Friday, April 27, 2012

Cherokee Beekeeper's Association Meeting

Attended the monthly meeting of the Cherokee Beekeeper's Association in Athens, TN last night.  The presentation was Hive Maintenance.  Had a great discussion on state of the hive and how to handle different problems.  They are really good for new folks and some long-time beekeepers have some well-earned experience to share.

One of the topics was fruit trees, worms, bugs and bees.  Spraying should be done after all the blooms are gone.  It was suggested that pepper spray be applied to the trees in the evening once the bees had went in for the night.  I mentioned that I had read where Agree BT powder which is used for worm control can also be used on fruit trees and in the garden, as it only affects worms, and is safe for bees.  No one had heard of it, so I told them I'd supply more information.  If you're interested, here is some of what I found on BT (Note:  I bought a little of it, but I haven't used it yet, so I can't attest to it's usefulness):

BT 101:

Next topic:

I haven't had a chance to look into the split yet to see if they've made a queen.  I really need to do that, and hope to have time this weekend to check on the progress.  I'll keep everyone posted on the progress.

We had grape-sized hail yesterday for a few minutes during a thunderstorm.  I don't know what that sounds like in a hive, but I'm sure the bees don't like it much.  However, yesterday afternoon, they sure were buzzing in and out of the hives, so I guess they got over it.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

First Split

It wasn't easy, but we got it done. The top and medium came off the hive ok, but the top deep frames were really stuck to the bottom deep frames. We ended up setting them on the ground and tipping them on their side. They finally came apart. I never spotted the queen. I don't know which hive she ended up in.

I ended up putting four frames from the bottom deep and four new frames (sprayed with sugar water) in the deep of the eight frame hive. I put the small opening of the entrance reducer in the opening, and put a telescoping top on top of an inner cover. I have the board out of the screened bottom board.

I put four new frames (sprayed with sugar water) into the bottom deep of the 10-frame. I left all ten frames in the top deep and the medium on the ten-frame.

So now I've got an eight frame deep with four frames of brood and pollen and honey (and maybe the queen) in an eight-frame deep, and a ten-frame (and maybe the queen) with two deeps and a medium. I'll continue to feed them as much as they'll take and hope for the best.

We had to stop several times as it was very hot and humid. We had the truck parked in the shade about 30 yards from the hive. Once I had sweat in my eyes really badly, so I walked over to the truck to take my veil off and wipe my eyes. As soon as I had the veil off, I got stung in the eyelid. I guess they were really mad about us tearing their house apart. Later on when we were done, we were even farther away putting the stuff into the shed, and there was a bee chasing me around there.

I'm sure a lot of this will get easier as I do it more. But is sure was an effort today to get things done. But now I've got two hives! 

More Hive Assembly

Received a deep and a medium from Kelley's Bees.  I decided to try them, since their hives come with nails.  Assembly day was yesterday.  They went together perfectly.  The deep even had a metal "rail" for the frames to rest on.  They had very small nails to secure these.  We got them painted, and hopefully if the weather stays nice, we can get a split done today.