The vast majority of the people who read this blog or watch my beekeeping videos are overseas, but I nevertheless always recommend for new beekeepers in Newfoundland to get on the old Twitter box once in a while and type #beekeeping in the search field to find out what’s going on in the world of beekeeping today. You never know what you’ll find.
Today, for instance, I learned that Tom Seeley is giving a presentation at the National Honey Show in a few days.
If you don’t know about the National Honey Show, you should. Some of the biggest heavy hitters in the beekeeping world give presentations at the National Honey Show, all of it backed up by years of experience or solid science or both. I’ve devoured these presentations since I found them about 5 years ago. I particularly like Clarence Collison’s presentations, but they have presentations by Mike Palmer, if you can stand his grumpy attitude, Tom Seeley, James Ellis, Heather Mattila, Shona Blair — people who know their stuff.
This year, most of the presentations, it seems, can be attended online FOR FREE. It’s worth checking it out and registering if you can:
This kind of thing may be for people more willing to take a deep dive into beekeeping science, not necessarily the casual beekeeper, and those of us with day jobs might have trouble attending, but I think all the presentations will eventually show up on the NHS’s YouTube channel. So bookmark it and come back to it if you can (I’m always checking the channel for new videos). Like I’ve said many times, the best beekeeping info shouldn’t cost you a thing if you know how to use the Internet. It’s easy.
Do frames of dark comb always produce dark honey? I’ll give you one guess.
This isn’t the first time I’ve made crushed & strained honey in my kitchen. But it’s the first time I’ve crushed combs that were this different from one another — so dark and so light. I’ve harvested honey by the individual frame before because sometimes each frame of honey in a single hive can come from such a different nectar source that the final liquid honey in each frame has a completely different colour and flavour. (That sentence seems longer than it needed to be.) I was expecting something like that this time around. But that’s not what happened. Continue reading →
Some people say honey frames can’t be uncapped with a heat gun. They’re wrong. It doesn’t work on wet cappings, but it works fine with dry cappings. Here’s proof. (This video is an excerpt from my Garage Honey Extraction video.)
I extracted some honey in my garage over the past couple of days. I’d like to say there’s a precise method to my extraction process, but like everything in beekeeping, there isn’t — and don’t let nobody tell ya no different (just like Sling Blade would say). Now let’s take a gander at how it all went down:
00:00 — Intro to the extractor. Everything is sanitized, from the extractor to the stainless steel honey filter to the honey bucket. The garage might look rough, but it’s well ventilated and there are no chemicals or gasoline or any toxic fumes floating around.
I’ve heard from a number of Newfoundland beekeepers who support the Varroa Action Plan released by NL Beekeeping Association and are interested in the upcoming workshops on how to detect, treat, and prevent the spread of Varroa, but can’t do it for one reason or another. Fortunately there are plenty of instructional videos about Varroa online that might be as informative for beekeepers who won’t be attending the workshops. Here are a few:
According to my previous post, When is It Time to Harvest Honey?, it’s about time to harvest some honey now. Which means it’s about time to add some escape boards so my bees can “escape” from their honey boxes, which then makes it easier for me to steal their honey. You know, I think I might have a video of me from earlier today that shows how this works:
I had to install a mated queen into one of my hives and I couldn’t find a proper queen cage, so I drilled some 1/8-inch (~3mm) holes in a pill bottle and put the queen in that instead. Here’s what happened:
IMPORTANT NOTE: I would normally not release a queen into a new colony after only two days of sitting in the cage. But this queen originated from this hive and the bees were already familiar with her scent. It normally takes 5-7 days for a colony to feel completely at ease with a new caged queen. A queen released after only two days could easily be superceded by the colony.