Thursday, February 21, 2008

Haagen Dazs Loves Honey Bees!

I have to thank my friend Linda for pointing out this website to me!

HD Loves HB

I say we all need to eat Haagen Dazs!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Nuc 'em!!

Well, now that I have three completely empty hives, complete with drawn comb, I need to decide what to do next.
I believe that this year I am going to go the nuc route. If you are not familiar with what a nuc is, then check out Wikipedia's definition here.

My normal bee supplier does not deal in nucs, so I have found a gentleman in Marietta, GA that does. His name is Bruno Frazier, and he runs Cave Hollow Bee Farm. I'm going to order three nucs from him, but I'm going to mix it up this year: I have ordered 2 Italian nucs, and one Russian. I have heard great things about Russians and their abilities to resist or at least tolerate varroa mites. They also are high honey producers, which should help them survive the winter.

Take a moment and read this comparison between Russians and Italians:
Russians v. Italians

Once I get my nucs installed, I shall be putting some AJ's Beetle Eaters in them. These are a new device which has been developed in Australia to control SHB populations. They use no chemicals, and are cheap and easy! I've seen the different homemade traps, but I think this method may work easier for me.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Last Battle

Images of a graphic nature follow!

So I finally got around to cleaning out my hives today. I don't think it was starvation that killed them, I think they may have absconded. I found several frames full of uncured honey and sugar syrup.
In one of the supers, I found the remnants of the last great battle for the hive:
Apparently the hive had become overrun with SHB (small hive beetle). Maybe the conditions became too bad for the bees to stay, I don't know.

As you can see in the following pictures, the girls had surrounded a bunch of SHB and had them holed up in these cells and were guarding them. My guess is that they died during one of our late winter freezes.

These warriors fought bravely!
May they not have died in vain!

By the way, does anyone know what I should do with the frames of uncured honey I found? I don't have any other hives to put them in, and won't be getting more bees until March. Can I freeze the frames, and thaw them before the bees come?

Monday, February 4, 2008

A sad day

Well, it is a sad day. Both of my remaining hives have died. Sigh. I guess I need to start over. Darn this drought! Please continue praying for precipitation this spring, no matter what form it comes in!