Saturday, March 26, 2011

Finally, a New DC Honeybees Video, Bee Package Installation

You've seen the package, now see the vid.  We got this package from Rock Hill Honeybee Farm in Stafford, about one hour outside DC.  This is a 3 lb package of Italian bees.  The installation was remarkably easy and quick, and the bees were terrifically gentle.  I put them in one of the nucs I demonstrated (6-frame deep nuc) to ward off the chill we are expecting tonight.

I have two more packages in my basement that are looking for a home, and I will hive these Monday after the threat of snow.
Here is the video:

Bee Package Number One, 53 To Go....

We will hive this package today in my 6-frame deep nuc as the weather remains cooler and want to have them establish themselves in a smaller space to warm.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Jury Still Out On Homemade Honey Bee Healthy

I made a batch of homemade HBH per the recipe described in this post, added a tablespoon to a gallon of syrup, and put it out for open feeding, alongside some bags full of bee tea (leaving out the onion) the girls had already found.  The HBH bag was largely left alone while interest in the bee tea remained robust.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Urban Bees As Art

Artists Novie Trump and Susan Lomuto visited our rooftop this morning in dismal weather to record the sounds of the hive for an sculpture installation Novie is fabricating.  Bringing along a tiny but professional microphone, she had me place it in my most docile hive.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nuc Building, PART 4: 5-Frame Double Nuc, Revised

If you read this blog, you may remember a few weeks back I took a deep hive body, divided it with a 3/8 inch piece of plywood, notched out opposite ends, and got a double nuc that is easy to make with standard tools (power screwdriver and circular saw) and relatively cheap.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Visit to Fresh and Local CSA - Installing Their Last Four Hives

My daughter Maddie and I made the hour and fifteen trip to this West Virginia farm to finish setting their equipment ahead of the arrival of our bees.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Test Run of Homemade Honey-Bee-Healthy

Mann Lake and Brushy both sell a derivation on this product, I mixture of essential oils that are meant to improve the health of the hive, boost brood production, and accelerate syrup take-up.  The dose is approximately one or two tablespoons per gallon of syrup.  The stuff is pretty expensive and there are enough homemade recipes out there to try that I decided to give it a go.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nuc Building, PART 3, Six-Frame Deep Nuc

In my quest for more nuc building ideas and experiments, and my desire for deep nucs due to their marketability, I drove out to Home Depot one more time with a new design in mind.  I purchased a 1 x 12 x 6ft board.  My idea was to replicate some of the lessons I took from my 6-frame medium nuc using the simple 1 x 8 lumber:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Holy Crap, Where Did This Great Press Come From?

I was helping a new client determine an appropriate site on the green roof of his super-cool garage conversion (to a modern loft renovation).  I knew that he had a place out in the country in Virginia, so I began inquiring about it, about the town, etc.  He said, "Well you know Melissa Harris, right?"  Nope.  "Well she is my neighbor, she publishes a magazine which is where I heard about DC Honeybees."  Huh?  "Flavor Magazine.  That's where I heard about you and thought I had better contact you quick before the landslide of readers called you."  Who?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Nuc Building, PART 2

Frustrated with my plywood nuc attempts with all the cutting, measuring, nailing I thought of using a 10-frame deep box to make a double nuc that supports 5 frames.  I had seen similar designs with a larger dividing board that created a double 4-frame nuc, and thus tried to modify it.  I had a few deep pieces that were a bit warped and thus not great for selling but perfect for this experiment.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Visit to the Farm at Walker Jones

Today we went visited our urban farming partner at the Walker Jones School off New Jersey Avenue in Northwest Washington, DC.  They have approximately 5/8 of an acre on the school property that they began farming last year.  This year sports much bigger plans!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Plywood Nuc, Redux

After trying the nuc from the plans I got from this website, using 1/4 inch plywood, I was frustrated with the flimsiness of the box and the difficulty of assembly with nails. The plans were not clear as to the thickness of the plywood, and I had obviously chosen wrong.  Interestingly, it rained today and that nuc, left outside, warped terribly!  So frustrated and bored I headed to Home Depot to try again.

This time I began with a 1/2 inch (15/32) panel, 2 ft by 4 ft.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Nuc Building, A Couple of Designs, PART 1

With the bees flying and my brain getting its bee on I began thinking about the nucs I plan to make in June from our sponsor hives, and the nucs I will hold for my own apiary and for sale next spring.  Note all this dust, construction, and clutter is driving my wife nuts!

My first shot at a new design I got off the web.  Here are the pictures and measurements of the nuc, which is a 5-frame deep frame configuration.

Visit to Fresh and Local CSA - 6 Hives!

I drove out to Shepherdstown, West Virginia this morning to do a site visit of our best customer, Fresh and Local CSA.  This 40 acres farm provides naturally raised produce to members on a weekly basis throughout the growing season.  Please visit their website and become a member.  They have convenient locations on the District and metro area to pick up your produce weekly and the pricing is very reasonable.  Our bees should improve upon their yields, so the price will be a bargain!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

PG County Community College Course

Here it is, the flyer for our beekeeping class this Fall at the Price Georges County Community College:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

We Are On Twitter

I was told by a very savvy young person that we are behind the curve with our blog.  He indicated that blogs are dead and Twitter rules.  While I have been focused on the the blog (and will continue to be) as a tool to help keep my own braincells stimulated as to what I have been doing, I also see the benefits of a short, direct, communication.