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

Camellia

Bees on Awaji island must be thankfull for the abundant supply naturally growing camellia species here during the winter months. Around my apiaries I am blessed to have the hills littered with Yabu Tsubaki (Camellia japonica) and the apiaries closer to civilization Sasanqua seems to be dominant species. If you ever have trouble telling which is which, just wait until the flower drops. If it drops petal by petal it’s a sasanqua and if the whole flower drops them it’s a camellia.

IMG_4661

Shed update

Hatada eventually should become my biggest apiary hosting around 100 hives, in the area of the shed hopefully a potential 40 hives so I need to keep tools and hives on hand so I can rock up to the apiaries empty handed and take care of business.

Empty handed? Really? Lazy much? 

I really want to cycle there some weekends and it’s a good 70 km round trip if I  do a loop. Also I never know if I am going to be cycling, motorbiking or driving the Awaji sports car, aka kei-truck.

But the main thing I want to keep up there is a weed-eater. In the photos below you’ll notice some yellow flowers, those flowers are sadly an invasive species are pulling them out has became tiresome, so a little fossil fuel power is needed.

2016 First Harvest!

Happy Honey Harvest 2016!

Well it’s my first harvest of the year,  Lets hope the year brings a lot more honey. Yum Yum…. home for me!

Raw Honey
First Harvest for 2016

Sarudango

IMG_0116Snowing on Awaji today so the monkeys at Awaji’s monkey center are huddling together for warmth.

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

Autumn Honey Raid!

3kg of honey is a good amount for the Japanese honey bee (Apis cerana japonica)

The autumn wildflower honey taste has a mild sweet brown sugar favour to it.

3kg of honey

Troubled Bees

These bees are not doing well…. Maybe this hive can be a one of my test hives of see if I can move them into a different kind of hive. At the present they are in a 重箱式(じゅうばこしき Jubbako Shiki) “Traditional Japanese nested box style hive” which generally works well for Japanese honeybees.

I did get some beautiful photos.