July 22, 2010
My Ezyloader is now installed and functional. Works like a charm! Cant wait to use it in the yards. Its going to take a bit of patience and adjusting to figure how to best use the machine, once we get use to it, work is going to be alot smoother around here. I picked up my bee escape boards today an they look great. Stories on how these boards work really interest me but Im a bit nervous using this system. The way they work almost seems too good to be true. Im sure experience is my best asset with this method of pulling honey. Probably will figure alot of simple tricks to make these boards work to their finest. I have gotten alot of advice from many different beekeepers. One common theme is “as long as you … ” . Well as long as I do everything they tell me, things should work just fine. One word of experience is the boards clear the boxes in as few as 6 hours. I read this on the Internet also, but many more beekeepers claim for the most effective clearing of bees , a good day and a half.
Made my final round. lots of honey. Funny how one week will show so much change in a beehive. Last week I thought they could of looked a little stronger, but this week, I had to super many of them up. Which leaves me with a bit of a problem. I have only 200 boxes left to change over. I need 400 to give me a good start and consistant weekly work. So I will set 200 boxes under my escape boards, leave them for a day, pull the boxes, and extract on Monday/Tuesday depending on the weather. Then set another 4 years on Tuesday, burn a day, Set another 4 yards and pull 4 yards Thursday, Extract Friday. Then carry that same rhythm, set/pull , extract, set/pull , extract, till we are done. We will see how smoothly things go. Its hard to plan ahead when I dont really know what to expect. I have a strong crew, full of energy and enthusiasm. With their help, we will get things working to its finest order.
Posted by Ian Steppler at 04:17 PM | Permalink
July 12, 2010
These last couple of days I have top supered all my yards. Pulling from the smaller, and adding to the strong. After making the rounds, I think I will push the pull back one week. The boxes aren’t filled uniform enough for my liking. I like to have most of the boxes full when they come in, so we arnt trying to extract half full frames of honey. I stacked my stronger hives with 2 more boxes, and by the time they finish that work, the smaller hives will finished their work. By shifting boxes and putting them where they are most needed, I have allowed myself enough equipment to push the pull back one week. Also this way I will get more yard work done that desperately needs to get done.
My loader arm is installed and I will be picking it up tommorrow.
Posted by Ian Steppler at 06:26 PM | Permalink
July 01, 2010
Finished supering yesterday. Ran out of excluders so had to send my man to pick some up to finnish off. This will be the most hive I have ran yet. 750 to 800 or so. The splits are looking great. It really amazes me how fast they grow this time of year. A new queen working with fresh nectar and pollen coming stimulates that queen to brood heavy. Especially those Olivarez queens, they are worth their weight in gold.
After supering, I checked up on some of my first yards. Honey right to the top and hives looking very uniform. I am taking the full week off leaving Monday, so I will have to plan on supering on arrival. Everything looks great. I will have to measure out the last of the supers so I leave myself with enough to pull on. Going to have to keep the boxes tight, so that means I will have to start the pull bit sooner. I am thinking starting to pull on the 18 or 20th. That’s not so early for most beekeepers here, but usually I find myself pulling around the 25th. Usually because I don’t get my work done in time to pull any earlier. This year I am not working away from the bees. My brothers have the haying and spraying well under control. This will help with my work load.
We are short staffed. We had an employee give his notice last week. Off to the construction site to benefit on stronger wages. Good for him, but frustrating we cant complete to keep him. Anyway we have been able to shift our work force around, and I have been able to find a temp to help with the first pull. That will give us some time to find a replacement for the month of August.
Things are going quick around here. This year has progressed extremely well so far. At the very least we have a good crop coming and our potential is huge. As the season progress, the weather will continue to take yield from it, starting with a good one helps us in the end allowing us more of a chance to bring in an average crop.
Time will tell. Its exciting to watch all this happen!
Posted by Ian Steppler at 11:47 AM | Permalink