Friday, December 7, 2012

January Meeting...

Hampden County Beekeepers Meeting January 2013

When: Thursday, January 10th at 7pm

Where:  Willimanset Heights Improvement League (WHIL)
118 Mount Vernon Rd.
Chicopee, MA 01013

This will be our first session of bee school for 2013, as well as our first official meeting of the year.  Don’t worry; we’ll keep the business to a minimum!

We’ll kick the night off with an introduction of the HCBA and it’s officers with our host President Jim Stefanik.  Next it will be on to club business.  We’ll be voting on an update to our current by-laws.  Please request a copy if you’d like to have a chance to review the proposed update before the vote.  After the vote we’ll get straight to bee school.  Speaker, Ken Warchol will cover Introduction to Beekeeping. 

All members are welcome to attend this meeting.  Seasoned members and new members alike!  Come out and vote, and if you like, stay for Ken’s lesson, there’s always something to learn. 

Please don’t forget if you plan to vote, your 2013 dues must be paid.  Dues are due January 1st 2013, but will also be accepted at this meeting.  Make sure you’re current!  If you are not planning to renew your dues, please let me know and I’ll be happy to stop sending reminders. 

Bee well!
Jessica Martin
HCBA Secretary

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bill Crawford Photo Update...

Bill just emailed me some photos from his cell phone, so we can all see some of what he's seen on his commercial beekeeping journey.  Feast your eyes...

Keep up the good work, Bill!  And keep those photos coming!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bill Crawford, Professional Beekeeper- UPDATE...

Hello Hampden County beekeepers,  

I hope everyone and their bees are doing well.   As some of you had heard, I have decided to jump to beekeeping on the commercial level.   I starting this summer by subcontracting to a beekeeper in the South Dakota praire during the Sweet Clover flow, running about 4500 hives, mostly alone.  I worked there for about 7 weeks until arranging to work for my friend of mine's father with about 3000 hives near Gettysburg, PA.  I worked there for about a month, splitting hives and preparing the hives for fall and winter.  When the labor demand there began to slow down, a friend of my boss said his friend in Lewisburg, PA.  As it turns out, I am now sub-contracting long term for Hackenberg Apiaries, the first people to be hit with and blow the whistle on Colony Collapse Disorder.  The owner is a very outspoken critic of the chemical and pesticide industry.  He has been featured on 60 minutes for talking about CCD and have been featured in the recent bee documentary movies.   I plan on working here for a couple years, that is until I break off to return to Mass with 600-1000 hives.  

With my current gig, I am able to come home on weekends if I so choose, allowing me to continue with my local honey sales and to run hives in both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania with some additional ones in New York.  As the situation works,  as I work for the family, they will in turn also be helping me grow to the point where I can break off on my own.  The apiary I am now working for are primarily pollinators, after beefing up the hives in Florida and Georgia in January, bees are sent to almonds in February,  then later in the season to pollinate blueberries, apples, and pumpkins, and after all is said and done, placed for summer and fall honey.

I have learned NUMEROUS things over the past few months, way too many to list.  But the thing that makes one a better beekeeper, is learning from your mistakes, and mistakes of others.  

The beekeepers nationwide this fall, are suffering major losses, with a good portion losing over half already.  For us, we have already lost almost half due to corn and soybean pesticides, varroa mites, viruses, and CCD.  Just this morning, I went around and checked about 1700-1800 hives divided into your bee yards for blown off lids from the storm, we ended up losing about 100 hives to drowning.

I hope by this time, everyone has their hives fed and have proper weight, with mouseguards on.  If you think of treating for nosema now, dont, it was too late and you will do more harm than good, as the hives tend to go downhill for a little while after treatment before getting back on track.  Raise you outter cover up about a half an inch to help expell moisture and keep the hives out of the bears reach.  I will be down south with my boss and I's bees and will be back in April.    I will send out another message soon regarding nucs and detail if anyone is interested, my coworker, my boss, and myself will be making nucs for sale once our bees get back from almonds, and if there areenough people interested I could bring a load to mass for people, they definitely have an edge over packages, 4-5 frames of bees with a laying queen.  

If anyone has any questions, don't hesitate to email me.
Bee Well,
Bill Crawford

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Beekeeping School 2013...

Due to popular demand, Hampden County Beekeeping School will be back in session in 2013! 

There are 8 classes, held twice a month on Thursdays from January to April. 

Members old and new are welcome to attend any and all school sessions.  It's never too late to learn something new!

Beekeeping school will be held at our regular meeting location:
Willimanset Heights Improvement League (WHIL)
                       118 Mount Vernon Rd.
                       Chicopee, MA 01013

Beekeeping School 2013 Schedule:
January 10th & 24th
February 7th & 21st
March 7th & 21st
April 11th & 25th
Classes are from 7pm-9pm

Beekeeping school is $75.00* per person and includes your beginning beekeeping manual, a 1 year membership in the HCBA, a Beekeeping School Certificate upon graduation, and the chance to win a complete starter hive on April 25th.

*$125.00 for two people if you share a book. 

If you know someone who may be interested in enrolling in our Beekeeping School as a new student, please have them contact our treasurer, Cheryl Robare for more information. 
Phone: 413-782-7371

Space is limited, so sign up early!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hive Loss, Wax Moths, and Storage...

HCBA member Sage Franetovich sent the following inquiry via email, and has allowed me to share it here, so that the information may be of help to others too. 

I had one hive that was started with a new colony this spring.  Unfortunately, I lost all my bees and the honey to robbers (wasps and other bees).  It happened so quickly!  After the robbing, I opened my hive and found empty cells and wax moth larvae and webbing.  So, I am wondering what to do next.  How can I clean up my hive and safely store it for the winter?  I would like to use the same hive next year and minimize buying new equipment.  Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!
The dreaded wax moth.
I stole this picture from Google images, but this is an example of a frame with minimal damage from wax moths.
When I receive an email inquiry from one of our members, I forward the message to some of our most experience members and enlist their help.  Below is a response from our VP Jeff Rhys...

Bee keeping can be frustrating sometimes. But with each new challenge you overcome the better beekeeper you become First you need to get rid of any active wax moth to prevent further damage. This can be done by freezing the hive for a couple of days. Then it will depend on how much damage was done to the comb to see if any can be saved. If the damage was advanced you will need to take each frame and remove the damaged comb and install new foundation. If there is only a small amount of damage you can clean each frame as best you can and let the bees finish repairing the comb next year. Remove all traces of wax moth from frames and boxes and then properly store your equipment to prevent any more damage from the wax moths. Hope this helps.
~Jeff Rys

I think Jeff's answer is great, and if you'd like to add some helpful advice for Sage, or anyone else reading this post, please do so in the comments section below.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bottom Boards... Screened or Solid?

To screen or not to screen that is the question.  Let's hear some feedback members!  How do you bottom board?  Just like every other beekeeping question, I expect we'll get a variety of answers.  I've heard people say to use the screened board year round, the solid board year round, or a combination of the two.  In the comments section below, I'd love to hear your bottom board practice as well as an explanation for why you favor your practice.



The Big E...

The Big E is in full swing, and we've been having a great time at both of our fair locations.  For those of you who haven't visited the fair yet, here are some photos of our booths...

The MA Building
The star of the show.
Our brand new mural...
And our satellite location in Farm-A-Rama
Thanks to all of the volunteers manning the booths during the fair! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

October Meeting...

Hampden County Beekeepers Meeting October 2012

               When: Thursday, October 18th at 7pm

           Where:  Willimanset Heights Improvement League (WHIL)
                       118 Mount Vernon Rd.
                       Chicopee, MA 01013

Let’s get together and go over how we’re managing our hives this fall and winter. 

-There will be a “Big E Review” meeting starting at 6pm on the night of the regularly scheduled meeting.  If you were a seller or a volunteer, please attend and come early, we need your input.  The regular meeting will still start at 7pm. 

-HCBA member Lee Duquette will have his Lee’s Bees feeding stimulant available for sale.  Lee’s feeding stimulant is similar to Honey-B-Healthy at a fraction of the cost, just $12.00 per bottle.  Lee will also have some single serve doses of Fumagilin-B available for purchase, for anyone who still needs to medicate their bees. Cash only, so bring your money!

Here's a LINK to an old blog I posted about Lee's Bees feeding stimulant.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A First Timer's Install...

New HCBA Member, Vanessa Mathieu shared this video of her first install earlier this year.  Vanessa started two hives this year, one standard Langstroth hive and one top bar hive.  Thanks for sharing Vanessa!  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

September Meeting...

         Hampden County Beekeepers Candy Bagging Party!

               When: Thursday, September 6th at 6:00pm

           Where:  Willimanset Heights Improvement League (WHIL)
                       118 Mount Vernon Rd.
                       Chicopee, MA 01013

                Pizza and beverages will be served! 
                 Come help out and have some fun!

We’ll be bagging candy in preparation for the Big E, so while this will not be a regular meeting, we will have the opportunity to discuss all things bee while we work.  Come lend a hand, and get some last minute tips for harvesting and fall and winter management. 

Have you tested for mites yet?  Treated?  Do you have honey?  Have you harvested?  Getting ready to?  Should you?  Can you borrow the extractor?  Are you feeding?  Medicating?  Are your hives in danger of robbing?  When will you put on your entrance reducers?  Are you using a slatted or screened bottom board?  Should you switch?  Come one, come all!  Some of us have questions, and other have answers, new and experienced beekeepers come together and help each other out! 

 See you there!   And don’t forget to volunteer for a shift at the Big E!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pollen Problems...

A member question from Roxie Pin...

It has been so dry and I have watched the clover that my bees have enjoyed visiting turn to brittle, dry, brown crunchies.  I have no idea how to tell if there is a dirth that they talked about in class, but I can tell you that I watched the bees for several minutes coming and going and between two hives, I only saw one bee come in with pollen.  So, I'm wondering if I should start with the pollen supplements.  Both hives are getting established and I have had queen issues, so I don't want to hinder their progress any more.

Should I be feeding pollen patties now?  How do you know when they need pollen?  for that matter, how do you know when they need sugar water if you are not automatically feeding it to them because it is your first year?

Let's help Roxie with some suggestions in the comments section below.

Friday, June 29, 2012

July "BeeBQ" Meeting...

           Hampden County Beekeepers July "BeeBQ"
       When: Saturday, July 28th at 2pm
 Where:  The home of Len Elie
                    1467 Main Rd. (Route 57)
            Granville, MA 01034

Len will be serving hamburgers, hot dogs and soft drinks.  The rest of us can pitch in by bringing a side, salad or dessert.  Please let me know what you plan to bring when you RSVP. 

Len will lead a round table discussion where we can all talk about our bees and what’s going on in our hives. 

BYOB if you like

If you plan to attend, please RSVP by Tuesday July 24th
RSVP to Jessica Martin by email or
Phone 860-978-5388.  Texts are OK too.  Include your name, the number of people attending, and what you plan to bring. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

MA Beekeepers' Field Day...

This was my first time attending the MA Beekeepers' Field Day, and I really enjoyed it!  It was a beautiful day, and it was well attended.  It was a pleasure to see quite a few other HCBA members in attendance, and I hope to hear feedback from some of you on how you liked the event. 

Here are some of the photos I have to share...

The University of MA Agronomy Farm in South Deefield
"Queen Rearing and Grafting" with Dick Callahan PhD
Look at the line for lunch!  I guess everyone loves Bub's BBQ.
A break in the little bit of shade during lunch
Smoker contest contestants
Somker contest (cough!)  
    And the WINNER!
If you have any photos or stories from the day you'd like to share, please email them to me or share them in the comments section below. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bill Crawford... Professional Beekeeper

I just received and email from HCBA member Bill Crawford.  Bill was offered and has accepted a job at a commercial apiary in South Dakota!  Congratulations, Bill!  The apiary where Bill is now working is home to almost 5,000 hives!  Bill wrote to me to let us know about the experience he is having and that he will have plenty of stories to share.  I know I'm looking forward to hearing them!  I promise to share them here, so we can all share in Bill's amazing experience. 

If you have any questions for Bill, please email them to me, or post them in the comments here. 

Bee well!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Recovering Your Own Swarm...

Dan & Joseph Gleason are not going to let their bees get away!  Check out this great video Joseph shot of Dan recovering a swarm that landed in their apple tree.
Keep an eye out, everyone!  Swarms seem to be aplenty. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How Often Do You Inspect Your Hives?

In the most recent Brushy Mountain News Email, they've added a section called Tips for Success.  Beekeepers from all over can submit their tips and the winner is then chosen monthly by Brushy Mountain.  The winner's tip is published in the newsletter and they receive a discount on an order.  That seems like a good deal so if anyone wants to submit, the info is included below. 

I found the winning tip to be an interesting one.  It's got me wondering how often our new beekeepers are inspecting their new package hives, how often our more experienced members would check a packaged hive, and if I'm checking my new package hive too often.  Please comment below.

From Brushy Mountain's News Email
This is a new section that we have added to the e-flier and we are turning to you to help us with it. We are asking you to submit to us your tips, tricks, and keys to successful beekeeping. Each month we will select a winning entry and publish it in the subsequent e-flier giving credit to the winner. The winner will also receive 10% off their next order. 

Entries must be emailed with "Tip for success" in the subject line. Please include a day time phone number at which you can be reached should you be chosen as the winner. 

This month's winner is Dean Pearson.  Dean's tip for success speaks to the beekeepers who are unsure on when or how often it is needed to check on a colony. Dean mentions that in his third year as a beekeeper, he noticed that after replacing or starting a new colony, it is best to visit the hive as little as possible. In the email Dean States: "Last month I replaced three hives that I lost over winter with packages of bees. I know that some beekeepers want to get back into the hive and check on things; my advice is to let them be. I'll only go into my hive once after installation to remove the queen cage and make sure she has been released. I won't check on the hive until I think they are ready for more supers".

Every time you visit your hive, you disrupt the colony and set them back two to three days in production.

For a newly installed colony, over working the hive will interrupt the efficiency of your colony,slow the building of comb and growth. After installing a package it is not necessary to check on them daily. Go in about a week after installing the package to remove the queen cage and verify she is laying. Your colony will need weeks, after removing the queen cage, before it has built up enough comb on the frames to add another layer to the hive, and this can be determined without intensive frame inspection.

Note: Having an entrance feeder will allow you to check your feed without disturbing colony.

Overworking your hive will lead to a lack of developed frames, requires a constant feed supply and no honey harvest. This can also lead to a weak colony that will result in higher mite counts and more diseases. Not over working the hive will allow the bees to draw out comb, forage for nectar and pollen, and rebuild the colony properly.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Introducing My Queens...

This is the Martin Beeyard...
We're a small operation.

The hive on the left is our first hive, and the girls who live there over-wintered OK. I was very excited about that and thought it meant I had completed my first year as a successful beekeeper. So, mother nature decided to challenge me. On an inspection about two weeks ago, I noticed open queen cells, and that the frames were too full of honey, and worst of all... NO BROOD! I switched out some of the full frames with some built-out empty frames I had from last year. Maybe if there was a new queen in the hive, she just needed some space to lay? Left it alone for almost 5 days, and upon reinspection, still no brood. Not an egg in sight. I reached out to some of our experienced club members and the reply was unanimous, "RE-QUEEN! RE-QUEEN!" I got a new queen and installed her on Saturday. Introducing Queen Elizabeth Woodville II...
I'm going to check on her tomorrow and hope she's been accepted and freed by her people. Cross your fingers for me!

The hive on the right is our new hive. I installed a package of Italians from Tom on Easter weekend, and they're doing great so far. I've only done two inspections, and I've spotted the queen quickly and easily both times without really looking. This leads me to believe she's a bit of an exhibitionist. Please meet Queen Daryl Palumbo...
*A note on the size difference between my hives... I wanted to be sure I would be able to manage my first hive alone and was a little nervous about the size and weight of everything, so I opted to start with two medium hive bodies and an 8 frame hive. Initially this worked out great. When they needed more space, I added a third hive body, this seemed to prevent them from swarming. In the fall, they gave me 36 lbs. of delicious honey, and they over-wintered well. With an increased level of comfort going into my second year and second hive, I decided to go for deeps on our new 8 frame hive. Hopefully they'll both be a success!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Christmas Already?

        Hampden County Beekeepers Association
  Christmas Party


 When: Friday, December 7th 2012

Where:  The Villa Rose
                1428 Center St.
         Ludlow, MA

Last year's party was extremely fun.  Food, drinks, live music and a wild yankee swap.  Those social calendars fill up quickly as the holidays approach, you don't want to miss your beekeeping Christmas party, so...

More details and an official invite to follow.

May Meeting...

         Hampden County Beekeepers May Meeting

               When: Wednesday, May 16th at 7pm

           Where:  Willimanset Heights Improvement League
                       118 Mount Vernon Rd.
                       Chicopee, MA 01013
This is meeting will be our first post-bee school meeting of the year.  A great follow up meeting for all of our new beekeepers.  We’d love to see all of our experienced members come out as well.  Let’s share our beekeeping stories and knowledge.   Bring your questions, we’ll compare answers! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Monsanto Boycott...

This morning, I received a link in my email from Tom Flebotte, with the subject "Fox in the Beehouse", knowing that would not be a link to good news, I clicked through to the following...

 GMO AND THE DEVASTATION OF BEE COLONIES: Blamed for Bee Collapse, Monsanto Buys Leading Bee Research Firm by Anthony Gucciardi

I was amazed and disgusted as I know many of you were from the feedback I received when I forwarded this article. What can we do? Well, new HCBA member, Laura Martin has an answer! Here is an excerpt from Laura's email to me...

...I read it and it makes me very worried for the future of bees.
It also made me angry.
So, I did some research to find out what companies Monsanto owns or has a hand in. I'd like to boycott all things Monsanto. But after reading this article, I discovered that Monsanto's reach is so vast that it's very difficult to completely boycott them and all that they produce. However, I'm still going to try to boycott as many of Monsanto's products as I possibly can. I've included the link to the article I read, "A Month Without Monsanto"

To make boycotting Monsanto a bit more manageable for folks, here's a link that lists some specific products made by Monsanto that you can avoid buying.

Every little bit can make a difference, so if you feel like Laura does, she's already done the research for you. Now get to the boycotting! A big thank you to Laura for sharing this information. If anyone has anything to add, please comment below.

Just a Working Girl...

I captured this photo with my iPhone on a quick trip out to my hive the other day. Just had to share.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bee-ing a Member of HCBA Has Many Benefits...

I just received this email from HCBA new member Laura Martin. Laura's email is a great example of how the support of a club can be so helpful to beekeepers seasoned and new! Plus, her excitement about her new bees is contagious! As you read, you can remember how exciting it was the first time YOU saw eggs and larvae! I know all beekeepers can relate to that, regardless of your experience level. Thanks to Laura for letting me share, and to Sue Goddard for setting such a good example for the HCBA!

And now here's Laura's email...
I'm so excited! ....I have eggs! .....I have larvae! ....I even have some developing prepupa!

A big, Thank You!, to Sue Godard who kindly visited my hive with me and viewed the frames for signs of laying. She showed me how to tilt the frame, just so, in order to see those tiny, tiny, little white "sticks" that are the bee eggs. I had brought a magnifying glass with me, just in case, but I didn't end up needing it.

Sue also gave me some helpful tips: I need to get my hive up higher off the ground than it currently is (it's on top of two very large white 5" thick bricks). She said it should ideally be about 18" off the ground. So, today, I'm off to look for something that will accomplish this.

She also pointed out that, for rain, the top should be slid all the way toward the front of the hive (where the bee opening is) so the rain won't get in through the bee door.

She helped me to cut off the excess comb that the bees were building out from the frames and explained that keeping the frames tightly together will help keep the bees from this excess building. She told me to keep the wax for candle making later. In a little bit of the trimmed comb there was some uncured honey - extremely pale in color and made from sugar water but still yummy and honey-tasting! I did not expect this. It was very little; probably around 1/8 of a teaspoon in total.

I asked her some questions regarding beekeeping - various little things that have cropped up since starting this new hobby. She was very knowledgeable and interesting to listen to.
I think this is one of the best things in having a bee mentor to help out first-timers like myself - there always seems to be new questions I have and it's equally helpful to have someone there to show me how to apply the information we've learned in bee school to the practical, real-life experiences of beekeeping. We learn by doing.
I'm so grateful to Sue for her help and assistance!

Laura Martin

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Protecting Our Bees from Pesticides...

Some of you may have recieved the email link I sent out this morning...

The article prompted a great question from a new HCBA member, Roxie Pin. Roxie asked "Is there a list of pesticides somewhere that we should be avoiding? If we know a neighbor is going to spray ~ how are we to protect our bees again? We close up the hive for the day?"

I have very little experience with or knowlegde of pesticides. It was my understanding that if you know someone neighboring your hives is going to spray pesticides that you should screen your bees in the night before and keep them screened in until about 2 hours after the pesticides have been sprayed. Can anyone dispute or confirm this? Let's hear the club weigh in on pesticides and our experiences with them.

I also found this LIST on Wikipedia of some pesticides and their level of toxicity to bees.

Let's get a discussion going in the comment section of this post.

*UPDATE* 4/19/12
In response to this post I received a couple of related links via email. Here they are...


This NATURALNEWS.COM seems like another good online resource.

April Meeting #2...

Hampden County Beekeepers April Meeting #2

When: Thursday, April 26th at 7pm

Where: Willimanset Heights Improvement League (WHIL)
118 Mount Vernon Rd.
Chicopee, MA 01013

This is meeting is part of our 2012 bee school session. Please arrive before 7:00pm as class will start promptly at 7:00pm.

Topic 1: Beewax Products & First Aid
w/speakers Tom Flebotte, HCBA Director and Kim Dermeski

Topic 2: Q&A, Certificate distribution, and raffle*


Monday, April 16, 2012

Inner Covers and Notches...

I've been watching a hive that belongs to one of our new members whose vacation coincided with our bee package delivery. This was my first time working with someone else's set up, so it was nice to see some of the differences in hive set- up, from major to subtle. One of the things I noticed was the absence of a notch in the inner cover. My bees use their inner cover notches quite regularly as second exits/entrances, so I thought this was important enough to mention to the vacationing beekeeper. I'm glad I did. Because this is his first hive, he did not immediately notice the notch was missing, and it was not intentional. Upon discussing this with some other new members in class last week, it turns out there were a few other people who received notch-less inner covers. The offending covers came from multiple sources, beekeeping supply companies and local woodworkers. So to make this long story short... New beekeepers, check your inner covers. If your inner cover does not have a notch like the one pictured here, you may want to make one, or have one made. They provide for better ventilation and act as an upper entrance/escape for the bees.

Made by Hand No. 3...

Made by Hand / No 3 The Beekeeper from Made by Hand on Vimeo.

A project from, Made by Hand is a new short film series celebrating the people who make things by hand—sustainably, locally, and with a love for their craft.

Local farmer Megan Paska has witnessed beekeeping as it morphed from an illegal (and possibly crazy) habit to a sustainable, community-supported skill. Mirroring beekeeping’s own ascendance, she found more than just a living: “This is the first time in my life when I’ve just felt absolutely on the right path.”

A non-beekeeping friend of mine stumbled upon this video on a journey through the world wide web. He forwarded it to me, and though I thought it was a little long and maybe a little boring, I've decided to share it with you all here. It was my first time seeing anyone use a top bar hive on video, and I was shocked to see her just cut away half of a comb and jar it up.

Any top bar hive users in the club? Any stories or experiences to share? Please comment on this post, or send them to me via email.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lee's Honey-B-Healthy...

HCBA member, Lee Duquette has developed his own version of Honey-B-Heathly. Those of you who attended last night's meeting may have seen or even purchased some. I did, and I can't wait to try it out in my hives on Saturday.
HONEY-B-HEALTHY: is a honeybee feeding stimulant composed of lemongrass and spearmint oil concentrate. HONEY-B-HEALTHY helps promote healthy vigorous hives when used as a feeding stimulant. Use as a feeding stimulant for late winter, early spring, and during dearth's of nectar. Also add to your feeding mix to help build up packages, nucs and swarms. (taken from

Honey-B-Healthy sells for a minimum of $24.95 on the beekeeping supply websites. I've even seen it priced as high as $26.50, for 16oz. Lee's price is only $12.00! You can't beat that!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Got Smoke?

HCBA Member Mike Feeney sent this photo in to show us what happens to him when his smoker goes out and his bees aren't in the mood to be worked. Thank goodness for protective clothing! Bee suit anyone?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tom's Follow Up for Your New Bee Packages...

hi all
hope everyone's install went feed feed feed ...don't bother them until sometime this afternoon or Tuesday open up ,check the queen cage to see if she is out ...if she is take it out push the frames together and get out .....leave them until next week then check for eggs then they should have some comb drawn and the queen should bee laying eggs.........don't bother them too much inspect them once a week make sure she is laying ..if you see eggs you know she is there........ you do not have to see the queen to know she is at the entrance, if the bees are bringing in pollen..that is a good sign she is laying .........once you see capped brood it should bee flat not protruding like a bullet ..though there might bee some protruding capping's around the corners and bottom ...these are the drones...again keep feeding them sugar syrup 2 parts sugar to 1 part warm water...they need this to draw out the comb...

Mine are all in and going to town... Those Russians, they like the vodka...Special thanks to my two copilots, John and Fred...

any questions or problems call or email me ....413-883-9399
thanks, tom