Friday, October 26, 2012

Harvest Dinner

The Cherokee Beekeepers Association (CBA) had the 2012 Harvest Dinner last night and there was food and friends galore.  Tennessee Beekeeper's Association (TBA) President Lynda Rizzardi addressed the membership and told us about the recent meeting and how the TBA and 4H work together.  She also told us about grants available next year for new beekeepers.  Our delegates to the meeting gave reports as well.

A video was shown capturing most  of this years events of the CBA from the spring short course to the present.  It was well done and they had tried to get pictures of as many members as they could.  It brought back a year's worth of memories.

I took my world's famous (well, around here anyway) banana pudding and it went over like it always does.  It really tastes good.

Door prizes were given away and many left very happy (all left full of supper!)

New officers were elected for next year, and we all wish them well and much success.  We thanked the outgoing officers and wished them well, they did a great job.


I haven't done much with the bees.  I am currently feeding them a gallon every few days.  I'll probably keep that up until the hives get really heavy or it gets too cold for liquids.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

On my 10-Frame hive last year and now since today, I've used a BM plastic hive top feeder. It holds a gallon easily, and maybe even two gallons (but I've not tried that much in it).

For the 8-frame hive, I got a Mann Lake hive top feeder. It is made differently, with the opening in the middle and a gallon-sized holder on each size. It is screened in so that the bees can't get out and they have something to climb on so that they don't drown. I will probably get one for the 10-frame, as the plastic one seems to want to warp, and it didn't want to seal good this year.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Getting Ready For Winter

A couple of weeks ago, I extracted three 10-frame medium supers. I put the supers on top of the inner cover of the strong hive because I had read that they'd clean up the comb and move any remnants down into the hive. Since I've had to work a lot, I only got back into the hives today. The three supers that were to be cleaned out were full of bees and a lot of honey.

I also have the swarm hive that I caught a couple of months ago in an 8-frame deep. They are OK, but not great. There are a lot of bees, but they're not drawing comb and I didn't see any eggs. They are, however, bringing in pollen and there was capped honey in the hive. I looked, but I didn't see a queen (but that doesn't mean there's not one).

I've been feeding both hives with zip lock bags on a table out in the yard. I'm sure a lot of that has ended up in the three supers on top of the strong hive.

My goal today was to get each hive to two boxes for the winter.

I had to use the fume board and the spray stuff to get the bees out of the supers I wanted to remove. The bees weren't too happy about that.

I put an empty super on the 8-frame hive. I had to use a medium, I didn't have a deep. I took the best 8 frames with a lot of honey, pollen and bees and put in the super on the swarm hive. I put a piece of paper between the boxes just to ensure there were no trouble between the bees (I don't know if I had to do that, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. I had never done it and wanted to learn about doing the combine thing). I have the inner cover and telescoping top on top of the super and will look into it in a week or so to see if they're doing OK.

I put the three 10-frame supers and remaining frames in a freezer where they will probably stay until next year.

I was really surprised that the bees had started filling up the supers again. I had read that somebody put an empty super between the inner cover and the super(s) to be cleaned. Maybe that would have been better.  Maybe I should have taken them across the yard and just left them open for the bees to clean out.  I'll try different methods next year.

I will probably do a mite check next week. I know I should have already done that, but until I get my work schedule more regular, I'm just going to have to do things when I can get to it. Luckily, it doesn't really get cold here until January. After that, I should be good until next year (I hope).

Anyway, this has really been a learning year. And the bees have remained buzzing despite my actions (some good and some not so good). I've harvested about 80 pounds total of honey this year. So it's been an introduction into beekeeping, to say the least.