Blunders, Gleanings & Goofs
Miscellaneous tips on beekeeping moderated by Scott Wilson.
Scott describes himself as a "sideliner" in the beekeeping world. He is a Certified Beekeeper through the Vermont Beekeepers Association for which he serves as a board member and recording secretary, and life member of the Eastern Apiculture Society. He and his wife Valarie own Heavenly Honey Apiary in Monkton.
" Earlier this year I went to check if a caged queen installed into a nuc made from a weaker hive had released....”hmmm” I said as I lifted the inner cover.....where is the queen cage? Turns out I installed the queen into the wrong nuc, but in to one of course that had a queen". The newly released queen was nowhere to be found. This is what happens when I'm rushed, hot, and fatigued.
I wear reading glasses so that I can read and also to see deep into cells. When wearing the glasses I cannot focus on more than a foot away. The other day, during a dearth period, a pesky big blackish wasp kept trying to gain entrance into a hive. It would come near the entrance, I'd smoke it, and it would retreat. However, it really wanted in and kept coming back. After the third smoking/retreat sequence I had to take the glasses off to clearly see what this bug was all about. It turns out this was not a wasp but a very nice sized queen bee returning from a mating flight. Glasses are good but mated queens are better...The hive is now thriving.
Sometimes when the nectar flow ends, the honey is extracted, and the season is over there may still be partially capped honey, and/ or uncapped nectar filled super frames remaining. Some folks will try to reduce the moisture by using a dehumidifier to dry the nectar and then capture the honey. Typically, I'll keep these partial frames for the next season. I just stick them in the freezer until the really cold weather comes then move them into supers in the garage for cold weather storage making sure to protect against mice or wax moth. When the new beekeeping season begins the frames have thawed and I can pop them on to any hives that may need feeding.