cloake board with an intention to raise emergency queens, but I've drifted into off-label territory. My success with two swarm traps catches and limited bee yard space encouraged me to combine the swarms with the cloake board. Both entrances face in the same direction and the movable floor is removed. For several weeks, these swarms have been connected by way of the queen excluder which is integrated into the cloake board.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017
This hanging 8-frame deep contains 1 frame of brood comb, 7 frames with foundation and a swarm lure. A hole saw was used to create two entrances - one that you can see and another on the bottom side.
Hanging swarm trap advantages:
- no ladder climbing required with this rope hanging scheme
- large volume created by 8 deep frames
- movable frames can be transferred into other deep boxes without cutting comb
- bottom entrance encourages complete move-in and discourages comb building beneath the box
- sustainable alternative to splitting
- requires foundation as the swarm trap is not left-right level
Saturday, April 15, 2017
spiderwort and tulip poplar. Native mining bees and carpenter bees are extremely active too.
This year, I started to checkerboard the honey cap of over-wintered hives on March 6th. Since then, I check the honey cap every three weeks. My version of checkerboarding uses foundation-less frames with no drawn comb. Yesterday, I added another medium box to each hive. I don't know how long this nectar flow will last, but I have monstrously tall hives.
My swarm capture is drawing comb and growing in size too, but at a much slower pace than over-wintered hives.
Saturday, March 25, 2017
swarm lure. A hole saw was used to create two entrances - one that you can see and another on the bottom side. I don't want to use foundation, but the non-level box is not suitable for foundation-less frames. It's too good to be true, this swarm did not demonstrate any comb building behavior beneath the box. After an hour, everyone was inside. It rained last night. I'm glad they stayed dry and are presumably busy drawing comb.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
2009 2010 2011 2016 2017
day day day day day
Bradford Pear 65 79 60 56
Carpenter Bees 68 87 72 63
Acer palmatum leaf out 73 92 77 64
Carolina Cherry Laurel 73 97 83 57
Pollen Count over 1000 76 51
The point of tracking these day-of-year values is to synchronize my beekeeping practices with spring weather. The first step/acknowledgement is to admit that there is no such thing as an average year- we have never experienced an average year of weather. My journal contains spring marker dates which sometimes appear in different months. So, dates are converted to day-of-year to make the comparison between years easier. I'm experimenting with comparing first pollen count over 1000. Pollen count is easy to acquire, loosely correlates with temperature and maybe more objective than my journal notes.
I first saw Steve Page speak at Georgia Beekeepers Association in 2015 on the topic of Sustainable Beekeeping. Do you want to learn more, sign-up for "It's Time To..." the free email mentoring of Coweta Sustainable Beekeeping. As Steve is influenced by other beekeepers - so, I'm influenced by Steve and have adapted my beekeeping management which uses Kelly foundationless (F Style) frames. Last Monday (day 65), I removed the bee cozy and checker-boarded the honey cap of my hives.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
This morning, the low temperature was 35 °F and I found chilled drone brood at one of the hives. On the landing board, you can see a range of drone development by way of eye color...no color, pink, purple then black. On the top edge of the photo you can see that the bee cozy insulator is still on.
The hive with chilled brood has a temperature measured at the inner cover notch of 84.5 °F. It's sad that this hive became out of sync with the number of adult bees and are not able to keep the periphery of the brood chamber warm. The next hive over measured 77.5 °F at the inner cover notch and is found without chilled brood.