Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Newbie composting questions
by trolleydriver Today at 2:32 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by Yardslave Today at 1:38 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in September 2016
by Kelejan Today at 12:35 pm

» Plantoid' s going into hospital ....
by Kelejan Today at 12:19 pm

» What's a good type of lettuce to try for some one who doesn't like lettuce?
by CapeCoddess Today at 11:59 am

» N&C Midwest: September 2016
by landarch Today at 11:49 am

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by CapeCoddess Today at 11:39 am

» compost thermometer
by trolleydriver Today at 10:45 am

» Mid-South: October 2016
by yolos Today at 10:36 am

» Hello from San Antonio, Tx.
by newbeone Today at 8:38 am

» Senseless Banter...
by plantoid Today at 7:08 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 10:05 pm

» In between
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 8:33 pm

» Tomato Mystery Mix
by sanderson Yesterday at 11:26 am

» Easy and Fabulous Crockpot Marinara
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 11:03 am

» newbeone
by Cajun Cappy Yesterday at 8:59 am

» The Research Journey:free-The Gardener’s Guide TO PERFECT GARDEN SOIL
by has55 Yesterday at 6:40 am

» parsnips in square foot garden?
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:57 am

» The SFG Journey-Cover crops
by jimmy cee 9/27/2016, 9:45 pm

» Oh no! My hibiscus moscheutos plant has some roots exposed!
by RJARPCGP 9/27/2016, 9:37 pm

» Tryst with my first DIY SFG
by Mimi2 9/27/2016, 8:12 pm

» New England September 2016
by sanderson 9/27/2016, 7:50 pm

» Soil Blocks: Tutorial In Photos
by sanderson 9/27/2016, 2:57 pm

» Compost
by camprn 9/27/2016, 8:13 am

» Hand Pollination ?
by camprn 9/27/2016, 8:11 am

» The Research Journey:SELF-WATERING SALAD GARDEN COURSE
by has55 9/26/2016, 6:58 pm

» Admin back! Classic cars
by AtlantaMarie 9/26/2016, 5:38 pm

» Kale & Parsnip Question
by countrynaturals 9/26/2016, 3:09 pm

» EXPERIMENT: Tomatoes to Powder
by trolleydriver 9/26/2016, 11:00 am

» The Research Journey:what to plant now, fall gardening in Dallas-Ft worth
by sanderson 9/25/2016, 9:55 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Keeping bees

Page 1 of 36 1, 2, 3 ... 18 ... 36  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Keeping bees

Post  Pollinator on 8/18/2012, 8:49 am

Today (August 12) is National Honey Bee Day. There is no one thing that gardeners can do with more benefit than keeping a couple hives of bees, IF pollinator populations have been depleted by yard-fogging neighbors, mosquito spraying, etc. This has happened in many areas.

Low bee populations first show up in aborted or curled cucumbers, squash that starts to grow, then dies, blossom drop, etc.

Many people blame these symptoms on hot weather, but that, in itself does not prevent pollination. Rather it limits the hours that bees can work before the pollen dies or the pistil becomes unreceptive. This means that you need higher concentrations of bees to get in the requisite number of bee visits early.

The other morning I noticed a squash blossom that was buzzing. Looking down into the bloom, I spotted FOUR bumblebees having a party, and two of them were buzz pollinating. I get high on that! This is what our gardens need.

Few people realize that for multi-seeded fruits, that bees must return time and again to deliver the needed supply of pollen grains. One visit does not pollination make.

For a good watermelon (not the tasteless, half white-seeded varieties you often buy at the store) you need 1000 grains of pollen delivered and evenly spread across the stigma of the female blossom.

So make your garden a bee sanctuary, where bees have nectar and pollen aplenty, as well as water, nesting sites, and most of all protection from being poisoned.

You can't attract good wild bee populations; you have to build them. And for honey bees you or a beekeeping neighbor have to provide them.

Pollinator

Male Posts : 444
Join date : 2012-06-23
Location : Coastal SC

View user profile http://gardensouth.org

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  camprn on 8/18/2012, 9:10 am

HOORAY FOR THE POLLINATORS!!!! I just finished at the week long Eastern Apiculture Society conference in Burlington, Vermont. What a great week just talking and working honey bees. I am not home yet but I will post some photos when I get there.
Pollinator, thanks for the reminder and always I find your posts valuable.
Cheers to the most wonderful honey bee and all pollinators!
I love my girls!

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13981
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  camprn on 2/25/2013, 8:02 am

How are our bee keeper students doing? Cindy? I know someone else is taking a class right now too

Pollinator, how are your hives doing? Would love to hear your plans for the coming season.

NHG, did you feed the girls recently?

As for me, I am pretty sure one hive is gone, it was robbed pretty badly last fall. I am going to peek into my remaining two hives and one nuc this week, feed if necessary and probably give some pollen patty in a few weeks.

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13981
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  camprn on 2/25/2013, 8:24 am

I guess I never posted pic from EAS 2012. Here are a few.

Al Avitabile, wrote the Beekeeper's Handbook


Temporary Apiary on the campus of UVM, Burlington, Vermont.


Mike Palmer in the apiary talking about nucs and cryptic record keeping.


Winning honeycomb in the honey contest.


Wax


A day after EAS, checking my girls progress.

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13981
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/25/2013, 8:48 am

How cool is that! cheers

RoOsTeR

Male Posts : 3851
Join date : 2011-10-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  CindiLou on 2/25/2013, 10:06 am

I hope I have as good a luck! Bees due in April 20th Rolling Eyes

CindiLou

Posts : 999
Join date : 2010-08-30
Age : 56
Location : South Central Iowa, Zone 5a (20mi dia area in 5b zone)rofl...

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  GWN on 2/25/2013, 10:19 am

wow that looks great
Do you think you can learn this in a book, no courses around here. I need to try this.

GWN

Posts : 2719
Join date : 2012-01-14
Age : 60
Location : british columbia zone 5a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  Pollinator on 2/25/2013, 3:06 pm

@camprn wrote:
I am going to try for some serious comb honey this year. Wish me luck.

Do you know the easiest, cheapest way to make it? Don't have to bother with the expense and trouble of setting up section comb supers...

Just take a shallow or Illinois super with six frames of regular comb. Space these out and put four completely empty frames in between. Do this at the start of the honey flow and the bees will fill the empty frames with the nicest comb honey you can get. As soon as they are capped (or mostly capped), take the comb honey frames out before they get tracked up by the bees. Cut the comb into sections on a cookie pan (you get to eat the drips), and put into cut comb boxes.

Pollinator

Male Posts : 444
Join date : 2012-06-23
Location : Coastal SC

View user profile http://gardensouth.org

Back to top Go down

Making comb honey

Post  camprn on 2/25/2013, 3:54 pm

@Pollinator wrote:
@camprn wrote:
I am going to try for some serious comb honey this year. Wish me luck.

Do you know the easiest, cheapest way to make it? Don't have to bother with the expense and trouble of setting up section comb supers...

Just take a shallow or Illinois super with six frames of regular comb. Space these out and put four completely empty frames in between. Do this at the start of the honey flow and the bees will fill the empty frames with the nicest comb honey you can get. As soon as they are capped (or mostly capped), take the comb honey frames out before they get tracked up by the bees. Cut the comb into sections on a cookie pan (you get to eat the drips), and put into cut comb boxes.
Nice advice and thanks! Very Happy I'm moving these two posts over to the beekeeping thread.

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13981
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  CindiLou on 2/26/2013, 12:10 am

This can be overwhelming at times! So much to learn to keep them alive!
I am so confuse at times. Other times I think I have it!
Instructor gave me an empty frame this week. Example of one for honey comb.
Have half my hives bought. NEED to get in gear and decide where to get the rest, and my tools, and suit, and, and, ...jeez.. rofl
Every time I think I have decided on a spot for them, I find a reason not there!
And I am fast learning it is like gardening! EVERYONE has a different way of doing something!
I wish we had a hands on time. But the bees are all tucked in for winter here.

CindiLou

Posts : 999
Join date : 2010-08-30
Age : 56
Location : South Central Iowa, Zone 5a (20mi dia area in 5b zone)rofl...

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  Pollinator on 2/26/2013, 2:32 pm

@CindiLou wrote:This can be overwhelming at times! So much to learn to keep them alive!
I am so confuse at times. Other times I think I have it!
Instructor gave me an empty frame this week. Example of one for honey comb.
Have half my hives bought. NEED to get in gear and decide where to get the rest, and my tools, and suit, and, and, ...jeez.. rofl
Every time I think I have decided on a spot for them, I find a reason not there!
And I am fast learning it is like gardening! EVERYONE has a different way of doing something!
I wish we had a hands on time. But the bees are all tucked in for winter here.

I wish you luck - feel free to contact me, if you have additional questions. I was a commercial beekeeper/pollination contractor for many years (now retired) that worked over 1000 hives.

One thing you can save money on. I never owned a beekeeping "suit," even when I was a rank beginner. Most often I wore tan Dickies, britches and shirts. I also, at times bought used white shirts at the thrift store. You can outfit yourself pretty will for just a few bucks. Just make sure the clothing is light colored and a tight weave. Never use fuzzy!

And you don't need gloves either. I wore gloves about the first ten or twelve times I opened hives. Then I tucked the clumsy things behind the seat of the truck, to be used only in emergencies or heavy jobs like moving bees by hand. You will be a far better beekeeper without gloves - you'll get the craft as well as the science - have a feel for them. Believe me, you won't get stung near as much as you think, once you know how - and you won't be spreading disease or making clumsy moves with the gloves.

If you feel that you *must* have gloves, make a resolution to dump them as quickly as you can, and get some cheap latex gloves. You can get a box of them for $5, and if they tear, you get out another pair. Their finish is so smooth that the bees have little incentive to sting, and even have trouble getting ahold of them anyway.

Another thing. An occasional sting is good for you. Beekeepers who bundle up like spacemen and never get stung run a greater risk of getting allergic, because the venom in the suit dries and becomes airborne dust where you (and your family) breathe it.

A couple stings actually charges me up. The reddish inflamation (arthritis) on my knuckles disappears, and I feel good all over. It's a natural high.

Of course I usually wear a veil, because you don't want stings around your face and especially your eyes.

I hope this helps you get off to a better (and cheaper)
start.

Pollinator

Male Posts : 444
Join date : 2012-06-23
Location : Coastal SC

View user profile http://gardensouth.org

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  CindiLou on 2/26/2013, 9:32 pm

Thank you Pollinator! I will remember! And probably holler at you a lot!
I was wondering if I could just use a painters suit. I had read somewhere that the latex gloves were the most you would need routinely. Smoker, that I know I will need to have. Hive tool, 7-in-1 painters tool. Darn hives are a fortune. But hubby can build more supers, etc when there is more time. The bees, well that is just something you have to get, lol!

CindiLou

Posts : 999
Join date : 2010-08-30
Age : 56
Location : South Central Iowa, Zone 5a (20mi dia area in 5b zone)rofl...

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  camprn on 2/26/2013, 9:37 pm

Bare bones for beekeeping, veil, hive tool, smoker. Long sleeves (light color) long pants, sturdy, well tied shoes.

Checked my girls today and for sure one hive is gone. The other two + nuc are alive and well, just exploring the fondant and I put on pollen patties. Fingers crossed.

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13981
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  Pollinator on 2/26/2013, 10:52 pm

@camprn wrote:Bare bones for beekeeping, veil, hive tool, smoker. Long sleeves (light color) long pants, sturdy, well tied shoes.

Checked my girls today and for sure one hive is gone. The other two + nuc are alive and well, just exploring the fondant and I put on pollen patties. Fingers crossed.

Sorry that you lost one - it happens, though. Maybe it's for the best; the opposite side of good breeding is good culling.

The fondant is a neat way to make sure they won't starve.

Heehee, I have worked in sandals for years. In hot weather I worked in Bermuda shorts and a t-shirt. A lot depends on what you are doing - as well as the breeding of your bees.

The first bees I got were from a guy that I later learned had a reputation for really mean bees. He had let them cross breed freely with the old german black bees that survived as a remnant in southeastern swamp forests. Before the mites came, these were dominant in the coastal plain, and you had to work at breeding gentle queens or they'd cross and go nasty. After awhile this guy got so he couldn't sell bees any more, so he went back to selecting for gentleness and a couple years of that really helped.

There's no need to put up with mean bees. I will give a hive a bad day, especially if I can see a reason, a rainy week that's held them in, or a skunk scratching on the hives at night. But if they are nasty two or three times without discernable cause, I figure it's breeding and I will go after that queen. Ask me some time and I'll tell you a good trick to find the queen on a really nasty hive.

At any rate, kill that queen! You don't need to get stung, and you certainly don't need your neighbors to be stung. Replace her with a gentle one.

It's a lot easier to keep gentle bees since the mites came, because most of the feral honey bees are gone - they have no nasty ones in the wild to crossbreed with.

I've had heat exhaustion (one of the final reasons I retired) and once you've had it bad, you get it easier. That's one reason I don't dress up like a spaceman - it's simply more comfortable. When you are 75 miles from home and only have a little bit more to do, and you are so sick you think you are about to die, it's no fun to toss your cookies while you have on a bee veil. So I did everything I could to keep from overheating. I knew every swimming hole there was anywhere near my bees, and when the work was done, that was a stop on the way home. I also carried plenty of water and some bottles of Pedialite for hydration.

But it's a good thing to get stung once in a while. It's good for your immune system - and it helps you learn to better judge the bees and handle them rightly.

There is a limit however, and one thing that I found very valuable for the occasional time when bees were really bad was a homemade item we called "sleevies." These were made out of an old linen sheet or some twill fabric to wrap around your wrists and close both the opening at the end of your sleeves, and the opening behind the button. When bees are really bad, they like to go up your sleeves, and these sleevies prevented that. They were homemade and closed with strips of Velcro.

A lot of successful beekeeping is the experience and knowledge that you gain. Work with successful beekeepers when you get a chance, even if you have to work for free. The mentoring is priceless - that way you don't have to make every mistake yourself. The tuition in the University of the Seat of the Pants is quite high.

Pollinator

Male Posts : 444
Join date : 2012-06-23
Location : Coastal SC

View user profile http://gardensouth.org

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  plantoid on 2/27/2013, 8:13 am

@CindiLou wrote:Thank you Pollinator! I will remember! And probably holler at you a lot!
I was wondering if I could just use a painters suit. I had read somewhere that the latex gloves were the most you would need routinely. Smoker, that I know I will need to have. Hive tool, 7-in-1 painters tool. Darn hives are a fortune. But hubby can build more supers, etc when there is more time. The bees, well that is just something you have to get, lol!

I didn't have as many hive to play with as Pollinator so my experiences will be quite different.
The painters suit ..... sew up the pockets and get some cuff elastic for the sleeves as pollinator said ,bees like to walk up , so putting the cuffs on allows them to walk over the sleeve on the outside. Laughing
Because of the cooler climes here inthe UK I tended to use wellington bppts with the trousee legs tucked inside the wellie . doing it the other way found saw me get abdly stung in the nether regions when a queenless hive that was double brooded boiled over as i smoked it one windy day and splashed onto the floor by my feet.
I ended up with thirty odd stings " MAMMY " !

Re gloves our government bee inspectors advised most beek keeprs to always use new disposable neoprene or latex gloves when handling a hive put the used goves in a waste box when you've done . Stops the sopread of foul brood diseases , nosema etc.

One of the best bits of head gear I had was a hat made of fine basket cane with a leather head band on the inside
The bees could not sting through the hat even iof the wind blew the veil flat onto it where as most bee suits collapse on to your head.
Most times I wore a sort of gramps vest sort of veil that was put on over my day clothes whilst I was wearing the hat . It was elasticated at the waist band and round the arms holes , the top was elasticated and fitted round the crown of the hat . Lovely and light to work with even during the few amazing years the UK managed to creep up to 30 o C.

You can get too many bee stings over the years and end up with anaphylatic shock .
The venom and anti histamines are something to do with it apparently for the effect of them is communalative ( sp ) in some folks ...but not all folks..

I used to have a small wooden box made of thin plywood whit 1/2" reinforce strip glies in the seams it had a central handle like a pail and was just big enough to hold my large smoker some smoker fuel , a ciggarette lighter or two , a hive tool , a couple of queen cages and some urine sample tubes for picking off and storing any developed queen cells I wanted to take from a hive for making up neucs.

Tip
If you can see the back of the bee whilst wearing the veil it's on the inside .
Black veils are far superior to white ones as they don't reflect the light back into your eyes.

plantoid

Male Posts : 3595
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 65

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  plantoid on 2/27/2013, 8:31 am

In nthe picture witht e bees on the part drawn wild comb ..
Tip . for wild come with out wires
Using a electric melt pot or a bain marie device not an open flame due to risk of the released oils exploding use an old dessert spoon bent to a greater boat shape so it makes a small ladel .
Pour a fine bead run of the melted wax along the underside of the frame top bar .
When it sets put several frames in the hive in between already drawn frames and the bees will quickly draw down new comb evenly , to then fill & cap it.


For the cut comb and show selections at our local honey shows. I used to try and get the comb when it was as white as possible , not well travelled and yellowed by the bees walking over it . It tasted far better than the older travelled honey and smelt heavenly .

I used to use a proper 4 x 2 inch stainless steel cutter to take out the cut comb as blocks . my friend used to use a paralle sided drinking glass kept in hot water and used it to cut his rounds out , simply shaking off the hot water , pressing the glass into the comb till it came free , give a . slight tip backwards and sliding it from the glass once over the cut comb carton . He'd then add extra honey to flood the comb to make up weight .
I never added extra honey .

plantoid

Male Posts : 3595
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 65

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  camprn on 2/27/2013, 10:01 am

I like the foundation less comb, the bees know what they are doing. I did that last year, used tongue depressors for strip at the top of the frame and got a blue ribbon at the fair for my chunk honey. I didn't enter the comb because I didn't have any boxes to put it in. I did end up ordering from a catalog, the acrylic clear boxes and a cutter. Thanks for the hot water tip!

I will earn a lot this year in regards to trying for more, better honeycomb, keeping the hive brimming full of bees and avoiding swarming... thinking Shocked Here's hoping for an awesome flow!

Sometimes it's not easy picking up on the bees ques, but I am getting better with practice.

David, do you have a link that describes Welsh Honey Judging rules and guidelines? Not that there is a serious Welsh Honey competition here, but still I want to know what the gold standard is.


____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13981
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  plantoid on 2/27/2013, 4:59 pm

I used to keep the bees when I lived in East Anglia .. I don't have them here in Wales
I'll see what I can find but usually it is colour , viscosity , scent , whipped or syrup . presentation in the jar IE correct weight to within a gram or penny weight .
Position of the label , no finger prints on the jar or lid . Polish the lid can be done in tiny twirls using the end of a pencil in a drill press or burnish across in one direction or clock wise or anti clock wise whirlpool effect on the lid you can try and make a chequer board effect using a bit of balsa wood as a 1/4 x 1/42 thick square stick .
Once your jar gets noticed by the judges and is set aside for further investigation your half way there .

They will then check it for taste , specific gravity and possibly a brix test to see if you have cheated and heated the honey up or not .
geting a fine crystal in whipped honey or as some folk know it creamed honey can be easily done in stages by putting some honey in the fridge till it crystalizes in coarse crystals then put it some where warn and as the honey crystas melt check th size of the crystals by putting a bit on your tongue mouth and see how small you think you can get it without fully melting the honey .

Some folks cheat on this and use commercially available fine honeys to seed their stock .
Again storage and temp are critical , I used to store my creamed honey and come comp time would put on a special polished cap after cleaning & polishing the jar with old lid on
I made a couple of blocks that the jars could sit in so I had a guide for putting the labels on .
One for simple well written in black ink in capital blocks or a decent caligraphic script ( not off the printer thank you ) that was 1 & 1/4 inches from the top of the jar , before the lid was put on and had others for oval labels , round labels etc showuing my brand and address & design
I used to live in a place called Guyhirn , in Roman times it was spelt Guyhirne , we called our honey " Guyhirne Gold "
the address was :-

D & A.J Gould
The keepers cottage
Gull drove
Guyhirn

That address & name alone was worth many points in the originality and design of the labels.
The attention to detail can swing the prizes in your favour to an identical honey produced next door to your apiary .
It took me years to learn to follow the various honey show rules and demands .

As you may or may not know different flowers give different honey colours and if the pollen of the flower is on the cappings and you uncap in a hot tray using a hot knife you can inpart diffferent shades of colour to the honey by using the run off from the cappings after they have been left in a bowl over night to leach out some of the colour.
There are also prizes for getting the best one ounce block . some hexagonal some plain some with a motif cast int eh blocks
Virgin comb drawn a few weeks earlier and filled during a good nectar flow should see you get " church candle white wax " . How you melt the cappings is a skill , I used the microwave on 10 second cook cycles having put the unwashed cappings in a pyrex bowl
Then letting the wax set over night , take it off ,wash of the honey off for making mead and store till I had enough virgin wax for my purposes.
I also used to warm filter the honey several times inside the heat cabinet the last filtering was usually done through a pair of pop socks of fine denier nylon so ther ewere no legs wijgs or bits of propolis etc in the final batch


Cooling the wax in the mould is something you learn by lots of practice . Once you can get a block to set and not crack think about the show bench , you also have to play with things to enable you to get a quality release from the mould so there are no oils , liquid residues , marks or finger prints on the wax.

One thing I did use alot which I kept in the cellar, was an old tall upright broken refridgerator . I cut the power cable off it and bored a small hole down in the bottom of the side then threaded new cable in and connected it to a stand alone mains voltage bulb holder on a cut down house building block of 3 thick x 9 a 9 .

About four inches above the bulb I slid in a 1/2 " thick ply shelf with 3/4 inch holes drilled through it in a 2 " apart pattern . This is to stand jars on and to allow warm air to flow up in the cabinet . I had four shelves that were able to be used in place of the fridge shelves
Near the top I inserted a mains capable thermostatic controller with the control on the out side , wired in the light and added another cable back to the socket .
This variable heat cabinet was worth it's weight in gold for not only could I soften crystalized honey I could also dry off honey produced during heavy nectar flows from such plants as the canola oil plant .( called oilseed rape over here )

Try this site it's the basis of the whole UK show scene , individual clubs or asociations of beekeepers have slightly different rules according as to how the old buggers on the committees feel . Laughing

http://www.honeyshow.co.uk/preparation_and_showing_honey.shtml

plantoid

Male Posts : 3595
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 65

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  camprn on 2/27/2013, 5:21 pm

Nice post! Thanks Dave okay clap you rock

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13981
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  plantoid on 2/27/2013, 5:38 pm

Another usefull site ..it expands on what I've said but the spelling and grammer is bettter Wink

http://www.bedfordshirebeekeepers.org.uk/page29.htm

plantoid

Male Posts : 3595
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 65

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  CindiLou on 3/1/2013, 11:19 pm

Ok..last class done. My brain is buzzing lol. Ordered the rest of the basics yesterday. Oh the hip pocket! I don't usually spend that kind of money on a "hobby" I haven't tested! I still have to get odds and ends. And the bees. They come in the last week in April.

I saw a queen bee today! bounce First time! She sure looks different! Took me forever to find her because she was covered while laying (observation hive). I think it will be easier next time, I THINK I know what I am looking for now.

I decided to just go with a veil/jacket. I sew so will make me some covers to slip on over my jeans if I feel nervous.


CindiLou

Posts : 999
Join date : 2010-08-30
Age : 56
Location : South Central Iowa, Zone 5a (20mi dia area in 5b zone)rofl...

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  plantoid on 3/3/2013, 5:11 am

Cindi,
Alvin my mentor for bee keeping had 19 yrs as government bee inspector & he ran 50 hives of his own as well for over 35 years .

He always said , " Don't bother looking for a queen unless you are the sort who marks the queen , look for fresh laid eggs instead ".
For the general health of the hive he said , "Always look for things that are different to what you usually see . Once you have a few months of hive examinations under your belt it becomes so easy to follow, so long as you practice it from day one ".

" Don't become overawed and bogged down by information overload about the stingy little buggers who produce honey inspite of the beekeepers attentions ". Laughing

plantoid

Male Posts : 3595
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 65

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  camprn on 3/3/2013, 7:59 am

@plantoid wrote:Cindi,
Alvin my mentor for bee keeping had 19 yrs as government bee inspector & he ran 50 hives of his own as well for over 35 years .

He always said , " Don't bother looking for a queen unless you are the sort who marks the queen , look for fresh laid eggs instead ".
For the general health of the hive he said , "Always look for things that are different to what you usually see . Once you have a few months of hive examinations under your belt it becomes so easy to follow, so long as you practice it from day one ".
+1


____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13981
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  CindiLou on 3/3/2013, 11:39 am

Thanks for the dryer idea, David! My husband says "yup, no problem". Guess he even has an old refrigerator. He says he can put that set up in the shed easily. Of course I probably won't get much honey this year I have been told. But having it ready would be good!

I have been copy/pasting all you guys tips and printing out to re-read many times lol. Thanks so much!

Rofl..hubby was tickled this week. My instructor sent home a handout of mead recipes! Ben makes rhubarb wine so he says it will be nice to try something different!

CindiLou

Posts : 999
Join date : 2010-08-30
Age : 56
Location : South Central Iowa, Zone 5a (20mi dia area in 5b zone)rofl...

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  camprn on 3/3/2013, 12:02 pm

Well, I taught my first beginner beekeeping class yesterday... funny how I thought 4 hours would be too much time.... it was just barely long enough. Over all it went well with 13 students and a few bee buddies.

Cindi, isn't it exciting? A good thing to keep in mind, so you are not disappointed later this year, that the first year of a colony in a new hive is mostly about making comb, more bees and enough stores for those bees to survive next winter. You will be incredibly lucky to get honey harvest the first year. You will certainly get a taste! Very Happy
How many hives are you starting this year?

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13981
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Keeping bees

Post  Sponsored content Today at 2:56 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 36 1, 2, 3 ... 18 ... 36  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum