Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Did you say, "Pupa"?

Hi Folks,

Today I did my final queen checks and have already found capped brood, otherwise known as "PUPA"!  How exciting for those of you who have just started beekeeping and get to do it in a season that starts out so warm!!  So far we have had great success with our queens.  Only one arrived dead in the box and it happened to be mine and since I always order extra queens, NO PROBLEM!!  If you have drawn-out comb you will find the bees are storing as much sugar water in the empty cells as possible.  Remember, your brood pattern should never look spotty but rather the eggs and larva should be in the shape of an approximate oval in the center of each frame.  Another surprise I found today was an unmarked Carniolan queen which means she probably was in with the workers and fought against the one I put into the hive and won.  I think I will name her, "Black Beauty"!  Ginny Kinney and I are headed South to Anchorage tonight to meet up with Steve and Donna to bring back our final shipment of bees for local beekeepers.  I estimate we will arrive at 605 Betty Street around 5PM tomorrow (April 25th).  If you have any questions you can call my cell at 378-1563.

Friday, April 20, 2012

When Should We Stop Feeding Sugar Water?

Hi Folks,  this is a common question and a good one!  As soon as the dandelions show their bright yellow faces, we need to pull the sugar feeders.  This is important for three reasons.  First, it prevents lazy bees from staying home on the couch when they need to be out working for a living.  Second, it allows the natural nectars to be used to prepare for the honeyflow in July.  Who wants sugar in their honey?  Lastly, pulling the feeder allows us to put yet one more frame into the hive which means more babies, which means more foragers for the massive pollen and nectar rush before the local honey flow.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Colony Collapse Disorder?

This is a great Article regarding colony collapse disorder!! One of my students called this week and asked if it is o.k. to feed store-bought honey to our bees. The answer is no and if you want to know why, please read the following article.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

First 2012 Sugar Water/Queen Check

My estimate was right on. . . the sugar feeders were near empty today so I filled them up with room temperature sugar water and I know I said to wait until Friday but I couldn't resist doing my first queen checks of the season. All the queens were out and several have already been laying eggs. My next check will be in four days to fill sugar water and do a larva check as I should see a great larva pattern by then.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yesterday was a beautiful day for the arrival and hiving of our bees!! I recommend we all check our sugar water levels on Wed. (during the warmest part of the day and never under +50*) You don't need to check on your queens progress until Friday but keeping sugar water filled up is a must. So far, I've only handed out two new queens to a couple of beekeepers who accidentally let their queen fly off during their attempt at a slow release. Keep your hives insulated inside and outside until a later date. When you do your initial queen check, pull the little queen box out and check to see that your queen has been released. If she has, you will look for eggs and larva. If you have any questions or comments, you can post them on this blog.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Days Until Honeybees Arrive: 0

Our beloved buzzers will arrive on April 14th as scheduled! If anything changes I will post info. here!! Also, as a reminder, bring your equipment inside, out of the cold, to warm it up a couple days before the bees arrive. The same day you bring your equipment inside, mix up your sugar H2O (1:1) and store it at room temperature. Do you have a spray bottle for when the bees arrive? How about your tiny marshmallow(s)? I will have pollen patties for sale when the bees arrive for $5.00. Steve Victors will probably charge a fee of around $5 or $10 (per colony) for driving the bees up to Fairbanks. The place to pick up your buzzers is the Monroe Catholic School Parking lot. (At the corner of Betty and Ina Street) I will be calling everyone when Steve is about an hour away and his estimated arrival time is 5PM on April 14th.