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vuzhJun. 7th, 2011 10:18 pm Bumblebee box

I made a bumblebee nest box a couple of years back, based on plans that I saw here: (link). Supposedly it's not especially likely that a queen bee will actually find the box, although it can happen... well it hadn't happened for me for the last two years. I had read that if you don't get a bee to set up a nest in the box that you can try to capture one and put it in... and I had the opportunity to safely (for her and for me) capture one, as I saw a queen poking around in some leaves by my garage (possibly either looking for a place to set up a nest or maintaining a nest that I'd only just now noticed). I scooped her up in a jar and put her in my bee box.

It's hard to know for sure if she liked it or not, but she stayed in there for nearly an hour before flying out.

Here's her coming out. (photos by my wife)

After she came out, she did a small loop around the box:

and then a larger loop around the area before she flew off:

She was definitely orienting herself, and may come back, but we won't know for sure until we see further comings and goings at the box. I hope we get some bumblebees this year!

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emo_snalDec. 30th, 2010 12:59 pm Topbar / Langstroth Frankenstein Hive! ...And Orange County Beekeepers Assn Flickr Page

Yesterday I was musing about making a topbar hive that was the same dimensions as a langstroth hive (sometimes known as the "standard hive" -- the typical rectangular box), so that a langstroth honey super could be placed on top of it or you could put topbars with comb into a langstroth box if for some reason you felt like doing so. Well, my coworker Ryan is quite handy with woodworking and voila yesterday's dream is a reality!

(sorry for the bad picture quality)
(also I realize that is not a honey super but a deep brood box..it was what I had at hand when I took the picture five minutes ago (: )

In other beekeeping related news, I've created and uploaded a whole bunch of various people's pictures up on the Orange County Beekeepers Association flickr account. The pictures make the club look positively fun! ;D

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snobahrMay. 20th, 2010 08:45 am Close-up images of a honeybee

The Alluring And Alien Sights Of A Bee In Ultra Close-up, from Discover Magazine. Some really cool electron microscope shots of the bee.

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

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maetangFeb. 11th, 2010 07:43 pm Bee communication.

Bee-ware - bees use warning buzz to refute the waggle dance.

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stroopfacedSep. 2nd, 2009 02:20 am Can you help us?

 Hi o/

Firstly, if this is agianst the rules then I apologise and expect to be deleted.

I am trying to start a community to help people do all kinds of things for themsleves, anything from making clothes and beauty products to just fixing furnature. A place for exchanging tips and asking questions. I think this would work particually well on LJ but only if we get a lot of members. As of now, I have none.

Bee Keeping = awesome so come and tell us where to start.

If you have any usefull skills (you do, come on) or you would just like to learn to do more for yourself then come join and get posting. 


Hope to see you soon. 


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thanx_n_advanceAug. 29th, 2009 01:18 pm varroa, and the usual suspects

Poking around at the entrance of the hive this morning I watched the girls drag one of their brothers out and dump him off the edge of the hive stand. He appeared to be newly hatched, covered in that downy fuzz but upon closer inspection I noticed that he was also sporting a reviled hitchhiker - a varroa mite.

This is the first time I've ever seen one outside of a photograph. Since hiving the colony in early May I've obviously never seen them attached to any of the workers as they come and go, on any brood, on the any of the comb, or in the hive at all (including at my inspection just last week). Earlier this month I had also noticed a few (and I mean less than a dozen) small hive beetles in my hive-top feeder, and only in my hive-top feeder (two on one day, one on another, a couple after a few days, etc) which were dispatched under my thumb upon their discovery. Knock gently, I haven't seen any more of those hive monsters in over a week.

Whereas I'm pretty discouraged, I'm reserving the freak-out for better information. I bought my packaged bees, and marked mated queen from Walter T Kelley's bees and I was informed at the time of purchase that they never medicate their bees, which is a practice I'd like to continue if possible. Based on this information I have to assume that varroa has been a part of my hive since its inception. I'm going to take a sugar shake test today or tomorrow and, as soon as possible, introduce a drone brood frame and a screened bottom board. But I'm thinking that it's probably time to, begrudgingly, put in an order for Apistan and Apiguard as well.

Any advice with the use of these products, as well as, any more seasoned beek than I who's had luck controlling mites and other pestilence using strictly natural methods and would like share their wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

Your's, best, and as usual. . .

Current Location: United States, Virginia, Front Royal
Current Mood: blahdiscouraged

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vashraAug. 28th, 2009 04:28 pm Are you feeding your bees corn syrup? STOP!!!

I don't have any bees yet. My granddad had honeybees, and I want bees someday. But I'm in the middle of a metroplex, in an area that's had trouble with africanized hives. My apartment managers won't let me start even the tiniest of box hives :(    For now, I've just been lurking around the community, and I almost never post. But this article ran across my web surfing, and I thought it had some important information in it. I'm quite anti-High Fructose Corn Syrup already, and this article goes on the list of "reasons why it's bad." Anyhow since some folks around here might be feeding syrup to bees, I thought I'd post it here.

Scientists have found that high fructose corn syrup may be a strong factor in contributing to Colony Collapse Disorder.

Given that just last year there was a study that got very little press which found MERCURY in corn syrup ( check out ), this is just one more reason to avoid the stuff.

P.S. If you want a graphic explanation of why fructose in general and high fructose corn syrup is very bad for you, check out
this video.  It's very long, and a little bit overzealous at the beginning, but the data is verifiable and terrifying.

Current Mood: anxiousanxious

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rumorofrainAug. 26th, 2009 01:58 pm Nasa's "citizen scientist" honeybee project

Honey Bees Turned Data Collectors Help Scientists Understand Climate Change

An excerpt:

"When honey bees search for honey, colony scouts tend to scour far and wide and sample the area around a hive remarkably evenly, regardless of the size of the hive. And that, Esaias explained, means they excel in keeping tabs on the dynamics of flowering ecosystems in ways that even a small army of graduate students can not.

The key piece of data bees collect relates to the nectar flow, which in the mid-Atlantic region tends to come in a burst in the spring. Major nectar flows, typically caused by blooms of tulip-poplar and black locust trees, leave an unmistakable fingerprint on beehives -- a rapid increase in hive weight sometimes exceeding 20 pounds per day. When a nectar flow finishes, the opposite is true: hives start to lose weight, sometimes by as much as a pound a day.

By creating a burgeoning network of citizen scientists who use industrial-sized scales to weigh their hives each day -- HoneyBeeNet -- Esaias aims to quantify the dynamics of nectar flow over time. Participating beekeepers send their data to Esaias who analyzes it, and posts nectar flow trend graphs and other environmental data for each collection site on HoneyBeeNet's webpage."

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chas_Aug. 19th, 2009 04:35 am Morgan and the bee

So I was outside with my youngest child. While he rode his tricycle, I was working on a wood project. Mainly I was just sanding down some wood to prep it for giving it a coat of polyurethane.

Cut for length and pictures.Collapse )

EDIT: The pics should work now.

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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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