A... Hi Herman Hi Herman, I agree with the experienced beekeeper IF the screen bottom boards do not have some sort of shielding around them to break the wind. But, I have found the open bottom to be very helpful for getting rid of excessive winter condensation moisture from the hive.I just have mine sitting on pallets.
Q... How do you mail queens? Have you had success in using the plastic cages with attendants included? It seems quite small and the access to candy limited. I was going to try to avoid the expense of the three-chambered wood cages. I bank queens in plastic and would like to find a way of mailing them that way. Larry
I have been beekeeping for 5 years and this year is the first year I have ever extracted honey from my bees. I'm so excited! Today I peeked in my 5 gallon bucket to see how the bubbles were rising and it smelled a little like beer. I'm concerned its fermenting. All the frames were capped, 100% of them, my equipment was dry too, is this aroma normal? and if not what do I do?
Thanks so much for your time,
A... It might be normal, but then again, normally honey doesn't smell as if it is fermenting. Sometimes, capped honey can still have too high of a moisture level. I recommend always using a refractometer to take samples. I keep my honey room below 39% humidity and I always air out my sealed honey for several days with a fan on it before I process it. If it tastes like it has fermented, then it has and is not fit to sell. A slight fermentation smell may just be that the bubbles have risen to the top and the honey below is fine. See if you can taste the honey atleast a few inches below the surface.
I was wondering if your package bees are still available for shipment? I live in Arizona. Thank you for your help. Sincerely,Marcy
One thing I'm trying to work out is to do with inspections. It seems like I need a sunny, wind free day and a temperature really needs to be above 60F, and that ideally I should do this every couple of weeks.. but of course it is the middle of winter here, and that means the temperature typically won't get above 50F. I guess beekeepers are always having to compromise on this sort of thing. Do you have any recommendations on a winter inspection programme?
Thanks again for all the wonderful insights from your lessons.
I just read your lesson on swarms and I have to say I am impressed. I am a new beekeeper this year and have only 3 hives (WBC because we are English). I attended a 3 month course before starting and I gained more from your lesson than on the course. Keep it up, the bees need you.
I have really enjoyed your beekeeping lessons online. I was hoping you could give me an answer to two questions:
1. In one of your lessons you stated that a virgin queen may fly several miles to get mated or at least a long distance. If a queen breeder is advertising a certain breed of queens how can he tell for sure that the queen was mated like he thinks. Let’s say that a queen breeder was advertising in a Bee magazine that he was selling pure Russian queens. How does he know that his virgin queen was fertilized by a Russian male bee if down the road a mile was a bee yard full of Italian bees??
by the buying beekeeper. You only want an open air mated queen,
as they do better and lay longer than inseminated queens. Only
through Instrumental Insemination can a queen breeder make
claims of purity of progeny.
Now, you can do a lot to control purity even in open air mating.
For example, there is not a large beekeeper near us, so we
can “flood” the area with the genes we want, and so we can
control it quite nicely, but we would never make a claim of purity.
We use two deeps so that the bees can over winter with plenty
of honey on board.
Thanks for all your help.