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

Giant Asian Hornets

For any bee keeper losing a hive is a sad time. I am lucky enough to keep the Japanese honeybee, a very sturdy honeybee. In fact the only time I really need to worry about my hives is during the autumn months when the giant asian hornet decides to turn it’s radar onto my hives.

It’s been well documented that Japanese honeybees can ward off attacks from these hornets, however I have found that if the hornets are persistent enough the bees really have no chance.

The beekeeper does have one weapon in their arsenal which uses the Japanese Hornets pheromones against itself. Using sticky paper they catch one Hornet, and then make it super angry (this is not hard to do 🙂 ) . After catching this hornet we then lay the paper in the path of the oncoming hornets and one by one they die to there sticky deaths.

aftermath of hornet attack
Aftermath of hornet attack, bees gone, honey intact, larvae eaten.

 

 

 

Bushnell trail camera

I picked up a cheap bushnell trail camera to see what animals are visiting the apiary.

it seems to be working fine 🙂

How deer you
How deer you

Getting Stung, no biggy

When people hear I keep bees, The first thing they generally ask me is

  1. How much honey do you make?
  2. Do you get stung?

Which I answer..

Not enough.

and

Yes! I get stung all the time

But like most other bee keepers I don’t really mind it at all. It’s all the other things that want to sting, bite or eat which bother me and on the list right now of annoying things are horse flies.

 

Cutting Grass – My new life

Yesterday a friend who has helped me out tremendously was asked

What do you do on you holidays ?

His reply was “Kusakari! weed eating!

I laughed his reply and thought, that is the direction I my life is going in.

Weeds in Japan are just crazy, during the rainy season you obviously you’re gonna rain, heat, humidity and enough sunlight to throw them  into overdrive and really make the life of the locals a constant battle between knee high lush good to hide the poisonous snakes and a beautifully weed eaten field.

Time consuming

Never expected the fence to take this long to complete. Pleased with the results so far… But man it is taking time.

The Fence, The Field

The Fence

The bamboo fence for the apiary is harder to build than I thought. Of course having to collect the bamboo, split it, find the good parts and then attach it to the fenceposts, really does make it labour-intensive.

I wish I could’ve started sooner, but since you can only collect bamboo between the months of December and February I don’t really have much choice.

The Field

I am hoping this year I can use this field, I still haven’t got the okay from the owner, but I’m weeding out the ragwort in the field anyway because once this noxious weed (Madagascar ragwort) takes root it’s a real pain to get rid of and it makes lousy honey…. Just in case they say yes, fingers crossed.

The field is honestly amazing, the perfect place for the perfect vegetables, it measures up to my checklist and everyway.

  1. Good soil check
  2. Lots of sun check
  3. Water supply check
  4. Remote check
  5. Up Fence check
  6. Fully fenced in. check
  7. More than enough space to do different crops. check
  8. Up higher than the surrounding fields. Bonus!

Ayuya Updates

New Apiary

Cleaning space for new hives, I am pretty sure I can have 30 hives up there by 2017, still not sure what I am going to go with it… need a fence.

  • 2014 5 Hives (but 1 hives would be nice)
  • 2015 10 Hives
  • 2016 20 Hives
  • 2017 30 Hives

Todays new tool purchase… Weed Whacker!

Weed Whacker...
Weed Whacker…

Ayuya Updates