Thursday, September 19, 2013

Another DOGGONE Art Contest!
Draw a picture of your favorite dog....a real dog, a dog you wish
you had or hope to have someday, a made-up dog...
Any child up to age 18/grade 12 residing in the FNSB.
Art submissions will be reviewed by the Northern Lights Academy Board of Directors and their
representatives. The top 5 in each age category will be displayed at Barnes and Noble on October 12. The Grand Champion for each category will be announced at 2 p.m., October 12, at Barnes and Noble.
All entries must be received by Northern Lights Academy no later than October 2, 2013. You can mail your entries to 181 Carlyle Way, Fairbanks, AK, 99709.
Barnes and Noble Booksellers, 421 Mehar Ave, Fairbanks, AK 99709
All artwork must be on plain white 8.5 x 11 paper. Any medium may be used, but artwork must be at and not 3-D. No framed or matted work will be considered. There are 4 categories: Preschool,
Kindergarten-3rd grade, 4th grade-8th grade, and 9th-12th grade.

The following information must be on the back of the artwork:
Name of artist
Mailing address of student
Grade School name or home school

Thursday, September 5, 2013

If you are not trying to winter-over your honeybees. . .

So now comes the dreadful deed of shop-vacuuming your bees if you don't plan to winter-over.  I put a couple to a few gallons of water in my shop vacuum and take it out next to my hives early in the morning or later evening bec. that's the time when all the bees are at home.  I suck as many bees into the shop vacuum as possible and remove all the hive pieces from the location.  They will be stored for winter.  See the next post for winter storage strategy!  I estimate it takes about 45 min. to shop vacuum one colony.  When I'm finished, I take the lid off the vacuum and stir the honeybee smoothie with a stick to ensure all the bees are dead.  Then I dump them into my compost as they make excellent vermiculite!  WHY DO I KILL MY BEES?  Because I have seen many colonies suffer through 5-6 months of winter without being able to go to the bathroom (Rememer, they need +50* or warmer to fly in order to go poop)  They tend to be weak and sick and even dead anyway by spring.  The Interior of Alaska is a harsh place for honeybees in the winter months.  Some have had success, however. If you have questions about wintering over your bees, you can contact Steve Victors of Wildflower Honey or Steve Petersen of Toklat Apiaries.

Storing Your Equipment for Winter

So, the very best way to store your equipment for winter that I know of is by placing a queen excluder right on top of your bottom board and stacking all your boxes (broods & supers) on top of each other.  Either take the inner cover off or staple screen over the entrance.  Staple screen over the bottom entrance as well.  This set-up will prevent rodents and other insects from entering the hive and destroying all the wax honeycomb that you will need for next season.  To secure the hive you could ratchet strap all the boxes together.  Store this stack outside as the frames could develop mold and/or mildew if you don't.  You can recycle the screen from the box your bees traveled to Alaska in.