bees came back to their location only to find a new hive there.  Hopefully they will figure it out without too much distress or loses.  My hope is to rig up a wind block behind the row of hives, especially those on the wooden stand.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Extract, Filter & Bottle

Well, I am almost done working my honey for the season.  Last night I used my extractor to spin out 20 frames of honey from three of my hives.  This morning I filtered the honey, and tonight I filled close to sixty bottles with some honey still left in the bucket.  I bought 192 half-pound bottles a few weeks ago, and they have all been used!  I've also filled 10 half-pint Mason jars, and still have about a gallon left over to bottle.  That is over 100 pounds of honey!!!  Wow!!!  I definately did better than I expected to do this year.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Feeding the Bees

I stopped by the farm today to feed the bees in preparation for winter.  From my inspection last weekend, I have several hives needing some help with their winter food supply.  I wanted to try a couple of new feeding methods.  Typically I use enterance feeders, but some hives I want to pack with sugar water.  I remembered that Lonnie Langley had given me some 1 gallon feeders that had been tucked away in a corner of the woodshop and forgotten.  A gallon of sugar water holds 4 pounds of sugar.  I placed this on Hive #14

I also made an internal jar feeder out of one my candy boards that I made last winter but never used.  I drilled six holes in the board and placed window screen over the middle two to allow for ventilation.  I placed this feeder on Hive #13.

I also noticed something that gives me mixed feelings for Hive #13....I found a supersedure queen cell near the top of a frame.  I would rather they not try and swarm at this time of year, but maybe they know more than me.

I also placed a double feeder on Hive #15, the Wallace Hive because it was starting out having to make comb from scratch.  I placed two enterance feeders on it.

I also found two dead hives today: #8 & #10.  It was sad, but expected as they were not doing well.  These hives were the Kull Extraction and the Buzzard Swarm.  As I think back over the time with them, both had poor laying queens.

I also followed-up on a phone call last week about a bee tree that blew down and there were bees keeping it from getting cut up.  I stopped by the house and easily found the tree in the backyard.

As I inspected the tree, I realized that the flying things were not honey bees but were yellow jackets!  I informed the home owner of her options, and that she didn't have to feel bad about killing them since they weren't honey bees.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Logo for Quicksall Honey Bee Farm

Over this year I have been playing with a logo for the honey bee farm, and I've settled on this graphic.  I have placed it on my bottled honey this season.  Next will come t-shirts and embroidered shirts!

So far I've sold over 50 bottles of honey, and this morning Aaron will be selling honey at the Effingham farmers market at the Village Square Mall from 9-11am.