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.

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.

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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 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 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.

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.

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

  1. 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.
  2. Kicks butt on clover, absolutely amazing.

Cons

  1. Not for heavy cutting.
  2. Doesn’t work on my electric Makita weed-eater

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.