BEEKEEPING IN THE NORTHEAST - An account of my beekeeping, not a treatise of expertise, but for friends & family who wish to keep bees vicariously through me, and for the occasional apiarist passer-by.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Knowing a bee is a bee not a wasp

Our neighbors said their crocuses are peeking out and the bees were all over them!

Got the call last night that the Canadian Buckfast honey bee nucs are ready. I will pick them up May 6th. Long drive with a lot of bees in the car!

So my sister's grandson said bees were swarming at school. Here are some common insects compared to bees:

Honey Bee

Yellow Jacket

Paper Wasp

Bald Face Hornet

Bumble Bee

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 17 What's Bloom'n

Back down into the 30's F past couple of weeks.

Took some pictures of what's blooming...just starting in our neck of the woods. A local beekeeper with hives down in Greenland, NH said last week the willows were in bloom and his bees were coming in covered in pollen!

Not so in Wonalancet:


Cherry Trees

Lilac tree


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 10 Feeding the bees

Well, here I am mistakes and all...but the bees are happy. 54 degrees F but in the high 40's most of the day. Still 10 inches of snow!

Here is a video of my preparations to go to the hive:

They ate much of the patty I put in a week or so ago, and seem to be thriving. I replaced the pine needles with their super from last fall. I smeared on the bottom of the frames a little raw honey from a beekeeper in Vermont who I know has healthy bees in case they need the extra food and this will also entice them to move up.

I came without my smoke, but soon realized I would need it. This is as much for the bees sake as encourage them out of harms way. I should have prepared my work area better. We are still threatened with high winds but I need to get those hay bails pulled away.

Here is a video at the hive, replacing the pine-needle super with their super of drawn comb and honey from last fall.

Friday, April 8, 2011

April 3rd Spring Where Are You?

I went back to the hive on April 3rd and replaced the homasote board. It was soaked and there were prints in the snow of a curious dog running up from the road right to the front of the hive. Did this mean that the bees had been flying? There were several bees in the snow. Two or three live bees crawling in the pine needles. I slipped a second patty in but could not see well to notice if they used up the first.

The temps have only been in the 30's and below at night. Today should be about high 40's finally. Just one or two days of low 40's for the bees.

This morning, April 8th, we went by the hive on the way to work and reinforced the solar fence by wrapping a grounding wire around the posts so that if a dog or bear, especially, comes near the snow pack...still 10 inches !! .... will not insulate them from being shocked.

Hoping for low 50's this weekend. Is it too early to reverse the hive bodies? Swamped at work or I'd write more...will eventually about what this means and the strategy.

My friend called to say she can't take two of the nucs we ordered. I think I will take them all. Time I got more into this. Also need to write about the New Hampshire Beekeeper Associations annual spring meeting.