Latest comments

In response to: Let the Brooding Begin.

From the look of it (I wasn't there) this is truly an early spring brood frame--there's no honey tucked in the corners of the frame--they're raising the new bees in a comb that has been totally emptied over the course of the winter. They make for really solid patterns in April :)
PermalinkPermalink 03/20/10 @ 16:58

In response to: Pollen Delivery

I like this one :)) Did you sprinkle pollen around the bee to help set the scene? Emerging bees in March is good!!!
PermalinkPermalink 03/19/10 @ 19:53

In response to: Update in the life of Adam (Jorge)

Hi Paul! I hope the bees your first bees are doing well this winter--I am still looking at the extended forecast waiting for some nicer temperatures so that we can figure out the status of ours too. It's snowing again :) What a winter! Good luck with the queen-raising--I think you'll find it's pretty fascinating. Stay in touch!
PermalinkPermalink 02/09/10 @ 09:38

In response to: Update in the life of Adam (Jorge)

Paul D. Gardner [Visitor]
I too am anxious for weather the bees can fly in, I am counting the days until spring when I can open them up and see them again. I keep bees just outside Homestead Iowa, and I am going into my 2nd year with them, I am going to start raising Queens this year to learn the process.
PermalinkPermalink 02/03/10 @ 18:32

In response to: Update in the life of Adam (Jorge)

Sabine [Visitor]
Looks good! Greetings from Wales ;-)
PermalinkPermalink 01/22/10 @ 12:43

In response to: Queen yard and mating nucs

Hola Alejandro---primero hay que decir que no soy hablante nativo--pero voy contestarle lo mejor que puedo.

Presumo que vive ahora en los Estados Unidos y eso es la razon por preguntar por las materias para hacer colmenas en contraste con lo usual en Argentina. Si busque informacion basica sobre las materias que usamos en la apicultura de norteamerica, le recomiendo que visite estos sitios:

PermalinkPermalink 01/21/10 @ 20:15

In response to: Laying workers

Term Papers [Visitor] ·
It is also possible to give them a new queen with a couple of frames of her own brood and bees.
PermalinkPermalink 01/21/10 @ 00:42

In response to: Queen yard and mating nucs

Alejandro Laborda [Visitor]
Hola;Tal vez esta no sea una pregunta con respecto a este tema ,pero quisiera saber mas con respecto al material que se usa para una colmena;la razon es que me interesaria poder hacer dicho material en mi propia casa para poder empezar a tener mis propias colmenas;fui apicultor en Argentina y quiciera poder hacerlo aqui;le agradeceria cualquier informacion al respecto.Muchas gracias por su tiempo,y espero su mensaje,siceramente:Alejandro Laborda.
PermalinkPermalink 01/12/10 @ 15:26

In response to: Honey harvest

Mike Townsley [Visitor]
Good to see you blogging again. I ck often. My 3 hives I let make honey this year out of the 10 I got from you guys (I made splits from the 7 not making honey for me) are doing ok,,,considering. One hive has 1 tsuper of square section honey, one ross round section and a small 8 frame extracted about done...hopeing for more. The 2nd hive has about 70 lbs of extracted honey on it, and the third hive didn't do so well, only one ross round section super on it. It has been wet and cold here near Cedar Rapids too. I thought for a while something must be wrong with my bees, but finally they look to be doing something.. I am trying to raise some queens, no grafting method- I can't see the small brood with my eyes.
I have a Sheltie dog named Libby that goes with me to my bee yard sometimes.
PermalinkPermalink 08/07/09 @ 22:09

In response to: Honey harvest

Beau [Visitor] ·
Oh, and your pup is really cute too!
PermalinkPermalink 08/06/09 @ 16:29

In response to: Honey harvest

Beau [Visitor] ·
I've really enjoyed reading your blog and beekeeping adventures. My two hives have done well this year in mid-Missouri, but a little too cool also. Hard for me to imagine so many hives- don't know how you do it!
PermalinkPermalink 08/06/09 @ 10:09

In response to: Laying workers

Mike Townsley [Visitor]
Great picture! I wish my eyes could see that good normally!! It really helps us to see what is going on. Thanks guys,
Mike Townsley
PermalinkPermalink 07/04/09 @ 18:33

In response to: June weather

Hi Mike,

I almost always feel like the peak honey flow ought to come in June. The bees are usually strong, and the Dutch clover, yellow sweet clover, and birdsfoot trefoil all have the best blossoms during June. Still, it is almost always when the yellow sweet clover is drying out and the Dutch clover and trefoil are past their peak that we get the most honey. It has taken me a number of years for me to learn that I should not let our bees peak at the beginning of June or it just begs for swarming problems.

Some of the parent colonies get a couple of boxes of honey in June, but for whatever reason July is when we pay the bills. We always have the chance for soybean honey in July also, but that is hit and miss.

You are welcome to drop in to see the queen yard if you're in the area. It's just behind the house and it doesn't take long to get a sense of the layout and what is going on back there.
PermalinkPermalink 07/03/09 @ 09:44

In response to: June weather

Mike Townsley [Visitor]
What is your source of nectar in July Adam?
I was glad to read about you in the Buzz and see all you are doing. I would like to come out and spend a day with you in the queen yard sometime,if you are open to visitors. I took the queen course in MN with you.
God bless,
Pastor Mike
PermalinkPermalink 06/26/09 @ 11:17

In response to: The End of Harvest

Hi Judie,

Small hive beetles were the last pest I wanted to see in our equipment. It seems like we had so many worries already. I'm sorry to hear you have the same concern.

The first thing to consider is where you are located. For most of us in temperate parts of the USA, small hive beetles are a honey house problem rather than something we have to treat in the field. It's now normal for us to see a few beetles crawling around some of the bottom boards, but we never have hives crash due to beetle infestations here in Iowa. Our problems come when we leave unextracted honey in the warehouse too long--particularly if there is pollen or drone brood in the honey boxes. But, if we extract the honey within a few days and get the boxes out of the processing facility there is no chance of serious damage.

If you are down in the hot and humid southeast (especially Georgia on west to Louisiana), then you may need to do something to keep your hives from succumbing to the beetles. I don't have a lot of experience with the MANY control methods that beekeepers have attempted, but here's a link to a thread on the subject. (I'm not sure it helps, but it shows you what others are thinking.) Here is a more scientific article:

As for the concrete idea, it can't hurt since the beetles like to burrow within several inches of the entrance, but it won't solve the problem entirely. The larvae can crawl several yards very easily when they are looking for a place to pupate. The concrete would make them work harder and increase the odds of some of them getting picked off by some helpful wildlife.

Good luck with your bees, and if you have to do some kind of treatment, let me know if you hear of a solution that sounds promising!
PermalinkPermalink 06/25/09 @ 21:57

In response to: The End of Harvest

Judie [Visitor]
We (my husband and I) are novice beekeepers. We took a course and got a nuc from a good source. There are several hives in our are and we knew we'd have a source of help.
However, did NOT expect to start with small hive beetles. Has anyone experimented with putting the hive stands on a concrete (like a patio) foundation so that the larvae could not pupate??? I hate the idea of using Stargard. It seems to defeat the purpose of having bees. HELP!
PermalinkPermalink 06/25/09 @ 10:01

In response to: 2009 Queens

Thanks for the comment Dan. I still have the mating yard in the pasture behind the house. It's true that I have the nucs very close together. I sit three four-frame nucs on grocery pallets that have been cut in half, although I do make the entrance of the middle nuc face the opposite direction from the other two. I'll take a couple of pictures to put in my next post to make the layout more clear.

Overall, I've found that the virgins are much better at finding their homes after their mating flights than I might have suspected. I've read that 75-80% successful mating is reasonable, and that's what I usually manage with decent weather. So, I put them close together for easier management instead of spacing them widely. I might lose a few queens but I save a lot of time.

As for drifting, it's hard for me to really gauge because the brood cycles in the nucs vary quite a bit. If a virgin doesn't take in one of the nucs, it means that there is a longer break in egg-laying. I always end up walking around balancing the nucs, but I suppose it seems to have more to do with mating issues. Successful matings mean the nuc gets recharged with fresh brood on its own, otherwise I often have to do it through my redistributions in the nuc yard.
PermalinkPermalink 06/14/09 @ 23:30

In response to: 2009 Queens

Dan Dixon [Visitor]
Hello from another central iowa beek. I have over the years asked your dad questions as i was beginning. Ieven visited your mating yard 100yd behind his house. Do you ever have much problems with newly mated queens not getting back to the correct nuc or drifting problems with workers. It seemed to me your nucs were plenty close together. Thanks for your response.

PermalinkPermalink 06/13/09 @ 14:42

In response to: May and apple pollination pictures

Sallie Hagen [Visitor]
Mr. Ebert,

Thank you for being so helpful today! We got the bees situated in their new home and all went well. I shall have to name our queen. I am so attached to them already!

Thank you again for your patience and willingness to answer our myriad of questions!
PermalinkPermalink 05/25/09 @ 20:07

In response to: A new beeyard

Hi Dan,

It is too bad we didn't meet up in November--I've seen your name often it would be nice to put the face with the name.

Last year I didn't do nearly as many queens as usual--the bad winter cut down on my supply of bees and then the weather didn't help with the earlier matings. We sold some of them but kept some to overwinter like you did. Anyway, it's good experience to raise a few queens and get used to handling them. Congratulations on pretty good success with your first foray into queen rearing! Best of luck on finding them alive as spring approaches!

PermalinkPermalink 01/10/09 @ 08:49