Monday, September 29, 2014

Mamma Bear

To all that reads Challenged Survival.

Mamma Bear has had a Stroke, on August 20,2014.
For months she has not felt well.
A week in the hospital, and twenty one days at Health South Rehabilitation Hospital.
Mamma Bear is home now. We have a long way to go.
We need a lot of PRAYER from every one.
 The LORD will heal her, and she will be back soon!

Papa Bear

Friday, May 23, 2014

Remembering our Heroes

Have a safe Memorial Weekend my friends.  We will be attending a flag retirement ceremony and picnic with the VFW on Monday.

Thanks for the replies and emails wondering if we were ok. I will try to do a post next week.  We have been extremely busy when we weren't flooded in!

Please watch this video Mansions in honor of our fallen heroes.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

My Apiary has Doubled!

I went into this season with 3 hives and now I have six!  This week I have caught 3 swarms, one of them twice! I have now put a piece of a queen excluder over the entrance as Pioneer Preppy suggested.  I love this idea to keep them from swarming again but then again I am  concerned if it is a virgin queen she will not be able to mate.  Oh the worries.

One swarm was huge and it was not a good catch.  Maybe that is why they swarmed again the next day.  I pissed them off royally.  The pictures do not even do it justice.  I took the trap down from the tree and it was heavy.  After I got the trap open and lifted the top up, the beard hung almost to the ground.  Unfortunately I could not hold the trap and get that picture at the same time.  When I moved to put the top over the hive and shake it, I tilted the top causing half of the beard to break and land in a big clump beside the hive.  Mind you I am working in the dark with only a light I have on my golf cart seat aimed in my direction.  This picture is from the first shake into the hive.

These were the bees still left clinging after my first shake.  There were just as many in the other half of the trap. I had to shake them back down and bump them hard again to get them in the hive.
These were what was left on the ground after I brushed some with the bee brush into a bucket and put in the hive.

I knew I had the queen when the ones remaining outside were doing the bee butt dance and started heading in.
 The next afternoon they decided to swarm again but I caught them in the act.  I saw them land in the small cedar and weighing down the limb.  I went and suited up and this time remembered to put a sheet on the ground where I was working.  They were bearding on a limb just above my head.  Papa Bear took this picture after I had climbed the ladder.  You can see the limb I cut  on the ground and the bucket with the bees after I shook the limb.  I got that bucket load shook into the hive, bungee corded everything up so I could go back and get it early evening.  All the strays will head inside one they catch a whiff of the queen.

While I was getting these bees into the trap, I was all of a sudden in another cloud of bees.  A swarm was coming across the bee yard from the back of our property and heading for one of my traps on the east side of the apiary.  For once I know I caught a swarm that wasn't my bees!  It was awesome!
Here they come!  Pouring into the trap.  I got them last night too with no incidents.  I worked all of my hives yesterday and have honey almost ready to harvest! 

It is definitely swarm season in NW Florida!  I only have one more empty brood box.  I have to get busy and build more or take down my traps.  I do have two five frame nucs should I catch a small swarm.

Search This Blog