May 22, 2012

Mountain Empire Bee Club Workshop (picture heavy)

On Saturday I had the opportunity of taking part in a beekeeping workshop offered through my local bee club. It was fun and I learned a lot. It was all geared towards traditional, Langstroth beekeeping, but there were many things that I can apply to my top bar hive setup. 

The site of the workshop - the lovely John Crockett Farm in Wytheville
Instruction materials
Smoker instruction
Mite control demonstration
Easy how-to for mite control - cut a roll of shop towels in half, add to an empty paint container. Mix 1 pint of canola oil to 1 lb of menthol crystals than add to the paint can. Let sit until towels thoroughly absorb mix. Then place 1 sheet on a stick and put it through the hive opening. The bees will gradually cut up the towel and remove it from the hive, all while ridding themselves of mites. Do not use plastic containers - as the container will absorb the menthol - metal only!

Frame inspection
Queen cells and drone comb on the bottom of a hive body
Queen cells
Nuc assembly - frames from robust hives were moved to a temporary nuc box to prepare for new hive placement
Finished nuc box
Workshop in full swing
This is what happens when people stand in front of hive entrances - tons of not-so-happy bees!