Category Archives: equipment

These hives are amazing…

I found this video from iheartbees. I was most amazed by the hives these bees live in.


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I think my suit is actually -5 against bees

After 4 solid days of wet cold weather in Austin, the sky opened up Sunday afternoon to clear blue skies and sun. I took the opportunity to check in on Knives’ hive as there is the potential for more wet weather later in the week.

The girls were very cranky which I’m hoping was due to them being cooped up in the hive for most of the week. Nowhere near as bad as Marge’s hive (who has set the bar incredibly high), but hotter than they were the previous weekend.

I got stung on my neck again in pretty much the same place as a few weeks ago. At least this time, it was just one instead of the 3-4 I got last time. I really feel that my suit and more specifically, my veil, is just not cutting it. I originally opted to go with a zipper suit and veil seen below as I thought it would be cooler in the summer as well as offering better peripheral vision.

Smoking Myself

However, I’m finding that the veil tends to bunch up in odd ways which tends to trap bees. It will also not always stay flared out so during an inspection so the veil will sometimes be right up against parts of my neck and hence the stinging.

I’ve decided to purchase one of the Ultra Breeze Suits. Several folks in Austin highly recommend them for being cool even in the summer and very sting proof. I’m hopeful it will arrive before my next inspection so I can put it through the paces.


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Ramona vs. Knives Commemorative Super

With Queen Knives recent ascension to power, our whole evil-ex super concept got thrown off. We will still add the evil-ex supers as needed, but decided to pay respects to Ramona by creating a super that depicts the epic battle between Ramona and Knives from the comic. We like to think this is what went down in the hive as well.

Ramona vs. Knives Commemorative Super

Thanks to the camera team for their drawing, inking, and lettering skills.

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When life gives you 100 degree weather, melt wax.

The one good thing about the hot and dry weather here in Austin is the ease of melting wax in my homemade solar wax melter. It doesn’t hold a lot of wax, but with every day being hot and sunny, I can process a lot of small batches. Here is the before shot.

Wax in Solar Wax Melter

If you want to review how I made this contraption, check out this previous post.

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Worker Bee Honey T-Shirt

Last year, I had a bunch of t-shirts made with the artwork I had done for my honey label. I’ve since had several folks ask where they could get a t-shirt of their very own so I’ll soon be placing another order. The t-shirts are cheaper the more I have made so I thought I’d see if any of my blog readers would like one. Let me know if you are interested and once I get a final count, I’ll have a better idea on price. I think last time I got them around $15-20 a shirt. We can figure out size and such later.

Update: If we get 25 shirts made, it is a straight $10 per shirt. Since we always have folks wanting one, we are just going to go ahead and order 25. If you are interested, please let me know size and style based on these links.

Unisex or Women’s cut.

Here are some photos so you can imagine how dead sexy you’ll look.

Worker Gitanjali

Worker Karl


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Quick Check on Ramona

I performed a quick check on the top feeder in Ramona’s hive. The girls had sucked it dry so I filled it up again. I really meant to visit on Wednesday, but work unfortunately got in the way. This should see them through the weekend when I’ll check to see that Ramona has been released from the queen cage.

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The Venus Hive

A friend sent me a link to another local Austin beekeeper’s blog, and one of his posts was about the Venus Hive he just purchased. The video he took is below.

It certainly is a cool looking hive, and I’ll definitely be following his blog to see how it works out. My only concern would be the size of some of the frames in the main brood section if you ever needed to get them out to inspect.


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Bread Makes You Fat?!?

With the new package showing up in a few weeks, we are busy prepping the site and equipment for the new queen. As a huge fan of the Scott Pilgrim comic series (and the subsequent movie), the photography/artistic unit have been expending their energies drawing/inking/lettering the 7 evil exes on the hive supers. Here is a snap shot of the progress so far, and I’ll be adding photos in the upcoming weeks of the final results.

Queen Ramona Flower's New Hive

Obviously the new queen’s name will be Queen Ramona Flowers.

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They ain’t lying, dryer lint is super flammable…in your smoker

I was using newspaper as the initial ignition source in my smoker, but since I don’t actually receive a newspaper at home, it was always a pain remembering to pick one up when I was out and about. I decided to start saving all the lint from my dryer to see if would work well as an alternative to paper.

Dryer Lint Smoker Fuel

I’ve used it a few times now, and I think it works great. I also now believe all the stories about how if you don’t clean out your dryer vent on a regular basis, it is just a matter of time before your house ignites into a fireball of Downy freshness.


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Williamson County Beekeeper Association

The Williamson County Beekeeper Association has a great deal with Avoyelles Honey Company this year for a 3 pound package with a Minnesota Hygienic Italian queen. The cost is only $55 which is pretty fantastic. Some members will be driving to pick up the bees and they will be available for pickup on April 16th. They are also doing a group order with Dadant for beekeeping supplies to save on shipping costs, and the order will be delivered at their March 22nd meeting. You do need to be an active paid member to take advantage of these opportunities, but it is only $10 per year.

 I have yet to make a meeting myself as they are in Georgetown, which is a bit of a drive for me, but for anyone who lives in the north suburbs of Austin, this may be more doable for you.

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