Archives for: August 2017

Busted Chains, More Honey, and Pet Nucs

by Jorge

I was feeling good about the old uncapper we mounted last fall. It needed some fine tuning and began to work reliably this harvest. Then I busted a chain--a truly talented maneuver. I think it must have gotten a bit out of tension with the other chain and carried too much of the load. It's back in action now, but it was a disappointing moment:

A fun part of harvest season is making a few late nucs/hives with the bees that come home with the honey. The homeless bees tend to choose one or two places to congregate in the building, so we eventually learned to put a nuc and queen near them to provide a new abode. Here are four nice frames of bees that joined the family while perched inside the door of the honey house during the first round of harvest. You can see the plastic queen cage between top bars. I added a fifth frame immediately after the photo. Another impromptu nuc will be in process shortly.

Luckily yesterday cleared up enough to pull a couple of yards. It's raining today, but at least I made some weekend progress. Here are the pretty pink pallets from a couple posts ago. They are now stacked eight boxes high and sitting safely in my building!

Apimaye Hives 2017 and onward with Harvesting!

by Jorge

We did indeed receive updates on the Apimaye hives I posted about previously. He sent a couple of pictures documenting their growth over the summer.

Here they were in spring:

And here they are more recently--happily they are much taller and spent their summer productively!

Next spring it will be interesting to see how they overwinter and how their cluster looks at that time.

I am now firmly into mite treatment season and continuing with the harvest. I was planning to pull a couple of yards today, but light showers have made it overcast and a bit damp. No worries, there is plenty of indoor work to stay busy!

Fancy Hives and the Adventures of Little Man!

by Jorge

Earlier this year I sold a couple of nucs to a person with an intriguing hive system that I'd never loaded prior to this spring. This is the Apimaye system.

It's a pretty nifty setup that has a lot of logic worked into the equipment. The preceding pic is an image of the hives on the back of the truck and ready to go off and work for the summer. I live a simple life with wooden Langstroth-style boxes/frames, but I always get interested in the latest and greatest that people try out. The tops of these hives are convertible for accommodating solid or liquid food sources too, and that might be handy. Here's a further image from the website I linked:

Perhaps I'll hear some stories about how it worked out sometime in the future.

For now it's onward with the harvest and the mite treatments that will define our condition going into next year. Beekeeping is one of those activities where the "next year" really gets prefigured several months before the arrival of the spring period that gets the rest of the world excited. Grind grind away!

Andrew, on the other hand, is helping the little ones learn their first steps in the equestrian world :)

Honey Pallets, Pretty Jars, and New Pets

by Jorge

We are back in the season for chunk honey jars. They're always so pretty!

We had enough time to get some new honey pallets assembled and painted this week. I don't have a loading dock at my place, so these pallets are supposed to be forklift/pallet jack friendly. Building 4-ways would have been quicker and cheaper, but I just made them 2-way for ease of handling. They will soon be much less attractive, but the reason will be quite positive--stacks upon stacks of propolised honey boxes over the next several weeks! For those of you wondering about the pink paint selection: it's leftover from my cut comb box painting project a year or two past. They look sharp to me!

I'm sure the new pigs approve as well! Andrew loves them, though he wishes they would stand still for more petting! Chasing them with a stick on the first day probably didn't help :)