Wednesday, June 29, 2011

mean bees

Today I went to Moorpark to look at 2 hives at a 40 acre property.
Beautiful environment.
One hive was actually _underneath_ a 20' container.
The bees didn't mind me getting within a few feet from the entrance

But it is "impossible" to dig underneath that container to get to the hive. So it is up to the owner what to do with them.
Next hive was about 30 yards away from the first one.
It was in a pile of "metal junk" which included a compressor of some kind.
The storage container made a perfect spot for the bees.
As soon as I got within 6 feet from them, the first guard bees "bumped" my veil. Not a good sign.
I removes some rubble and finally found the container they were going in to .
I used a crowbar to open up the container.

Lots and lots of honey there. Must have been there "for a while".
Next thing I know, I was _covered_ with bees. My suit is now full with stingers.
Unfortunately they found a way into my suit. I got nailed a few times on my arm but the I think I took about 20-30 on my ankle. That sure didn't feel nice. So I jumped into my car, still covered with bees and drove off. When I got home, this is how the floor om my car looked:

I will order a "mean bee suit" from golden bee product

Sunday, June 19, 2011

new bees in my swarm trap, neighbor across the street has bees

I have 3 swarm traps in my backyard in trees.
So far I had 2 occupied, cutout and put into boxes.
Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to find the 3rd and last swarm trap occupied.
Problem is thought that 15 trees will be chopped up next thursday since they are dead and a genuine fire hazard.

Furthermore our neighbor across the street, whom we exchange produce from our gardens with, suddenly said "I think i have a bee hive in my old chicken coop".
I checked, and she has. So more work to be done soon ;-)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

swarm catch ventura

Caught a swarm yesterday with Jeremy (his first)
We climbed onto a garage, cut some branches and shook them into a nuc box.
When we got back, we opened one of my hives, took out a frame with brood (majority was drones).
Tied it to a top bar of the warre hive, shook in the bees from the nuc box.
Will check tomorrow if the bees like their new home.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dietary Sugar and Mental Illness: A Surprising Link

This might be an argument to not feed sugar to your bees

Dietary Sugar and Mental Illness

And like Dee Lusby says:
I you can give them sugar water, you might as well give them (cheap) honey.

What kind of bee ?

I know there are 1500+ kind of bees.
Found this bee on our zucchini this morning.
Anyone know what this is ?

[click on photo for larger version]

The colors are dark brown and white (not black/yellow)

warre hive

I was interested in a different kind of bee box, so I ordered (through Maurice) a warre hive.
I was able to pick it up at the LACBA meeting yesterday.

More info on warre hives:
and if you want to build it yourself:

Have to catch a swarm today ;-)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thursday: cutout roof Simi Valley

A house where bees are visiting every year.
Nobody bothered to bee proof the situation.
I was lucky to have a new-bee Jeremy to join me in this adventure.

Had to arrange a 28' ladder and stuff in order to reach the roof.

Bought a cordless reciprocal saw to cut through the wood.
Put the comb in the box.
This really calls for a bee vac, so that's what I am planning on doing first.

I filled the void with insulation and put everything back as best as possible.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

saturday: special swarm catch

This morning I did a swarm catch that had been hanging in a tree for the last 6 weeks !
A 89 year old lady wanted me to save the bees.

I really had to use my 4WD low gear to get into a canyon were the bees were.
It smelled so nice, there was blooming sage everywhere

My car wouldn't fit here, so I had to walk the rest

The bees had started making comb in the plants just above the ground

I cut away all the branches that were in the way

I used a saw to seperate everything just above the ground and gently shook them into my new (thanks James) Nuc Box.

Sage blossom with a lot of bees on it.

I asked the owner of the property if I could leave some hives in this oasis.
She is thinking about it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thursday: trapout Camarillo

I was asked to do a trapout of a garden wall. I could find only 1 hole/entrance to the hive.
I drilled 2 holes, installed the bee escape on it

Cutout in Thousand Oaks

This morning I did a cutout of a post in from of a home in Thousand Oaks.
I had great help: Esther and Eric were there.
Since I didn't bring the bee vac I decided not to smoke the bees and to prevent the queen from running to a space where we couldn't reach here.
This is how it looked after I took the front of the post off


Esther cutting the comb that Eric cut from the post into the frames

After we scooped about 90+% of the bees in the box , we put it on a ladder and put it on top for the bees to re-group.

Strait easy cutout, and with the aid Eric and Esther, we had a lot of fun doing it.

According to the owner they had been there 4-6 weeks.
I think they have been there at least 6 months.
There were 5 layers of comb, about 3' in length inside this post.

I picked up the bees 7:15pm, they had all moved into the wooden box, just a few buzzing around the entrance. Job succeeded.
Esther did get stung (through her glove), she is (imho) now officially ready for beeing a beekeeper.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bee photo's

Thanks to a posting on the backward beekeepers list, this link contains beautiful photo's