2022 Feb 18 – Frame Cleaning

It is February – the calm before the storm. Bees are growing and just waiting to burst forth once warmer weather and flower blooms arrive. Beekeepers, meanwhile, are thinking about what equipment they need for the coming season. Should I order more boxes or more frames? Spring is coming.

One chore I have not undertaken before is the cleaning of frames. Last year and I should have done it, and this year I really just need to. After five years I can no longer put it off. I have some time next week and am hoping to make this a priority. Turns out it is not a fun activity, removing wax and propolis to clean and ready a frame for a new season. An image of each is shown in the picture.

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2022 Jan 30 – Weeping Cherry

I was outside in the cold and snow today, thinking about the bees huddled in their hive and how the yard would be full of flowers and nectar fairly soon. Our weeping cherry (Prunus subhirtella) tree typically blooms in early April. It has a somewhat awkward winter shape, kind of all over the place with the small branches that will eventually hold spring flows hanging down.

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2022 Jan 3 – Happy New Year

Welcome to a new year, hopefully a bit better than the last one. I thought I would try something new, given my dearth of posts this past year. I plan to post a short status and a picture or two at more regular intervals, and we’ll see how this goes. Today we had our first real snow of the season, so I thought it would be a good time to begin.

I have 8 hives overwintering, including two nucs insulated for the winter and four 8-frame Langstroth hives. You can just make out the other Langstroth hives at the top of the photo. I cleaned off the entrances to allow better air flow into the hives.

I also have two top bar hives, which are shown below.

May you prosper and find honey in the new year.

Count all the bees in the hive

Welcome to the end of beekeeping winter. With March around the corner beekeepers everywhere are thinking about spring and flowers and nectar and bees. It is common practice to worry about weather, flower blooms, hives, and equipment when you are a beekeeper, and I am no exception. Did we prepare for winter well enough to see the bees through this part of the season? Will the flowers bloom soon enough, or should I put some food in the hive? Do I have enough equipment for the year, and is it ready to go?

Hives in the snow
My hives Jupter2 and Titan2 on February 1, 2021. ©Erik Brown
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As the day lengthens, so the hive strengthens

It is snowing today. Between global warming and mountains to our west, we seem to get less and less snow every year. Which is a real shame as I enjoy the white stuff. If it is going to be cold, we may as well have snow. In a prior post I gave a rundown of my top bar hives from 2020, so in this post I share my Langstroth hives.

Langstroth hives on January 31, 2021: Pandora, Io, Calypso, Mars2, and Mercury. ©Erik Brown
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Silent Hives

It has become a Christmas tradition to post a bit of holiday poetry at this time of year. I had resolved to skip the tradition this year as I have been rather busy, then I just plain changed my mind a couple days ago and here I am. So allow me to present my latest work, for the sixth year in a row, Silent Hives.

My hives today (Dec 24, 2020) in the rain. The insulated one in front is actually two nucs sharing their warmth. All is calm. ©Erik Brown
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