COMB HONEY is the Goal for 2018 – make more COMB HONEY !!
I had an idea last fall to make it a 2018 goal to produce more comb honey. This is my curious idea for comb honey production for 2018. My idea is to use large primary swarms to effortlessly produce comb. And then, rather serendipitously, I stumbled upon, an old ABJ article from 2003 that gave me even more information on the subject. Below are some of the details.
Short and sweet, I am putting this 2018 goal out there this year, will update you on how it goes with a process report or two.
The idea is to hive a swarm on foundation only – no drawn comb what-so-ever– with an excluder over the brood nest area and two comb honey supers over that.
It will be essential: Use only large primary swarms. I will not using small swarms or 2ndary swarms that may have any virgin queens. Here’s the concept of how this works:
- the swarm will occupy the entire hive and begin drawing comb at once.
- to make sure there is not drawn comb anywhere in the hive.
Drawn comb would only entice the bees to settle down to building a good brood nest. So, using any drawn comb would be out of the question.
Here’s the concept: If the new hive contains only foundation, then the swarm is eager to build comb throughout the entire hive and not just around the brood area. The bees won’t just be distracted to building comb for brood. They will build it for nectar/honey storage, too. This is the goal for making comb honey for 2018. I’ll let you know how it works out in July 2018.
But first, I’ll need to keep a few comb honey supers on hand – to be prepared and ready. I already have them purchased and put together. Now, I’m ready to prime & paint when the weather warms up. Swarming season for us starts generally around April 10th.
UPDATE 18 May 2018
It’s been a rather slow season for swarms but I have managed to capture a few. The latest being a call from about 4 miles a way yesterday.
The nectar flow is on for May. Pictures below are of a swarm I caught in early May. They have drawn all 10 frames of the new foundation into comb and have it nearly full. I moved the frames into a super with 9-frame spacers in order for the bees to build out the combs further, and to provide stabilization for the frames when they are transported. I added another super of comb honey. I will continue to monitor on a weekly basis for comb building and the need for additional space.
UPDATE 30 August 2018
Supers were pulled in July and stored in a freezer until I was able to get with Kristi Sanderson, our KS State Fair Manager, to begin inspecting, cutting, and labeling. We had a very tough season with nearly 9 weeks of drought in 2018. Happy to report that I harvested 3 supers of comb honey. A fourth super was on a colony that perished sometime in June and that comb was lost. Still, with nearly 110+ containers of comb honey and two dozen pint jars of chunk honey (honey with comb in the jar), it was a great year for me to try this. Next year, we believe it would be much preferable to stick to only 10 frames per medium super and not worry about 9-frame, which might be too much and too thick for the containers. Very happy with the season’s product. 🙂
Swarms are exciting! It is the birth of a new colony.
Want to report a swarm? – Please notify me via the contact form below.
Honey bees are a valuable asset, and a beekeeper would be able to give a swarm a good home with good care.
Before leaving the original colony, honey bees gorge on honey for the journey to move to a new home. Generally speaking, they not very defensive. However, they can be enticed to sting. Please, do NOT spray with poisons or try to kill them. Swarms are only in a temporary resting place until they rest enough to move on to their final destination.
Swarming activity is a very common occurrence in April and May. Many people find them in their yards on trees or bushes or other places. Swarms can be harmed by high winds, hail, and heavy rains as well as sometimes cold, freezing weather.
As a public service, and free of charge, I will be more than happy to remove or pick-up your un-welcomed honey bee swarm! I am available in Johnson, Wyandotte, and Miami counties in Kansas, as well as eastern Jackson and southern Platte counties in Missouri. I will even try to leave you with a small jar of honey for your effort. I have 45 years experience working with honey bees.
Find a swarm of honey bees?
- Do not disturb or spray the swarm with water, soap or insecticide.
- Stay calm. Try to understand what is happening, and that swarming honey bees are not defensive or dangerous unless you might disturb them.
A swarm will usually move from the original location within 24 to 48 hours; therefore, if a beekeeper is not available to collect the bees from a homeowner’s property, the bees will normally leave without causing a problem.
Submit the ‘contact form’ below, and I will receive immediate notification via email through my mobile device. I’ll be in touch with you in short order. Thank you for your notification!
If I am unable to come get the swarm, I will pass on the information to another beekeeper who can be of help. For swarms in other areas of Kansas outside of my region, please use this list from the NEKBA or Kansas State University link for a list of other beekeepers throughout Kansas that are also looking for a swarm.
As a disclaimer, I cannot assume responsibility related to the swarm collection or extraction activity, and I shall be held harmless for any actions or activities related to any honey bee collection, including but not limited to information used, liabilities, or resultant damages, injuries, or bodily harm that might occur. Thank you!
Looking for a Beekeeping Class for 2018?
The Northeastern Kansas Beekeepers Association (NEKBA) Bee Class (both part I & part II combined) is nearly 10 hours of education for new and those looking for a re-fresher in their early years of beginning beekeeping. Several courses will be presented by our keynote speaker, Dr. Dewey Caron, on the 2nd day or part II of the class. Included with each registration are presenter’s notes. Additional tag-along members or friends are welcome to attend for a nominal registration fee that also includes the presentation notebook. We are a non-profit organization. The fees cover the costs of rent, books and materials, as well as shared costs for our guest speaker.
This event is for beginning & 2nd or even 3rd year
beekeepers or those looking for a re-fresher. We like to say that you’ll learn more the 2nd time around. The class is held on 2 weekends as there is much to offer. Trying to hit on all topics in 1 day is a lot to try to absorb. We want beekeepers to get the most and learn the best way possible.
2018 Spring Meeting Information
Beekeeping – Good Fellowship SINCE 1903
Exploring the wonderful world of beekeeping together.
THE KANSAS HONEY PRODUCERS’ ASSOCIATION
(formerly k.a. The Kansas State Beekeepers’ Association)
Friday and Saturday March 9 & 10 2018
The Cedars Conference Center 1021 Cedars Drive, McPherson KS
Our guest speakers will be Dr. Dewey Caron and Randy Oliver.
Dewey M. Caron is a graduate of Cornell University and Emeritus Professor from the University of Delaware. He has received numerous awards and forms of recognition for his teaching and extension work during his career. He has written many books and is one of our favorite guest. Some of his books are Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping, Observation Hives-How to set up, maintain and open a window to the world of Honey Bees, Beekeeping Basics and Africanized Honey Bees in the Americas.
Randy Oliver owns and operates a small commercial beekeeping enterprise in the foothills of Grass Valley in Northern California. He and his two sons manage about 1000 colonies for migratory pollination, and produce queens, nucs, and honey. He has over 40 years of
Looking for a Beekeeping Class for 2017?
Our NEKBA Bee Class (both part I & part II combined) is nearly 10 hours of education for new and those looking for a re-fresher in their early years of beginning beekeeping. Several courses will be presented by our keynote speaker, Keith Delaplane, on the 2nd day or part II of the class. Keith’s book, a field guide, and presenter’s notes are included with each family registration. Additional family members or friends are welcome to attend for a nominal registration fee, which also includes the presentation notebook. We are a non-profit organizations. The fees are calculated to cover the costs of rent, books and materials, as well as shared costs for our keynote speaker.
This event is for beginning & 2nd or even 3rd year beekeepers or those looking for a re-fresher. We like to say that you’ll learn more the 2nd time around. The class is held on 2 weekends as there is much to offer and learn. Trying to hit on all topics in 1 day is a lot to try to absorb. We want beekeepers to get the most and learn the best way possible. Continue reading
Douglas County Fairgrounds – just north on Harper Street and K-10 Hwy
Northeastern Kansas Beekeeper’s Funday
Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 Registration: 7:45-8:45, Program 8:45-5:00
Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper, Lawrence KS
Fee includes lunch, beverages, snacks, homemade honey ice cream, and a full day of fun!
Bring your hat & veil—we’ll be working through some hives
Cost: $40.00 per person for those pre-registered, $45.00 at the door. Walk-ins are welcome! We do appreciate pre-registrations as this helps with our planning for lunch and seating availability. For those pre-registered, by May 25th, there will be a drawing at the end of the event to reimburse 1 (one) pre-registered person for their registration! Children ages 6-18, $20.00 for those pre-registered, $25.00 at the door.
For those pre-registered (post marked), by May 25th, there will be a drawing at the end of the event to reimburse 1 (one) pre-registered person for their registration!
Click the following links (below) for information and registration. You can mail, if there is time. If not, print, complete, and bring it with you. See you in Lawrence, KS!
TO BE UPDATED IN EARLY 2017
fundayschedule2016 * Subject to change & pending update for 2017
Visit our website at nekba.org for other club information
Mating biology of honey bees (Apis mellifera), by Gudrun Koeniger and Nikolaus Koeniger with Jamie Ellis and Lawrence Connor
1 edition (December 22, 2014) Hardcover: 155 pages.
Review by Robert Burns
I just finished reading the book on honey bee mating biology. Wow! Although sex is usually a ‘hot’ topic, I can really appreciate the research and science that has gone into this work. The book has some excellent photographs and charts and diagrams. There’s lots of great science here that explains the bee mating biology in simple terms.
I don’t believe I have read any other book that is a better culmination of the works on the mating happenstances of our wonderfully under-appreciated honey bees. I have my other queen books Bee Sex and Queen Rearing and other guides. However, there hasn’t been quite any other that is more descriptive, especially of the 3rd caste –Drones. The male bees seem to never get enough attention and respect.
OXALIC ACID SUBLIMATION (OAS) –MY SERENDIPITOUS DISCOVERY OF 2015
I recall being approached last July by another beekeeper about using another treatment in my hives for Varroa Mite control. I recall that when I heard the word ‘acid’, I had immediately responded, “ The last thing I want to do is to put another something with ‘acid’ in my hive as a treatment.”
What to do if you find that you have no flying bees and/or your colony did not survive winter. Stay in beekeeping! We urge you not to give up. Experienced beekeepers have losses, too.