Posts Tagged ‘honey bees’
Posted in Bee Video, Bee-loving flowers, Natural Beekeeping, Sustainable living, Warre Hive, tagged bee-loving flowers, beekeeping, bees on Oregon Coast, bumblebees, Canon SX-50, gorse, honey bees, natural beekeeping, Ulex europeaus, Warre Hive, winter protection on February 26, 2017| 13 Comments »
It might not be pretty…
I’ve been somewhat afraid to write about my bees. They seem to be doing fine with my efforts to protect them, but I didn’t want to jinx them. This is the end of February. The Hooker Willow has started flowering and bees are returning with bright yellow pollen, so I think they will make it. Also the gorse (Ulex europeaus) is blooming as it always does in February. The video shows bees on both.
Posted in Bee to Flower relationship, Bee Video, Bee-loving flowers, Bumblebees, Gardening, Growing flowers for bees, Macro bee video, Natural Beekeeping, Videos, tagged bee-loving flowers, beekeeping, bees on Oregon Coast, Gardening, Gardening tips, honey bees, natural beekeeping, raised beds, turnip soup recipe on October 15, 2016| 5 Comments »
…and the bees love it too.
Turnip soup recipe
Chop an onion, saute in olive oil, add 4 to 5 cups of peeled chopped turnips, two garlic cloves (peeled and cut in half), add two teaspoons of smoked paprika, and teaspoon of thyme leaves. Cook until lightly brown, add three cups of vegetable or chicken broth, salt to taste. Bring to boil and simmer until veggies are cooked. Blend in blender, return to pan, add a cup of milk, or milk alternative.
I know this isn’t a lovely hackle like Johnathon Powell’s log hive ‘thatch roof’ covering. but the hive had to be fixed before attracting a swarm and this is swarm season. My wife suggested this stylish lid probably because she knew it would take me a long time to figure out a wooden solution. A ‘long time’ means Pat’s not contributing to the gardening effort.:)
The top of the hive has to vent the air through the quilt box without letting in any rainwater. How did the rainwater get in? See below.
Posted in Bee to Flower relationship, Bee Video, Bee-loving flowers, Natural Beekeeping, Tower of Jewels, Videos, Warre Hive, tagged bee-loving flowers, bees on Oregon Coast, honey bees, natural beekeeping, Tower of Jewels, Warre Hive on April 23, 2016| 11 Comments »
Posted in Feeding sugar, Grand Kids Log Hive, Hives, Log hives, Natural Beekeeping, Swarms, Tree hive, Warre Hive, tagged beekeeping, honey bees, Log hive wood carving, Log hives, natural beekeeping, Verticle log hive on March 12, 2016| 21 Comments »
2016 has not been a good year for my bees. My ‘end-of-year’ hive status saw four bee hives that had activity. Now I have only one.
After being in denial for a few weeks, I figured I’d face up to the fact this Warré was a goner.
Biting the bullet I figured I’d better find out ALL the bad news…and opened up Bee Beard log hive. Somehow rainfall had gotten inside here too, even with the hat and headband. Because of El Niño, we’ve had copious amounts of rainfall. Yes, it’s good for the forests, but not so good for the bee hives.
Footnote to above…I’d like to make a waterproof ‘hat’ for this hive. If anyone has a suggestion, please pass it on to me.
So why have these hives died back? Could it be the El Niño effect? Record rainfall in December? Ron lost his hives around December. This year I didn’t cover my hives very well. I should have been more careful.
Another thing that’s been bothering me for awhile is the questionable source of swarms I get from time to time. Where are they coming from? I’m beginning to realize they might be coming from the commercial hives in the cranberry bogs. The commercial hives, I just learned from a cranberry grower, come straight up from the almond orchards in California.
These ‘almond orchard bees’ could be infecting my bees and I DON’T GET any payment.
My wife suggests I ask Bill W. if he sells any Warré nucs. Bill lives inland about 150 miles (241 km). I tell him of my suspicions of commercial hives. His reply…
I don’t have Warré nucs for sale. I get a lot of “bad” swarms also. These are mostly from poorly kept urban high density colonies having bees from poor commercial sources. I pick up a lot of swarms with poor genetics and failing queens. It has caused me to put out more hives and rely upon higher colony failure.
In the Willamette Valley, many commercial beekeepers will keep their colonies here when not busy with almonds or cranberries or something else.
Good luck. -Bill”
After assuming my troubles have come from the cranberry “bog bees,” I asked Steve about his bees. We had gotten a swarm of bees, (most likely they were from cranberry hives) last year, May 30th.
Then there’s Pete’s beehives. I asked him recently about his bees. He is near cranberry bogs too. “They’re doing great. Out flying every non-rainy day, getting into madrone blossoms and other things, possibly even gorse, bringing back all kinds of pollen.”
Bob (of home-built bee vac fame) said his hives were doing fine too. Bob is located near the bogs too. Hmmm, maybe I can’t blame my bee problems on the bogs.
Since my tree hive seems to have lasted through everything, I decide to try another one. I’ve got to do some trimming around it, but this will be the location for the next one. It’ll hold Warré sized bars, but it’s too heavy to lug around for a bait hive, so I’ll be trying to attract a swarm.
Bottom line…I think it was the El Niño rainfall. I chose NOT to cover my Warré bee hives this winter. Why not? I didn’t see other beekeepers cover their hives up. I think the difference this year is my observation window covers are slightly warped (outward) Some rain possibly entered there. With so much more rainfall this year than in other years, it was just too much. Somehow the rain got into Bee Beard Log Hive too. I’ll have to work up some kind of ‘head gear’ to shed water. As for the Grand Kids Log hive? I still have to figure that one out. Maybe it WAS a weak, diseased strain of bees from the commercial hives.
Posted in Bait Hives, Grand Kids Log Hive, Log Hive, tagged Backyard beekeeping, Bee Video, Canon SX-50, Carved log hive, carved verticle log hive, Grand kid log hive, honey bees, log hive, Log hive wood carving, natural beekeeping, natural comb, Verticle log hive on October 24, 2015| 11 Comments »
Grand Kids Log Hive
About a month ago, I was in despair about this hive. The temperature had dropped, I saw drones flying out of the hive, and the number of bees around the entrance had declined.
Note: I asked this question on beesource web site. Harley Craig answered “…those drones could have been from anywhere in my limited experience when you see a lot of drone interest in a particular hive they typically have a queen getting ready to mate or just had one return.” Maybe drones were already sniffing out a new prospect. 🙂