And it two years is all it took to get the floor started; winter is the only time I can work on the apiaries maintenance. I still need to add a door and make some of the spaces smaller so the ferrets and monkeys can’t get in. Bugs I can live with, ferret poo I can not.
Landlocked Gifu prefecture is well known for insect delicacies from soy sauce boiled locusts to the more evil hornet larvae.
Last year my friend’s beehives were ravaged by hornets, so whenever I have the chance I like to check on them for him during hornet season. Now, This year’s weather has been pretty much disastrous (lucky us) for the hornets on Awaji Island, torrential rain in spring to hinder the nest building followed by a couple of huge typhoons in late summer which drove the final nail into the coffin for the underground dwelling species. As for the hornets who build up high and dry, well…. Even that practice was no match against the tree uprooting wind and the bucket loads of endless rain The Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia […]
Golden Week 2018 consisted of me camping out, catching swarms and playing with my tello. Overall and great golden week
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 […]
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.
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.
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.
This year I plan to go big, I let last year slip by and I am not going to let that happen again. Catching swarms won’t really start until the middle of April, so I right now I am building boxes and weathering them. I still have a hundred odd boxes to make so my time is limited.
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.