Tuesday, August 23, 2011

For Our DC Readers: Showing of The Capital Buzz Tonight!

A reminder that The Capital Buzz will be showing at BloomBars in Columbia Heights tonight at 7:00 and will be followed by a spirited panel discussion.  Refreshments will be served!

Here is the link to the movie site

Here is the link to BloomBars

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Crush and Strain Honey Extraction - Video

We have another video, this time of the crush and strain method of harvesting honey.  Nearly six pints from three frames....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Now That's A Nuc! And Eggs At Church of the Pilgrims

I stopped by the church this morning to check on the Italian hive, the hive that swarmed a few weeks back.  When I inspected the hive a week or so following the swarm I failed to detect any eggs or brood, and thus assumed that the hive was queenless.  To remedy, I took a frame of open brood from the other hive and added it to the Italian hive, giving the colony an opportunity to create a new queen. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Check Out Some More Great Press

Check out the link, HERE

Rhode Island Apiary, Result of Two Breeds

These hives, which we have the rooftop of our house in Rhode Island, were installed in early May, one from a nuc (the Italians, the hive on the left), and one from a nuc made from our April Russian packages (on the right).  The behavioral differences between these hives is surprising.  More interesting is the philosophy I took in managing these hives (primarily because they are difficult to reach and the residents of this house are bee antagonists):  I LEFT THEM ALONE.  That was heeding my own advice to our new beekeepers, but not always easy to do especially given the number of installation failures we experienced with the April Russian packages that required quick and regular intervention.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Setbacks and Success at the PG County CC Hive

To refresh our collective memory we have two hives here at the community college that were part of the April install of our Russian shipment.  They seemed to struggle from the beginning (much like the hives we have at Bread For the City) and we requeened, traded frames, rebalanced, all for naught. 

When I installed a brand new nuc in the right hive, two weeks ago, the left hive was still showing reasonable signs of life.  But on today's visit there was no ambiguity, all lost.  So on the left hive I need to install a new nuc pronto...perhaps next week and with the swarm we captured.

The right hive, however, is looking great.
 Those are some pollen patties on top that I left for them when I installed the nuc.  but you can see how active the hive is on either side of them.  And they had taken about a gallon+ of syrup in the couple of weeks since they were installed.

So note to self, nucs are the most dependable way to go to start a new and robust hive so screw spending money on requeening unless that queen is going into a nuc for development of a new hive.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Adding a Honey Super To Church of the Pilgrims

My great camera is away for the summer up in Rhode Island, so this IPhone picture will have to suffice to show the current condition of the two hives at the Church.  The hive on the left (Russians, installed from a package this April) has blossomed into a large and mature colony.  I took out the internal feeder, replaced it with two undrawn frames, and stacked a honey super on top.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Screening of The Capital Buzz

Please join us on August 23rd at 7:00 for a screening of The Capital Buzz, a short film about urban beekeeping in the Washington, DC area. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bread For The City Hives Taking Off (FINALLY!)

 Two of our 51 April installs ended up at Bread For The City, an organization with the mission "to provide vulnerable residents of Washington, DC, with comprehensive services, including food, clothing, medical care, and legal and social services, in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. We recognize that all people share a common humanity, and that all are responsible to themselves and to society as a whole."

They had a large renovation and construction project that ended this spring, and one of its new additions was a rooftop garden on which they grow all sorts of veggies.  We had hoped to improve their yield and add honeybees to their educational component by partnering with them and installing two hive.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Narcissist In Me

Wants me to direct you to the following site:
There is a short film that these very talented folks produced that happens to feature my beekeeping family and me and showings of the documentary are planned locally, soon.

They say the camera adds ten pounds.....

Reminder About Our Beekeeping Class

We will be teaching a class at the Prince Georges County Community College in September (located in Upper Marlboro, MD).  It will be a 3-Saturday class of three hours each with a focus on the basics of beekeeping and the economic opportunities associated with the activity.