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 do not know why it does this, or what benefits the orchid gets, and Man! 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.  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 should be thankful for the plentiful supply of naturally growing camellia species during the winter months. Around my apiaries, I am blessed to have the hills littered with Yabu Tsubaki (Camellia japonica), and 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.

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 […]

the Hatada honey shed

With tremendous help from the Hatada Sea, Mountain and Forest Project I started my first honey bee shed.  Once finished I won’t need to take my tools each time to the apiary.  Hopefully, we can are done by February, Not to keen on putting the roof on though.

Back to the bees

I Like Reflecting. 2016 marked the year I became a bee-haver and not a beekeeper, 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 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 […]

Cutter supreme

Designed to cut grass at low revolutions this weed whacker blade pays for itself in just a day or two of work.  The double slit Iwama does exactly what it claims to do, slice through grass at extreme cost performance. After a good 40 hours using this blade and I must say I am most happy with the its smooth use. Pros Save gas; I haven’t tried a 4 stroke machine yet, but on two strokes I am using around half of what I used too. Kicks butt on clover, absolutely amazing. Cons Not for heavy cutting. Doesn’t work on my electric Makita weed-eater

Canada goldenrod

Once this invasive species flowers, it marks the end of my honey season. Bees, flies and other nectar-gathering insects love this plant, probably due to the fact that there are virtually no other flowers around this time.