Trying to BEE Careful. Bee Hive update 9/2/2018

I am right in the middle of putting the apiguard

mite treatment in the bee hive.  (ie. 5 minutes ago)

I was standing there in my bee keepers suit.  Had the top off the hive, was filling the tray feeder with a fresh batch of sugar-water when BAM there was a big crack of lightning.

1001  10002      (then a flash).

Then 30 seconds later it started to pour.

Doing the math to calculate how close the lightning was, according to that link above, I took 2  seconds divided by 5 = means the lightning was 4 /10’s of a mile from me.




Soooooooooo,  I put the lid back on the hive and headed for the house, where I am now sitting until the rain lets up. ( I am still damp).   This is my first attempt @ using a mite treatment. ( This is just my second season with bees.)  Pretty sure one of the main reasons our honey bees didn’t make it last year was because of the lack of mite treatment.  Just a guess.

Wish I had a local bee keeper here to walk me through some of this stuff.

I had one super on the hive. (that is the box with frames in it you put on the hive for honey)

Well, you’re supposed to not have that on the hive when you treat for mites with the apiguard, because it will make the honey stink.  Wasn’t sure what to do with the hundreds (1000’s?) of bees hanging out on the frames.  Decided to take each frame out one by one, brush the bees off with a bee brush back into the main hive, and hope most of them stay put.

In order to keep the bees calm you’re supposed to blow a little smoke on the bees. I tried to find some burlap for the smoker,  (as per  AVWalters suggestion)

but couldn’t find any, and the pine needles are all wet.  I tried to generate enough smoke with the newspaper and cotton seed fiber I have on hand. What a joke.  Smoked for 20 seconds, then felt like I was trying to calm down a hoard of barbarians who would at any second realize, I the intruder of their inner sanctuary was standing right outside their hive unarmed.  The tone of the hive (the pitch of their buzzing sound, went from calm to agitated pretty quick.

Planning to go to my first local bee keepers meeting in two weeks.  It won’t be soon enough.

I read (and was told) this is the time to treat for mites in our area.

Maybe I will finish tonight, and maybe I won’t. 😉

2018 bee hive.



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10 Responses to Trying to BEE Careful. Bee Hive update 9/2/2018

  1. Deb says:

    I’m glad you keep trying Doug. What do they say, “Practice makes perfect…” Stinky honey might not go over so well though, but please keep at it. Someday I expect a fine jar of honey to arrive on my doorstep!

  2. Charles lee says:

    Bees know it’s anout to rain. And they are not very happy campers about opening the hive at that time. They like the middle of hot sunny days.

    • DM says:

      I was just out there a few minutes ago (from a distance) even though it was drizzling, there were lots of bees on the outside of he hive box. I’d read they hate that smell of the mite medicine. Hate to do it to them…but hate to loose them too.

  3. Sorry Doug, I can’t offer any tips as I know nothing about bees. We put up a bee box years ago but didn’t have a single taker.
    Hive looks good though. Keep at it, and arm yourself with lots of questions for your meeting in a fortnight!

  4. Cathy Mac and Will says:

    Hiya DM, so pleased to have found this. Bit of synchronicity going on here as I’ve just come in from my beehive too! We were having a cuppa tea and i was looking up “self sufficiency” on the net and followed a link from Primal Survivor- Anna Weaver, and found your blog! We’re based just outside of Liverpool in England. My bees survived last winter and i’ve had my first decent “crop”of honey this summer. Nice to meet you even though its on the net! Kind regards Cath

    • DM says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to say “hi” Cath! What’s funny is, I saw that link from Primal survivor sending some internet traffic to the blog earlier..(I can see on my blog dashboard that sort of data, although I never know who it is unless someone leaves a comment and says so… so thank you 🙂 It is fun to get a little glimpse into who is stopping by. I can’t wait to get some honey from the hive… (Would love to hear more of your experience harvesting the honey) It looks like it is quite a messy process unless you have the right equipment, and even then…

      • Cathy Mac and Will says:

        Yeah it is dead messy! I havnt got all the fancy equipment except a spinner to extract. Ive been slicing the cappings off the frame with a hot knife into an ice cream tub. You do one side then you turn the frame over and do the other side. I had honey and bits of wax all over the sink! I put the frames in the spinner and give it a spin and the honey is spun out on to the sides and runs down to the bottom where it collects, and there is a tap to syphon it off. I syphon it through a sieve and cheesecloth into a pan and then pour it into jars.
        Before i had the spinner, i used to just squash the honey out of the frame using the back of a spoon and then filter it. The downside to that is the bees have to draw out the honeycomb again, whereas the spinner leaves the comb intact and all the bees have to do is fill it up again! Having said that, wheni first got my spinner and put frames in i spun it too hard and i was picking clumps of honeycomb from the bottom of the spinner! One daft, dozy scouser me! Haha! 🙂

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