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, using the Japanese Hornets attack pheromone against itself.

Using sticky paper I catch one Hornet, and then make it super angry (this is not hard to do 🙂 ) . 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.

Weeding!

Well it’s my birthday today, so why not do something interesting on your birthday 🙂

On Thursdays, I generally check on the Hatada apiary and today I noticed that the Perilla had started to take their dance of death and turn a shitty brown and make the stone terraces look like a big turd.

I knew this is gonna happen and had been putting off weeding that section of the apiary because I just don’t like weeding and there are a lot of snakes

I had decided on only weeding around the beehives, but being Mr. can’t stop when he gets started ended up pulling all the Perilla.

before_after2
before_after

Now next, I’ve just got to get rid of all the Madagascar ragwort around the hives.

Bee Population

Japanese honey bee colony over a year

Changes over the year with my Japanese honey bees.

  1.  Swarm caught a settled in (+1 Month,June)
  2. Feeling hot hot, The peak of summer. On the flow (Mid August)
  3. Summer is over, hornet attacks have stopped. Time to get ready for winter (early Nov)
  4. Population is dropping (Dec)
  5.  Midwinter, Population at an all time low. (Mid Feb)
  6. Two weeks later and the population is starting to grow back.
  7. Two after that and the population is at full strength.
  8. Getting ready to swarm. (Start of May)
  9. Just after swarming.
  10. Post swarm plus five days
  11. Three weeks later and the colony is bigger than ever.

Wild sesame perilla

Following a very wet rainy season and in less than four months, the stone terraces have turned a brilliant green. At first, I had no idea what this weed was, and it turns out it’s an ubiquitous herb/spice used in Korean cuisine and known as wild sesame. It’s supposed to flower at the end of summer around September; hopefully, it’s a good nectar source. I just hope the honey doesn’t smell like the leaves 🙂