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whatisbiscuitsAug. 13th, 2009 03:17 pm Gutted

I've just had the most awful beekeeping day. I share a hive with a partner, and on Tuesday we put a bee escape on our super, with the plan to get the bees out of the super before extracting yummy honey today. We first got a hive last August, so we've spent a long time waiting for this day.

We lifted off the roof expecting to see a super full of honey and (hopefully) no bees. Instead we found a few bees and a super completely stripped of honey. Instead of the frames of beautiful capped white honey we had just two days before, we had empty comb, the cell walls destroyed and broken, a thick sprinkling of wax particles lying on the board below. Words cannot describe how we felt.

On inspection of the roof we found a small hole where bees and wasps were managing to get in, and noticed a couple pushing their way through. The entire super had been robbed since Tuesday. It's probably obvious that we should have checked for holes before, but being inexperienced we didn't think of it. All I can say is, check your roof for holes! Don't do what we did and lose all your honey!

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squid_inkAug. 9th, 2009 10:09 am American foulbrood rampant in Connecticut (USA)

bad news :(

HAMDEN, Conn. - Connecticut scientists say nearly half the state's 2,600 registered beehives are infected with bacteria that cause a disease that kills honeybee larvae.

Entomologists and microbiologists at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station say 10 percent of registered hives have a serious level of infection by the American foulbrood bacteria.

Scientists say another 40 percent of hives have low levels of the bacteria in their brood chambers, where eggs develop into adults. They say the findings are troubling because the disease can kill entire bee colonies in a matter of weeks.


A beekeeping acquaintence of mine had a hive that succumbed to foulbrood.. her other hive (a few feet away) seemed fine.

I don't have it (yet, knock wood!) but are there any preventatives I can use? I know terramycin is used to prevent foulbrood... has anyone had this problem?

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squid_inkAug. 3rd, 2009 08:42 pm Omlet Beehaus...?

the folks at Omlet UK who make the Omlet Egglu Chicken House have branched out into beekeeping.

they've just unveiled the Beehaus in their UK store

its awfully cute.. but I'm a little confused. Is it like a top bar hive with foundation? And why are there four queen excluders...???


it's not like any Langstroth or top bar hive that I've ever seen.. IDGI :(

ETA : here's a link to a UK beek forum about the Beehaus

ETA: todesschatten found a nice TimesOnline (UK) article with a description and a photo here if you want to check it out

from the article:
To appeal to city dwellers’ tastes, a new beehive has been created and was unveiled by Tom Tew, the chief scientist for Natural England. The Beehaus is like a giant coolbox standing at waist height and has an easily removed lid that allows the whole hive to be exposed for inspection and maintenance. It is twice the size of a traditional hive, meaning that there is plenty of space for the colony to grow and therefore less risk of swarming. The plastic structure is easily cleaned and impervious to woodpeckers, which frequently damage wooden hives. Three layers of plastic, separated by air pockets, help the bees to maintain the stable 35C (95F) they need to multiply.

The Beehaus was designed by the same company that created the Eglu, a plastic chicken house that encouraged a new fashion for urban chicken keeping and has been installed in 30,000 homes since 2004.

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mgs_naughtycatAug. 3rd, 2009 08:45 pm bees or something else??

We seem to have some sort of a nest in the eve of our house. I have observed quite a large number (well, I'd say a lot, but then even a few would freak me out flying into the siding on my house!) of bees or some type of bee like bug flying into the edge of the siding of our house at the edge of the roof. They seem to have at least 3 different ways to get into the house, and there might be one more around the corner. I am unsure if these are honeybees or some other type of flying/stinging beebug.
Does anyone have any suggestions of what the next step should be? If they are honeybees I would rather not destroy the hive completely, but I am concerned about how far into the house they've gotten. I would love to have someone transfer them to a hive locally, unfortunately I live in a state park and they don't want to have bees because of the liability :( Otherwise, I'd happily have hives here.
Any suggestions would be helpful. I live in Maryland, so if anyone knows of any local resources, that would be even better.

Current Location: Couch
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Current Music: TV

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paospartiJul. 30th, 2009 09:13 pm Dunno if you have seen this but I thought it was awesomeish

So yeah I just say a post from Neil Gaiman journal and clicked the referenced article which has some really awesome bee photos I thought everyone might like to check out.

Also I'm not entirely sure, for what reason if any the bell jar is used... anyone have any ideas? I mean the reference article just sort of makes it sound like ti was accidental, and maybe Niel is just intrigued and trying it out, but I thought it was curious.

http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/07/who-bells-bees-with-photos.html

http://www.hemmy.net/2007/09/16/bees-makes-hive-in-a-jar/

Oh and totally aside I LOVE the bright colors Neil used on his hives.

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flossiepotsJul. 29th, 2009 12:26 pm Apis Mellifera Project

Hi guys!
I thought you might be interested in a project I am currently researching on honey bee subspecies. You can read about it here and here.

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draquinJul. 29th, 2009 11:27 pm moving bees... & hello

Hi!
Came here via lj spotlight & just in time really. I should have realised lj would have a beekeeping community... Silly me.

I have bees in my wall. I am planning on moving them into a new home this weekend, but if I have to wait a bit longer, it's not really going to worry me. They have been there 8 or 9 months, I think. I don't know a huge amount about bees, yet, but I want to keep them.

A bit of background - I am a nurse, but originally trained as a palaeoecologist, specifically palaeozoology, but with a healthy dose of botany & genetics. I am a scientist at heart & always will be. Hopefully I'm approaching the bee-relocation with the usual logic & practicality, looking at what is best for my bees & putting them into a better position within my permaculture landscape.

I've not been able to get anyone willing to help, or make sensible suggestions. So far, the general waffle is "insecticide", which is exactly the opposite of my plan...

I've done some research, but there's not a lot out there, that I can locate, about Safely Removing Bees From A Wall Cavity.
So, here are my thoughts so far... Yes, I am planning on removing the gyprock [inner wall], but since I can't get a look at the hive structure beforehand, I don't know if they've attached to the gyprock, or the studs [structure] or the [outer] brickwork. Which means, I don't know how much damage will be done to the comb when the gyprock is removed, or how much, if any, can be salvaged. The wall space is about 5 inches deep & from a little, careful listening, I think the hive is about 4 feet high x similarly wide. However, I do know, from having done the cabling myself [yah, qualified to do that too], that they've managed to pick the only wall in the entire house that has no cables running through it. Fortunately, they & I are electrically safe.

I'm thinking on tackling this in the evening / at night to get as many of them out as safely as possible. Catching them "at home" as it were.
I'll need to smoke & sedate them before this exercise.
I need to get a bee box / hive / home [friday = payday = bee house hunting] to put them in & I have many metres of soft netting to block off the rest of my house, so I don't lose too many. I can block the outside fairly well too, so as to not lose them that way.
I have a friend willing to "bee-sit" the hive at their place, 20km away, for a week or 2, so they don't try to come back into the wall immediately. When they come back, they'll be 35m away, at the other end of the yard. Hopefully that's far enough in distance & time.
I am prepared [mesh + sealant etc] to exclude them from accessing the wall spaces again.
And, yes, I have adequate protective clothing for myself.

What am I missing? What am I forgetting?
Suggestions for making this a safe move for my girls welcomed, please.
I'm hoping to salvage as much comb & save as many bees as possible. I can fix the wall later...

Current Location: Qld Australia
Current Mood: curiouscurious

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cachecamJul. 29th, 2009 09:02 am What a cool comm...

 Hi, people!
 
I am designing and implementing learning programs using demonstration bee hives.  We cover the life-sciences and help reduce costs to schools by giving focused programs, rich in materials and assisted by grants.  We cover a large geographic area.  I would love to hear anybodys thoughts or experiences with anything similar.  

I have been a mead maker for many years, and have always tried to get close to bee-keeping, but this gives me the chance to do a lot more hands-on work with bees.  So I am often facing a learning curve, however I am very motivated and the conditions are right: we have the room and the local farming to keep the bees pretty busy.  Also we live in a variable climate: on a tall mountain.  At the base, it is very hot, with lots of agriculture, and yet at the top we have snow and forests/ranches.  


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loli_scarecrowJul. 28th, 2009 12:33 pm new member // theory

Hey guys,
I've been helping my dad in the bee yard since I was 6, so I've been bee keeping with my dad for about ten years
We have a fair sized shop in our back yard and sell honey for allergies
We're strong believers in honey as a medicine, and have doing well with our business of 15 years
we are avid promoters of organic bee keeping.
unfortunately we were hit with nosema pretty harshly this winter and are left from 20ish hives to only half a dozen.

Anyways,
we've been fiddling around with small cells to help keep mites under control.
Has anyone else pondered this?
it seems to work because the smaller bees take less time to develop thus the mites can't keep up with the growth.
I'd like to hear from other bee keepers who have tried using small cell foundation.
Our mite drop on our sticky board has decreased incredible with slight medicating. [thyme oil and mineral oil in a fogger]

If we could all use small cells I think we could get rid of the mite problem?
I'm a new member so if this has been discussed before, my apologies.


Current Location: Surrey, BC

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vuzhJul. 23rd, 2009 09:27 pm Beekeeping spotlight

Hello Beekeeping community!

LiveJournal will be spotlighting this community during the week of July 27 - August 2.

Just to make sure no funny stuff occurs, I will be moderating all posts from now until things settle down here.

Let me know if any problems come up.

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