Monthly Archives: August 2013

End of the flow

The honey flow is over, been a good run. This heat has finished off the canola and over the last few days most all of the alfalfa the bees have been gathering is now cut.  Today was the first day I encountered that good old “fall time” robbing around the honey house.  I’m always a bit sloppy around the honey house until that DAY of robbing makes me work a bit differently.  Now that all the canola around the farm has passed, its time to move these yards away from the honey house yard!!!  I have them scheduled to move this weekend and that will indeed take a lot of the bee pressure off the honey house.  Its going to take us at least two or three weeks to have the yards stripped and extracted.  There is a lot of honey to collect ahead of us!

This heat has been kind of a blessing.  If these late crops had not finished as they did, I would of been pulling canola mid way into September trying to keep it out of the brood nest!  This defiantly helps with my work load.  Maybe in my new facility I could of handled that kind of volume, but in the facility I am working in now, pulling honey til the middle of September would of been an overload!  I have the honey crop I wanted, all I have to do is collect it now.  This heat has also been a blessing to our grain crops.  The crop is now on its final stretch which helps manage our September frost concerns.

Long hours in the honey house

Long hours in the honey house

Long hours in the honey house, getting a bit of granulation in my combs now.  One more extraction day for the first pull , going to work til we get it done tomorrow.  We are working 18-20 barrel extraction days.   Second round honey to be gathered on Saturday.

Moving bins
Moving bins to the newly established grain farm yard (Adam’s).  I no longer have grain bins in my yard.

 

My brother sent me this picture today of us picking bee hives out of the water during this springs flash flood.

My brother sent me this picture today of us picking bee hives out of the water during this springs flash flood.

I have built a bunch of hive covers

IMG_0019IMG_0020

I have built a bunch of hive covers this winter that are going to be used to cover the honey supers while clearing bees during the robbing season.  I have not noticed too much robbing as of yet but this past week I am seeing a hint of it around the honey house as the main flow ends it bloom.  From now on I will be covering all the honey boxes during my pull.  In previous years I used tape to cover my cracks but found the job a bit overwhelming as a lot of my boxes are in rough condition.  Last year we had a terrible time with robbing as the honey flow ended at the beginning of August and the bees were so determined to find a way into the honey boxes we ended up having to switch to blowing bees on the last pull.  These cover will allow me to use the escape boards right til the bitter end of the honey pull.  It takes us 5 minutes to throw on the covers at the end of the yard.

Extreme bee bearding

Extreme bee bearding.  Second pull is scheduled to start tomorrow, pushing these bees back down into two empty honey supers.  If the bees think I have them crowded now, ...

Extreme bee bearding. Second pull is scheduled to start tomorrow, pushing these bees back down into two empty honey supers. If the bees think I have them crowded now, …

IMG_0018First task for my new honey house, empty barrel storage! Note the tarp on the floor, so that I dont scratch my nice newly laid floor, LOL. One more week to allow the floor to set, then construction resumes to fasten and insulate the ceiling, electrical, and over head doors.

Making the rounds with extra space.

Making the rounds with extra space.  Hives pulling in honey faster than we can extract it now.  They are filling two boxes per week!  I need another thousand boxes because Im leaving honey in the field right now!

Making the rounds with extra space. Hives pulling in honey faster than we can extract it now. They are filling two boxes per week! I need another thousand boxes because Im leaving honey in the field right now!

After one week, both boxes that were changed over are full of honey.  This is a picture of a new Lewis frame fully worked out after only a few days!
After one week, both boxes that were changed over are full of honey. This is a picture of a new Lewis frame fully worked out after only a few days!

 

Collecting honey

Collecting honey

Collecting honey

Escape boards working absolutely perfectly.  Bees under the screen, no bees in the boxes above.  95% of my hives look like this after two days.  The other 5% don't work because the queen has moved up into the supers.  I have to shake those few hives out and move the brood back down to where it belongs.

Lewis Escape boards working absolutely perfectly. Bees under the screen, no bees in the boxes above. 95% of my hives look like this after two days. The other 5% don’t work because the queen has moved up into the supers. I have to shake those few hives out and move the brood back down to where it belongs.

A picture from top of a hive stacked five supers high.  Honey right to the top, all the bees have been nicely cleared
A picture from top of a hive stacked five supers high. Honey right to the top, couple nice new Lewis frames fully drawn out and all the bees have been cleared.  When we put the boards in, all the top boxes were packed full of bees working out the foundation