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Cold day in the bee yard 1/21/19

On a cold January day what else to do but check on the bees. It was -5F this morning with a feels like temperature at -22F. So I thought I would listen to the bees and take a couple of pictures. I have been wintering smaller 10 frame singles and 5 frame singles with insulated slip over covers for a couple of years now with great success. This audio is from a 5 frame single deep colony with a slip over insulated cover. The bees are looking great! We are building lots of new equipment, as once spring arrives we will bee very busy taking care of the bees, raising queens, and making nucs. Hope everybody’s bees are doing good!

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Spring 2018 First Look and Feeding

This winter has been long, cold, and lots of snow. Our average snowfall is over 200″ a year, well this winter it’s over 250″, and finally starting to go away! Today getting into upper 40’s was a great day to open the colonies for a look to see how they have made it through winter. With only a handful of days this winter for cleansing flights I’m very happy how they are looking with our nightly temperatures still in the teens. We added pollen patties to all colonies to help them start spring buildup. Our losses are around 10%, which is great, I used a lot of insulation with no upper vent making it possible to over winter lots of 10 frame and 5 frame colonies with good success. With lots of strong colonies to fill our nuc orders this year our orders will be healthy and on time as long as mother nature helps a little on queen mating flights in early May. Beekeeping is a very interesting and unpredictable hobby – business but with proper management, mite control, and equipment is also amazing how they can thrive in our adverse weather. Hope everyone is having a great spring and looking forward to more beekeeping and warmer temperatures.

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Instrumental Insemination

I’m happy to announce that I will be taking a course in Instrumental Insemination and invest in the equipment to further improve my honey bee stock. By controlled breeding through rigorous monitoring to select, improve, and maintain a better breeding program. With focus on honey bees that can manage, tolerate and show resistance to Varroa mites, with hygienic behaviors to control infections and viruses and maintain healthy vigorous colonies. While keeping the required traits of production, gentleness, and overwintering abilities. I am very excited to be furthering my education and experience with these honey bees as I have come to really enjoy this business. This will be a lengthy process that will take a couple years to master at which I will be thinking of future research programs to help develop the results that I intend to accomplish. Thank You…Think Spring!

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Provap 110 Vaporizer

How nice it was to use this vaporizer compared to Varrox vaporizer for anybody with more than 50 colonies it was a breeze to use. With the Varrox it took me about 6 minutes per colony and I used 2 of them that took it to 3 minutes, but was very intense and easy to get messed up with 2 going at once and 2 timers. With the Provap once you are set up and your holes drilled (1/4″) its just load and insert, with plenty time to load second cap and keep covering the entrances then opening them as needed. Only using 1 timer to get the 10 minutes coverage time and at 1 minute per colony its very easy to cover 100 colonies in multiple yards in 1 day by yourself. Great investment as I feel mite control is very important with the environmental impacts and nutrition are already cause too much stress on honey bee colonies, for better winter survivability.  I would recommend this product to anybody. This is the time of year to make sure your mite counts are low as bees are making there winter bees soon. If local sideliner beekeepers would like to get there colonies treated for mites and are in need of assistance, I am also offering that service you can call me and set up an appointment.

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Mite Counts

Did some mite counts on my established colonies that are not Hygienic with some counts in the 4-5% area so I’m going to start my Oxalic Acid treatments this weekend and for the next 2 to make 3 total treatments for the 21 day cycle. I have got the new Provap vaporizer all set up and ready to go with a mini Harbor Freight generator. I’ll let you know how it goes.