The true winter time is here and the bees have reacted to it. The colonies are the smallest for the whole year and have positioned all the honey and pollen needed for the cold days and nights, right next to their "living room". Leaving them alone is the best we can do at this time. Any disturbance, especially during the cold spells would weaken the colony and lessen their chances for survival till the spring.
I managed to sell all my honey and honey comb this year already. The whole 31 Gal.
Another piece of news:
Products being sold as honey is not always made by bees, is that strange or what!! This article details the news very well: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/11/tests-show-most-store-honey-isnt-honey/
05/16/2011 - The untreated Honey as well as Bee movement is taking shape. What I am doing since 3 years seems to be popular with many other people and groups. Check this out. http://beeuntoothers.com/index.php/conferencesevents/2011-treatment-free-conference
08/14.2010 - We are planing a new extraction session this week, I think Tuesday or possibly Thursday. Time planned is 6.30pm. If you want to join in, you are always welcome.
05/22/2010 - We are trying to head into the summer, but it seems the weather does not agree with that. Swarm season was great, I was a busy man and now am the proud owner of 10 complete hives + one with an unknown Queen status. As thiswas a great Swarm season, I also lost some bees to swarms. I am not yet experienced enough to find good and healthy ways to intervene into their swarm cycles and use them to multiply my colonies. I hope next year will bring that. Now the strongest red hive is really shrunk down to almost one hive box size. It was 3 strong in the early spring. I must have seen10+ queen cells.
I did one Honey harvest and did it with the kids of my friends. That was a lot of fun. Here are some Pics from it.
We got a little spring honey out of this lession too. It is deliciously light and has a citrus base. Well, when orange and lemon trees flower, that is what we will get. Call and come over if you want some of it. It is almost gone.
03/15/2010 - Swarm season begins and I caught 2 swarms, one was the biggest one I have ever done, I could not even fit it in the 5 gallon catching bucket. They where heavy and a lot of them. A second bucket was necessary to collect them all. I had to find out that I did not get the queen. Only one week after, the same person, Search, called me again and reported another swarm at the exact same location; most likely from the same hive. I decided to merge the 1st swarm with one of my hives. The 2 other hives are so strong already, they are in no need of help. Then the 2nd swarm came with a queen. They seem to do very well now. ----- I actually made two experiments as well. I wanted to split the strong red hive and make the bees make themselves another queen. This is called NUC. The other operation I tried was to take a number of brood frames into a new hive box and make a new hive by introducing a previously bought queen. After only 3 days the queen cage was empty and no queen to be found in the hive I will need to learn better in how to do this successfully.
02/12/2010 - Newly extracted the honey and it tastes very different from the other ones I harvested so far. Very dense and dark, amber, you can taste some Eucalyptus if you watch out closely (thanks Chip). I did the extraction with my neighbor Ashwin. He is as amazed and humbled as I am every time I see the product of so much dedication and work. Bees are great.
01/30/2010 - Hive #3 and #5 died due to Varoa Mite infestation. This is tragic and very sad for us. Though common it is sad every time I see a hive die in the winter, and there is nothing I can do. The signs where there that they where weak. Now all I can do is make sure that their hard work will not go unnoticed and collect and extract the honey from their hive boxes. True winter honey coming right up.12/29/2009 - Hive #3 shows pretty small activity looking from the outside. I checked in with them and it looks like there are fewer bees in this hive that the others. I took the 3rd hive box off the hive, to make sure they are able to keep their space warm during the colder nights.