Beekeepers Friend

Peaches' Beekeeping Blog

May 14, 2013

No Queen – Why?

I was at the Escarosa Beekeepers Assn meeting and one of the new beekeepers made mention that she could not find her queen.  She said that the bees swarmed while she was out of town and she decided to check her hive.

The lady said that she went through the brood box and still couldn’t find the royal figure. I told her that I would be glad to go over today and help her find that elusive queen. Upon arriving, Martha, you don’t mind if we call her Martha do you?, led me to the back yard and there was a lonely box with three honey supers on top of the brood box. Medium, shallow, medium. Hmmmmm

While we talked, Martha got the smoker going. She uses pine straw. It is plentiful and is a very good smoke producer. Then while she donned her bee jacket, veil, and gloves, I just sat there and studied the situation. I had on my bee hat and Tulle veil wadded up on my hat with my face exposed.

We smoked the entrance and under the top board. After waiting about two minutes to give the bees a chance to get exposed to the smoke, she took the top super off and set aside. There was uncapped honey. Okay, the shallow super came off and it, too, had uncapped honey. Then the third super was set aside and it too, had uncapped honey. Something was wrong. I did notice that there were not very many bees in the three supers.

Now maybe we can find out what is happening to this colony of bees. I took out number 2 frame of the brood box to give me room to remove a frame of brood to inspect it. I took out frames 4 through 7 and there was no brood, eggs, or any sign of a queen’s activities. The bee strength was less than that of a hive that had swarmed. There was one empty queen cell on the bottom of the comb and on another frame there were two open queen cells in the lower middle of the comb as if they raised  supersedure queens. The rest of the brood area had varying degrees of nectar/honey in the cells.

My conclusion is that for some reason, the virgin queens either killed each other, or they got lost coming home from the drone conjugation area. Maybe a bird ate the queens or, a frog decided it was hungry. Or, one other prospect happened – possibly the beekeeper accidentally killed the queen when she was looking for her and didn’t see that she rolled the queen while taking a frame out of the hive. What ever the case may be, there was no queen in the box. The reason the bees were so weak is because the bees are still dying off and there is no replacement babies.

Now Martha must find a queen to place in her colony and hope for the best, or she can buy a nuc or catch a swarm to combine with the last of the bees in the original colony. Otherwise she runs the risk of losing the rest of it.

It just so happens that the supplier of her original colony still has some bees left and has offered to replace the bees. I did give her a nuc box to take to the supplier instead of her having to take the big box  and what little bees she had left.  We will just have to wait and see what develops.

If you have questions, now is the time to ask. The next big thing in the Florida Panhandle is a summer drought.

Now is the time to get your feed ready to help your bees through the drought. Of course, if you left some honey on the hive, the bees will see themselves through just fine.

Later on I will bring some more topics to the fore front. Keep your veil handy, your smoker lit, and your hive tool sharp.

 

 

March 6, 2013

Swarms, Splits, and Absconds (3rd Installment)

The last 2 posts are about swarms and splits. This one is for absconds. My definition for absconding is: Every last bee leaves the hive leaving anything they have put in the cells. No adult bees are left, only brood, pollen, and honey.

Why do they abscond? That is a very good question and only a bee can answer that. My best guess is that there is something in the box, wood, or area that disagrees with the bees. Could be a smell, not enough room, or  any number of things that only the bees knows.  If one swarm or split absconds an hive, then you can pretty well bet that other bees will do the same.

This is where, if you try something and it doesn’t work, then trying the same thing again and it doesn’t work again, then don’t try the same thing expecting a different answer. It won’t work. You have to change one thing at a time until you get a different answer. Maybe the foundation you are using is not acceptable. Could be the wooden boxes are offencive to the bees.  Could be a critter left an odor that the bees cannot handle. Could be something (cow, horse, goat, deer, or wild beast )had rubbed up against the box before the bees got started on their new home and decided that the earthquake was too much to handle.  Goat was making too much noise walking across the roof. Really no reason or rhyme as to why the bees absconds.

 

March 1, 2013

Swarms, Splits, And Absconds (2nd installment)

Splits are artificial swarms. You are making the bees think that they swarmed already. Actually, you are causing the congestion to disappear and makes the bees to have to develop another queen.  By splitting, you cause the bees to swarm at your convenience and not lose any of them. You save the bees and grow you apiary at the same time. Nice huh?

There are several ways to split your colony of bees:

  1. Remove several frames of capped and uncapped brood
  2. Double up on brood boxes
  3. Make splits into nuc boxes
1. By removing two or three brood frames, and replacing with frames of foundation or drawn comb, you give the bees more room to lay eggs or to store pollen and nectar. This helps relieve the feeling of congestion. At this point, you could add a honey super and as you do, take a frame of honey and place in the new honey super and score the top of the honey to let it drip down into the box below. The bees will follow the honey to see where the leak is to repair it and that is when they will find the new room that was added and call other bees up to either repair the drawn comb or to draw out the new foundation.
2. Another way to split is to add another brood box to the top of the original b. box. Like the honey super above, pull one of the brood frames up into the second box so the bees will find the unattended and recruit more bees up to cover the brood and tell the queen that she has a new story in which to lay eggs. When the brood box is full of brood, then you can separate the two brood boxes and the one without the queen will start making a new queen.
3. I like to make splits in nuc boxes for several reasons.  I can make more queens in two or three – 4 or 5 frame frame nucs than in one 10 frame hive. When I have bees in nuc boxes, I can double stack or even triple or quadruple my boxes and when there is brood in all the boxes, I can separate them and they will start making queen cells for each of the separations.
Now here is a tidbit of information. You can take one or two frames from two or more established colonies and put into one new nuc box to make another starter colony or you can do the same with a full 10 frame brood box. Just remember to put a frame of honey and a frame of pollen in the new box along with the frames of brood. This gives the bees food to start with.
The only bees that object to other bees entering the hive is the worker and guard bees. When you mix frames of brood and the bees on the frames,  you are actually mixing nurse bees. They don’t fight. When field bees (workers) try to enter the hive, they have either or both nectar or pollen. They are bringing food in. If they don’t have food, and they are from a different hive, then they are considered robbers and are rejected.
In order to get some workers in the split, or weak hive, Place the split or weak hive in the place of a strong hive and the field worker bees will be bringing food in and are accepted. In the case of the split, most of the bees are nurse bees and they would accept any bees with food or not. That is a moot point anyway, just an explanation.
‘Nother tidbit: I like to keep a nuc for every five ten frame hives so I will have an extra queen in case of losing one, or I will have extra frames of brood in case I have a colony that needs strengthening.
This is the end of this section. To Bee Continued.
February 25, 2013

Swarms, Splits, and Absconds

Why do bees swarm? Why do beekeepers split their colonies? Why do bees abscond (leave in total) a new or used box?

Bees die for various reasons due to old? age (naw! they work themselves to death), Frogs (amphibians), birds (fowls), other insects (insectoids), spiders (arachnids), and beekeepers (homo sapiens) . In order for the bees to remain at status quo, the queen has to lay enough eggs to off set the death rate. Example: 3000 bees go out today and only about 1500 to 2000 come back. That means that 500 to 1000 either died, got eaten, or squashed by the beekeeper. The queen has to lay enough eggs to replace them, so she will lay 2000 to 2500 eggs each day. Suppose that the death rate is not as high this day as was expected, then there will be a surplus amount of bees living in the hive.

Soon the  congestion is felt in the hive. There is not enough room for the eggs, larvae, pollen, nectar, and honey. No room,! No room! The cry goes out and the queen give the command via her pheromones to make some swarm queens for replacement. Why? Because the workers will put the queen on a diet to loose weight. She cannot fly while she is fat! Why does she need to fly? Because she will leave and take 50-60% of the bees with her. This relieves the congestion in the hive and if she goes, then the bees that are left have to have a queen to continue on.

The queen cells will be down at the bottom of the frame. (This is a sign for the beekeepers to know that the colony is getting ready to swarm or has already swarmed.) About 15-16 days later the new queens will start piping (singing) to announce to the world that they are fixin’ to come out for all the other queens to beware!

Side note: The first queen to emerge will go and tank up on honey for much need nourishment and quick energy because she is getting ready for war. She enlists the help of some worker bees to help her tear out the side of the queen cell so she can sting the queen before she can get out to defend herself. The only way the new queen can defend herself is to be able to come out the end of the cell. She cannot bend in the cell to come out the side that is torn open.

The new queen will then go on her mating flight and get impregnated and go home and continue the original colony.

Back to swarming; The old queen takes to the air upon hearing the piping and the bees that are going with her follows and makes a scary sound and sight to one who has never seen that phenomenon. The queen lands on a branch or any surface that she can cling to and the rest of the bees will land around her to protect her from the world. Scouts are sent out at that time to see if there is a suitable place to set up housekeeping. If after a while no place is found, then the swarm will take to the air once more and again, scare anyone that happens to see it. They will stop again and again until they find a place or will decide to start building comb and make an open-air hive. (That is a subject for another time.)

The above is the way honey bees propagate (expand) their colonies.

Stay tuned for the continued Swarms – Splits-And Obsconds

January 8, 2013

Bee Spring

I cannot believe that the old year has passed on and the New Year is already upon us. I really didn’t get done in 2012 what I had hoped to. I got busy and didn’t do the things I told you should be done.  This is where I have to say, “Do as I say and not as I do!!” It is easier to tell someone else what to do than it is to tell self what to do.

By now you and I should have built new boxes and frames, put in foundation, painted the boxes and marked them with our State ID numbers. We should have made new top and bottom boards to replace the rotten ones so they can be ready for the new boxes. The queen excluders should have been cleaned and ready for the new spring bees.

Side note: In case that you haven’t discovered for yourself yet, when it is cold, you can rap the excluder with something kind of solid and that will knock the brittle wax and propolis off the metal bars. Be careful and not bend the metal as  that will allow the queen to pass through to the next level.

If you haven’t ordered your queens yet, you may be out of luck for a while as the  big commercials get the first count. They in all probability ordered theirs in the Fall or early Winter. However, sometimes, there are some that have cancelled their orders and you might be lucky enough to get some of their queens. You just have to check and see.

Here in NW Florida, it is still kinda cold and I really don’t want to disturb the bees just yet, so I will just observe the activity at the front door and see what they do. They did fly yesterday and had a good cleansing flight time. It was about 60 + degrees. Today should be about the same. If the sun comes out, then I will take the opportunity to open the hive and check the bees for food stores. I am also getting my beetle traps ready along with the oil to put them in the hives for the Winter and early Spring.

I am still staying away from soft and hard chemicals as long as I can. I have lost all but two of my colonies to predators. I may still have to use chemicals in order to save my bees, but I am a old die-hard. I haven’t used chemicals in my hives for the last 8 years and I don’t want to go back and start now. But being an old die-hard and being stupid are two different things and I hope I am not stupid. Saving the bees are more important than having lots of pride.

Even if you didn’t get your empty hives painted, you still have time, but more important is you need to get frames  built and foundationed and put in your empty boxes for soon you will need all the empties you can get your hands on as it will be time to start catching swarms and splitting your colonies to keep them from swarming.

If at this time, you have all the colonies you want, then you can build some nucs for sale. That is a lucrative income to help offset some of your other expenses.

Education time. I have purposely let my apiary go down even after all my family illnesses and deaths of family members so I can start over and grow again along with you my readers. We can grow together and enjoy the bees like they were meant to be enjoyed in the beginning. I want to have about 20 to 50 hives and set back and relax, let the bees do the work and I get to reap some of their harvest. I am too old to really work the bees like I used to. When the bees get to be work, then the pleasure will turn sour and you may want to give up. This is retirement time for me. I just want to enjoy life and have time to go to schools, garden clubs, or anywhere people gather and tell them about God’s little pollinators.

What are your goals for your little girls? Do you want to learn about them? or do you just want to watch them work and enjoy a glass of Mint Julep? Would you like to make some money on the side? or would you rather let the bees support you?

These are some questions that you should ask yourself and when you get the answers, then you can plan on how to accomplish what you decide. One of the best ways to do this is to become a member of a local beekeeping association. There you will have the knowledge at your fingertips as you can talk to the experienced and inexperienced and listen to the wisdom and enthusiasm of you membership.

Here I need your help. I sometimes get writers bloc and I take for granted that most of you are kind of experienced beekeepers, but I forget that some of you have never kept bees. You need to make commits and ask questions so I can give decent answers of the nature that you want to know. I sometimes forget some of the basics that you need to understand so you can grow as a beekeeper. So, please help me out and ask questions.

If you haven’t started yet, now is the time to subscribe to some of the magazines like, The American Bee Journal published by Dadant & Sons, and Bee Culture published by A. I. Root. These are two of the oldest Bee magazines in the U. S. and are crammed full of useful and helpful information found anywhere. If you want a good reference book, then The Hive and Honeybee published by Dadant & Sons, and the ABC-XYZ published by A. I. Root. These two books compliment each other. What one doesn’t have the other one does.

There are several hundreds of good bee books to read, but some of the ones to start with should be considered. How to Keep Bees and Sale Honey and A Year in the Life of a Beekeeper by Dr. Keith Delaplane Entomology Dept. University of GA.

Happy New Year Yawl, and happy reading and get ready for Spring.

October 23, 2012

Florida State Beekeepers Fall Conference

Wow. Time sure does pass quickly when you are having fun. I have been doing everything except working my bees. I did pull and extract honey, but after I strained it, it just sat there in the bucket with a lid on and waited patiently for me to bottle it in pints and quarts.

This honey is the sum of Spring and Fall honey flows. Needless to say, the honey is of the dark variety. Luckily, I have several customers that think the blacker it is the better it is for you. Now that that is out of the way, I will be getting ready to go to Tampa for the FSBA conference and Bee College. I will not be testing this time, but if all goes well and I get myself in gear, I can have my research paper and my paper written to be published in a national publication of some sort (paper or magazine) for next March and take my Oral Test in front of a panel of Master Beekeepers and Entomologists. That will be scary.

I can talk in front of large audiences, but they will not be drilling me like the college panel will. I am now a Master Beekeeper, and this test I am talking about will land me a Master Craftsman Beekeeper rating (if I pass). Wish me luck.

I will be making plans on paper to start a regimen of splits with my two nucs and one full 10 frame hive. This means that I am planning on splitting or building a nuc every 5-6 weeks until June. After that, I will be feeding hopefully about 15 or 16  nucs and getting them strong for Winter. I know it can be done if the bees cooperate and the weather stays halfway nice and I haven’t miscalculated. If I keep records and turn them in, it may be considered a research paper, or maybe this would be a good story for the national publication. What do you think?

In order for the splits to work, I have to have my boxes ready, painted, and framed with foundation. I won’t have time to do it all once I get started. So when we get back from Tampa, I have the winter to get my boxes ready and plan for a February split. Again depends on the temperature in °F. I haven’t mastered °Celsius yet.

This post is half rambling and some serious thoughts. I will stop now before I put you to sleep. I may or may not post anything for the rest of the year as the holidays are about upon us starting with Halloween in a few days.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

October 1, 2012

Just-a-Thinkin’

This past weekend, I was at the Pensacola Seafood Festival showing and telling about the honey bees. After I gave my ‘almost-not-quite-hardly’ canned speech (I do not have a written script), one man in one of my audiences said that I should write a book about what I just told him. I told him that all that I said was written in many books already. He said that the information probably was, “But, he said, it wasn’t written as you presented it. It was very plain using words that the general audience could understand.”

Well I don’t know about that, but I have thought about it and the more I think, the more I believe that I would have to get the program called ‘Dragon’ so I can talk the book rather than write it as I think it. I can talk much faster than I can type.

Have you ever said something and then tried to write it down? The two are completely different from each other. You talk one way, but when you write, you use a completely different set (type) of words and the structure of your sentences are completely different from the spoken structure. I am not an author and I don’t even profess to have the knowledge of bonified writers.

I am an orator first and I use the language of my audience. If I am talking to pre-kindergartners to first and second graders, then I use words like, “Play-like we are  fairies like Tinkerbell (everyone knows Peter Pan’s sidekick)”.  And “raising sandboxes up in a tree”. For those of you that cannot think fast enough, we pretend that we use ropes for this maneuver. Then the new girl (virgin queen) says that she will only play with the boy (drone) that is fast enough to catch her before she gets to the sandbox.

If I am making a bee presentation to third graders through fourteen or fifteen year olds, then I  I use words like dating and putting two straws in a common drink. The boy and girl butts foreheads and drinks the container dry. Boys have to drink fast because the girls might get more.  Some of you remember the 50’s and 60’s where you went to the sock hop in the school’s gym and flirted with the girls across the floor and went home and had good dreams all night long. Or you accidentally brushed the arm of a girl walking down the hall. I’M NOT WASHING MY ARM FOR A WEEK! Wow what a charge!

In the last two scenarios, The boy is sooo happy that he just goes off into the woods and dies—–dead! Never to be seen or heard from again.

On the other hand, if the audience is adults (high school and up) then I tell it like it really is (mating) and tell how the drone has to break his back in order to penetrate the virgin queen and falls off dead.

Now, I have to stop here and regroup. I have gone back several times to correct or to ‘splaine what I am talking about. I too, talk different than I write. Now I have to talk to myself as if I were talking to you, to get my thoughts clear on how to proceed.

If I am unlucky enough to be standing in front of a group of Scientists, Entomologists, or Biology/Zoologists, then I hope that I am quick enough remember to say Apis Mallifera Mallifera; Apis Mallifera Scutelata; or even, “Hi, my name is Peaches.” But you get the gist of my thoughts. I try to talk to the audience, not over or under their heads.

In order to communicate to a child, you do not use words outside of their understanding. “The drones are needed to impregnate the virgin queens in order to propagate the species.” Some of the adults do not understand some of these words either.

You want to be understood, so talk to the audience in the simplest terms you can without insulting their intelligence. According to some of the powers that be, I am a Master Beekeeper. I may hold the title, but believe-you-me, I do not know it all. I am still learning just like some of you. I just happen to know a little more than some of you new beekeepers.

You may think I have just written a book, but this is just a short essay of 1001 words. I would like to leave you with a short story that all my audiences seem to like or have a reaction to in various ways.

Very loosely translated — The boys that are unlucky or lucky enough, (whichever you prefer) that did not get to fly with the queen, gets to stay around until Winter time.  At that time, the girls say, “Boys, you don’t feed the babies, nor do you sweep the floors, you don’t prepare the baby food or cook the honey, nor do you join the Army and keep bandits out of the hive or go to Walmart and gather groceries. YOU DON’T EVEN FEED YOURSELVES! We are not going stand here and feed you our winter food just in case the winter is longer than we think. There are no virgin queens flying in the winter so we don’t need you.”

At this point the workers kick all the boys out and shut the door.  Well—-you know, some of the guys don’t think that is such a good idea so they try to get back in. This is when several girls gang up on a boy and take him back outside–tears his wings off, pulls his legs off, and drops him on the ground and shakes a finger at him and says, “Now you will stay put!” They mean what they say. Now, how would you like to be a boy in a bee colony?

Have a great day until the next time – Keep you hive tool sharp, your smoker lit, and  your veil close by.

September 26, 2012

Origin of the American Honey Bees

It was brought to my attention that not all beekeepers and especially the general public really knows just where the American Honey Bee originated. Welllll – Let me ‘splain’ what I know and what I suspect.

There is speculation as to who discovered America: Amerigo Vespusi (sp),  Christoper Columbus, or the Vikings. Lets just agree it was Columbus. After he went back to England, the king decided to send some troublemakers to the new world to send back some goods that were reportedly found there.

This group of people was the first Pilgrims. When they came, they brought seeds, goats, sheep, cows, and probably some dogs and cats. (Horses came later with the Spanish Conquistadors.) Also, the pilgrims brought some honey bees. These are what we call European Honey Bee today. Honey was the only kind of sweetening they had in that time period.

The pilgrims had the bees housed in Skeps. As you know, the only way to rob the honey from a skep was to destroy the comb. At that time some of the bees decided that that was all she wrote and absconded to the woods. That was the beginning of the feral (wild) bees. When the pilgrims wanted to make another hive, they would watch the bees and follow them to the bee tree and cut it down and put some of the bees in a skep and that would be the beginning of another colony in the bee yard.

Now for the rest of the story: You know that the bees also pollinate our food crops. About 33% of the food we eat is from the seeds that the pilgrims brought over with them. Okra, squash, watermelons, cantaloupes, strawberries, all the fruits, and almonds. There is more money in pollination than all the other products of the hive combined.

But don’t forget the medical aspects of the honey bees and their products that have been used for the last 200 years here in the U. S. Some of those aspects have been replaced by the pharmaceutical companies in the way of pills and liquid drugs. There have been some physicians and medical establishments that are looking into Nature’s natural healing herbs and that includes Honey Bees and their products.

I am sure that I have left some information out, but I think that I have given enough for you to digest and think about.

Until next time, get your colonies ready for Winter and read, read, read. It is getting time to catch up on your chores—.

September 17, 2012

New Post as Promised

Here is the new post as promised, but not as timely as I thought. We had to go back to Texas within a 100 miles from the last trip to bury my step dad. We just got back a week ago .

Before we left, we had a visit from the County Code Enforcement Officer saying that we needed to empty all the buckets of water to keep the mosquitoes down. Also the back yard had plant growth over 12″ tall. Our lawn mower went down, so I got the weed eater out and couldn’t start it as the trigger cable was frozen. I took it to the local small engine repair shop and waited over a week and they called me to say that the carburetor was shot and needed a new one. I told them to order one and fix the machine.  Then we left a week after that to go to Texas. We were gone 2 1/2 weeks.

We waited a week after we got back and then called the engine repair shop and was told that the carburetor was still on order. A week later I was told that after they put the weed eater back together that there were more things wrong and it would cost me more. Forget that! I went and rented a weed eater and proceeded to cut down the weeds.

Now what does this have to do with beekeeping? One) You have to be able to see the hives to get to them. Two) You have to have a path to get to them. Three) The bee inspector needed room around the hives  to be able to work the bee boxes to inspect them.

My Bees passed inspection, now I have to get rid of some junky boxes and frames out of the front yard. I was told to get rid of my wooden ware in the back yard, but most of the wooded ware is good stuff. I will get it stacked up and painted as soon as possible and maybe the Code Inspector will cut me some slack as I don’t have anywhere else to put it.

It has been over five years since I had bees at any of my apiaries and I probably have lost to privilege of using them by now.

By the way, I am down to two nucs and one full colony now. I lost one of my full colonies while I was in Texas. Hive beetles slimed  it real good or bad as the case may be.

I will probably split the two nucs soon and maybe have to feed them if they don’t get enough nectar for overwintering.

I still have not gotten information from my son as to how to move the photos from my Android to my computer yet, so pictures are not available at this time.

Be sure that you have supers on your colonies so they can collect the Fall honey. I leave one full Illinois (medium) super on and then put an empty on top of that in case they find more nectar before they completely shut down for the winter.

Get ready to build boxes, frames, read, and watch videos during the next four months. Because Spring will be here before you know it and you will not have time to do that and keep up at the same time.

August 15, 2012

Explanations

I have been absent for some time now and you deserve to know why. As you know, my wife’s mother moved in with us and got to where she couldn’t be left alone. My wife and I traded places so one or the other could have some time alone. If my wife left, I would be on alert. Then we would switch places the next time.

To make a long story short, my mother-in-law passed away June 19th. We buried her in West Texas which is about 1200 miles from my home here in Pensacola, FL. Then we spent the next 4 weeks going through her house to clear it for sale.

We spent a week and a half driving back to FL. Then we spent two weeks catching up with bills, getting the stuff we brought home with us gone through so we could send the siblings the pictures and items belonging to them, and took off  some more time off and we were just about pooped.

But we are almost back to normal. Hallelujah! I say this because my wife has started back at the YMCA, and I have started eyeballing the colonies in the back yard. Three nucs, three stories tall and one full sized colony that has a deep brood box, deep honey super, 2 medium supers topped with another deep super. I now have to get some help to pull honey from my back yard and then get ready for inspection. whooboy! I know that I don’t have AFB (American Foul Brood for the newbees that may be reading this post). But just in case, Florida says that the whole hive, bees, and honey has to be burned.

I want to get the honey off before the inspector comes so at least I can keep it. AFB is a bee disease and not a human disease. I can bottle the honey and sell it to the consumers and make money. I will have to make money to replace the wooden-ware and bees if that be the case.

It has been raining here nearly every day since we got home two weeks ago. The grass is high and my lawnmower decided not to start. I got my weed eater out and tried to start it and the trigger cable was frozen. I thought that it would be cheaper to get it repaired then the mower, so I took it to the small engine repair shop in my neighborhood. Four days later, they called me and said the carburetor was frozen up or gummed up or something and it would be less expensive to to replace the whole carb rather than try to repair it. Here I am trying to catch up with my expensives and I am spending more.

Now to get into the bee stuff. Here in the northern part of  Florida and the southern part of Alabama and Georgia, the honey should have been pulled or you should be pulling this week. I will have to pull Monday or Tuesday to get ready for the Fall honey flow (which has already started.) The Goldenrod has already bloomed and there have been no Love Bugs to plague the bees. FYI – if a love bug walks on a Goldenrod bloom, the honey bees will not land on it. I don’t know why unless the love bug leaves a pheromone that is repulsive to the bees.

Anyway, the Goldenrod is a great fall honey.  It stinks to high heaven (meaning a very STRONG  odor in the honey house during extraction, but after that the honey is a sweet smelling and great tasting honey. Remember now, this is just my opinion. I have honey customers that wait till I can extract it so they can buy some.

I now have a camera so I can start putting some pictures in my posts. I just have to wait till my son in Tennessee has the time to show me how to put the pictures in my computer.

My next post will be soon, but in the meantime, keep you hive tool sharp, your smoker lit, and  your veil close by.