Our weather has been unusually warm this fall. Last weekend we hit 80 F (26 C) and we have yet to experience a frost in our little piece of Virginia. We might see one this weekend, with temperatures expected to drop 30 F this Halloween night.
As well, apparently, with a small bee yard. Although perhaps the possibilities are not quite so dire, you still worry. Is the queen well? Will the hive swarm? Do they have enough food? In recent weeks I have worried that four of my now five hives might not have a viable queen. The bees, to their credit, are teaching me patience. Continue reading
A quick update on our bee fence. If you’ve been following along, you know that the fence encloses our apiary on the side of our yard. My neighbor used his tractor to dig the post holes, which was a huge help, and I installed the rails over the first few months of the bee year. See my post Bee! I’m Expecting You! for some historical photos of the spot. Continue reading
Our county ordinance requires that bee hives have water available within 50 feet. While this is good practice, of course, the bees have their own thoughts on the matter. Despite my work to set up a small water pond near our hives, the bees completely ignore it.
To be fair, the neighbor’s pond is bigger and better shaded. I’m sure their water is much better tasting as well.
In addition to discussing our water source, I have an update on our Langstroth hives to share, of the three steps forward, two steps back variety. An update of our top bar hive will appear in a future post. Continue reading
A shout out to my blogging buddies The Prospect of Bees for inspiring my recent purchase of a Milwaukee M18 reciprocating saw, shown here surrounded by pieces of fence rails. Prospect’s recent infomercial of a post on the 12-volt version of this saw inspired some research and an eventual purchase. Since this is my first and likely only cordless saw, I settled on the 18-volt version, finding a special online deal from Home Depot that included the complete kit (saw, charger, battery) as well as an extra battery.
I hadn’t planned to be assembling deep frames at midnight. There I was, though, 12:05 in the morning pounding nails into my newly glued frame. When the phone rang earlier that evening, I had no idea that 24 hours later I would have three hives and my first bee sting of the year.
Received an email from Aunt Bea’s earlier this week that they had a hive ready for me. A bit sooner than I was expecting, but took the day off to work on my future apiary, write a little, and pick up my new top bar hive. An apiary is just a fancy word for bee yard. Our yard is L-shaped, with our house at the base line. My lovely wife agreed to a spot in the side yard where I once had a garden and is now a little overgrown, so I went out early to check it out.