foxthebeekeeper
foxthebeekeeper
The Golden Fox's Bees!
Just a sort of log for the adventures of a friendly neighbourhood keeper of bees, and lover of foxes. Non-bee-related posts are tagged with "not bees".
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foxthebeekeeper · 20 days ago
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foxthebeekeeper · 21 days ago
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Local bee appreciation post
My favorite bee-hunting location, an arboretum that is on a college campus, FINALLY reopened in early June once the students went home.  These photos are all from the first day I was able to get back there.
June 23, 2021
Southeastern Pennsylvania
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foxthebeekeeper · 23 days ago
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This little swarm braved almost 4 whole days, and a monsoon of a rain storm before I could get to them. They fell from up high and it looks like their queen didn't survive, because I found a bee curled up under one of the masses that looked like her. Though hopefully they'll be happy in their new home with a new family extension soon!
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foxthebeekeeper · 27 days ago
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Apparently we have bumble bees
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foxthebeekeeper · a month ago
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They're out front and out back?? That's a little unusual.
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foxthebeekeeper · a month ago
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My two questions are "how?" and "why???"
One of my more recently acquired colonies has started building up between the inner cover and lid for some reason, so I put a medium on top of them so they could expand a bit without sticking the lid parts together.
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foxthebeekeeper · a month ago
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It's a long-langstroth! A design I found online and modified some aspects to better suit my bees. Made out of cedar and long leaf pine for longevity and pest resistance. I put a window in the side of it as well to watch em without having to open them up. It has room for 38 frames if I recall, but I've been know to underestimate. I've been looking for the schematics for ages but still can't find them.
And I have no idea about the propolis, but I have taken to cracking the lids open with a brick lately because they're so stuck down. Like not even joking.
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Today was "everyone gets a checkup because I have an electric honey extractor for the weekend" day!
I'm glad to say all the gals are queen right and doing spectacularly! I didn't get a ton of honey, because I had already taken some a couple months back after last frost, but I did get a solid 8.5 deep frames worth.
The smell coming from this big ol tin can is heavenly
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foxthebeekeeper · a month ago
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Today was "everyone gets a checkup because I have an electric honey extractor for the weekend" day!
I'm glad to say all the gals are queen right and doing spectacularly! I didn't get a ton of honey, because I had already taken some a couple months back after last frost, but I did get a solid 8.5 deep frames worth.
The smell coming from this big ol tin can is heavenly
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foxthebeekeeper · a month ago
How much time a day do you usually spend tending to a single bee hive? I'm thinking about raising bees and I was curious how much work it would be for one
Typically it's really "a week or two" or even "whenever" in the colder seasons lol. Bees do not really take a lot of care unless you know they need it. (Like if they came from an extraction, or they don't have foundation/guides for building, etc.)
When I do inspections, I generally inspect half the yard one day and the other half another just to avoid getting EVERYONE riled up at the same time. And when I do, each hive generally only gets 5-15 minutes depending on how big they are or what I'm doing.
You don't really want to only have one hive though, because if something happens to it you don't have another to pull brood/queens from if needed. Generally it's best to keep hives at least in pairs.
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foxthebeekeeper · a month ago
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The gals say IT'S HOT!
It might not seem like bees could move much air, but they're putting out a really nice breeze!
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foxthebeekeeper · a month ago
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Lost in the sauce
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foxthebeekeeper · a month ago
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TERRARIA - QUEEN BEE
X X X X X X X X
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foxthebeekeeper · a month ago
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One benefit to screened bottom boards is that you can see when the babies are coming out! (Though you can usually tell that by all the fluffy new bees doing circles around the hive, getting their GPS set up.)
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foxthebeekeeper · a month ago
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foxthebeekeeper · a month ago
This is all super good info yes!
And too much smoke is definitely not a good thing. Don't replace all the air in a hive with smoke lol, just use enough to get them nice and distracted. It's also good for your honey's flavor if you use less smoke!
I never really give much thought to shaking up the hive a bit when going through it, but you definitely don't want to be dropping frames or making any heavy hits to the hive. That'll stir them up just as much as your breath would. (And I've had to suit up because of that! Mostly just dropping a frame in to place too hard.)
I just did my first hive inspection with a new bee colony and it went really poorly because I couldn’t really pull the frames. any advice on how to be good at looking at my bees or how to make bees not hate me for invading their whole zone?
Step 1: Pre-smoke your hives!
Before I invade a colony that I know to be irritable, I always put a few good puffs of smoke in the entrance, and sometimes even a puff in the upper vent of the hive. I leave them for at least 30 seconds after that before opening them up, and then I can essentially handle them without any suit parts on they're so zonked.
Step 2: The right tool for the job!
A standard American hive tool (the flat crowbar looking one) typically isn't great at safely freeing frames from propolis, but I've found that using two of them to lever out the corners at the same time works great. Though it's often a bit cumbersome to do that. If you just have the one tool, putting it between the frames to one end or the other and using the frames themselves to push a frame around will typically separate it from the sticky hive goop pretty well. The tool that I prefer looks like a little folding claw type deal, and it fits perfectly over both sides of the frame to pull it straight up.
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They're very cheap but I'm sure you could still find a better deal. It works wonderfully.
Step 3: Control your breathing!
One of the things that sets off bees more than anything is human breath. If you breathe out in their direction, it doesn't matter how zonked out they are from smoke, a few will fly off and try to take a stab at you. I wouldn't recommend holding your breath though, but instead just kind of breathing out off to the side or with the wind.
Step 4: Make room!
One of the easiest ways to make inspections easier is to set aside the first frame you pull out, so the others are easy to slide around and pull out without smushing anyone. I usually just do a quick check to make sure her majesty isn't on the frame, then prop it up on the side of the hive so it won't fall over. There are frame holders that you can hook on to the side of hives too, and I want one so bad, but this is the free and easy way to do essentially the same thing.
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foxthebeekeeper · a month ago
I just did my first hive inspection with a new bee colony and it went really poorly because I couldn’t really pull the frames. any advice on how to be good at looking at my bees or how to make bees not hate me for invading their whole zone?
Step 1: Pre-smoke your hives!
Before I invade a colony that I know to be irritable, I always put a few good puffs of smoke in the entrance, and sometimes even a puff in the upper vent of the hive. I leave them for at least 30 seconds after that before opening them up, and then I can essentially handle them without any suit parts on they're so zonked.
Step 2: The right tool for the job!
A standard American hive tool (the flat crowbar looking one) typically isn't great at safely freeing frames from propolis, but I've found that using two of them to lever out the corners at the same time works great. Though it's often a bit cumbersome to do that. If you just have the one tool, putting it between the frames to one end or the other and using the frames themselves to push a frame around will typically separate it from the sticky hive goop pretty well. The tool that I prefer looks like a little folding claw type deal, and it fits perfectly over both sides of the frame to pull it straight up.
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They're very cheap but I'm sure you could still find a better deal. It works wonderfully.
Step 3: Control your breathing!
One of the things that sets off bees more than anything is human breath. If you breathe out in their direction, it doesn't matter how zonked out they are from smoke, a few will fly off and try to take a stab at you. I wouldn't recommend holding your breath though, but instead just kind of breathing out off to the side or with the wind.
Step 4: Make room!
One of the easiest ways to make inspections easier is to set aside the first frame you pull out, so the others are easy to slide around and pull out without smushing anyone. I usually just do a quick check to make sure her majesty isn't on the frame, then prop it up on the side of the hive so it won't fall over. There are frame holders that you can hook on to the side of hives too, and I want one so bad, but this is the free and easy way to do essentially the same thing.
112 notes · View notes