Thursday, December 23, 2010

Winter condensation and what to do about it.

I use bee cozies on my bees in the winter.  After several several years of using them and not always having enough for all my hives I have seen the difference that having one makes.  They use far less stores to get through the winter, one of the main causes for winter hive death is starvation, sometimes with in inches of stores.  With the cozy on they don't have to cluster as tight and have a better chance of reaching the stores need to stay fed.
Mold from condensation.

The hive wrapped in insulation, the bottom board in place if using SBBs leaves the top to condensate.  All the warm air from the bees is pressed against the uninsulated top cover.  Condensation forms and drips very cold water on to the cluster below causing death and sickness.  A simple fix is to put a piece of insulation in the top airspace.  If you don't have an airspace on the top the next best fix is a nickel under the two front corners of the inner cover to let moister out.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Beekeeping 101 at Oakhurst Gardens

I'm so honored to be teaching a few classes this year at Oakhurst Community Garden.

January 29th I will teaching beekeeping 101.  I hope to cover the basics of what equipment to buy, from whom. What is and isn't really necessary for starting out and why.  Where to place your hive, how to install your bees ect.

March 19th I will teaching a advanced class.  I have asked for specific questions to be submitted a week before the class so I can try to address the student specific concerns and I know this will lead to lots of wonderful discussions about pest and problems.

April 23rd is the kids version of bees 101.  We will crush and strain a frame of honey, look at all sorts of tools, equipment and protective gear and of course taste some really honey.  If time permits we will also be making a rolled beeswax candles with some foundation.