Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Broody Break

If you follow this blog, you may have noticed a long gap of silence. Perhaps you've missed the chatter. Perhaps you've been enjoying the sudden quiet. In any case, I just wanted to say that 1) I'm not dead, but 2) I've decided to take a year off from beekeeping and this blog.

Actually, I don't even have bees right now. In his talk at our bee club, Dr. Sharashkin mentioned how timing splits is really important. If they split at or after the peak of the flow, they will eat up all their spring reserves. Well, I experienced this first-hand last year. Unfortunately, I also didn't do anything to stop or manage the situation. In fact, I lost interest in just about everything and quit all my volunteer activities and other non-bee hobbies. And the bees... I pretty much stopped doing anything with the bees past last July. I didn't inspect. Didn't feed. Didn't winterize. Didn't even add mouseguards. The bees didn't really have a chance.

For months, I've been hoping to finally turn the corner mentally, thinking I'd perk up again when the days started getting longer, or when spring came around, or when we found a new house (oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that we're in the process of moving to Pennsylvania), or when this or that happened. But the truth is that it just hasn't happened yet. At the risk of sharing TMI, the last 9 months have been a small roller coaster for me (by my first-world-problem standards), except there haven't been any uphills on this coaster. It's all been down.

You can criticize me for being an irresponsible beekeeper or even a terrible person if you want. Neglect (even of what I consider essentially wild animals) isn't really something I'm proud of either. However, I've discovered that there is a corollary to Woody Allen's assertion that "The heart wants what it wants." Sometimes, the heart just doesn't want what it doesn't want. That's not an excuse for my bad behavior, but it is an explanation.

From time to time, if I see something really interesting, I may post. However, for the most part, I plan to indulge in a brood-y break while I clear my head.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Rudi Peters - Overwinter Hive Sensor Discoveries

A week or so ago, my friend Scott from Sweet Spot Apiary shared this really interesting video with me.

The speaker, Rudi Peters, shares his observations comparing insulated vs. uninsulated hives. He keeps Langs, but I think that his notes will be interesting to TBH beeks as well.

Rudi Peters - Overwinter Hive Sensor Discoveries from BCHPA on Vimeo.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Korean Honey for New Year's

One of my favorite YouTube channels is The Korean Englishman. The guys who produce it just seem adorably goofy and sweet and fun. It's also completely family-friendly, so it's good to watch with my kids, who are interested in their own Korean heritage.

Anyway, they recently posted a new video showing honey packaged as a New Year's gift. As a beekeeper, it was really interesting because I kept trying to figure out how they packaged it.

I thought the different colors of honey were noteworthy because I couldn't figure out if they just got honey from different flows in the same box, or if it some of it was honeycomb and some backfilled brood comb. They never zoom in close enough, so it's hard to tell.

The other thing I noticed after they cut it was that the combs were attached to the sides of the box -- it looks like they actually just packaged a complete hive box. But I didn't see any bars or frames, so how did they do it? Did they maybe just stack a bunch of boxes, let the bees build down, and then slice through the boxes? Hmmm... Really interesting.

In any case, I love design and marketing, so this was just such a cool idea!