Thursday, October 14, 2010

Great Small Hive Beetle News For My Hives

I attended my first Montgomery County Beekeepers Assn meeting last evening where there was a presentation on hive beetles.  I learned that the beetle larvae, upon hatching in the comb, descend to the surrounding dirt where they pupate.  Since my hives are on my roof, the larvae will be unable to finish their life cycle so I should be beetle free shortly!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

And Some Good News on Colony Collapse Disorder

See this link:

New York Times Article

60 Minutes Colony Collapse Disorder Story

As we approach the fragile winter season, I thought some might like to review this story.  See this link:


Ordering Package Bees

I am starting to reach out to apiaries around the country to check pricing and availability of package bees in the following species:
  • Minnesota Hygienic
  • Buckfast
  • Italian
  • Russian
Apiaries typically begin taking orders in November and sell out quickly.  I am looking forward to testing out these different strains and providing colony splits to our friends and sponsors.  Key for me is taking delivery of the packages as early in the spring as possible to take advantage of our mild weather and early nectar flow so we can get some 1st season honey from these hives.  Two of these packages will go into our Sponsor hives in the Mount Vernon Triangle.

If you are thinking of starting a hive this spring please let me know at and I will make certain to order you a package.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Garden Hives Available

Have the most bountiful flowers and vegetable garden in the neighborhood by having us install a garden hive on your property, rooftop or balcony.  These hive are perfect for small scale pollination and are a great introduction to this hobby.  If you find beekeeping to your liking we can move the colony from this garden hive into a full-sized box and get your girls working on producing honey for your pantry and friends.

We have these 5-frame hives available today for installation, and can order additional hives in your choice of color, or natural.  These hives are hand-assembled with screws for durability and longevity.  Ordering today puts you in a position to be ready to accept a package of bees early in the spring.  If you reserve a package of bees today for spring we can pass along that discount to you and give you your choice of bee breeds.   I have some strong colonies I can install in these hives for those needing instant gratification, but I cannot guarantee they will survive the winter.  Please continue to support our mission of increasing the bee population in and around Washington, DC. 

Contact me at for questions or orders.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Let's Review Ahead of Winter

I introduced two more new queens from B Weaver Apiaries yesterday (one split, and one queenless hive), my last of the season.  

Of the original two 10-frame nuc colonies I purchased from in August, I now have:
  • Two colonies growing in those original nucs;
  • Two colonies growing in Langstroth equipment;
  • Three colonies growing in 6-frame nucs that I built.
Of these colonies all but the Langstroth hives have been queened with B Weaver queens.  One queen in an original 10-frame nuc seems to be on her last laying legs and I do not expect this colony to survive.  The balance of the B Weaver queens seem to be laying well.

In the Langstroth hives there is the original Carniolan queen in one hive, and one hive that is rearing a new queen.

I have been feeding these colonies rigorously with 1/1 syrup and homemade pollen patty substitutes. The healthiest of these hives have been taking 1/2 gallon of syrup every 2 days.  I have also been treating for small hive beetle with boric acid using the fatbeeman's innovative technique:

I will bring the nucs off the roof and set them out back when the weather cools so I can monitor and feed more easily during the winter.  I am hopeful that all the money I've spent to re-queen and split colonies will pay dividends in spring with surviving, healthy, and productive colonies.  I will move all frames to Langstroth equipment and permanent sites in early March weather permitting.