Sunday, November 6, 2016


The Ambrosium has absconded. I'm not sure when that happened.  It's been a miserable couple of weeks around here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

After two weeks

I did hive inspections yesterday. Over all, another poor harvest is in the making.

Ambrosium: A bit of honey, none capped, distributed over both supers.

Josephium: Maybe 10 pounds, none capped, in the lower super. Maybe less. None at all on the upper super. I moved that one onto the Lucium.

Lucium: A full super, some of it capped. They are doing the best, so I rewarded them with a second super.

Salomium: They drained their syrup dry, so I put on another four pounds at $2.09 a bag.

The knotweed is still in bloom at the bottoms of the ravines, although the stuff on the ridges is basically done. The goldenrod is getting earnest, including in our yard.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Club Speaker

In the last two months, I've put 8 more pounds of sugar on the Salomium.

There has been a dearth with almost no pollen going into the hives.

Right now we have begun our knotweed bloom, and I expect our goldenrod bloom in about two weeks. I expect the goldenrod honey flow to end around October first.

Our club speaker, Tom McCormack, last Thursday said we should feed six weeks before the honey flow starts, March 1 through April 15, and July through August 15.

He recommended formic acid at the beginning of August, if I recall correctly.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Christmas Harvest

I finally got around to jarring the Christmas harvest we pulled off of the collapsed St Benedict colony on 25 December. I filled 14 half-pound queen line jars, or 7 pounds total. Tasted good! Too bad they are all dead.

The old hive formerly occupied by the benedictianae is now occupied by the St Lucy colony we captured in the spring. Ora pro nobis, Sancta Lucia! Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

More feed for the Salomium

I put on another 4 lbs. into the Salomium on Monday. They had drained the earlier one dry.

Still no pollen going into the Ambrosium. Seems like there is less activity out front there compared to the other hives.

On Monday, there had seemed to be a regular tornado in front; I thought they were going to swarm. Then the activity died down, and things went back to normal. I wonder if the ambrosianae finally did it.

It's been very dry here the past week or so. We've needed to water the garden as well as the bees.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


I popped the telescoping cover off of the Ambrosium today to see whether I could peer through the crown cover's hole and see whether there was any drawn comb on the upper super (the superior?) I couldn't see a thing because the there so many bees there. So I closed up and walked away. I didn't pry off the crown cover since I wasn't geared up, had no smoker, and had no hive tool. As I walked away an ambrosiana got me on the hand. It made a big dark bruise.

Friday, June 17, 2016

More Pollen

I spotted pollen going into the Salomium today. Wow. That queen must have arrived almost ready to lay.

Friday, June 10, 2016


We have pollen going into the Josephium and Lucium already! I'm glad that the bee kill last month did not wipe out the Josephium's brood.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Update (and a sting)

A lot has been going on in the last month, but I have been a negligent logger.

We caught the swarm and put it in the the old Benedictium, now rechristened the Lucium. Now we had no hive for our new package due at the end of the May, so we hurriedly purchased another for them. The apiaria  decided that it should be pink, so we bought some pink paint, and the apiarella and apiariulus painted it for her, which we named after Saint Salome.

We moved the Josephium and Lucium to a new location after plugging up the entrances with grass. The next day the Josephians had already made their escape, and they suffered a bee-kill. What an odd coincidence. The Lucium seemed fine.

We left for vacation, and Joachim installed the package (Russians) into the Salomium for us in our absence. That was on Friday 27 May. Four pounds of sugar were placed into the attic, along with the  feed which came from the package. He went back on Saturday to check on the queen, and got a sting for his troubles.

We got back yesterday, and seemed to have four happy hives.

Saturday, April 30, 2016


I saw a swarm in the cherry bush above Brenda's Square Foot Gardens. I unwrapped it (it was surrounded by chickenwire) I shook the swarm into the empty Benedictium after ridding it of ants. This swarm was much bigger than last year's swarm in the mulberry tree. I wonder which hive it came from? I wonder if it wasn't from the Ambrosium; they haven't been bringing in much pollen lately.

The dandy lions are almost all seeding now, even up here. I should do a hive inspection tomorrow.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Dandelions are started to seed in the lowlands, and even one or two up here. The apples are in bloom and the dogwoods. The yard is vibrant in dandy lion yellow and ajuga violet. The bees are happy.

They drank the last of their syrup. Lucy and I painted foundation with bees wax (bought from Joe for $50) and put 10 frames of super on each hive.

While I had the hives open, I pulled a frame of capped honey from the upper body of the Ambrosium, and another from the lower body, reducing each body to 9 frames. I put the two frames into the attic for cleaning. I put the new super under the attic.

For the Josephium, I had already removed the 10th frame from each body last week. They were still in the attic, covered with bees. There's still a fair bit of honey in them. I removed the empty feeding pail from the attic and put the super under it.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Fresh feed for the Ambrosium

4 more pounds into the attic of the Ambrosium.

Lots of bees out today. 80 degrees. New drones with wet wings clinging to the side of the Josephium.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Spring hive inspection: Josephium

I got the smoker going well, and I got our my manipulation cloth: my first time to use it. The carnicae were much more gentle than the girls in the Ambrosium, although the smoke and cloth may have played a roll too. They had hardly touched their feed.

Brood were up in the top body. I removed a frame of drone brood and reduced the number of frames from 10 to 9 there. I pulled out an empty frame (just a bit of honey) from the other body. Then I swapped the bodies. I put the two removed frames into the attic with the feeder pail.

Lots of lavae, the hive looks healthy.

Spring hive inspection: Ambrosium

I went out to inspect the Ambrosium. The brood was split between the top and bottom bodies, so I did not swap the bodies. I was going to thin them out from 10 to 9 frames, but the bees were getting antsy, and my smoker went out.

They had drunk all their feed. I'll put another 4 pounds of sugar on tonight.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Warm spell

I put the feed buckets back on today. Low is in the high thirties the rest of the week, according to the forecast.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Another cold spell

It's a blustery stormy day today. There were white caps on the Allegheny River. The hawthorns and magnolias are in bloom.

The weather is going down to 27 degrees tonight, so I flipped the feeder pails over to keep them from dripping on the bees.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Warm spell and feed

I put 4 pounds of sugar each, 8 pounds total, on the Ambrosium and Josephium. It looks like we have a warm spell coming up.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Cold Spell

We have a cold spell coming up according to Google weather and Channel 11, so I took the feeder pails off. The Josephium has slurped up all its syrup; the Ambrosium has slurped up almost nothing.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Warm winter and an opportunity to feed.

Last month we had a really warm couple of days, so I split a four pound bag of sugar between the Ambrosium and Josephium. They both seemed happy and healthy and bringing in pollen, maple, I guess.

Today it's really warm again, and it looks like we will have a really warm week. The two surviving hives look happy and healthy with plenty of pollen going in, so I added a bag of sugar in syrup pails to each.