Taking care of beez-niz

Back at the beginning of the month, I finally made the leap into beekeeping.  A “hobby” I have been considering for some time.  Not really about the honey.  These creatures truly interest me, and they are having a bit of a rough time these days.  Most experts readily admit they don’t know exactly what is wrong, but there are plenty of reasonable theories, most of which are man-made causes.

If you aren’t that familiar with the problem, it’s worth your while to understand what it is and why it is important.  I’ve provided a pretty standard set of government released data below:

USDA: ARS Honey Bee Health and Colony Collapse Disorder

EPA: Colony Collapse DIsorder

NRDC: The buzz about CCD

There are no shortage of options on how to start keeping your own bees.  You can purchase everything (prebuilt and ready to set in place) for around $500.  This is a learning journey for me, so I wanted to build my own hive bodies (as much as it makes sense).  Because these are living creatures, and there is a learning curve involved with caring for them, I did decide to spend a little extra and get a “nuc” instead of just a box o’ bees and queen to significantly reduce the risk of failing at my first hive attempt.  Prices vary, but I worked with a very reputable local keeper, and got an established “nuc” for about $150.  That’s about 5 frames full of bees, with a queen they have already accepted.

 

I will put in a plug to Earpsboro Bees here for being absolutely great with helping a newbie get up and running.

Fast forward three weeks, and I’ve now added the second level to the hive body.  Photos below of how well the bees have built out the first 10 panels.

http://ncfreakygeek.tumblr.com/post/145165378052/bees-have-really-gone-to-town-on-building-out

Hopefully their growth stays stable, and I’ll be adding the (smaller) honey mediums soon.  May post the building process and additional photos then.

Heating up

Spring seems to be behind us now and NC summer has set in.  Garden is taking off, we have longer days to train, but it is also time to acclimatize to running in the higher temps.  Got a half next week.  Trying to make a point of hydrating more and doing more frequent runs in the evening to get used to the heat.  Stay safe out there!

Introduction

My little corner of the web.  I just share interests and musings here.  Nothing too special unless you are into this sort of thing.  I have pretty diverse interests and stay busy pursuing them, so maybe a something here for everyone or nothing for someone…

Hi there! I’m a system administrator by day (and some long nights). I am also an active volunteer firefighter, part-time EMT, part time “runner”, hiker, fisherman, and avid DIY enthusiast,  I live outside of Raleigh, NC, have a great wfie, two awesome hounds, a cat, some bees and two Koi that just exist to be fed..

Please feel free to follow along for the ride, add comments if you wish.  Love to hear others ideas and input on new things or better ways to do old things.