We are taking orders for shipped and picked up package bees for the 2014 season. Shipping normally begins in late April and will continue until June or for anyone interested in picking up some package bees here at our location next spring; the tentative pick up dates are April 25th and 26th for the first load and May 8th, 9th or 10th for the second load. We will need anyone that is interested in picking bees up to place their order ahead of time so we can reserve bees for you. You do not have to pay for the bees until the day you pick them up.
Archive for the ‘Beekeeping Stuff’ Category
Ok…I know I haven’t been keeping up with the whole blog thing but I have just been too busy and find that posting info on Facebook is just easier.
We have some 5 frame nucs available for anyone that wants to get bees for the summer and fall honey crop. They are priced at $ 110.00 and all you have to do is bring your hive body minus 5 frames and we will install them when you come. It is best if you attach the bottom board to the hive body and screen the entrance if you want it to be screened before you come. If you don’t have any equipment yet, we can help you out with that by installing the bees into a new 1 story hive that you can just pick up. The total cost for the 1 story hive and the bees would be $ 223.85. Please give us a call if you are interested to schedule a time for pick up.
We have a little change in the pickup times for anyone that has bees ordered to be picked up on May 3rd and 4th. You will be able to pick up your bees between 12:00 and 5:00 on the 3rd or between 8:00 and 5:00 on the 4th.
For anyone picking bees up on our first load the times are still the same; April 19th or 20th between 8:00 and 5:00 either day.
We are now taking orders for package bees and queens for the 2013 season. Prices will remain the same as the 2012 prices. Shipping begins in April sometime. We haven’t set the pick up dates as of yet…I will post it once I know for certain. And just a reminder I post more information on our Facebook page than I do here simply because it’s easier for me. If you aren’t on Facebook…you should be.
On another note we just finished pulling honey off our hives yesterday. It was a lot of work but it was fun this year as there was 3 generations of Drapers working; my father, my son and myself…very cool! Next year we will celebrate our 40th anniversary here at Draper’s Super Bee Apiaries, Inc. and we are hoping to be here for many more years!
We are now sold out of queens for the 2012 season. It’s getting to the point where is is hard to “bank” the queens until we sell them. I had intended to video how to mark queens this year but we have been so busy I just never got time to do it…maybe next year.
The bees are working hard and we are hoping for a good fall crop.
Just a reminder that I have started posting on Facebook more than I post here just because it’s easier for me. So visit our page and “like” us…thanks!
Some new evidence on what may be causing or at least contributing to CCD (colony collapse disorder) – Click Here.
Starting today we are accepting orders for package bees and queens for the 2012 season. You can either have the bees shipped to you or you can pick them up at our location. The tentative pickup days are; Saturday, April 21st or Saturday, May 5th, these dates may change due to weather conditions or other factors beyond our control. I will post related information on the package bee page and here when I receive it.
We finally were able to get out and pull the honey off the hives. It only took us four days to get it all done and we worked in all kinds of temperatures in those four days. The first day we pulled was cold and most of the bees were down which made it easy to pull the honey supers
off the top. The second day was cool and windy and the bees were really grumpy. The third and fourth days it was almost too warm to be comfortable in our bee suits…but we got through it. This year there were four of us working; Bill, Allen, Collin (my son) and myself and once the four of us got into the “grove” things went very smoothly. We did see 3 bears in a corn field only a stone’s throw from the last site we pulled honey from…hope they stay away from the hives!
Al has started extracting our stuff today, so in a couple of weeks we will have some numbers. Some of the hives did very well but because we started nearly half of our hives with packages this spring we expect the per hive average to be down from last year…we will see.
We have been working on extracting a lot of local beekeepers honey also. Some have done exceptionally well and others not so good, just like every year.
Today I have decided to clean both of our observation hives. The last fall cleaning is always the worst! It seems that the bees collect so much nectar from the Goldenrod that they go into a super wax production mode and because they don’t need to build all that much comb this time of year they deposit it all over the glass…some of it is even full of honey.
I start out by taking the top part of the hive outside to open it up. Keep in mind that it’s never a good idea to open one of these up inside…lol. Once I have them outside and using as little smoke as possible I open the door and look for the queen. I like to capture her and place her in a queen cage for safe keeping. I would hate to injury her while removing and manipulating the frames. I was lucky this time and she was on the open side but if by chance she is on the other side you will have to remove some frames to get to her…”bee” careful!
I carefully remove one frame at a time, starting from the top and working down, with as many bees as possible clinging to the frame and place them in a 5 frame nuc box. You could also use an empty hive body for this. I place the queen cage right on the top so the bees know she is still around.
There are always some rebel bees that feel they need to stay and protect the honey that is dripping down the glass.
I have found the easiest way to deal with the rebels is to brush them off with a bee brush on to a piece of cardboard and then shake them off on to the nuc box. It’s a good idea to use your smoker while doing this as they usually aren’t too excited about being brushed.
It’s finally time to start cleaning off all of that wax and honey. Like I had mentioned before the fall requires more cleaning than any other time of year and in fact there normally is nowhere near this amount of wax on the glass. Our main observation hive has only been cleaned out 3 times this year and our second observation hive only twice. The honey and wax will not be wasted. I start by scraping the bulk of it off with a hive tool and placing it into a pail to be taken to the honey house to be processed.
After getting the bulk of the wax off I switch to a razor-blade scraper which gets nearly all of the wax off and this would be good enough in most cases but I like to get everything cleaned up to where it almost looks new. So after getting it scraped off I hose the hive down with hot water.
I then dry the hive off and clean the glass with some foaming glass cleaner. Looks so much better now!
Once the hive is all cleaned up it’s time to put the girls back in to their clean abode. I did scrape off the edges of the frames before putting them back in the hive. I like to start with the bottom frame and put them back in the same order as they were before being removed.
With all of the frames back in place it’s time to release the queen. Just pull the cork and let her out on the face of one of the frames.
After carefully closing the door to the observation hive I needed to take care of the remaining work force still in the nuc box. I just took them close to the hive entrance and shook them out on to the ground. They started heading up the wall to get back inside immediately so I had to get the observation hive back inside and open it up so they could get back in.
I set the hive back on the base and opened the sliding door and in comes a wave of bees anxious to get back to work. The whole cleaning took me about 1 hour per hive. I shouldn’t have to get into the hives again until spring now.
The saying “Busy as a Bee” is reflected in the picture below. Notice the jagged edges on this worker bees wings. She has obviously been a busy bee! A bees wings beat at around 11,000 times a minute as they fly around collecting nectar, pollen, propolis and water for their hive. They fly around 15 miles per hour and will visit between 50 and 100 flowers on each trip. Working that hard is why they only live for around 6 weeks during the production season. An entire battalion of worker bees will have to fly over 55,000 miles to collect enough nectar to make a single pound of honey.