Choose color scheme

Category Archives: self sustainability

  • Rain

    My beautiful wife having more balls than me.

  • Removing the accident

    Further inspection showed that the comb on the floor was most likely a mis-attached comb that fell from a top-bar. The bees weren’t exactly expanding on it but they weren’t removing it either, it was time to give them some help. Doing so was like playing a game of Operation but it went very smoothly and the beesĀ  were very docile even though I was digging pretty deep in their hive.

    Not much in this wreck of a comb but the bees were still tending to some brood in there.

    Going at it very carefully.

    I’ll leave them to clean the remaining pieces.

    Eventually one of the back bars that I had set aside was abandoned of all bees so… I just took it! Not necessarily the best thing to do but I was very eager to taste what the bees were up to. And it was delicious.

    From comb,

    To sweet nectar.

    It tasted very much like a mix between sap & honey, super good.

  • Honey & an accident…

    I inspected my hive today and it’s doing great. I drilled a few holes in the part that is currently uninhabited to give the bees some air. I did it early in the morning to lock them inside for the drilling, they took it really well and didn’t care a bit about the ruckus, even after I released them. I continued on merrily with the inspection as if nothing happened.

    A few holes for aeration in the middle of the hive, I stapled netting to prevent robbing and to make sure they don’t become an entrance.


    Honey!

    Today’s surprise though, came with the presence of comb on the floor. I’m not sure if this fell from one of the top bars but I doubt it. I don’t know what to do with it right now, I’ll monitor the situation and decide later whether to remove it or not.

    The mess

  • They’ve already built quite a bit!

    [flv:http://ben.akrin.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IMG_0937.MOV.flv 640 480]

  • Beehive in place & housing a colony!

    Well, this is it. After much prep work I have finally released my first package of bees in the hive. Everything did not go according to plan, the candy separating the queen from the rest of the colony had already been eaten. As a result the queen did not get a chance to be released by the workers. I managed to keep her in there while I was releasing the remaining 3lbs of bees. Things went well other than this and I am hopeful that she’ll be accepted by the others as they had been traveling together for a while. I’ll try and locate her in a couple of days and if I can’t find her, I will rush order another queen. It’s nice that I get another shot if needed.

    All the extensive information I gathered online (various blogs, Youtube videos) prepared me pretty well for what to do. Nothing however can prepare you for the experience of handling a liquid-like swarm of buzzing bees. It was very impressive & I was definitely glad I got a full suit. Not that they were even really pissed at me for shaking them in their new hive. But it felt like a wrong move could change everything for the worse very fast. I eventually learned to trust my suit.

    I went back to install an electric fence with a friend the next morning (bears & skunks are an issue in the area), no buzzing was to be heard. Nothing at all, I opened a couple of bars and couldn’t see a thing. Finally I found them on a few bars and disturbing them made the whole swarm start the day. It was super cool to see them do their thing.

    The hive in its final location, with a new roof & fenced in to withstand the local wildlife

    The hive actually faces an orchard which is starting to bloom, perfect timing for some pollination help. I intend on taking more pictures in a few days.

  • Getting the top bars ready

    The bars’ width is already at the optimal length at which bees build their combs, but to make sure they get it right we guide them by pouring wax along the middle of the bars. Supposedly they’ll know to expand on it.

    Might as well use the remaining wax for something