Catching swarms, Camping out!

Golden Week 2018 consisted of me camping out, catching swarms and playing with my tello. Overall and great golden week

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

Winter 2015-2016

I still have at least one more month until winter is over and I am in the clear. So far I haven’t lost any hives but two are not looking great, So this year I decided to feed them 200cc of sugar water every 10 days to 14 days, I hope it’s enough.

Weeding is a must!

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

On Thursdays I generally check on the Hatada apiaries and today I noticed that the Perilla had started to take their dance of death and turn brown and honesty the stone terraces just weren’t looking good.

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 a  Mr. Can’t stop when he gets started ended up pulling all the Perilla.

Now next, I’ve just got to get rid of all the Madagascar ragwort around the hives.
before_after2 before_after

Hatada Updates

Population of Japanese honey bee colony over the season

Very interesting to see the 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.

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

CC2541 SensorTag

I wanted something to play with over the winter months. So I decided to purchase this little device from Texas Instruments, at $25 including shipping it’s a steal.

It connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth 4 and offers a wide range of sensors (see below)

I plan to use this over the winter months to monitor the temperature and humidity of my beehives and to see how covering hive affects conditions inside.

It’s gonna be a great new world when these button sized sensors are somewhat weatherproof and priced around five dollars a pop and I can grab the relative data while walking around the hives. Maybe someday we could monitor for Giant Hornet Attacks and then send SMS to my phone. The gyroscope sensor would make good monitor to see if someone, or some animal is pestering your bees.

  • Accelerometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Gyroscope
  • IR temperature Sensor
  • Ambient temperature
  • Pressure Sensor (Barometer)
  • Humidity Sensor

A carbon dioxide, oxygen sensor would be nice too. But at $25 I really couldn’t ask for more.