Catching swarms, Camping out!

Golden Week 2018 consisted of me camping out, catching swarms and playing with my tello. Overall and great golden week

 

Kicked Out!

Last year around April the owner of the land my Ayuya apiary lives on decided to kick me off her land. What sucks sorry disappoints me the most is the time I lost developing the apiary, money aside I probably lost close to 1,000 hours of work over three years and only got to harvest one hive.

In 2016 I was lucky enough to overwinter six hives which were due to be harvested the early summer of 2017, But because I was kicked out I needed to move them to a new apiary. Sadly three of the hives did not take to the new area, and two were stolen, yes stolen – seriously! – from the new location.

Just before getting kicked off!

CLEANING UP! What a BITCH! The job of cleaning up that is, not the land owner 🙂

Man I am lucky to have a fellow beekeeper friend who has a excavator.

🙁

All complete!

  • Loss of money around JPY400,000 (USD 3,600)
  • Loss of time 1,000 hours
  • Loss of hives 5!
  • Lesson learnt – PRICELESS

Holy honey

Capping honey is the final stage honey production for the bee. After hours and hours of to and fro flight, visiting an untold number of flowers and the uncountable bee hours of fanning the honey the bee essentially does what the beekeeper does when they bottle the honey, they put neat little lid on the cell.

Autumn is normally my best haul of the year, spring pales in comparison. So after bumper spring haul, great weather and and amazing comb grow I was expecting great numbers for spring…. I could not have been more wrong.

Ten honey harvests I was set to do on this somewhat warm autumn Sunday afternoon. The apiary a buzz with yellow hornets (wait …. that’s not good) I cut open the first and biggest hive with my trusty bread knife. The moment the knife enters the hive you know if this harvest is going to be good or bad, the disappointing cardboard sound of the blade cutting though dry honey comb. I could stop, but the hive was to big and a believe it or not a harvest honey is an essential part of good winter health maintenance.

The result of the harvest is below, The other hives I`ll leave for the next spring as the a new hives this year and hopefully they’ll sort themselves out over winter.

 

Doctor fish

 

I’ve always wanted to try doctor fish! I love foot massages and this must be similar.

To sum it up in bullet points

  • Doctor fish come from Turkey.
  • They eat dead skin.
  • I must have a lot of dead skin because they loved me.
  • You can feel them biting and it feels SO good.
  • It’s nothing like a foot massage.
  • I am hooked!!
Chow Down

Hive death by wax moth

Not really the kind of pictures I want to post to this page. But as I do like to be transparent with my beekeeping I thought I would show you what takes 10% to 20% percent of my hives each year…… Wax moth larva, A moth !?! … seriously! A moth can  wipe out a colony of bees…it’s moth.

Whinging aside this normally only happens if the hive is weak but I have seen a strong colony go down from wax moths after an onslaught of attacks from giant hornets, those hornets never made it into the hive they just laid siege to it  not letting the bees leave.

Trap hives set, pheromones a fly

Catch a spring swarm generally the only way to increase your Japanese honey bee colonies . Hive splitting, requeening are just something you just really won’t hear Japanese beeks talking about.

For the past four years I have been using the yellow margin orchid which releases 3-Hydroxyoctanoic acid to signal Japanese honey bees.  I honestly have know idea why it does this, or what benefits the orchid gets and getting the orchid to flower when I want it to is always a major headache. With my painkillers running low I have decided to purchase artificial  traps this year and see how they work.

 

Spring is in the air

I think this is the first spring that I have been this ready, ready for the wild Japanese honey bees to swarm.

I have enough hives built for seventy new colonies, seventy… Have I gone crazy? …. Maybe!  I also have enough traps for those seventy and enough places to place the those traps.

Golden week for me is going to be a busy one and I have set a goal of 30 new hives this year.

Now please, nice spring weather please.