Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Playing Catch Up On the Blog

I've neglected to write in this blog for a few weeks, all for good reasons. This entry is meant to catch everyone up on "doins" in Beelandia..

  • I have reluctantly finished  4 of the hives treatnent with Api-Var.  While I would like to treat the bees "naturally", I recognize that my bees do not live and forage in a "natural" world, but a world of globalization,   monoculture, urban development, neighbors with pesticides and herbicides, and a nearby golf courses. Given the high mite counts, I made a decision to treat with the safest, most sustainable miticide. Nothing is ever fixed in my mind, so we will see how this works.
  • I combined Bee Glad... with the nuc I had started earlier this spring. The nuc was too far behind while Bee Glad... went queenless.
  • Lake No-Bee-Gone is now fishless. A local leopard frog got in the pond and ate all the fish while I was in the hospital. I will rethink the pond arrangement for watering  the bees.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mite Counts

The mite counts have been high, so a tough decision needs to be made. I've read and heard all sides in the "treat-don't treat" debate. I am committed to sustainable beekeeping but also cannot buy and build up packages each year. More later but I will probably choose the compromise of Api-Var.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Photo: Visitor To Beelandia

Click here to see a photo of a beautiful butterfly (swallowtail?) foraging in Beelandia Sunday morning. The butterfly seemed to hangout all morning. The photo was taken by the mosaic artist Monta May.

It's Been a Long Time

I have not written in a few weeks. I have not been able to really beekeep either. (I have done some really cursory examinations, especially of the top bars.) Three or so weeks ago I had unexpected abdominal surgery. It may take awhile to do some major lifting, though I have plenty of volunteers who will help me out.

What I could see the last two weeks look fine though Bee Glad... has little nectar though plenty of honeybees. I will be testing the hives for mites this week and judge what I need to do in August to control them.

My surgery has been making me consider whether to go to all top bar hives. Top bar hives, except for the initial set-up, might be a bit safer for me if I continue in this abdominal state.