Beekeeping

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Beginning and Intermediate Beekeeping with Dawn Cogan

Beekeeping Classes with Science-Based Art



Science-Based Art
Instructor: Dawn Cogan 

To register, email Dawn at sciencebasedart@yahoo.com or call Dawn at (907)460-6050.

Cost: $150 per family

Sat. 2/27/16 1-5 PM & Sun. 2/28/16 1-5 PM (4 hrs. each day for a total of 8 hrs.) Monroe Catholic School 

• What is beekeeping? How much honey will I get? How much will this all cost me?
• Equipment necessary to keep bees in Alaska
• Biology and races of honeybees
• Members of the hive and their duties
• Where can I get bee equipment? Should I get new, used or build my own?
• Getting equipment ready for arrival of bees.
• Insulation, feeding bees properly
• What to do when the bees arrive
• Is my queen marked? (queen marking tool)
• Management of honeybee colonies in Alaska, the beekeepers calendar
• Running 2-Queen Hives
• Swarming and how to prevent it
• Honeybee diseases
• Extracting your Alaska honey
• What to do at the end of the season/Wintering Over
• Storing your equipment
• Beeswax candle making

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Email from Honeybee Supplier Steve Victors

Hello Beekeepers,
Donna and I are hoping that your winter has gone well so far this year.  It has been very mild here in Big Lake, and I suspect that the entire state has gotten off easier than we have in the past.  I have been getting quite a few calls lately asking when it will be time to order bees for the spring.   Well, the time is now here.  We have overhauled our website and we are ready to go.  We will be adding to our Education page this spring and placing a few videos on the site pretty soon.  We have a video that shows our packages being filled when Donna and I were down getting bees last year.  You will find it in the Education page and click on the Videos link on the right.
This year we experienced an increase in our base price on packages of bees that I suspect has been driven by competition for California packages in the commercial market.  Package bee suppliers in California are getting orders of 3 to 4 thousand packages at a time, and that puts a very real limit on the available supply driving prices up.  This year we saw an increase of our base price for a single queen package by $15, and a $4 increase in queen prices for extra queens.
Fortunately, we have lower prices on fuel, and transportation costs have decreased compared to last spring.  We have lowered our instate transportation fees because of this.
As always, we seek to bring you the highest quality packages that can be found at the most reasonable price.
We continue to use our long time supplier for both packages and queens because of the consistent high quality of his bees, queens, and care of the packages.
As we have done in the past, we will be making trips to accompany each shipment of bees from our supplier’s operation to the distribution points here in Alaska.  We will be using our custom built trailer specifically designed for transporting packages of bees for the portion of the trip from our supplier’s yard to airfreight terminals in Portland.
As always, queens are guaranteed to be alive, healthy, and fertile. Packages are imported with a certificate of health and personally guaranteed to be in good shape. 
This year we are adding a third type of bee available to our customers.  John (our supplier) used these bees in his operation in South Dakota, and he said that they gathered a good honey crop for him.  His new queens are of the Buckfast line with the breeding stock not directly related to the Buckfast queens found in Texas but coming from a different source.  John reports that they have a good temperament similar to his Italian bees. 
Information on the development of the Buckfast bee can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckfast_bee

Here is the long range climatic seasonal predictions for weather: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/two_class.php
Our price this year is $170 for a four pound package with a marked queen.
Extra queens in the package are $24 each. 
Transportation fees are now:
Fairbanks  $7.50/package
Copper River Basin  $7.50/package
Soldotna  $4.00/package
Soldotna to Homer $4.00/package
Online orders are now ready to go at www.Stevesbees.com

Looking forward to a great year,
Steve and Donna
892-6175

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Beginning and Intermediate Beekeeping with Dawn Cogan

Beekeeping Classes with Science-Based Art



Science-Based Art
Instructor: Dawn Cogan 

To register, email Dawn at sciencebasedart@yahoo.com or call Dawn at (907)460-6050.

Cost: $150 per family

Sat. 2/27/16 1-5 PM & Sun. 2/28/16 1-5 PM (4 hrs. each day for a total of 8 hrs.) Monroe Catholic School 

• What is beekeeping? How much honey will I get? How much will this all cost me?
• Equipment necessary to keep bees in Alaska
• Biology and races of honeybees
• Members of the hive and their duties
• Where can I get bee equipment? Should I get new, used or build my own?
• Getting equipment ready for arrival of bees.
• Insulation, feeding bees properly
• What to do when the bees arrive
• Is my queen marked? (queen marking tool)
• Management of honeybee colonies in Alaska, the beekeepers calendar
• Running 2-Queen Hives
• Swarming and how to prevent it
• Honeybee diseases
• Extracting your Alaska honey
• What to do at the end of the season/Wintering Over
• Storing your equipment
• Beeswax candle making

Friday, August 21, 2015

Science-Based Art Classes Cancelled for 2015-2016

Since I have been hired by IDEA as a full-time contact teacher, I will not be teaching Science-Based Art classes this year. I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. I will continue to be an active member of the homeschool community in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Matrimony & Caging Queens

Hi Folks, Since my daughter got married last week I have neglected to blog for several weeks.
I will be caging queens tomorrow (8-6-15) if weather allows. The window for caging queens is now through the middle of Aug. depending on when you want to extract honey. Remember, it takes 21 days for worker brood to hatch out and 24 days for drones so 21-24 days after you cage your queen your hive will have no more eggs, larva or pupa and extraction is much cleaner and easier.  This has been a much better season than 2014 thanks to warmer weather. Most honey is darker this season, which I contribute to a shortage of rain in early to mid-summer. This decreases the amount of nectar flowers can produce (such as fireweed). When I cage my queens, I put a cork back in the queen cage hole and stick a thin piece of duct tape over the cork to discourage any royal Houdini tricks. Then I hang the queen cage in the middle of the hive between two frames ensuring the screen is not facing the foundation. I want to keep my caged queen alive as long as possible so the workers won't try as hard to create another queen. The screen of the queen cage must be facing open space between the frames.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Now Accepting Students for Fall 2015

Science-Based Art is now accepting students for the 2015 -2016 school year! To save your child's space, email Dawn Cogan at sciencebasedart@yahoo.com. Your child's name, grade and class title will be necessary. Space is limited (8 students per class) and available on a first come, first serve basis. Click on class titles above to view syllabus information.

2015 Class Schedule:

Literature-Based Art & Writing (Mon. 10 am-12 pm) 1st -3rd grades
Soar through the Solar System (Mon. 2:30 - 4:30 pm) 3rd - 8th grades

Scientific Method (Tues. 10 am-12 pm)
Beginning/Intermediate Art (Tues. 3-5 pm)

Animal Kingdom (Wed. 10 am-12 pm)  2nd - 4th grades
Creative Essay Writing (Wed 1-3 pm) 4th - 8th grades
Marine Marvels (Wed. 3:30-5:30 pm) 2nd - 4th grades


Animal Kingdom (Thurs. 10 am-12 pm)  2nd - 4th grades
Marine Marvels (Thurs. 1-3 pm) 2nd - 4th grades

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Adding Supers!

Hi Folks, I am adding my supers a bit early this season for three reasons:
1) Raspberries and fireweed have bloomed early this year and are prolific.
2) When checking my hives yesterday I discovered multiple honey frames in the top box already.
3) My queens need more space as most frames have eggs, larvae, pupae, or honey in them.


This is promising to be a great honey season despite all the smoke!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Help for the Bees During the Heat

One way to help the bees keep their hives cooler is to place a 10-penny nail diagonally across the two front corners of the hive. I have done several hive checks in the past week and found that people haven't placed an entrance in their inner cover. This causes poor ventilation and doesn't allow the bees to enter and exit the hive from the top, cutting down on productivity.