Beehive Move: July 2020

Here is a recently finished video of our movement bees from the nuc to regular hive.

Here are beekeeper terms that were used in this video:

  1. Bearding is a term referring to bees accumulating at the front of the hive, in a beard-like shape. Bees do this to make room inside the hive for added ventilation on a hot and humid day.
  2. Frame is a piece of equipment made of either wood or plastic designed to hold the honey comb.
  3. Hive tool is a metal device used to open hives, pry frames apart, and scrape wax and propolis from the hive parts.
  4. Nucleus is a hive of bees which consists of fewer frames than a typical hive and may be smaller in size. A nucleus usually consists of two to five frames of comb and used primarily for starting new colonies or rearing or storing queens; also called and commonly referred to a nuc.
  5. Smoker is a device in which materials are slowly burned to produce smoke (not flames) which is used to subdue bees. It is important to use a material that produces a cool smoke as not to harm the bees.
  6. Queen is a female bee with a fully developed reproductive system, and she is larger and longer than a worker bee.

Finally, fall in Baltimore…

The “real” fall has finally arrived in early November in Baltimore. Above are some photos of the Woodland garden from this week and I was lucky enough to have some help from Sophia on Monday.

This week it has been colder than its been all year and damp. I am always commenting (rather complain about) the dampness of Maryland despite growing up in the constant humidity of Miami, when it rains here and it under 50 degrees it’s really cold to me.. So this week when the temperatures hit 42, I was freezing.

The good news was that we can retire the summer crops but, the bad news was that it meant saying goodbye to some of these plants (the last gasp of my various tomatoes). Over the last few weeks, we moved seedling into the hoop houses at Woodland and we have been preparing the moisture levels in the houses for new plant life. This my first year using hoop houses and I am excited about this project. I will share more photos of the winter oasis.

As for the bees… Not much movement for the last few days because of the dreary weather. Below are two days of photos. I fed the hives and when I thought all was calm, the guard bees on the more active hive let me know they were still around. The other hive was more docile.

Otherwise, I have been working on my indoor business activities and preparations for the winter. Hopefully, the weather does not take a turn for winter soon and the Friday freeze will be brief.

I will keep you updated!

Michelle

Feeding in the rain…

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Rainy day Beekeeper selfie

Well, we finally got some rain in the Baltimore area over the last few days. The plants have really needed it because it has been very dry and hot over the last month. Today was the first day that almost felt like fall. On the bright side, the rain was more like mist,  so I decided to go out and feed the bees in the mid-afternoon.

As I mentioned before, it’s getting late in the season and the bees are storing up food for the winter.  This post will provide some quick photos on how I make Bee Syrup.  It is not that much different from Mick’s large-scale method except there are no power tools involved.

To make Bee Syrup, I use the following items:

The mixture is quite easy since it is essentially sugar water, and I add 10-15 drops of each essential oil to the mix and then add sugar at 2 to 1 ratio.  I then mixed the sugar with the slightly boiling water and stir for a few minutes. Next, I pour the mix into recycled jars since I have only a few hives and I use a frame feeder which only holds 1 gallon of feed in each hive which requires more frequent feedings.

Since it was raining today, the bees were pretty docile. However, I had one or two guard bees approach me, but no drama (ie no stings). I would like to think they were happy to get the syrup and let me off easy 🙂 Below are some photos of the hives today.

Check in again soon for more updates!

Michelle

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