View Full Version : How is the '06 crop coming?

07-17-2006, 07:35 PM
Well I am defienetly having my best year yet. Finally I got to super the colony in my yard. I got 3 shallows and just put a deep on this week.
Today I supered my other colony from my split in spring, I didn't think I would be able to super them at all!

So things are going well for me how about you guys?

07-18-2006, 09:30 PM
So far so good in Ca.

07-18-2006, 10:53 PM
Well I almost spoke to soon. Came to a near disaster today when I woke up.

Can you spot the nearly 6 ft tall bee hive?

Had a storm come through last night and a tree fell into another one, it took a few branches out of the one that still stands and the one that fell broke off near the top on its way down. The felled tree came about 3 inches from the colony. It had the branches that came down off the standing tree laying on top of it.
The outer cover got knocked off and the top super was pushed off to the side by about 2 inches. I am soooo lucky.
I should have taken a pick of the inches from disaster I had.

Wonder how my other two colonies are, although I guess they didn't get the weather I had here.

07-19-2006, 12:33 AM
A self referencing link, very droll.


07-19-2006, 12:44 AM
Well I almost spoke to soon. Came to a near disaster today when I woke up.

Can you spot the nearly 6 ft tall bee hive?


The link doesn't go to a photo, as I assume was meant. Can you edit to put the right link in? I'm a ghoul, and I'd like to see your near miss!


07-19-2006, 11:31 AM
Oops not sure how I managed to link this page.lol
Here is the real link.


07-19-2006, 11:58 AM
Eeesh! Close call indeed! How were the girls? Shook up at all? Does stuff like that bother them?


07-19-2006, 08:18 PM
They weren't to bad. Just the top super got pushed over a little. They weren't happy about their entrance being blocked by all that brush and they were really thrilled when we fired up the chainsaws. All in all I only got stung twice so I guess it could have been worse.

07-19-2006, 09:58 PM
That was a close call for the hive glad to see the tree missed it, did you put on you moon suit when running the saw?. Was out in the bee yard over the weekend and pulled two full shallows and half a deep of honey off of three hives. Ended up pulling each frame, checking it to make sure there wasn't any brood in it and it was capped, knocked the bees off with a brush and then putting it in an empty super. Took a bit of time to sort it all out. There was a lot more honey in the hives but it wasn't capped so had to leave it alone for now. Ended up with 5 gallons of honey after extraction. Going to bottle some of it in 2 lb bottles for flea markets, raw organic honey is hot down here, the rest will go into 5 lb bottles for home use. Forgot how much work it is using a hand cranked extractor. The entire shop smelled like honey after a bit, a real treat smelling raw unblended honey, it almost made my eyes water it was so strong. I'm always amazed at the difference between the blended honey offered in stores and the "real stuff" fresh out of a hive, unblended, unheated, and just a little filtered. I'm not sure what flowers the bees used for this crop, there are a lot of palm trees and wild flowers in bloom so there's a good chance the honey came from them. The honey has a medium gold color with a wonderful sweet fragrance and flavor. It's also elderberry season (have 8lbs of berries in the freezer) so a summer mel will be in order. Been a good year so far, just found a chemical free treatment for mites in Bee Culture, garlic powder and powdered sugar sprinkled in the hive is supposed to work. Will give it a try later on in the summer.

Muirghein Tarot
07-19-2006, 10:45 PM
I know of three beekeepers around Birmingham I can get honey from at good prices and none of them have honey right now. The weather has been so dry the Birmingham Water board has put us into second stage drought status. No watering lawn's, washing cars, fines for excessive water use, etc.
Need to get to the local flee market see if I can find another seller there.
There is a fellow out of Leeds Alabama I can get wildflower from but the texture is strange. Gritty maybe or maybe you could call it crunchy. Like if you mixed a spoon full of table sugar into your honey but didn't get it totally blended.

07-19-2006, 10:59 PM
Nope no suit t-shirt and shorts. Only got stung twice when I got near the hive. I was able to drag most of the branches off the colony. Most of my heavey cutting was on the tree that snapped at the top and the cutting was a few yards away from the colony.
Glad to hear you are doing well beeboy, I really need to get a subscription to bee culture. I am guessing that the colony with the trees on it has about 70lbs in it with a deep thrown on top who knows what I will get out of it. I have also managed to pick 21lbs of raspberries so I can't wait for this crop to come in.

Tarot, that honey sounds like it is starting to granulate. It shouold be ok, you'll just have to heat it up to liquify it again.

07-21-2006, 03:27 PM
Just finished bottling the 5 gallons of honey, ended up with a case of 24 1 1/2 lb squeeze bottles and six of the 5 lb bottles that I've recycled from earlier meads. Think I should of gotten an extra case of squeeze bottles, already used up the one case I ordered. Running out of space for both mead and honey, time to take over another kitchen cabnet while my wife is out. ;D

The Honey Farmer
07-21-2006, 04:41 PM
Hi everybody,
Honey Farmer back on line after a month of moving to the new *honey farm* How is my '06 crop coming? Drought, drought and more drought. Four days ago I had to put out a syrup barrel.
100# of sugar, water to 40 gal. stir for a long while and then stand back and watch the feeding frenzy. Oh well, there's always next year.
I will write that review on the Bee Weaver queens soon.

Be cool, Dennis

07-21-2006, 05:31 PM
Wow Honey Farmer sorry about your luck. What a feeding expense in what is suppose to be the middle of the season.
We still have a few months though things could turn around for you.

The Honey Farmer
07-21-2006, 06:14 PM
Hi Kace,
Yeah the rain just didn't come in time this year. I live at 7200 ft. so my season will be over in the middle of Sept. But then I will till 50 acres and plant it in a half dozen different honey plants for next year. In the mean while a 10# bag of sugar cost $4.74 at wally world. That's a $50.00 bill for a barrel syrup. I run 16 colonies and they suck that up 4 days. But that's O.K. because the *honey farm* will be planted with seeds of my choice and by the time I'm throu I will have a blend of honey that will be completely my own. But in the mean time it's $50.00 a week to keep my bees alive until they cluster. All in all it's still a good year because we bought 59 acres, built a small house and now we have our own home and our own bee yard. Life is good!
Be cool, Dennis

07-21-2006, 06:41 PM
Sorry to hear about you drought, it's tough on the bees when there isn't any flowers for them. Had the oppsite three years ago, all it did was rain all summer and the bees wouldn't fly, only had two hives but still used 40-50 lbs of sugar feeding them. Right now we are in the middle of a drought here in Florida, it's the middle of the rainy season but we have had no serous rain in two weeks, only a thundershower or two.
Honey Farmer, what honey plants are you putting in, any clover or mainly wildflowers? Golden Rod is a great late summer plant that the bees love, has a beautiful bright yellow honey and wax. Just curious about what other plants can grow at 7200 feet. Good luck with the girls and keep them well fed.

07-21-2006, 06:52 PM
Yup, Golden rod is a great late season honey producer here in Michgan too.

Where did yiou move to Honey Farmer?

The Honey Farmer
07-22-2006, 02:23 PM
Hi Beeboy and Kace,
I moved from Cortez to Dolores Co. About 15 miles. Yeah, Golden Rod is great honey and some parts of Colorado have a lot of it but I don't. I should order some seeds and toss them to the wind.
O.K. Beeboy, warm up Google. I was going to plant 50+ acres of Eastern Buckwheat but I can get frost in July here and it is NOT cold hardy. So it's back to plan A. My seeds will be a mixture of the following.
Sain Foin
Birdsfoot trefoil
Ciser Milkvetch
Yellow sweetclover
White sweetclover
English lavender
Wild sweet peas and about 2000 Black locust trees. The trees we start from seeds in 18 oz. dixey cups and over winter them in the house and plant them the following spring. We have 242 in the ground this year with about 200 more still to plant.Well that's my list, what do you think? BTW you can go to Bee Culture's web site and go to McGregor's handbook of pollination and find all of these plants.
Be cool and good reading, Dennis 8)

David Baldwin
08-10-2006, 05:52 PM
Well, this year I'm just getting started, so I probably won't be harvesting any honey this year.

It's been a wild year with a huge learning curve. I started with The Beekeepers Handbook, 3 hives, and 3 3# Dadent packages. I lost one colony very early on. I think they rejected the queen and moved to the next hive. That hive thrived well until suddenly the queen was no longer anywhere to be found.

About that time, I captured a swarm. I know they weren't my bees because they were a different variety. I can't ID them, but they were significantly larger than my Italians. About 10 days after I got the swarm settled I found no brood at all and no bees bringing in pollen. No sign of the queen at all.

My other remaining colony limped along building up momentum until apparently they swarmed and I lost that queen too...

So I ordered 2 new queens from Bee Weaver. Maybe I should have ordered 3 but hindsight is 20/20.

The weakened colony did not accept the new queen and it has been infested with wax moth - so that one goes into the books as an educational adventure.

The swarm colony I combined with my remaining original Italian colony, and introduced my second All Star queen to that combined colony. Holy Cow! Now that is what I was hoping for. By the time I got back to check them out they'd filled the brood chambers out with comb, honey and LOTS of brood. The bees comming back to the hive are so loaded with pollen they can hardly fly! I'll be adding a super to that combined colony in a couple days.

Another lesson learned: The Italians are very gentle and low propolis producers... the Swarm colony is the antithesis of the Italians. They are feisty and had everything super-glued together by the time I could check in on them. I thought I was going to have to break out the Sawzall!

Through it all, Dennis has been a phone call away to advise me and to calm me down when things go crazy. To him I owe a huge and public "Thank You!"

It's been a great Summer and I plan to dive right back into it again next Spring with some Bee Weaver All Star packages, and a bit more knowledge than I had to start out with.


08-10-2006, 10:27 PM
Learned a new trick this year, if you catch a swarm put a queen excluder between the hive body and the bottom board to keep the queen in the hive till she settles in and starts laying. Did it on a little swarm I caught and ended up with a small nuc.

08-11-2006, 01:03 AM
Sounds like you had a hell of a 1st year David. Don't give up!
This is the first year I didn't lose my queen in my backyard colony and I'm not sure why I was losing them. But that colony, the one in the photos produced 101# and are still bringing it in.
As for my splits one has a nearly full super and the other hasn't really progressed on the foundation like I had hoped but with a freshly extracted super on them now, hopefully they will be inspired.I think they are going to over winter and that is more important to me than getting any honey. I think I will requeen in the spring. I am hoping to bring in another 1003 before the end of the season. My goal for this year was 3003 but I can live with 200.

David Baldwin
08-11-2006, 08:53 AM

That's exactly what I did with the swarm I caught. I think that the queen probably was injured or killed when I shook the swarm off the branch into the box I used to move them to the hive.

It's been a great year learning what to do and what to NOT do.

I'm having a hard time keeping out of the honey this year. The bits I've been able to sample were wonderful. The flavor is warm, floral, and spicy. It would make a fabulous mead.


The Honey Farmer
08-15-2006, 01:13 PM
Hey David Baldwin,
A public *Thank You*? I'm flattered! I'm honored that you listen to me. I've enjoyed every email and phone call and hope to someday sit down with you and enjoy a glass or a bottle of mead and some good bee stories.

Bee cool, Dennis

08-25-2006, 01:59 AM
Hey guys,

Sorry to hear of all the troubles some of you have had. I have to say that I have been there in the past while I was learning. This year is my best year ever. The second week of July I pulled off 450lbs of capped honey. I put the boxes back on to have them cleaned up and failed to get back to them for about 6 days due to a small time/work issue. When I went back they had already started to fill them back up. I expect to pull off about 300 - 550lbs more in about two weeks.

If I can help answer a question let me know.

PS. Have 6 hives that are making honey for me this year.

08-25-2006, 02:21 AM
6 colonies.. Hopefully that will be me next year. %%)lb I really hope that will be me next year. My splits are not doing great but my colony in my backyard is doing great. I have already pulled 101# off of it and I would guess that there may be another 60# waiting for me. Haven't seen my splits in a few weeks but last time I was there I would guess about 40 more. My goal was 300# this year but if I hit 200 I will be happy. Last year was my first harvest, I got 35#. So I am already a lot happier.
Just a couple of more weeks and I think it will be safe for mead production. My basement is still holding at about 76 degrees.

09-05-2006, 10:46 AM
Just finished my second extraction from my hives and only got 60 lbs of honey which gives a total of 130 lbs this year. Guess that is not that bad since the hives are newly set up this spring. There is more honey on the hives but I want to leave some for the winter. Been dealing with two queen failures so the hives didn't build up as fast as they should. Still not a bad year so far, need to deal with the small hive beetle next couple of weeks and shrink the hives down for fall.

09-05-2006, 08:17 PM
130 lbs, then at 15lbs to 5 gals, thats about 43 gals of mead :cheers: