Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Morning

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I recently dove head first into the world of Honey Bees. Beekeeping. I had received a book "The Backyard Beekeeper" by Kim Flottum. It is a very glossy and pretty picture book. Needless to say it got my intrest in keeping bees to the top of my priority list. I did some reasearh and found a great bee supply store called Ruhl Bee Supply nearby in Gladstone. I decided on ordering a package of bees (A starter Pack of about 10,000 bees) called Carniolans (Apis mellifera carnica) in January. The bees would arrive the first week of April. The reason I choose this breed was due to the fact that the can with stand colder weather than the classic Italian Bees. The Carniolans also ramp up there population quicker and slow down production quicker based on the weather. Seeing that the Willamette Valley has some wacky weather, it seemed like the better breed.
April 6th, I picked up my bees with my son. Man he was excited. The box they came in was like a little heater, the bees were making themselves warm for the queen. I had purchased a Langsforth 10 frame hive, with two supers and one medium frame for the honey. I set the hive up the day before their arrival and painted it white. Once we got home I sprayed them with a mist bottle full of sugar and water mix to keep them from flying, pulled the queen out and dumped them into the hive. I tried watched some videos on You Tube about the proper way to do this. In retrospect, I did a shitty job. One thing, buy the more expensive bee jacket with the bee veil built in. I bought the bee keeper hat and the veil you add over it. Two bees promptly figured out how to get inside and stung me in the ear. Wear the long sleeve white jacket, not a white t-shirt. Promptly stung in the belly and also wear white leather gloves. Don't wear black, cool on the construction job black gloves, two more stings. Also keep your little black dog away from you during the transfer of the bees into the hive. My poor dog got stung at least 10 times yelping all the way back to the safety of the house.
 Spend the money on the equipment, don't go cheap.
    I also totally screwed up the placement of the feeder bucket.Pull the top Inner cover and place it directly above the super that is setup on top of the base. The second super is added on-top of the inner cover that is sitting on the base super. Leave all the frames out, this way the feeder bucket is inside of the hive, no animals can mess with it and it makes less air space for the bees to heat. Put the roof onto the second super.

Anyways, the bees are really cool and I'm starting to get into them more and more. I recommend a good book put out by The University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education. It is called Honey Bees and Beekeeping: A year in the life of an Apiary. Third edition by Keith S. Delaplane.