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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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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.

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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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We’re Big In China

We’re getting some love from the Chinese blog Oulaka! Thanks for the Black Tar Honey shout Oulaka 🙂

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Harvest

Amidst the chaos of the swarm from one of our hives on Abbot’s Cellar, we made the decision to harvest one super from each hive and also add an additional empty super to each. We were clearly running out of room and we want to be sure the ladies have plenty of space to grow into at the height of the summer. Here we go!

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PS. Big shout to Benjie for loaning us his honey extractor!

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Swarm!!!!!!

Yesterday we got a call from the neighbors saying there were bees allover the hive. We thought they might be ‘bearding‘, unfortunately we were not so lucky. More to come…

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The Good Life

You know you’ve made it as a beekeeper when you can sit back and let your understudies do all of the heavy lifting! Nice one Mr. Combover 😉

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The Hives Are Filling up at Abbot’s!

It’s been a busy summer with the bees on the roof of Abbot’s Cellar. The two hives are almost full of brood and the top supers are just about full and capped with honey. You know what that means…harvest time! No dates are set but this fall we’re expecting to harvest quite a bit of honey with the folks over at Abbot’s Cellar. More to come soon!

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