Disclaimer:

This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Package bees

I will be getting 300 - 3 lb packages. Any of my customers that lost their bees during this unprecedented cold weather will be given the opportunity to purchase first. I am sorry you lost your bees but this is farming. Any farmer can lose their crop due to frost, too much rain, too little rain, hail, locusts and mites. We all roll the dice when we do farming activities. You need to call or email me today if possible so I can have a number to reserve.
 If anyone is thinking about ordering, do not mail me an order form. I may be sold out of these by tomorrow and the mail won't be here until Tuesday. Call or email me. I will answer the phone the best I can. Leave a message if I don't pick up, say your phone number twice. If my voicemail box gets full, email me what you want.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Put your bees out

The weather is gorgeous. Put your bees out. Best to carry them to their spot. Set them down. Open them up about two hours later. The bees will be pouring out of the open entrance right away. Best to open them up in the afternoon when it is warmer and they can fly and return.
 When package bees come to me, there is always loose bees on the outside of many of the cages. We collect them when it is cool and put them in a nuc box. If it is warm out when the bees come, we cannot collect them because they fly away.
 I took one of the nuc boxes outside last night, because it needed a queen. I couldn't open it up in my garage as the bees would have poured out in the garage. When I opened them up outside, fifteen minutes later, the bees poured out of the nuc. They settled down a short time later and I put the queen in. It was cooler out last night and I know some of the bees did not return. So releasing them when it is in the upper 50's should be warm enough for them to return.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Overwintered Hive update plus first check for 2 lb packages

Sorry my posting has been pretty lean during these two bee deliveries. The weather for bees has been terrible. The cold weather has made package bees installation more challenging. But, it looks like the weather is going the right direction and beekeepers that had to install their bees in warmer locations should be able to move them outside by Sunday. Long term weather outlook looks like no more deep freeze.
 Overwintered colonies are slowly moving forward. Strong colonies should be on schedule for a reversal, finally, this weekend. Weak colonies may not be able to reverse quite yet.
 To do a reversal on an overwintered colony, three deep hive. Bottom box to top and the top and middle box move straight down.
Like this: Box number
1
2
3
ends up
3
1
2
On a two deep hive, self explanatory, switch the two boxes.
 We should see pollen coming into the hives this week. Pollen patties should still be in place on over wintered colonies. Pollen this time of year can be a little unreliable due to cool weather. 
 Beekeepers that installed two pound packages will be able to check their hives this weekend for queen acceptance. The first check is for eggs. If you see eggs in a nice concentric pattern, with the queen hitting most of the open cells, then the queen should be good. Failure to do a check for queen acceptance can lead to problems. If the bees did not accept the queen, a new queen needs to be installed right away. Failure to put a queen in right away can lead to laying workers and possibly a failed hive.
Here is a video:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Getting more packages - Update

I am getting more 3 lb packages. Italian or Carniolan. You may not have a choice. It will be one or the other. Delivery date of May 7th.
 I start taking orders on Friday of this week.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Monday pick up schedule - Please Read The Entire Post

 Many people have picked up their bees. There are about 250 people left to pick up. The bees need to be picked up tomorrow, Monday. The feeder cans are getting light so it is your responsibility to pick them up on Monday. I have a few exceptions that I am working with. The Monday pickup schedule has been modified to fit the whole alphabet. Please stick to the pick up schedule. We have to spread this out over the whole day to be able to help everyone in a speedy manor.

Monday, April 16th pickup schedule
M - O  7:30 - 8:30am
P - R       8:30 - 9:30am
S   9:30 - 10:30am
T - V  10:30 - 11:30am
Crew Lunch 11:30am - 12:30pm
W - Z  12:30 - 1:30pm
A - B   1:30 - 2:30pm
C - D   2:30 - 3:30pm
E - G  3:30 - 4:30pm
H - L and Open Time (if the above time is not possible)  4:30 - 7 pm

Sunday pick up

We are all plowed out and ready for customers starting at 7:30 am to 7 pm.
I think with the snow and everyone's situation is different on being able to get down their street. Today's pickup will be wide open, no schedule. First come first served. The bees need to be picked up soon,
We will be here today, Sunday or tomorrow, Monday.
There will be a crew lunch from 11:30 - 12:30. Please no customers then.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

If you want to pick up bees today

If anyone wants to pick up bees today. Please call for an appointment. 651-439-8793. We will be scheduling appointments on the quarter hour slots. e.g. 9 am -  9:15 - 9:30 etc.
I need appointments so I don't have 100 people here at once.
We will schedule from 9 am to 2 pm. Then snow is supposed to pick up again.
Plan your route with the existing road conditions to best meet your time.