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Archive for the ‘Bees’ Category

I finally have the nuc trap setup in a tree, about 8 feet off the ground. It is setting on a T-shaped, bamboo platform and seems fairly stable and nearly level. It is baited with lemongrass oil with the two entrance holes facing East. Fingers crossed I catch a swarm. I already saw a bee investigating.

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Well the cheap plastic railing brackets I was using to hold the legs on cracked already, currently with no bees and no load. I bought metal joist hanging brackets to replace.

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Yay!  It is out and baited with Lemongrass oil.  The ants can be a real issue here since they never go away. The buckets have a hole cut into them to allow rain water to flow out and always remain at a constant height below the island. I just have to make sure they are topped off in our dry winters and hopefully the moat keeps the ants at bay.

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The bottom door for letting debris fall out (if the bees don’t wax them shut) is secured with a pin through the leg.

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So the roof has been haunting me for a couple of weeks now. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to pick up a free topbar hive from a beek (beekeeper) up in Tampa, and his top was inspiration to finally finish ours here at Hot Rock Acres.

Here are a bunch of pictures

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The following are pictures of the free hive built by user Sundog on http://www.beemaster.com

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And a nuc (nucleus)

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I had to make bars for his hive. Luckily they will be interchangeable! Here are pictures.

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How they fit in his. Ours will have a little bigger space between side wall and the bar.

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There are qty 32 of the 1 1/4 inch wide bars (brood) and qty 31 of the 1 1/2 inch wide bars (honey).

Yay, now apply some Lemongrass oil (Cymbopogon citratus) we got at the whole foods store and hopefully get a local swarm to take up residence.

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We found some vinyl fence rail brackets on sale at home depot for $1 / pair, down from $5.  They worked perfectly matched with some cut cedar boards for the legs. The top bars are being made from standard 2×4 from home depot. I am getting 5 per 3.5 inch width, making them 9/16 inch thick. Some will be 1.5 inches wide for honeycomb and some will be 1.375 1.25 inches wide for brood comb. I am using the method at CalKenyan website for making the top bars (minus the cheek cuts).  Last thing to do is finish the bars, fashion a roof of sorts, and give them some entrance holes.

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And yay, it’s nearly level.

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The plans called for 1x10x14 but the 16 foot was cheaper per foot. This ended up being 44 inches long and I incorporated a hinged bottom so mites can be dropped out easily. More to come…

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The bees seem to be picking up steam with the unseasonably high temps, so I want to get this out in hopes of picking up a spring or earlier swarm.

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So, it’s been a slow few weeks, as I’ve battled 2 different bugs.

Winter is just about to begin, but the weather is lovely here in SW FL. Although I missed the first session for fall growing, I have quite a few things started for the winter/spring growing season. We purchased 5 starts of an heirloom cherry tomato called “Isis Candy”. Currently, they are 12-24 inches tall and getting trained for a central stem.

A few weeks ago, several seeds were started and, after an initial planting issue, there are 3 “Florida Pink”, 1 which is 3 inches tall, 2 “Flora Dade”, 6 “Bloody Butcher”, all tomatoes, and an unknown pepper plant.

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Also, a bit older, are 2 “German Johnson” tomatoes about 8 inches tall

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Indoors, just a couple of days ago, seeds were started for “Long Red Cayenne”, “California Wonder”, Big Red Cherry” and a hybrid Jalpeno pepper, “Florida Pink”, “Flora Dade”, and “Bloody Butcher” tomatoes.

I’ve also been trying to get the irrigation system hashed out, hopefully to run from solar.

The 16 foot cedar board has been purchased for the top bar bee hive I plan to provide for the orchard and garden.

Will have more updates for each project. Stay tuned

Hopefully energy returns soon

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