<< Back

Bees

Posted 4/28/2016 10:13pm by Renee Savary.

This week we got new bees, they arrive through the mail and the post office called me around 6:30am to let me know they were in !!! Here what the box looks like : 3 lb of bees and a queen. The box is really well sealed and contain a can of sugary liquid to feed the bees during the trip. 

BeeBox
 
I started by setting all my material, boxes, frames, cover etc .. Last thing you want is missing some part when you have bees all over ... and yes been there done it !!!!
 
Hive set
 
The Queen is inside the box in a box !! I will have to install her first in the hive, I move a bunch of frames to give me some space and once the bees are in I will put them back ... At this point I will lift the metal can and pick up the Queen box ...
 
setting new bees
 
This is what a Queen box looks like, the Queen is attended by a couple of bees, the white part to the right is a sugary substance that the bees will go through and release the Queen in the new hive ... 
 
Queen box
 
I staple the box in between two frames, it just needs to hold for a couple of days and then will be removed ...
 
Queen box installation
 
The next step is to dump the bees from the box into the hive by first removing the can and then a good shake and most of them clump down.
On a side note during all this bees are flying around but they are not aggressive at all ... then I install the 4 remaining frame and can close my hive.
 
Bees in the hive ...
 
Because I did not get all the bees out of the box, I will just leave it in front of the hive and by the end of the day they will all be in ...
Now I will leave this hive grow over the summer, I dont harvest honey the first season, I let them build up their hive and build their reserve for the winter.  They have a lot of work in front of them.
I let the garden go wild and it is full of wild flowers and herbs that reseeded themselves, the bees should have plenty to forage.
 
all set
 
I thought I was done with the bees when I found this out !!!!
Yes a swarm !!! ... from one of the hive at the Bee Garden next to the pond ...
But it is late so this is going to be next week story ...
 
swarm
 
Please visit our Apiary section of our web site and learn what we do and how we do it ... and you can help the bees too, at the FarmStand we have a nice collection of flowers seeds and mixes ..
Posted 3/24/2013 10:48am by Renee Savary.

Finally last week I got to start getting the garden ready for spring planting ... Here are some pictures of the cleaning process ...

The Cleaning Crew at work ...

Cleaning crew

One of my favorite sign of Spring : the Dandelion ...

Dandelion

More Helper ...

cleaning crew

The bees were so beezy over the brocoli flowers that we will keep them in the garden till we get some more flowers going on ...

beees

The Blackberries are in bloom ...

Blackberry flowers

Cleaning the Herb Spiral ...

cleaning crew

Gorgeous Thistle colors ...

thistle

Everything pulled from the garden beds was tossed over the fence for the sheep to snack on ...

snacking

More Thistle ...

thistle

Lots of wild flowers ... many think of them as "weed" but the bees and other polinators love them ... We keep them ...

flowers

Here the chickens have nicely spread a whole line of hay where melons and zucchinis were planted last summer ...

hay spreading

More beautiful colors ...

thistle

At the end of the day we found 2 eggs under the garden bench, no time to go back to the coop when you are hard at work in the garden ...

eggs under the bench


Happy Spring ...

Posted 4/26/2012 8:44pm by Renee Savary.

Finally this week I got all the material I needed to split my beehives. I am doing better around my bees still I highly appreciate the help of my friend Dawn and we decided that bee handling was a two people job anyway !!! …

Getting ready

As we did for my friend’s hives a few weeks ago, the idea is to take 4 frames from the established hive and move them to a new one while replacing the old frames by 4 new ones in the established hive.

Pulling out frame from the super

Both of my hives have now two super (the additional boxes you see above the brood box), we had set the first one like 5 or 6 weeks ago and the second one 2 weeks ago. The top box was still fairly empty of bees and honey but the one below is almost full, we could not resist and took a frame to harvest the honey. The box was so heavy we had to move it together !!

frame caped with honey

Once we had the two super set aside we started to work on getting the 4 frames at the center out and moved them into the new brood box. In one of the hive we were able to locate the queen, trust me it is quite an accomplishment for beginners. I try to take a pix but between the veil and the huge gloves to try to zoom in, the pix was off focus …

view of a frame

Once we were done with the frames, we put back  the two super on the established hives and then  drove the two new ones to my friends at Working Cow Dairy, they are also certified organic so no risk for my bees to splurge on GMO’s or pesticide. We got them in a really nice area, surrounded by organic fields, with a little forest on one side and a nice stream running through, plenty of wild flowers all around.

I will check on them in a week or so and will keep you posted on the progress …

Posted 3/15/2012 8:29pm by Renee Savary.

Last Sunday I went to help my friend Dawn to split her beehives, well ... help !! ... Let's just say I stayed a good 2ft away and try to generate as much smoke as possible.

To split beehives, you take 4 of the central frames of the hive to split, including the queen, move them into a new empty hive, close it and move it away a few miles for a month or so. It will give the "older" hive time to raise a new queen then you can bring all the hives back together.

It seems fairly simple but it is not, you have thousands and thousands of bees buzzing around, you are kind of suffocating with the smoke (that is when I help) and for the not trained eyes to locate the queen in the middle of the multitude is kind of locating that pin needle in the hay story... ...

But we did it and I am happy to report that after a few days both hives, the new and the old ones, are doing well ...

 Then we came to the farm to look at mines. Last spring I got 3 hives, I still have 2 of them. I have to be honest I am not super comfortable dealing with bees ! I can confront a charging donkey but I am afraid of bees ... go figure !!!

I had not open my hives in several months, I knew they were well sealed by the bees and I did not find a reason why to open them when it was cold or windy or wet ... I did supplement them with some honey/water tea once a week in January and February and I am sure it did help them ...

I am well aware of all the problems the bees are encountering from pesticide to GMO's but I think their worst enemy is us, human, so without pretending saving the bees, I will just let the ones I have at the farm be bees and do their bees business and on my side I will make sure they have enough quality food.

 opening the hive

On this picture we are just opening the first hive and looking at it ...

I am happy to report they are doing wonderful, I was so relieved to see them doing so well. Now the next step is to split my hives, probably in a week or two. Here are some more pictures of our beezy Sunday !!!

frame

me holding a frame ...

frame with nice brood partern

Hive with super installed ...

Go to www.facebook.com/twinoaksfarm for more pictures on my beesy Sunday ....