Tag Archives: beekeepers

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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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Capturing the Swarm!

Someone called it a few weeks ago when they said “I bet that windscreen is going to get torn apart.” After waiting for the bees to move on from their temporary home for a few weeks, we decided to go in and get ’em!

Thank goodness for Chuck Rossi who had a spare hive and a few extra hours this weekend. He and his wife swooped in and grabbed the swarm. Only keeping bees for three months and they’re already pros! Thanks Chuck, happy beekeeping—I hope the swarm treats you well!

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Checking For Mites

As you’ll recall, on the roof of Abbot’s Cellar we recently had a swarm on our hands. Our response has been two pronged— 1) decide what has caused the swarm 2) capture the swarm. We tackled the easy one first, check for mites and see if that might be the cause of a swarm (fingers crossed this wasn’t the case).

Our test for mites was a quick dusting of powdered sugar, let the ladies clean themselves off and see if any mites or any other baddies fall to the bottom of the hive. On our next visit we’ll check the bottom board and see if anything shakes out. Literally. And now for capturing the swarm!

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Freshly Pressed!

Thanks WordPress for putting us on the homepage! We’re famous – kind of.

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Sneak Preview from Book: Why Beekeepers Don’t Eat Bananas

Here is a sneak preview of one of the original illustrations that Suzi has created for the book. We’re moving along and expect to publish in the new year. More to come.

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