Monthly Archives: July 2014

July 31 2014

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Honey crew energy to burn.  It must be the beginning of the pull... lol

Honey crew energy to burn. It must be the beginning of the pull… lol

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No more bungee net strapping of escapes !

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The boxes are lifting heavy. A level bee yard is essential…

July 28 2014

Pumps cleaned up and ready to work for the season.

Pumps cleaned up and ready to work for the season.

I run two pumps just so I have a back up working at all times in case of blockage or break down.  Typically when a pump stops working, its found out with a pool of honey on the floor...

I run two pumps just so I have a back up working at all times in case of blockage or break down. Typically when a pump stops working, its found out with a pool of honey on the floor…

As I wait on the crop to come in, there is no shortage of work around the farm to keep my crew busy.

As I wait on the crop to come in, there is no shortage of work around the farm to keep my crew busy.

July 27 2014

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The yards are mowed and the boxes are all stacked according to the pull date. During this last round I tighten up the space in the hives that will be pulled within the next week and add more space to the hives that will be pulled in two weeks time. By the looks of the hives today everything is right on schedule with the first grouping of 400 hives ready to set Thursday/Friday.

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The bees pretty much ignore all my plastic foundation frames until they need the space to fill.  This makes drawing foundation so painfull... patience is needed to allow the bees to do their work!

The bees pretty much ignore all my plastic foundation frames until they need the space to fill. This makes drawing foundation so painfull… patience is needed to allow the bees to do their work!

July 26 2014

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On the spinner I plumbed in a shut/open solenoid valve into the cutter bar water supply.  The valve is wired to the float switch and will open while my pumps are running.  This will help decrease the water usage during operation and ensure the cutter knife gets misted throughout the entire day.

July 25 2014

One of the 8000 frames of foundation being drawn out.

One of the 8000 frames of foundation being drawn out.

My hives are so close to pulling.  I have lots of foundation to work out once again, so I'm pushing the bees onto the foundation for another week.

My hives are so close to pulling. I have lots of foundation to work out once again.  As you can see, the honey is hardly ready to pull.   Patience is in order again…

Queen cell placed and ready to emerge.  This round of grafting ends our queen work for the year.

Queen cell placed and ready to emerge. This round of grafting ends our queen work for the year.

Trying to find stuff, in my stuff pile, buried in clovers! lol  For a beekeeper, this is a sight for sore eyes !

Trying to find stuff, in my stuff pile, buried in clovers! lol For a beekeeper, this is a sight for sore eyes !

July 20 2014

After moving my extracting machinery into the new facility, the vibration of the machine amplified throughout the room.  I bought these rubber mounts to install under the extractor motor and now all I hear is the extractor bearings.

After moving my extracting machinery into the new facility, the vibration of the machine amplified throughout the room. I bought these rubber mounts to install under the extractor motor and now it runs so quiet all I hear is the extractor bearings.  After I replace the old bearings, the machine will be silent!

This year we did not spray for volunteer canola in our corn silage.  More canola grew this year than anticipated.  Its not going to hurt our yeild because the corn will soon tower 12 feet overhead, but in the mean time, I have been able to pull some honey from this corn crop!

This year we did not spray for volunteer canola in our corn silage. More canola grew this year than anticipated. Its not going to hurt our yeild because the corn will soon tower 12 feet overhead, but in the mean time, I have been able to pull some honey from this corn crop!

Steppler Farms Apiary tour

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This morning I hosted a group of home school student for a honey house tour and talked about bees for a hour and a half. I had fun as I talked about honeybees, demonstrated my equipment and showed them my extraction facility. I was able to use the observation hive again which was a true highlight of the morning. The highlight for me was showing the kids the bee dance using my skiddle demonstration. I had all the kids bee dancing at the honey house! lol

July 19 2014

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My raspberry patch, JUST starting to produce fruit. Usually I do not start extracting until the raspberries are ready for picking, which puts my timing right on.

Its the 19th of July and most years we are heading out to collect honey from the yards.  This year the boxes have just been stacked and we are still a couple weeks away from thinking of collecting anything.  In this business its hard to tell where about the hives are in relation to the calender and the environment around them.  It is important to realize everything is relative and the calender is not always the best indicator of the year’s timing.  What I usually do to determine where to govern the hive’s activity through out the year is to look for natural cues and correspond those with the calender to adjust the year’s timing ahead, or behind.  This year my calender has been behind by at least 10 days – 2 weeks.  As I look at the calender this year, and my hives, and everything around, I’m still resting easy as everything is coming in as planned.

July 18 2014

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Every evening I have been chipping away at the final details in the honey house.  This evening I finally installed the bracing for the spinner’s honey inlet hose.  As it turns out, while the drum is being removed for cleaning, the hose fits perfectly into the spinner sump which will eliminate all honey drip mess.  Just a few details left to do in the honey house and it will be fully functional.  Now, all I need is some honey…

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View from the sink