Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I knew that my Mother's Father had kept bees - that is where my Dad learned about them, but had not seen any photos of his apiary. In going through some old family things, I found a couple of pictures of him working his bees, probably in the 1930s. Guess it runs in the family, and I am proud to continue the tradition. (Now if I could only channel their knowledge).

Monday, October 31, 2011

8 inches of Halloween snow !!

After the October 29 snowfall. Lost the pear tree to the left, some branches from the apple trees and most of a large magnolia. Glad I insulated the hives last week !!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MAQS to the Rescue !

Well, after a lot of rain and no time, I finally did a sugar roll and found enough mites to warrant treatment. A quick call to Dadant brought me the MAQS, and I put them in last Friday. On Sunday, I checked the trays under the SBBs and WoW! The strips worked as advertised. Lots of dead mites on the trays. The hives need to left alone for 7 days after placing the strips, so I will check them thoroughly this weekend. (The dark area in the upper right is some pollen, wax and dirt.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Try, try again ...

Well the first Carniolan queen I introduced to the nuc didn't work out. I saw her out at the 5 day point, but not after that. Then, bees from the other hives began robbing the feeder - I think they either killed her or drove her out. There was no new brood showing on any of the frames ( except for the brood that was there when I split into the nuc). So... picked up another queen, split two more frames of brood and moved the nuc about 75 feet from the hives. I also removed the division board feeder and placed two frames of honey and about 1/4 of a Mega-Bee patty in there for them. I put the queen cage in on Monday evening after I did the split, but left the cap on the candy port for a couple of days. Last night, I checked them and they seemed fine with her, so I removed the cap from the candy and will check them again this weekend. I really hope this takes, as I want to try the Carniolans.
The fourth hive, from a package installed on 6/18, is building up nicely. These are Italians, as are the other two hives.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Butterflies, too !

We are also a Monarch Butterfly Waystation through Monarch Watch ( Here's a caterpillar transforming into a chrysalis, and a Monarch in full glory.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More Bees are Better !!

Attended a Hive Management Workshop put on by the Eastern CT Beekeepers Assn recently, and came home with another package. (I couldn't help it - they looked so pitiful with their little eyes pleading with me to take them home). That's the single hive body on the right. Then, I split a frame from each of my larger hives and put them into the 5 frame nuc and introduced a Carniolan queen the next day. Obsession? No!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

So far, so good ...

Checked the hives yesterday. Both queens roaming around laying nice brood patterns. Still some chalkbrood showing up, hopefully that will clear up. One hive is working on filling the first honey super, the other hasn't started yet, but looks like they will soon. I have been using the green Pierco drone comb for mite control, removed both of them yesterday, as I don't like having to take the whole hive apart to change them once the honey supers are on. Went through them and found no varroa! Maybe I'll have a good year.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Brood !

Here's a nice brood pattern. Both queens are laying nicely, I'll probably add another hive body this weekend. Adding more plants to the "bee garden" - (I hope they appreciate it).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Inspections ...

Both queens are out and the bees seem to be settling in nicely. The weather has been a bit up and down, but they are flying about, checking out their new territory on nice days. (I have captioned the images for my niece's school class).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bees have arrived !

The bees arrived on Sunday. There were about 25 people waiting at the pickup location for their bees, and they all looked like it was Christmas and their birthdays rolled into one.  It's grest to see so many folks excited about beekeeping, whether it's for their own enjoyment or to sell honey. Of the approximately 100 food crops we utilize, bees have something to do with about 70 of them, so thank a bee the next time you have a meal.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Starting Over ...

All 3 hives died this winter - looks like they had broken cluster to feed and the cold got them. They had plenty of stores, just didn't make it. New bees will arrive in a couple of weeks, I'll hive them up and hope for the best this year.

On a different note, I attended a meeting of the Eastern Connecticut Beekeepers Association this past Sunday, where Michael Palmer of Vermont spoke about overwintering nucs, splitting hives to make nucs and queen rearing. If you ever have a chance to see Michael speak, do so. While you may or may not agree with everything that he says and does, he is a terrific source of information (and a really nice guy).
I'm hoping to split a hive with one of his Northern queens this year if they build up enough.