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12.16.2011

Our Beeswax Makes Wonderful Hand Cream and Lipgloss

Our beeswax makes delightful
 lipgloss,  handcream  and foot cream
The recipe is simple: 1/3 beeswax, 1/3 olive oil
1/3 cocoabutter, shea butter, almond  or coconut oil.
Melt slowly in a solar melter or over a double boiler,
then add your favorite scented essential oil.

11.14.2011

The Bee's Honors


“The bee is more honored than other animals,
not because she labors,
but because she labors for others”
-- Saint John Chrysostom

11.06.2011

Love's Hive is Empty


Only Grace remains...
Bees clustered in the center of Grace's Hive.
 I am feeding them, but even so...
I'm not certain that they will make it either.
Dead bees in Luba's ( Love's) Hive
Cross section of dead bees in the comb



11.04.2011

Covered Quiet Hives

At the beekeepers club meeting last night, several members said that they had hives that had been robbed. What was most interesting is, that the further west that they were from me, the earlier in the month they had their hives robbed. Most had one or two hives robbed of several healthy hives. Most said it was the little wild bees or "german" bees.So I guess that the drought is a part of it all. I felt not alone in my dilemma, especially since I had already shut down the hives to one thimble sized entrance before the robbing began. They also confirmed that the hives could be robbed and killed in a few days as mine were.
That is one of the things that is great about being member of a great group of beekeepers is that they understand all the crazy things that can happen. Their care, compassion and love of their bees, as well as their immense knowledge and many lifetimes worth of experiences humbles me always. Plus they all have a great sense of humor too, which helps when you are facing a robbed hive situation!

From Brushy Mountain Bees- Important News Report by Dan Rather on Pesticides, Honeybees and CCD

If you don't believe the beekeepers, who are and have been seeing this firsthand-
Then maybe a man in a nice suit with a low voice in front of a camera at a desk can help you understand it.
Here is Dan Rather's report.

Bee Aware from Greg Stanley on Vimeo.

10.29.2011

Photos of the Robbed Hives - VIEWER WARNING-not very pretty pictures

Exhausted Honeybee

The only honey comb left in Luba's Hive
One of three clusters that are left in the hive
Landing Board Misery

Thousands of dead or dying bees on the bottom of Luba's Hive
Just inside the landing board excluder on Luba's Hive

One inch think - dead bees ( I had already swept out the top/front part before I opened it)


large exterior view of bees caught trying to get out through the cracks inbetween  the supers
close up of bees stuck in between supers on Luba's Hive
 I let them out and they flew away

totally clear bottom board. (!?!)


10.28.2011

Very, Very Sad News

After being attacked and fighting the agressive invading bees,
thousands of my bees are now dead, or dying.
The hives  that were full of honey and pollen are empty just last week,
 are now empty.
 Juts a few frames of caped brood remain.. and one frame of capped honey
 and some half frames of pollen and uncapped honey..
 Thousands of  dead bees were all on the bottom of the hives,
 and of course some outside, along with yellow jackets.
 even with a thimble sized opening...
It happened so quickly.
I cleaned and downsized the hives and left the bees with some feed to help them recover.
 I will check for the queens tomorrow to see if they survived.


10.27.2011

Bees on the Roof of the Hive and Below the Landing Board

Bees on the Roof in a pause in the activity after smoking the hive
Bees trying to climb up through the bottom board and screen

Swarm on the Hives

Bees Swarming the Top of the Hive

Swarm on the Hive- Robber Bees Trying to Get In

Yep they are in the process of being Swarmed and Robbed.
Bees are everywhere trying to get access to the honey in the hives.
They are even under the hive trying to get in through the screen!
I closed up the hive yesterday before it got really ugly...
I smoked them
They did nothing.
I sprayed them with mint and water.
They just laughed.
I turned on the sprinkler
and they have mostly gone away.
for now...

Robber Bees on Empty Frame

These robber bees were all over this empty frame
within two seconds of me laying it down.

10.26.2011

Very Odd Bee Activity This Morning

Once again the bees are hanging out on the north side and the top of the hive like they did before the Washington/ VA / PA earthquake.
They are also bearding on the front of the hive and a few are flying around it.

I checked the inside and they seem fine on the brood comb..
But there were lots of bees on the bottom board trying to get in through the screening!

They seem to be doing battle with each other, that worries me that it may be an outside group trying to robb Luba's hive.
Anya's is fine.
Which is odd, because they are right next to each other (?)
so I dusted them a bit with powdered sugar & trust that they will survive alright.
I am sure glad that I closed down the entrance on both hives.
I did not have time to take photos-
It is suppose to turn cold this weekend again.
So I will check the hives again tomorrow and see what they are up to
if anything...

10.24.2011

What the Bees are Finding in Our Yard

White asters

Detail- White asters

New Volunteer -Red flowering Vine

 Tarragon Blossoms

Tarragon Blossoms

Blue Asters

Blue Asters- Detail

Bees on the Hwy in this Unfortunate Crash

One of the risks in transporting colonies

10.18.2011

More from the 15th Annual Field Day at the USDA Baton Rouge Honey Bee Lab

Honeybees in flight

Delicious Honey Drops on Bee gloves

The  Smoker- a beekeepers essential tool
bees buzzing a beekeeper's glove
Louisiana Honeybees

Wonderfully designed Hive stands

Bee hives in place
Bees in the field on stands
More bees in the field
a group learning about bees 
another view  of a bee field 
bees on the wax
Marked Queen Bee on brood comb
Working the hives
Side view of the frame
Newly re-marked Queen- She is so  tiny!!!
Front view of the hive
Honeycomb on plastic frames

Brood comb
Lecture on Essentials


How to light a smoker


Hive beetle basics

Amazing and incredibly informative lecture by D.  Pollet
on plants for bees in Louisiana and their distribution statewide.
I bought his book.  If you keep bees in Louisiana, you should buy it too!