Harvest is in full swing. I step out of the honey house from a long honey harvest straight into the grain harvest. I love when timing allows me to hit both!
Ride alongs, field suppers, dust, grease and long hours. We love it!
Approx 1500 lbs supplement fed over 1500 brooding single fall nests, open syrup provided to complement the drags of nectar still coming in. Mite washes throughout the apiary showed us one mite…so my fall chemical mite treatment plans are on hold and I’ll rest everything on my late season OAV treatment (Apivar treatment was done early spring ). Continued surveillance will be done throughout Sept and Oct. The crop harvest is in full swing so some of my staff and myself have been pulled to the field. My extraction crew continues their work and will have everything done by Friday. Big crop coming in.
We pulled the last of the honey off today. We found a little bit of alfalfa but not enough of a flow to keep the extractor running. Next week everything will be put through by Wednesday and the lines will be drained for our final clean on Friday. I am happy to see the end. Meanwhile out in the yards my girls are vigorously bringing in a very slow steady flow which is perfect to help set these brooding hives into winter. I’ve already made two syrup rounds and my hives are devouring my protein supplement. We plan to do some mite washes this weekend to see if I need to adjust my treatment plans.
The bees sure are attracted to the Bee Pollenate supplement. My intention here is not so much to stimulate but to supplement their incoming diet to ensure they have a balanced diet. Some yards it’s supplementing, I’ve noticed in others it’s providing their entire diet.
While stripping off the boxes I’m noticing many hives sit on 8-9 frames of brood. Very little honey down under the excluder. I’ve had to scramble with open feed to get syrup down into the nest to prevent any type of starvation. Open feed can get a lot of sugar to a lot of yards down into the nest within hours. Pails will need to follow soon as we get all the boxes off the hives.
Tomorrow the last of second pull will come in and by Friday I’m hoping to have everything striped back down to one with a round of syrup and patty. The honey house crew should have most of everything done by Friday, to finish up things early next week. The honey has really slowed, down to 5 barrels today. We broke the 300 barrel mark which is good but I needed another week of flow to have that really good crop…hmmm
The hives look Fantastic with many hives brooding nearly the entire bottom chamber. Syrup has been sent out quick this last week to keep the hives satisfied. My honey crew starts filling out next week in preparation for school and the axe drops September 1. Busy busy summer, staffed exactly to get that crop in. I’ve been running Grain cart these last few nights in the Oats. Things are rolling out nice. My first two full combine hoppers into the cart went straight into the ground because of a slide hatch malfunction (aka operator error). My brother gave me an ear full for each hopper on the ground…two ear fulls… lol, oh boy.
This year I am finally going through with my late summer supplement feed program. I found a few hours today and mixed up enough Bee Pollen-ate to feed a pound per hive. I might follow up with another pound but it’s already getting late. This week we will collect the last of second pull and we will strip all the hives down to a single brood chamber to prepare for winter. Patties go on asap along with a couple rounds of open feeding.
I just received this honey bee supplement fresh out of the Mill shipped directly to me from Kentucky. Bee Pollenate is a new product and apperently our livestock nutritionist told me I was the first guy in Canada to feed this supplement.
My philosophy with bees is the same as with our livestock, healthy diet healthy animals.
On our farm we measure the nutrition in our livestock feed closely and feed supplements to help target the animals exact dietary needs. This point alone has paid back in dividends with increased reproductively and productivity.
I can’t translate the same feeding program to the bees because not only do I not know the feed value of the pollen coming in, I can’t even measure the amount coming in throughout my apiary. Only guesses. So what I’m trying to do is spike the hives feed with a balanced protein enriched supplement during times that really matter to the hive’s development. Spring growth is critical, building winter bees is crucial.
By using our livestock farm feed program as a feed regime template, I’m hoping I can translate efficacy the same way to the bees.
From a reader in reference to the yeast base of Bee Pollenate:
“What I like about yeast is that bees digest most of it. Only yeast spore walls left. Thee yeast spores breaks down very quickly in bee guts.
In my younger days did some bee sectioning of the guts and followed yeast spores from the fore guts to the rectum.”
Bee Pollen-ate finally came in. I plan on spiking my hives nutrition over this next week with a pound or two of protein supplement. I mixed a 160 lbs batch in 5 minutes this evening…with an old power drill and a mortar bit. Poured into a large box mould, this mix will set up to a firm cake like mousse consistency by morning. In the yards I’ll simply cut a pound and drop it on the hives and close the lid.
The flow has resumed and its strong enough that I might even get another box out of some yards by the time I get back around. If anything it will keep the hives lush with resource which is terrific for the developing winter nest. It’s why leaving space uptop is needed at all times this time of year even under pessimistic conditions. We do not want plugged out brood nests.
Soon as the timing is right we will start brood nest assessments and start winter prep.