We are starting out very strong this year!!!!
What an amazing weekend!!!! What was going to be a rainy weekend ended up being perfect to install nucs. Thank you to all the people who came to help put the nucs in. It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm and collaboration among our community. What a great team we all make when we put our minds to it. A huge thanks for all the effort that went to setting up the apiary. We could not do it without your help. As we all know the work is never done. Nevertheless, we are just that much further as we journey together on this learning adventure.
Zenger Farm Apiary is now up to ten hives and counting, we have three more packages coming thanks to Ruhl Bee’s generous donation. We will install the three packages next Wednesday 4/15/2015 at 2 pm, if you wish to join in the fun. This makes a total of 13 hives. We are still expecting swarms and splits. I just hope we have enough equipment!!!
The nucs came from Foothills Honey Farm in Colton, Oregon. If you just happen to hear Hawaiian music, or hear a little “Aloha” it is because the nucs are from Hawaii. The bees are a mixed breed, and all the nucs seem very strong in their own right. Each nuc contained five frames which included 2 frames of honey. There is no need to feed pollen or sugar at this time, if you also went to George Hansen’s place. As we continue to look forward it is very important to look for signs of the Queen, or the Queen herself. We know one is camping in a feeder at the moment, we hope this will change by tomorrow so I can return all the boxes with all the feeders intact.
Bees really only need one thing right now and that is room. Just continue to give them room to grow. Swarms continue to happen, just ask Lauren who already had five swarms with her top bar Kenyan. Go Lauren!!! If you happen to see a swarm or wish to get on the swarm list, please call the number offered by PUB Swarm Hotline: (503) 444-8446
Now What Do I Do Now That I Have Bees?
Things to do with a new nuc or colony:
- Have patience and take your time. Each colony will have its own personality.
- Let them get established this week. Especially packages. Do not disturb packages for the first one or two weeks.
- Top bar beekeepers – keep an eye on the comb and then let it go. Once the comb is drawn straight then become the hands off beekeeper you want to be. Bees are great at cross-combing, which can make opening up a hive difficult. This can change a positive experience into a negative one. If you are new to top bar please consider going to classes and getting a mentor to have the best experience.
- Keep an eye on honey stores. If they get low start feeding sugar water – 1 part water to 1 part sugar (by weight or volume), if you are inclined to feed.
- If you wish to know mite count, check for mites once a month. Make a decision depending on what you see.
- Relax, have fun, and enjoy the beauty that these lovely ladies and gents will bring.
Major Food Source:
The sugar Maples are coming out in full force and that means there is a beginning food source for the hives. We are a month early with our blooms, so keep looking out for different colors of pollen that will be coming your way.
ZFAC has an opportunity to get its own shed!!! We need to raise $2500. There are a couple grants that could give us some money. If you know how to write grants, or wish to participate in grant writing we need you!!! I personally am dying for a new shed. I am sure anyone who has been out at the farm understands completely.
We also need a cleanup committee to come and clean the donated frames and boxes that have come our way. The cleanup committee can create a schedule that will fit into work schedules. I will bring a sign-up sheet for a work committee Saturday the 18th. Whatever the work committee has not finished we will finish on the third Saturday. If we want the 8-frames to be at their best, we need to get together and do this. So let’s find time in our busy schedules to help out. The work is less if more people come and help out. Please do not burn your leaders out! Please help us by coming to the work parties. It makes a better apiary experience for everyone!
April 24: Comcast Work party is happening. We are getting them to dig up the grass and mulch over the newly dug up land. I get to be forewoman. Tee Hee
June 26: Zenger Farm Volunteer Appreciation Day. Come join us and celebrate our success.
ZFAC Education Is On the Horizon
Now that we have bees we’ll be planning out some education and experimentation programs. Everyone will get a chance to learn about the various methods of treating and managing bees. We will be splitting into groups. All groups will be learning how to do mite counts and apply organic chemical and non-chemical treatments.
Groups are responsible for logging progress and communicating what has been done on the folders that will be established at each hive. Please write legibly and take notes as you go along. All the information gathered will be logged onto a larger database so that we can see the actual changes that have occurred over the season. This is really good practice for everyone, including myself who tries to do it all by memory. Good beekeepers keep progress notes.
A sign-up sheet will be handed out at the next meeting. If you are unable to come to the meetings and you wish to participate, but don’t express which group, you will be put into a group. The groups will stay together for the summer. Please RSVP (comment below) to let us know that you want to participate in this project. Sign-up sheet will be available till the end of May. You can also email me directly.
First Saturday In May
Dr. Dewey Caron will be joining us in May at the next meeting to talk about queen rearing. I know this sounds very advanced. However, it is important to understand bee biology and how it all works, everything is connected in some way. Regardless of where you feel you are in beekeeping please come, I know we have some advanced beekeepers in our group. It’s a great opportunity to hear Dr. Dewey speak and possibly get some one-on-one time with him because it is a smaller group. The more you learn, the more you know and the better beekeeper you will become.
- Wednesday, 4/15/2015, 2-3 pm – Installing packages (Please RSVP – comment below) & hive inspections (hives 1-7, 13)
- Saturday, 4/18/2015, 12-2 pm – Work Party (clean up donated 8-frames and boxes and continue to create bee field application lab, provide notebooks and label hives)
- Wednesday, 4/22/2015 2-3 pm Hive inspection and feeding packages (8-13)
- Friday, 4/24/2015, 9-12 pm – Comcast work party is happening. We are getting them to dig up the grass and mulch over the newly dug up land. I get to be forewoman (Tee Hee).
- Saturday, 5/2/2015, 12-2 pm – Bee Education: Dr. Dewey Caron – Queen Rearing
- Wednesday, 5/13/2015, 2-3 pm Hive Inspection
- Saturday, 5/16/2015, 2-3 pm Work Party
- Wednesday, 5/20/2015, 2-3 pm Hive Inspection
- Wednesday, 5/27/2015, 2-3 pm Hive Inspection.
- Friday, 6/26/2015, Time TBD – Zenger Farm Volunteer Appreciation Day. Come join us and celebrate our success.