Starting Over - New Bees for 2013

Old equipment scattered outside for retirement

After an unfortunate winter and vandalism leaves me with no surviving hives of 4 strong ones I get set to start on my third year of bee keeping.

After the Hurricane Sandy

Drowned bees from a Brooklyn apiary

The west Philly hives made it out through the storm just fine, but the same cannot be said for other east coast bees.

Batten Down the Hatches!

Three hives strapped down for the storm

A hurricane is coming and bees must prepare themselves for the storm!

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

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


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