Today in the Apiary June 30

Busy beekeeping day today. I spent the entire day getting ready for honey harvest and checking bees. I have my extractor, bottling tank, and wax melter sealed and ready to go. If you pick up older galvanized equipment, be sure to coat it well with food grade epoxy. You can buy it from the bee supply companies under the trade name camcote. The reason you must do this is because galvanized metal can leach lead into your honey if it isn’t properly sealed. You don’t want to feed lead to your family or your customers.

I am building commercial pallets for the hives to sit on. This will make moving them from place to place for pollination much easier. Today I build and painted 3, which will hold 12 hives total. Many, many more to go!

I stopped by the local carpet store and picked up some free leftover carpet scraps. I’m going to try strips of them in front of the hive entrances to keep the weeds out of the bees’ flight path.

I built two double bucket strainers so my harvest isn’t slowed down by draining honey. 

At the end of the day I finally got a 5 gallon bucket of 1:1 syrup made and fed to the bees. I have several small nucs that need help so they can draw the maximum amount of comb before winter. None of my larger or honey production hives are being fed.

I discovered a robbed out mating nuc today. I’m a little puzzled as to why this one got picked on. It had the same size entrance and strength in bees as the other mating nucs. The grafted cell I had introduced had hatched and everything was fine just a couple days ago. I marked that one off as a total loss and gave the box of empty comb to a hive that was ready for some space. 

I did find three new laying queens in some singles I was allowing to requeen themselves. Well, I found one and marked her, the other two queens were elusive but there were eggs from wall to wall. 

The worst part of today was finding out (after I got into the bee yard and started sweating) that the cat had peed on my bee suit. Nice. Guess it’s time to wash it again!