Checking Honey Stores

Doing a late August inspection on the hives and checking on their honey stores and brood rearing.

The Missing Queen?

Winter Prep Part 2

On August 3, I put a treatment of mite away quick strips (MAQS) into Cheese Palace as a treatment for the high mite count I found from the sugar roll test I conducted earlier in the week.  I debated if I should treat or let the bees fend on their own with a little help from me with less harsh meassures, but eventually did decide to treat with MAQS.  The formic acid is used as a quick 7 day treatment that is hard on the bees but deadly to the mites, and since this hive had built more wa

300 Years of the Philadelphia Honeybee

One month from today, on September 8, 2012, I will be speaking at the Wyck Historic House and Garden for Philadelphia's 3rd annual Honey Fest.  The topic is the history of beekeeping, specifically how it relates to Philadelphia.  There is a lot of beekeeping history here, most famously Lorenzo Langstroth who was born in Philadelphia and used the concept of bee space to build the hive that is widely used in beekeeping today.  I will also be covering local beekeepers, such as Francis Daniel Pastorius who founded Germantown, Pennsylvania and kept and wrote about bees and other materials from the collections of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Bees on a Passion Flower

Bees taking advantage of a non-native plant which is blooming during the area's summer nectar dearth.

Winter Prep in July?

A week and a half ago the Philadelphia Bee Guild's monthly meeting was on winter prep.  This was fabulous because I needed to get moving on things.  Yes, it's the middle of summer, but pretty much as soon as the spring harvest is over and the dearth around Philadelphia begins, you need to start thinking about the generation of bees that will take the hive through winter.  I will be away for the majority of August so it is doubly important for me to start things in July.  I thought I was taking adequate precautions last year, but

Leaf Litter

This hive was the strongest in 2011, but it began to fail in the fall and then the bees unfortunatly starved to death.  When I opened the hive up in March to see what happened I found the sad site of Queen Isabella starved to death and frozen to a frame along with several of her loyal attendents.  At least the wax and remaining honey stores were able to assist the new inhabitants of Leaf Litter get off to a better start in spring.  In 2012, the new hive has been the slowest to get going.  It has built out all of the deep frames it needed but added no wax to any medium frames for honey super

Cheese Palace

Cheese Palace was founded via a split of Boatmurdered in 2012.  The hive has so far given me no queen troubles and has been the most productive hive so far.  I made the split the last weekend of March 2012 with 2 frames of brood, 2 of honey and 1 of pollen (roughly speaking) and the hive has just exploded.  In the first 3 months this hive was set up it filled out 19 deep frames and 30 medium frames with wax, and filled several frames of the brood nest and 4 medium supers full of honey.  While my most productive hive, it is also the hive with the touchiest bees.  The hive is fine to approach


A fortress full of bees, set out to make their own way in the world and build prosperity for bees everywhere.  This hive was first established in spring of 2009.  It is currently on its third ruler, queen Frederica I.  The hive has been split once into the hive now known as Cheese Palace.  The hive's second queen, Freyja, left with several of the hives inhabitants in a swarm that was not retrieved.



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