Monday, October 01, 2012

End of an Era

We did not replace our bees this season and with the uncertainty over CCD, we decided to burn the brood boxes that they occupied last winter. We sold off the remaining equipment and are officially retired from beekeeping. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

100% Loss to Colony Collapse

Where have all the honeybees gone? We had a gorgeous spring day and went to add some more honey frames to our beehives, but the bees were all gone! There was still quite a bit of honey available in the top boxes, but no bees, no brood, no cluster, no dead bees, no signs of disease, just gone! It was the same for both colonies. These are classic signs of the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)

IMG_2013

IMG_2012

I guess we've lost our status as bee "keepers". It was a sad day at the bee farm today.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

November snow in the beeyard

Late October and early November snow came before the leaves fell from the trees this year. Good thing the bees were all tucked in for the winter.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Final Flowers of Fall 2011

Final Flowers of Fall 2011 by D.Broberg
Final Flowers of Fall 2011, a photo by D.Broberg on Flickr.

Red Dahlia

Final Flowers of Fall 2011

Final Flowers of Fall 2011 by D.Broberg
Final Flowers of Fall 2011, a photo by D.Broberg on Flickr.

Pink Hollyhocks

Final Flowers of Fall 2011

Final Flowers of Fall 2011 by D.Broberg
Final Flowers of Fall 2011, a photo by D.Broberg on Flickr.

Yellow/Red Dahlia

A perfect fall day in the garden

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fall Inspection 2011

HoneyBees by D.Broberg
HoneyBees, a photo by D.Broberg on Flickr.

A warm October day is ideal for a fall inspection. This image shows our new colony of Minnesota Hygienic bees. They are usually quite aggressive and today was no exception. They were crawling all over themselves on this frame, but we didn't see the queen.

They had a number of empty frames, so we ended up replacing them with five frames mostly filled with honey that we held back from our harvest. Their winter stores should be in good shape otherwise. We did see some brood and pollen, but not a lot.

The survivor colony was far more mellow today, not too bothered by our inspection. They had good stores with the top box almost 100% filled and capped with honey. Below had some honey along with the brood and pollen. We didn't need to add anything to that hive. Let's hope they survive another winter.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Honey Harvest 2011


We completed our honey harvest over the Labor-Day holiday weekend again this year. The weather cooperated and we received a moderate harvest from the two hives, one of which was a brand-new colony this year. The first video shows the decapping process where the wax caps are removed, exposing the raw honey for harvest.

video

The next video shows the raw honey coming from the centrifugal extractor and dropping into the straining bag that removes any leftover wax or bee parts. We use a rather large screen so that all the pollen passes through to the honey. Everything is done at room temperature. This year our total harvest was 81 pounds.


video

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Vegetable Harvesting

Fresh yellow pear and sungold tomatoes

Fresh and canned roma tomatoes

Fresh peppers, green beans and romas