Showing posts from 2022

Time to Treat

 I wish this was a perfect world and there were never any problems, but there are problems, even in the Bee world. The big problem right now is the Varroa mite, aka Varroa destructor. If not kept under control the Varroa mite can destroy your hive. There are several different treatments, depending on the time of year and your particular situation. To find out all about keeping a healthy hive I would suggest going to the Honey Bee Health Coalition web site. You need to be a student of the Varroa and other health issues that can happen to your hive. Another great resource is the website Don't think if you ignore the Varroa it will go away or will never happen to you. This past week I treated my hives for Varroa. I have used a couple methods but lately have been using Formic Acid Pro. It is a natural treatment so can be used even right before harvesting honey and has been found to be very effective at killing the

35lbs of Liquid Gold

  As you can see from my posts, being a Beekeeper has lots of trouble and heartache. There are times of great joy as well. These times come in the form of harvesting honey. I have gotten fairly adept at harvesting honey from my hives. It can be very messy and lots of work but the end result is liquid gold 😊 I recently harvested honey from my one remaining hive. See the previous post about how I got 20lbs of honey from the hive that swarmed. I don't sell honey, right now anyway, so this is just for my wife and I and our family and friends. I will try to detail the process I go through to extract honey on this post. Many people take their supers in to a local bee supply store and pay to have them extract the honey, but I prefer to do it on my own. First we get suited up and get all our equipment ready for extracting honey. As you see we load the wheelbarrow with a container, smoker, brush and blower. Sometimes I get the bees off a frame at a time and put them in a container, or some

And They Are Gone

It has been a roller coaster ride with my one hive that has been so aggressive and large. I worried that they were too large to make it over the winter, but they made it. I worried they they were too aggressive to handle, and at times they have been. I worried that they were going to swarm, and at first I was able tot thwart a swarming but now they have gone. Good news is my other hive is thriving. When a hive swarms they take the queen and half the worker bees with them and look for a new place with larger accommodations. I believe that the bees that were left in my strong hive joined the other hive making it much stronger, because my strong hive is dead. I checked on it this week and there were very few bees left and no brood. Good news they left me a bunch of capped honey. So I quickly harvested that honey before it gets robbed or hive beetles destroy it. I could see some beetle larvae already. Without the workers to take care of the hive it will be destroyed. I also took some of th

Please Don't Go

 It's early Spring and the flow is starting with all the blooms around our part of the world. My hives have made it through the winter and are large and strong. Especially one hive, the one that has always been so active. The one that my wife and I both got stung by several  times. A strong aggressive hive makes for lots of honey production so I don't mind. But the other day I came home to find this! This means they are crowded and thinking about swarming. OH NO!  I quickly got another medium super and put it on to give them room. Also, I called the local owner of the bee store where I shop and he told me that a queen excluder can cause this as well because the queen is running out of space to lay eggs. So I also remove the excluder and then I took the top board and scooped them up and dumped them back in the top. They looked better with in the hour.   The next day they looked very good, back to normal for this hive anyway.         I will have to keep a close eye on these girls

Spring is in the Air

 We made it through the cold days of winter and are having some days in the 60s and 70s here in the Upstate of SC. I just finished a treating my bees with Formic Pro a formic acid type treatment. Both hives are looking very strong going into the Spring and honey flow season. I am excited to see if we get a lot of honey this year.  I was worried about one of my haves because it was not very active compared to my other hive which is very aggressive. But yesterday I opened both hives to remove the Formic Pro treatments and good news it is doing very well. As you can see from the pictures below it has good brood, honey and pollen. This is a sign for a very healthy hive. I do not look for the queen in my hives, I just look for evidence of the queen and good brood is evidence. If there were no brood or drone brood only I would be concerned and know that there is a problem. Yesterday it got up in the low 70s in the afternoon and they were quite active. Looks like it will be a great year for h