New Videos

 

I started playing around with a new program Adobe Spark and it is a great tool! The program creates online slideshow videos, social media posts, and other great marketing items.  Over the next few weeks, I will be developing new videos and presentations for BeeMore.

Check out our About BeeMore video and pass it on to your friends so that they can learn more about BeeMore.

Thanks!

Michelle

 

 

The warm up…or really more of the same.

This morning, I ventured out to check on the hives and greenhouses after the deep freeze of the past two weeks.  A found a few bees working in the hive which was a good sign. The white stuff is the sugar or bee candy that I made a few weeks ago.

Most of the vegetation in the area is still frozen from the frost but, its good to see that my bees persist.  Even though 40+ degree weather feels balm to us because of the persistent cold, to the bees it’s just another winter day.

Stay Warm!

Michelle

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Winter Work

Part of the winter beekeeping work is rehabbing equipment for the next season. I wanted to share the details for those who may inherit or have to reuse their previous year’s equipment.

The purchasing of pre-owned equipment is often tricky because beekeepers are wary of stuff that they do not have knowledge of because it may have been infected by American Foulbrood or other diseases that may have caused the colony to collapse.

My thought in documenting this process was to better inform potential beekeepers of some of the steps of maintenance in the offseason. Thus, the preparing boxes for reuse is a key task because if you have bees that die of other causes you can still reuse the equipment if you take right precautions and these steps also help you to preserve your equipment investment.

These are boxes that I purchased earlier this fall from a fellow beekeeper that had some damage due to wax moth damage. In order to reuse these boxes, I had to scrape and clean them outside. Lucky, I did this work before the super cold snap (in Nov/Dec 2017), and I used some straightforward tools that I got from the $1 store (note: small and large paint scrapers). I also used the hose at high pressure to blast of the last cocoons. Once the boxes were dry, I brought them indoors and with the help of Katie S, we started the next phase.

It is recommended to burn the leftover wax and inside corners of the boxes, thus removing all of the yucky remnants. For safety, we had a fire extinguisher on hand and since I am walking accident, I left the blowtorch work to Katie. She also used a small tool to clean out the top crevices of the boxes as well.

Finally, painting the outside of the boxes with two coats of outdoor high gloss paint gave the boxes a new life. The boxes will be airing out for the winter so that there is plenty of time for any fumes to dissipate. The painted boxes will weather longer and hold up to the elements much better than untreated wood.

Note: That it is less expensive to buy unpainted equipment and do it yourself if you are purchasing a large number of boxes. There are often deals on bulk boxes and new bee equipment but, if you are buying a single hive, the price difference is slight. I suggest that you go ahead and pay the extra $5-7 for painted boxes, it is worth the money and time.

In future posts, I will share the artistic transformation of these boxes. I will also share the assembly process of the many new boxes that I purchased this summer.

Michelle

Happy New Year from BeeMore

Happy New Year! I did a quick check on the bees 🐝 after a few weeks away from the garden and we have had extremely cold temperatures in Baltimore. Temperatures have fallen into the teens this past week, so I did not expect the hive to be very active.

But, I opened up the lid to find that the candy bar had not been touched yet this was not a surprise since they should have some honey.

Otherwise, it was pretty cold and I found that my some of my hoop house plants froze as well. 😔

Below is some quick video from my visit. Enjoy 😉

Stay warm! And, I will post some more updates soon.

Michelle😊

Feeding at Dusk

This is an update on the feeding process and my latest visit at dusk on December 13, 2017. After working on a few projects this week, I finally got a chance to check on the bees, on Wednesday evening at dusk. The forecast for that evening was for light snows and sleet and the weather was in low 30’s to high – 20’s.  The wind was biting cold and my fingers despite having on gloves froze quickly so I tried to be as efficient as possible while still trying to document the visit with my SLR.

Due to the temperatures, bees tend to cluster.  Definition of Clustering: The worker bees huddle around the queen bee at the center of the cluster, shivering to keep the center between 27 °C (81 °F) at the start of winter and 34 °C (93 °F) once the queen resumes laying. The worker bees rotate through the cluster from the outside to the inside so that no bee gets too cold.

Below are some key details from my visit:

  1. Bee Candy Results: The results of my no-cook bee candy (candy bar). It crumbled because I may have added too many drops of essential oil.  It smelled great but it was sort of fail. I am going to have to reassemble new bars.
  2. Removing Frames: I took out empty frames and added honey from other hives that failed. I froze these other frames for at least 48 hours at home as per the advice of other beekeepers to remove issues of wax moths.
  3. Second Hive Issues: In the second hive (this is a stronger hive) the frames were glued together (propolitized – propolis) due to greater activity by the colony in the second box. Due to the cold temperature and impending nightfall, I did not spend a lot of time so I left the sugar on top and closed the hive quickly.

Lessons Learned: 

  1. Bee Candy Redo: I will try a cooked version or use less essential oil in my no-cook recipe.
  2. Next year I will be better at: Working my frames more. Get into these hives more often to reduce the issue with propolis
  3. Time well spent: That the care and feeding of these bees has been worth it and I have learned a lot!

I will do another check soon. Over the last few weeks, I have been collecting equipment and beginning my winter rehab and preparations. This next few posts will be on these endeavors.

Michelle 🙂

 

 

First Snow…

 

So there not much to this post but I went to check on the hives early on Saturday morning. The bees were inside like expected and nothing much to report since I was the dumb one taking photos in the snow…

In my rush this week, I did not install my mouse guards or add the bee candy as planned. But, I got some work done on freezing frames from the other hives and gathering donated local wax. I will share this in another post.

With the changing of the season officially, I will start to focus on the inside aspects after finishing up the last few chores. A good thing is that the ground was still warm and this snow should melt within the next day or two. The weather report shows that it will get into the forties this week which will allow me to get these last task done, but I thought that I would share the nice snowy shots on the site.

Below are some photos of my house later in the afternoon. It snowed all day and we got a few inches of snow but we lucked out with the pavement being warm so no shoveling 🙂

Michelle

Making Candy for Winter

It seems timely to start on candy making for the bees since it is December and when I went out this morning the ground was frozen. I found a no-cook recipe on the internet that seems pretty easy. I decided against a true fondant because I am not a skilled candy maker.

Here’s what you will need:

  •  A 5-pound bag of sugar
  •  A measuring cup – 1 cup filled with water
  •  A large mixing bowl
  • A mixing spoon or spatula
  • A medium size aluminum pan
  • Optional –  Essential Oils ( I added a few drops of lemongrass, Thyne, and Peppermint oils )

Directions:

  1. Add entire bag into to large mixing bowl
  2. Measure and then pour 1 cup of water into bowl
  3. Stir and combine water and sugar (1-2 minutes)
  4. Optional: Add 10-15 drops (5 drops each into the mix) as you stir

I attempted to record some video of this process for your enjoyment. I am just adding this element to the blog and in the future, I refine these into more finished products.

 

If you have questions, contact me. I will post another blog piece on placing of these bars into the hive.

Michelle

 

Viva la Abeja! Long live the Bee!

 

Today, I was pleasantly surprised to find active bees building comb in Hive 1 at the Woodland site.  See video below:

I  only checked because I have been working on the greenhouses at Woodland for the winter season. I have been amazed by the greenhouse results so far. Below are some photos from my other project which is greenhouses. It has been exciting watching the progress.

Thanks for checking out the site and now I will be making at least two bee candy bars!

Michelle 🙂

 

Hive update – late November

The holidays took their toll on my posting habits but, I visited the hives regularly and took photos on these visit. The photos are not that exciting due to the lack of action so I posted a small collage to summarize.

Since the temperature has dropped the activity at the hives have slowed dramatically. As far as an update, I believe that the weaker hive has died out and only the second one remains. Below is some video that I took on my visit on Monday.

Over the next week, I will prepare “bee candy” for the remaining hive. Making fondant is not my specialty but, I have found some recipes that I may try so wish me luck😉☘️

My next posts will be of candy project and more detailed information on my process for wintering my equipment.

Look out for future posts on beekeeping information sessions and events that I will be hosting in Baltimore this winter.

Michelle

 

 

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