Beekeeping

Jorge Returns

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I’ve been back in Iowa for a number of days now. In mid-November I headed to the UK to do some work for my graduate degree, and then I had Christmas in Estonia and New Year’s in Sweden. Below I have an image from the Irish farm where I looked at some letters in Jim […]

Beekeeping

Preparations on the Verge of Winter

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The last ten days or so have had a pretty regular rhythm. Feed the bees, block the entrances, and wrap the hives. We actually started blocking the entrances a few weeks ago. Once the nighttime temperatures start dropping into the fifties, the mice start looking for sheltered homes. Beekeeping equipment seems to serve them very […]

Beekeeping

Small Hive Beetle Continued

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I can’t say that I especially want to say anything more about small hive beetles. They don’t look like an organism that ought to be able to do a lot of damage. Rather small, hard-bodied little critters that shouldn’t bother anything. But then, it’s not the adults that are the problem except for the eggs […]

Beekeeping

The End of Harvest

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We are basically done with the honey harvest. There might be an odd box that comes in for extracting in the next couple of weeks, but we are essentially finished. The crop turned out much better than seemed to threaten in July, but it is a long way from the 120#-150# crops we’ve been lucky […]

Beekeeping

September Swarm

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A couple of days ago we went out to clear some yards of honey boxes and put in Apiguard. At one of our locations, a swarm was hanging in the tree next to the hives. September swarms aren’t very common in our area, but there are a few of them every fall. I’ve always been […]

Beekeeping

Fall bees

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It’s now September, so we’re getting serious about getting the boxes off the colonies and getting in the varroa medications. Even if the honey crop didn’t average anything particularly high, at least the bees look quite good in terms of population. The temperature is only in the fifties unfortunately. It looks like fall is arriving […]

Beekeeping

Where we stand

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Well, it looks like all of the yards will have produced something this year. Not much, but at least something. Hundreds of our honey supers are on moth crystals instead of hives, but we did not get totally shut out of a crop. We can probably classify it as “fair” rather than very poor. So, […]

Beekeeping

Honey-making weather is here

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It’s finally heating up and drying out. The planting ran so late that there will be soybeans blooming through most of August. I also saw some bees on the first yellow flowers to open a few days ago. There is some chance we could get another 20-50 pounds this month, it’s just so rare that […]

Beekeeping

Somebody left the faucet running

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I was planning to go and check a few yards today. I didn’t really expect to see a lot of honey given the latest weather, but I was curious to see if a few of them had blown over from some recent winds. So what happens? Late yesterday afternoon winds (some around 75 mph) blew […]

Beekeeping

Not much honey

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Yesterday I drove around to see what transpired while I was away to England and Sweden, but the news wasn’t the best. We’re closing in on August and there hasn’t been a really good flow in all of the yards. About 1/3 of them have had a significant amount of honey fill the boxes, but […]