Monthly Archives: August 2010

Bee Attack Update

A local beekeeper finally found not one but two hives in the area where the man was attacked by bees. I never really bought into the swarm theory so I’m glad to see they found the hives and can move them to another area to prevent something like this from happening again.

I do find it a bit hard to wrap my mind around a hive so large that it could contain up to 1 million bees as the story reports. That must be a very healthy hive, and if it is not Africanized, they must have some great genetic traits.

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Bee Attack in Austin

I really don’t know how I feel about this article about an elderly man being attack by bees. The fact that they still have been unable to locate a hive in the area points to a swarm situation, but swarms are usually pretty docile. I understand bees don’t like lawnmowers, but I haven’t heard of a swarm settling in grass. It could be an Africanized swarm as they tend to be more defensive when swarming, but unless some genetic tests are done, it is very difficult to distinguish an Africanized bee from an European bee.

Obviously this is a terrible event, and I hope the victim recovers, but it would be nice to have some more information on what happened released.

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Week 17 Activities

Overall, a good hive inspection today. Even though it was slightly more humid than last week, the girls were well behaved and fairly docile. The feeder was completely empty again as I did not have time during the week to re-fill, but in a way I think that is almost a good thing as I am able to remove and kill the hive beetles lurking in the feeder.

Below is a short video of me checking a frame in the 4th super which is basically all honey. I usually don’t check every frame in the honey super every week to cut down on the time I spend in the hive. I’m really just making sure there is no evidence of hive beetle larvae in the comb and honey.

The girls are finally drawing out comb on the frames in the 3rd super even though they still seem to be storing a lot of honey or perhaps the sugar syrup in the cells. However, there are a few frames with brood on them so hopefully it will be a multi-purpose super with a combination of both brood and honey.

New Frame of Brood

I’m still finding queen cells which I’m removing for now. If this keeps up through fall, I may attempt a split during the fall nectar flow here in Texas, but I’ll just play that by ear. I’m hoping they can get the 3rd super completely drawn out with comb before we leave for two weeks at the end of August.

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Best Hive for a New Beekeeper?

At the Austin Urban Beekeeping Meetup this past weekend, there were a lot of interested folks wanting to start beekeeping, and had a lot of questions on what equipment they should buy. One participant spoke in great detail about all the benefits of using a top bar hive which I don’t disagree with, but with everything else a new beek has to learn, is the top bar hive adding another layer of complexity that someone who is just starting out may not want to deal with?

When I knew I was committed to becoming a beekeeper, I researched both the top bar hive as well as the Langstroth hive. After reading up on both, I felt that a Langstroth hive was more suited to someone starting off because there were a lot more resources and equipment readily available for the Langstroth.

I’d certainly welcome feedback from any beekeepers out there who have used one or both of these hive types. I do think there are pros and cons for each , but from a beginner’s perspective, is one easier than the other?

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Large Marge makes her video debut

It is by no means the greatest video, but is pretty good considering I’m holding a frame in one hand, filming using an iPhone in the other, all in a full bee suit and gloves. Large Marge is the largest bee on the frame and is marked with a green dot.

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