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2018 Package Bee Pickup

I would just like to let everyone know that we will call on May 10th to set up pick up times for package bees. We will not know the exact time of arrival until May 10th in the morning sometime.

Please be patient with us as far as pick up times. If you do not receive a phone call from us by 5:00 pm on May 10th please call us to set up your pick up time.

We will have pick up times as follows:

May 10th …..All Day as soon as bees arrive
May 11th……All Day
May 12th……Until 12 noon
May 12th……We will closed at 12 noon
May 13th Closed.

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2018 Beekeeping Season Starting

2018 Beekeeping Season Starting

Are you a new beekeeper?

Step 1. Order one box of bees for each hive you plan to care for.  We are limited on the number of packages we order each year, so do not delay.    ***We always suggest caring for two beehives for new beekeepers, so you have two hives to inspect and compare.  This is only a suggestion and yes you can start with one hive.

Step 2.  Order your equipment. Decide if you prefer traditional 10-frame deep boxes or 8-frame medium boxes.  I prefer the 8-frame boxes as they are easier on your back and lighter to lift. A deep box can weight 90-100 lbs when full of honey and an 8-frame box weighs in at 40-50 lbs when full.  The 8-frame, medium box setup also allows flexibility in that you can use the same size of box for your whole beehive.  Easier to see than explain, but please email or call if you need a better explanation.

Step 3.  Decide on your setup preference (8-frame medium or 10-frame deeps) and order your equipment, which is on our website.  Under each of these headings you will find only the 10 -frame or 8-frame equipment, making it easier to understand and ensuring you order all the same equipment for your hives.

Step 4.  Order other basic beekeeping equipment.  Along with boxes, you will also need at a minimum a beekeeping jacket or suit with veil, gloves, smoker, and a hive tool, all of which can be ordered on the website.

Step 4.  Receive your equipment.  Assembly your boxes and paint them any color and/or design that your want, but I do not suggest painting them black.  This is a great family project to complete prior to the arrival of your bees.  Be creative, let the children paint designs on your hives, use a lot of fun color, let your imagine run wild.  And I promise, your bees won’t care.

Step 5.  Your bees finally arrive.  Your Italian bees will arrive in a 3-lb package with a laying queen. You will take your girls (the bees) home and carefully dump them in your first hive box.  Your first hive box will be void of frames, add your bees, and then carefully place the frames back into the box being careful to not squish too many bees and put the top on.  You will need to feed the bees sugar water so they can start making a lot of wax that is needed to build up the frames so the queen will have a home to lay her eggs.  Your bees will come with very detailed, pictured instructions, so don’t worry if step 5 seems complicated.

More to Come………

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Winter Approaches

Winter’s Coming! (Whether You Like It or Not)

By Education Specialist

Editor’s Note: While this article is a reprint from about a year ago, the information is still very relevant.

Winter’s coming, and depending on where you live this can be hard on your bees. This is the time when you want to be sure your hives are stuffed with young bees and honey for the potentially hard months ahead. In Kentucky and most points north you will want to have two deep boxes to the point where you can barely tilt them because of the weight of their stored honey. This food is vital for their winter survival, and the positioning of it can also be critical. I try to follow a mental checklist for my colonies as I inspect this time of the year.

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Homemade Sugar Supplement Recipe

Homemade Sugar Supplement Recipe

5 cups water
2 ½ pounds of sugar
1/8 teaspoon lecithin granules (used as an emulsifier)
15 drops spearmint oil
15 drops lemongrass oil
Bring the water to a boil and integrate the sugar until dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved remove the mixture from the heat and quickly add the lecithin and the essential oils. Stir until everything is evenly distributed. This solution should have a strong scent and not be left open around bees. Cool before using.

Uses

1. Put in Sugar Water Feed to draw bees to eat it.
2. Spray over frames to help introduce new queen…it mask the smells and the queen will be accepted better.