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

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.

Building boxes, boxes, boxes

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.

 

 

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.

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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.

Back to the bees

I like reflecting.

2016 marked the year I became a bee-haver and not a bee keeper, a little black mark which ultimately set me back a few years. You see I have the tendency to bite off more than I can chew and this year I literally choked myself working for Project Shunyoso also while doing a full time job, some coding and occasionally working at hotel anaga,  Once again I had put myself in the fast lane of life and burning rubber I didn’t have.

Recover

Sometime in January I came off my motorbike cough motor scooter and long story short, It was an icy day I wasn’t going fast, I braked on a manhole and can ned my ass off.

A few weeks past and my knee really started ache and eventually my whole body too. Normally, Well I used to bounce back pretty fast, but 2016 was just roller coaster of mess after mess.

2017 goals

  1. Walk more
  2. Cycle more
  3. Drink more water
  4. Sleep more
  5. Apple vinegar (for some reason does really work so keep that up)
  6. and bee-keep more.
    Simple goals for a simple life, 2017 I welcome your challenge. 🙂 lol