Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The rain is falling and bees are flying

Last weekend I finished the garden beds that I started this past summer. It was more than a lot of work, but I am relatively pleased with the result. Taking advantage of new ideas like Hugelkulture, I am hopefully waiting for a bountiful harvest. Watch the video and follow me on YouTube!

Fall Garden Preparations!

 Now with the bees... they are exponentially reproducing. This will be an important note to the beginner: Based on climate and season, when ordering equipment pay close attention to ventilation. I ordered the solid bottom board + a solid inner over. I had no idea that the bees would be adversely affected. The result has been more and more bees spending nights out on the landing board.

Night time temperatures do not drop much below 80 degrees F here in South Florida. Of course it will get chillier during the winter months, but as I am observing now, the bees have been forced to deal with this. Although it may seem normal to have bees outside the hive at night, to me I can feel that it is stressing to have the hive extremely hot and unventilated. Picture it this way. The bees belong in the hive or on the comb, why because it's their job to nurse, protect and ensure the progression of queen, brood, and the hive collectively. If they are not spending nights on the comb then they are not fulfilling an inherent characteristic. Their genetic desire to ensure the health and progress of the hive has led them to extreme vulnerability on the outside of the hive--free for the picking from night time visitors that may be insectivores.

The bees know this, but are willing to sacrifice a few for the survival of the whole. Why does temperature and ventilation matter-- goes back to the basics of the biology and environment required for reproduction to take place. Anyone who has hatched chicken eggs in an incubator, knows how vital steady temperatures are, so is moisture, and other factors. This is also true with bees, as the eggs and brood require certain conditions for survival.

The ending result is bees that become stressed, because of their inability to fulfill an instinctual role. So lesson learned... use the proper equipment for the right time of the year and the right part of the country/world you live in.

On a extremely positive note: thanks to a friend for the gift of a table saw, I am starting to build hives and getting quite good at the exact measurements. I posted a pic of some of my work completed on Saturday of this past week. Additionally, my father and I are meeting up this weekend in Stuart Florida to pickup our next nuc. These are a special strain with hygienic behavior. Updates to follow.....