Why top bar beehives?

February 4, 2011

Here is my post about why I’ve decided to use foundationless and top bar hives for my treatment-free style of beehive management. http://www.pleasedbees.com/wp/2011/02/04/why-top-bar-hives/

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Finding meaningful work

July 15, 2010

Everyone was silent as I trimmed the twigs, and raised the box up to the cluster of honey bees. A quick shake of the branch made them all fall neatly in. It couldn’t have been a better performance! I left the box on the ladder for any flying bees to enter, and returned to the applauding croud. The camp director later told me she had never had so many boys silent for that long.

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A Difficult Swarm

July 1, 2010

I got the swarm call just as I was finishing up for the day. There was a swarm of bees hanging in a tree over Front St. in downtown Issaquah. I suspected it might be a little tricky when Monica, who works at the art gallery next to the tree told me: “Oh yeah, you’ll need a ladder.”

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A successful honey bee swarm cut-out

June 30, 2010

I received a call from a landlord in Maple Valley who had a swarm of honey bees move into the wall of his rental house. I told him that yes, this is something I’m interested in, and no, I don’t charge to remove honey bees.

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Shifting my Beehive from Langstroth Frames to Top Bar Hive

June 21, 2010

I moved a 5 frame conventional (Langstroth) nucleus hive into a top bar hive so they would have space to grow. The bottom corners of each frame are cut off to make the rectangular frame fit into the trapezoid shape of the top bar hive. Since I’m running only top bar hives now, it makes sense for me to have a consistent setup.

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Cool weather continues

June 15, 2010

Today is June 15th, and Seattle has yet to break past 75° F/24° C this year. This means it’s been a great spring for growing grass, but the rainy weather has taken a toll on my apiary.

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Free to a good home: Blue Orchard Mason Bees

June 7, 2010

Since mason bees are a native insect here in the Pacific NW, you can “grow your own” just by providing suitable homes. It will take a couple years to build up your local population this way, but you don’t need to purchase your initial “start”.

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Shortage of Mayflowers

May 25, 2010

Snow from the cottonwoods tells me we are “between blooms”. The dandelion, maple, apple & other early spring flowers are all gone, while the summer buds haven’t opened yet.

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Feeding bees honey, not sugar syrup

May 10, 2010

I have a strong opinion the best food for bees is honey or pollen they have collected themselves, and so I am reluctant to feed my bees cane sugar.

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Trouble in the Top Bar

May 7, 2010

The last 2 weeks have been cold & rainy, and I’ve been worried about the new package I installed in the top bar hive on April 10th.

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