Bob and Marsha Gomola Bee yard
Sunday May 6, 2012
Recieved and recovered a swarm in Medina. The bees landed in a tree branch about 7 feet off the ground on a dead end street. This was the easiest swarm capture I have done yet. I parked the car almost below the swarm, shook the branch and the bees went into a box that was placed in a deep. About 90 % of the bees were in the hive with the shake. 15 minutes later about all the bees were in the hive. I placed the now full hive in the trunc (which moved it about 6 feet) and the few remaining bees soon joined in the hive. The Swarm is consuming sugar water syrup in large quantity. http://www.medinabeekeepers.com/images/Bees_May_6.jpg
Saturday April 7, 2012
My 2 hives made it through the mild winter. This warm day let me really look into the hives in depth to see what the condition was throughout. Honey left on the hives for the winter was estimated at near 100 pounds each hive. Quite a bit of this was consumed. I had been feeding with sugar water for over the last month and all was taken.
Last October we noticed the last sad remnants of late year swarm. From the looks of things we think the swarm occured in October. The few days between the swarming and our finding the swarm all but killed the bees as they desparately clung to a tree on the small amount of drawn wax comb. The cold October did them in!
The smaller of the 2 hives had the tell tale indications that the October swarm most likely came from this hive. The small hive did survive. The queen was seen and brood pattern starting to look good. There were 3 empty quees cells observed.
Saturday August 6, 2011
This is my second harvest of the 2011 season. I have 2 hives goig strong and between them they produced 24.5 pounds of honey. The first harvest netted 15 pounds. Total thus far is 39.5 pounds.
Sunday June 5, 2011
I got my first swarm call of 2011 on Sunday. The swarm was a nice size - guessing 3 ~ 4 pounds. Capture took 90 minutes. The ride home revealed an interesting (and exciting) fact - my car trunk is not entirely sealed off from the passenger compartment. The 20 minute drive to the bee yard introduced me to about 2 dozen bees flying around the front and back seat. No real danger. No stings. Just a minor distraction.
Friday June 18, 2010
I came up with a fast way of capturing a swarm in a deep and using the deep to start a new hive.
First I made a frame the same size as the hive body out of 1 x 2 wood on end. I cut a slot about 3/8 high x 5 inches long on one of the short sides.
Second I fastened this 1 x 2 (with the slotted knotch down against the plywood) from the bottom . I used about twelve 1 inch drywall screws. When this was screwed together I left a few inches of the plywood extended out from the knotched side. This kind of looks like a front porch for the bees.
Final - Now when I need to capture a swarm I simply place the 1 x 2 and plywood porch on the ground / stack the deep on top / shake the swarm into the deep / place the inner cover and outer cover. A cheap ratchet strap (wrapped around the entire stack) holds it together for the ride home. The knotch allows the airborn bees to "catch the scent" of the queen (hopefully in the deep at this point) and find their way into their new home. This has worked great for me on two occasions.
Now I simply transport the strapped assembly to its new location / remove the strap and place the deep / inner and outer cover onto a waiting bottom board.
The nice thing about this method is it handles the bees only one time.
Thursday June 10, 2010My attempt at inserting a photo of my honey label
Friday May 28, 2010
WOW, I thought the swarm Wednesday was something. Well, Friday I received another call for a swarm at the Smith Brothers business on Marks road. We gathered the bees that were about 10 feet up in a tree. 30 ~ 40 minutes later we left with another nice swarm.
After I returned home Friday I found another swarm in my yard. I suspect these came from one of my hives. This swarm was very big (as compared to the other two). I would say it looded like the size of a small golf bag - stretched out over a branch. There is a video of the capture posted on Youtube - look for "Bob's Swarm". Swarm capture
Wednesday May 26, 2010
Thanks to Buzz Riopelle (who provided my name from the Swarm List) I got my first call of 2010 on May 26th. I met a delightful couple in Lodi with a small to medium (my guess about 2 pounds of bees) located about 3 feet off the ground at the back of their property in a small tree at the edge of the woods. The bees had been there about one week and started building comb (about 2 inch wide by 4 inches long).
There was no problem with me trimming the tree and the swarm was collected in a very short time.
I appreciate the chance to add to my bee yard. I went into the winter with three hives, but only one made it - and it it thriving. I'm thinking I might need to extract fairly soon.
Thanks to Buzz I'm now up to two Hives and I have enough wooden ware to have as many as five - before I make another run to the supplier.
Aug 19th 2009
I am just past the 1-1/2 year mark as a beekeeper. Last year (2008) I harvested twice. The summer extraction (at the end of July) from one hive produced 31 pounds of very light honey. The taste is very nice. The fall extraction (September) produced 27 pounds of a medium colored (as compared to the first harvest) honey I later learned was heavily influenced by the 2+ acres of goldenrod on the property.
I just had the first harvest of the 2009 season on 09 August. Now I am up to 3 hives. 2 new hives (as the original old hive did not make it past January - due to weather / starvation - as best I can tell) and the original hive now with a Swarm that was captured in May by a freind beekeeper in Summitt County.
Well, the harvest is much less this year as compared to last year. Much of this I'm guessing is due to the weather. Seems the trees were budding then hit with some frost (or something). We notice a total lack of the tree fragrence as we walk about the property this year. No hint or sign of Linden trees blooming, etc.
The first harvest of 2009 produced 40 pounds from the three hives total. The honey is a medium color and very tasty. I liken it to a sorgum type of taste. Very different from last July's, but very good none the less.
Interestingly, I notice one of the new hives is the best producer. This one (painted light yellow to differentiate it from the other 2 hives painted white and light mint green) accounted for maybe 9 frames of the 15 total. I also notice the activity around the hive is remarkably different as compared to the other 2 hives - particularly with the quantity of bees (congregating and flying in and out). These bees also are A BIT more annoyed with me being in their hive - as noticed by the in-my-face buzzing.
The next best producing hive is the relocated swarm from Summitt county. I'm told these were probably from a hive at least 6 years old that has had no beekeeper activity in those 6 years - the beekeeper was no longer around. We think these bees will bee good survivors through the winter - as they have made it thus far. Darker in color than the Italian bees of the other 2 hives - these girls never congregate at the entrance and never seem to be coming and going in near the numbers of the other hives, but what do you know - they produced about 4 frames of capped honey. And when I'm in the hive it looks looks to have plenty of bees. As an aside, I notice all the bees come and go from the front left corner of the opening - even thouth the entire entrance is open. Huh!
The last hive (mint green) looks like it is making it (in terms of bee production) but these gals are not producing much in the way of capped honey - just 2 frames.
Well, the golden rod is begining the bloom. I recall from last year my somewhat frantic phone calls to several beekeepers about the "smell" coming from the hive. I was told it is most likely the golden rod and I should not worry. This was right. Last years fall was a very strong (taste and fragrance). I also learned from reading - and then seeing - the golden rod honey tends to crystalize more rapidly.