Thursday, April 28, 2011

Successful Queen Checks

Tonight was fantastic when I discovered three of my queens are doing great!! The eggs are there! I plan to check my other two Friday night or Sat. afternoon. At first it may be difficult to spot the eggs but if you look closely at the back of each cell (as long as your comb is drawn out) you should see little white eggs pointing almost straight at you. They are actually smaller than a grain of rice.

Save the queen cage(s)!!

Please don't forget to save the queen cage and cork! If you do plan on caging your queen(s) in the fall, you will need the little queen cage to do it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Queen Checks

Here in the next couple days beekeepers should be performing queen checks. Provided it is 50* or warmer, open your hive(s) and grab the queen cage. Pull it out of the hive and look to see if the queen is out of her cage. There may be some worker bees buzzing around inside the queen cage. Remember, you are looking for a bee that is much bigger with a white dot on her thorax. If she is out of her little box then pull out several frames (one at a time) to see if they have eggs and larva. If any of you don't see eggs and larva by Sat. April 30th, call me at 374-8984 and I will come inspect. I do have extra queens in case anyone has problems.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Everything went real smooth with getting the bees transported from California to Anchorage by UPS and from Anchorage to Fairbanks by driving. I am very pleased with the condition of Steve Victor's bees! There were very few dead bees in our boxes compared to last season. The Queens look plump, well-bread and I like the white dot being used this year as the queen mark since it is so easy to spot. One tip you should know about is if you made the mistake of pushing the cork inside the queen cage, it needs to come out so she can crawl out. It is difficult to get the cork out without damaging the queen so I recommend doing a quick release, holding the queen cage down, inside the brood box. Remove two or three center frames first. Then hold the queen cage down in the open space. Remove the screen on the queen cage and she should drop down into the box. 374-8984

Reminder: I checked my sugar H2O last night and found my two quart jar feeders already empty so I refilled them. I checked my frame feeders as well and they were 2/3 empty so you probably ought to feed your bees today (Monday, April 25)

There's a Bee Club meeting coming up soon so when I get the date and time I will post it here.

Please post on this blog. If you have any tips or questions, it would be a great way to communicate and network.
Blessing for a fantastic season!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hello Beekeepers of Interior Alaska! I leave tomorrow at 6PM to drive to Anchorage. I will meet Steve Victors at the Ted Stevens International Airport around 8AM on Sat. Prior to loading your honeybees, I will use a flashlight to ensure your queen(s) are alive and well. Please be near your phone between 2PM and 6PM on Saturday as my friend, John Strothenke will be calling you when I am one to two hours away from Fairbanks. If the weather is 50* or above I advise you to hive your bees as soon as you get them home. If not you will need to keep them in a room that is about 50*. spray them lightly with sugar syrup every 2-4 hours. This ensures they have food if their travel can has run out. If you haven't already done so, get yourself a bottle of benedryl in case someone gets stung and has an allergic reaction.
I'll See You All Saturday!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Getting Ready for Our Honeybees

We have less than a week until our honeybees arrive. If you haven't already done so, get a bag of sugar (a 25# bag should be more than enough for one colony). Make your sugar syrup by boiling water and sugar with a 1:1 ratio. Let the sugar water cool. When feeding your bees, use a juice pitcher for easy pouring. You don't want to get sloppy and pour sugar water into your hive. Bees tend to drown or get "stuck" in excessive puddles of sugar water. Do you have a spray bottle? This is quite important when you receive your bees! Remember, you need to spray a little sugar water on bare foundation prior to hiving the bees. When you spray your bees (while they are still in the box) be careful not to overspray them. Make sure you have all the equipment you will use this spring inside a warm, chemical-free place for at least 24 hours prior to hiving your buzzers! Do you have your insulation ready? If using hard, blue board insulation, make sure it is pre-cut and ready to go. The bubble wrap insulation could be measured and pre-cut as well. Check your staple gun to ensure you won't run out of staples when you are adhering the insulation to your box. My estimated arrival time from Anchorage will be 5PM on April 23, 2011. I will do a hiving demonstration about 20 minutes after I arrive in town. Pollen patties and some medications will be available for purchase. The fuel charge per colony is $7.00.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

For my Beginning Beekeeping Students. I spoke with Steve Victors this evening. He says we are still on schedule for our honeybees arriving on 4/23/11. California weather had us worried for a while but things seem to have worked out well with our later arrival date of 4/23/11. The queens are already laying in hives in California which means they will be eager to get out of their cages and fill our hives with eggs as soon as possible. I will meet Steve at the Anchorage International Airport and head back to Fairbanks arount 10AM on Sat. 4/23. My approximate arrival time in Fbks. is 5PM. Please check this blog periodically for updates. Spring is Bee-Ginning!!

Now accepting new Students for Fall 2011!

Animal Kingdom, Marine Marvels, Soar Through the Solar System and Human Body are two hour classes once a week. Two hour classes cost $25 per class. K-3 Beginning Art is 1.5 hours and will cost $20 per student, per class. Materials are included. Each class is limited to five students. We will have 15 lessons per class, per semester and to see more details, just click on the buttons above. Each student/parent is required to make a 15-lesson commintment. Two excused absenses are allowed and reimbursable per student, per semester. All classes are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Thank you for your interest in adding art to your child's education.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring is Here!!!

Now that April is here, I find myself preparing for picking up over 50 colonies of honeybees in the Anchorage area. These bees are from the California almond fields. Rumor has it the queens are delayed in getting fertilized since they mate with drones in the air. The weather has been terrible in California this spring. Yet another hobby I long to enjoy is gardening. The tomatoes are already up and now it's getting time to plant gladiolas.