Bees and Lack of Updates

I know I have been pretty bad about updating lately.  It is mostly because there has been very little to update on.  The septic system hasn’t been started yet, and it sounds like it will be next week before they are able to get started.

In the meantime I have been thinking about bees and I have been checking the local Craigslist for beekeeping equipment.  I found a gentleman who was selling what was listed as enough equipment for two hives, a frame spinner, a hot capping knife, and other accessories for a good price.  Our schedules did not match up for over a week, but I was finally able to get over there today to pick up the equipment.  In preparation I took some of the stuff out of the back of the van so that there would be room for everything.  The gentleman was very nice.  He had decided to get out of Langstroth hives and get a top bar hive instead.  Langstroth hives are the mostly white hive boxes that you probably think of when you think of beekeeping.  I have been thinking about getting a couple more hives for the last couple years so this looked like it would work out perfectly.  Plus I had been looking for a frame spinner, and they are hard to come by.  A frame spinner is the contraption that you use to spin the honey out of the frames so that you can eat it.  When I arrived we started talking and he started showing me everything he had.  A couple of the boxes were in rough shape, but most of it was more than usable and most even have drawn out comb in the frames.  As he continued to show me what he had and I started to load up the van it quickly became apparent that no matter how well I packed (and my family is renown for our packing prowess, just ask us) there wasn’t going to be enough room in the van.  He was kind enough to let me leave some of the stuff with him to pick up another day.  Here is what I took with me.

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The stack on the left are deep and medium supers, un-insulated. On the right is a stack of bottom boards, queen excluders, top covers, and other assorted items

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The stack on the left of this picture is all insulated supers, some medium, some deep. A couple of the boxes on the right are started to wear out on the corners and may need to be trashed.

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From left to right, a box of frames with foundation, the honey spinner, and a box with the hot knife and some bottom boards and top covers

All of that and I still have to go back for three or four honey buckets and the rest of the supers that even have live bees still in them!  He also said that he might be able to find more equipment in the meantime.  I figure there is enough equipment to at least start four or more hives!

I had hoped to get some paint prep done after picking up the beekeeping stuff but by the time I picked it up, cleared the snow from the driveway, and unloaded the equipment, it was time for me to get home so my wife could make it to a meeting.  I am thinking I am going to have to put in some late nights prepping the walls and painting in order to get this done.

Since I couldn’t start on the paint prep, I decided to check on the bees I currently have.  If you recall, I had hoped to get the hive wrapped in insulation to help the bees deal with the cold.  That was before the Polar Vortexes that we got so I was worried about the bees.  With everything going on, I had not been able to get that done.  When it warmed up for the day last weekend, I thought the bees might take a cleansing flight.  It looks as though some of them didn’t make it back to the hive.

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Each one of those black dots is a dead bee. There were far more but this was the easiest way to show it in a picture

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Here are a couple dead bees with what I believe is bee excrement to their right

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A closer picture, I believe the discolored snow is where they cleansed themselves

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You can see that the snow had covered a large portion of the hive entrance, but not all of it. They definitely made use of the vent hole in top.

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Closer view

I couldn’t tell if there were any living bees inside, but the fact that there were live bees just a few days ago is promising.  I didn’t want to open the hive and let all their heat out, so I will just have to wait until spring.

That is all for now, hopefully soon there will be more progress on the house and sometime this week if I can find time I will start the giveaway.

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This entry was posted in Beekeeping, DIY, Family, Farming, homesteading, Outdoors, Preparation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bees and Lack of Updates

  1. jolynnpowers says:

    do they make any noise in the hive in winter.. could you lean your ear up to the hive to listen for some type of movement?
    just an idea?

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