Bee and Food Demo

This last weekend we were asked by Chef Adam of Abbot’s Cellar to participate in a live-demo about bees, beer and food at the SF Ferry Building. We had a great time talking about the virtues of beekeeping and also incorporating some of last Fall’s harvest into the delicious winter vegetable recipe. Thanks to CUESA and Chef Adam for a really awesome day!

photo 1
Cam and chef Adam in front of the demo sign.

image[1]
The crowd asking questions about the cooking process—fresh comb on display.

image
The frame as we uncap and served up tasting scoops of honey. Surrounded by fresh hops that
chef Adam ground into a fine powder for his fresh hops salt!

image[3]
Chef Adam talking through his process—a pretty amazing first-hand cooking lesson!

Tagged , , , , ,

Closed for the Winter

This weekend we removed the grease-patties—which seemed to be effective as a lot of mites had dropped from the hive. We’ve now sealed things up and will let the ladies hunker down for the winter without disruption, aside from the occasional visit to check external activity. Good luck bees, we’ll see you in Jan/Feb!

photo 1 photo 2

Tagged , , , , , ,

Do Right By the Bees

This is our motto—and this is what we strive for. Last weekend we collapsed the local hive down to three supers as we did with the Italians previously. Going to go in this weekend to remove the grease patties and check on the ladies one last time before we seal them up for the winter. Hope they’re doing alright with this mighty cold snap!

photo[1]

Tagged , , , ,

Wintergreen Grease Patties

Say what!?

Yep, we’re concocting Wintergreen infused grease patties as an active defense against the mite problem. Hopefully it’s not too late for either hive, though the Italian hive is looking slightly weak. Below are a few pics of the patties (sugar, honey, salt, grease, wintergreen extract) that we placed on top of the brood supers.

Our research has pointed to this solution as a worthy Fall treatment to kill mites and help the bees make it through the winter. As a last measure we’ve reduced the Italian hive down to three supers—they weren’t showing any activity in the honey-bound top two supers and by our calculations should have plenty of honey for the winter in the bottom three supers.

IMG_7749 IMG_9583 IMG_5411

Tagged , , , , , ,

Bottom Boards

The activity in our two hives is so very different—here we see the bottom boards side by side. The local hive (nearest) has a lot less detritus falling to the bottom of the hive and fewer mites—the Italian hive meanwhile has more mites and more fallout which we attribute to the hive’s poor performance and lower number of bees.

photo 1[1]

Tagged , , , , , ,

Fall Dusting

While we continue to do our research on effective and non-toxic mite treatments, we’ve been continuing to dust the hives with powdered sugar. This is very clearly shaking mites from the hive, as we have been checking the bottom boards, but is clearly not our permanent solution.

photo 2[1] photo 4

Tagged , , , , , ,

A Hearty Fall Season

Okay, so it’s clear one of the hives on the Abbot’s Cellar roof has mites—but they seem to be thriving in numbers! This has been a huge stresser and we continue to debate the best way to handle the issue. Adding to the complexity of the situation, both hives appear to be thriving, but as we check the bottom board we’re seeing a high count of mites that are dropping from the hive.

We originally looked into Mite-Away strips but the utter toxicity (though organic nature of Formic Acid) so we’re returning to regular dustings of powdered sugar and reading up on additional DIY mite-treatments that will help our bees get through the winter! Any organic, non-toxic recommendations and tips are readily welcome!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Sausalito Hive Visit

We were very lucky to visit the talented Jennifer Berry this weekend to take a gander at her impressive beekeeping setup. In all she has approximately 10 hives and has all sorts of cool beekeeping techniques going on. Below is a short summary of our visit and tour of Jennifer’s hives.

IMG_4824
Jennifer in front of just a couple of her hives.

IMG_4816
Smelling the sweet honey from one of the hives. Currently it has a very distinct flavor based on the regional flowers in bloom at this time of year!

IMG_4819
Jennifer overlooking the rest of her hives just below the few hives on the balcony.

IMG_4820
A detailed shot of the two hives and queen rearing set-up. Top tip: writing notes right on the hive lid is a great way to keep track of hive activity!

IMG_4821
Here Jennifer points out how she feeds her bees dry, unprocessed sugar. A real revelation for us!

Tagged , , , , ,

Fall Harvest

At Abbot’s Cellar we’ve got so much stuff going on. A mite issue, an abundance of bees and a TON of honey. With 3 supers of honey and brood and two additional supers full of honey-bound frames. We’ve decided to harvest 1 super from each hive to provide enough space for the coming months (still beautiful and sunny here in SF) and also leave plenty honey for both hives for the winter. A few pics below from Chef Adam and the team doing a bang up job!

IMG_4786

Thanks to Hobson for the loan of the 9-frame mega-extractor! It’s so much more efficient!

IMG_9038

Tagged , , , , , ,

Mite Alert

Oh no!

For the first time ever one of our hives very clearly has mites. We did a powdered sugar check just to see if mites may be an issue and sure enough we have a few of the buggers.

This is a totally new issue for us so if any of you fellow beekeepers have any suggestions for organic mite removal please do let us know!

abbotbees-092213 photo 3 photo 2

Tagged , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 154 other followers