Friends hives, Un-friendly have

Last year my friend’s beehives were ravaged by hornets, so whenever I have the chance I like to check on them for him during hornet season. Now, This year’s weather has been pretty much disastrous (lucky us) for the hornets on Awaji Island, torrential rain in spring to hinder the nest building followed by a couple of huge typhoons in late summer which drove the final nail into the coffin for the underground dwelling species. As for the hornets who build up high and dry, well…. Even that practice was no match against the tree uprooting wind and the bucket loads of endless rain The Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia […]

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 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.

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, […]

Winter 2015-2016

Winter still has a month and a bit to go and I haven’t lost any hives yet. But these two are not looking great. I decided to feed them 200cc of sugar water every 10 days to 14 days, First time feeding, Not really sure able this….

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. Now next, I’ve just got […]

Bee Population

Japanese honey bee colony over a year Changes over the year with my Japanese honey bees.  Swarm caught a settled in (+1 Month,June) Feeling hot hot, The peak of summer. On the flow (Mid August) Summer is over, hornet attacks have stopped. Time to get ready for winter (early Nov) Population is dropping (Dec)  Midwinter, Population at an all time low. (Mid Feb) Two weeks later and the population is starting to grow back. Two after that and the population is at full strength. Getting ready to swarm. (Start of May) Just after swarming. Post swarm plus five days 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 first 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 […]

New Apiary

Clearing space for new hives, pretty sure I can host 30 hives? … need a fence. 2014 5 Hives (hives would be nice) 2015 10 Hives 2016 20 Hives 2017 30 Hives New tool purchase… Weed Whacker!