Tag Archives: beekeeping

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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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.

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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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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.

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Jennifer in front of just a couple of her hives.

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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!

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

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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!

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

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New Visitors

This weekend we had Brooke and Lizzie up to the roof to take a tour of the hive. Thanks for visiting gang!

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Summer Harvest At Hobson’s Hive—Part II

Here we see the gang getting down and dirty. Also, mad hands at the extractor wheel!

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Summer Harvest At Hobson’s Hive—Part I

When you’re juggling many hives, you have many harvests. This last weekend we got elbow-deep in honey with Hobson and crew. They were awesome, I simply whipped up the emotional support. Great job gang! Here we see the crew suiting up and removing the frames.

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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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