Beekeeping

Honey harvest

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I have good news for everyone that has visited the Ebert honeyhouse: Comet, the mighty beekeeper dog, continues to thrive. Actually, Comet tends to stay out of the way whenever bees are concerned, but he never misses the chance to run ahead of the truck when we drive to the queen yard. Then he commences […]

Beekeeping

Laying workers

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The other day Alex got a really good picture of what happens with laying workers: The image shows the craziness of what goes on when a colony goes queenless for too long. Some of the workers start dropping unfertilized eggs, but they often plant several eggs in each cell. I’ve seen over a dozen eggs […]

Beekeeping

Queen yard and mating nucs

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Several years ago I decided it would be fun to try raising queens. My first cells were not very impressive, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. Occasionally there is still a graft that fails, but nothing is 100% I suppose. When I first started with mating nucs, I thought it was important […]

Beekeeping

June weather

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Well, it’s starting to feel disturbingly cool for June. It is pretty comfortable for most people to have the temperature below eighty degrees, but I start to worry about the bees. Sometimes they bring in some June honey when the temperature is in the mid-seventies. I recall a summer many years ago when it was […]

Beekeeping

2009 Queens

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We have been through a lot of queens this year. The splitting season didn’t start out in a very encouraging manner, but things turned around within a couple of weeks. Luckily, we had plenty of customers looking for queens even when we were not quite ready to use them. Our earlier queens went into a […]

Beekeeping

Supering and queen cells

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We are in the middle of supering the overwintered parent colonies right now. A good portion of the bee yards have a strong honey flow that has gone on during the past week–hopefully some it winds up in the honey boxes rather than staying down in the brood chamber. The black locust bloom seems to […]

Beekeeping

The end of splitting

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We ended up having a good splitting season. Winter loss was considerable, but the surviving bees came through strong enough to start a lot more hives. We will be safely north fo six hundred colonies this year. In the images below, I am shaking the bees off three frames of brood and putting them in […]

Beekeeping

May and apple pollination pictures

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It has been a busy month since we dealt with package bee orders. I’ll try to put up a few entries in short order to cover everything that has been going on. At the moment we are in the very last stages of splitting the overwintered colonies to make new hives, but most of them […]

Beekeeping

Package bees in Lynnville

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We are now finished with the annual package bee deliveries. The larger load arrived at our place at 200 a.m., so there was not much sleep that night! Alex, Dad, and I carried the packages from the back of the truck into the garage. By the end of it, we had more packages than ever […]

Beekeeping

Spring Bees

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Our threat of snow last night passed us over. Windy and a bit chilly today, but no really bad weather to delay spring too much. I have not been out to see the bees as I’ve been working consistently on finishing my dissertation–it’s always possible to make time when necessary but Dad has kept on […]