Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Camp Kreitzer's Bee Enterprise Hits the News

The Mountain Courier ran an article on beekeeping and featured our apiary. Wow! What fun. Check it out here.

July 14 Bee Inspection: All's well!

A frame of capped honey ready to harvest
What a hot day for an inspection. We went out right after 8:30 Mass and it was already 90 degrees and humid. Whew! Those canvas suits are hot!

We were hoping for a bumper crop of honey this year, but it is not looking too promising. All the hives were calm and we saw no ants or evidence of wax moth. We always look closely at the bees and we've never seen any varroa mites but we probably have them because everyone does. But the girls all look good. No evidence of malformed wings or any other health problems. They were all flying and pollen was coming in. The queens are laying like crazy -- lots of brood and larvae. We took out some honey frames and hope to get more on the next inspection but I doubt we will do as well as last year. Here's the rundown:

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

This Brought Back Memories of Our Circus Dog!



We had a border collie for sixteen years. We got her from the animal shelter but she looked like a pure bred and she was smart as a whip. We taught her lots of tricks including jumping through a hula hoop and over a broom handle. She could beg, fetch, roll over, sit still with a biscuit on her nose when we said "Army grub" and toss the treat and catch it when we said "Navy chow." (My dad was a naval officer. Even the dog appreciated it.)

So when I watched this video I remembered Shaley and all the joy she brought our family. Thank you, Lord, for giving us precious pets to bring joy to our lives!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The New Look at Camp Kreitzer

Have you noticed the new photo on the Camp Kreitzer home page? This Spring we decided to put a front porch on the house. After going around the county taking photos of different styles we chose a plantation style porch that could also serve as a second story fire escape. The kids have already practiced climbing out the window and when we said we might put in an upstairs door they begged us not to.
Getting ready for the footers.

Watching the Work Progress and Looking forward to the Honey Harvest!

 From my garden:
There will be primrose nectar in the honey harvest!
We went into the hives on June 21st and again today, July 1st (sweaty work on this hot day!). We examined all six hives both inspections, but not all the boxes in each hive.

We used the smoker for two hives on June 21st, but not at all today, since all the girls were calm today! It's hot, bright and sunny with a breeze and every hive had lots of activity. The purple thistle is blooming up the road and the Golden Raintree isn't quite finished down on Water Street so there is plenty of nectar available for harvesting. We saw no ants in any of the hives today and no signs of swarming. Here's the breakdown on both inspections.

Hive #1 Queen Rachel - four boxes (original split from Madeleine - attacked by bear):

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hoping for a Great Honey Season!

a medium frame with wax foundation
We did a hive inspection a few days ago and five of our six hives are going gangbusters. We added a honey super (the name for the box where you want the bees to collect nectar) to five hives. The only drawn comb we have is full of capped honey from last season and in the refrigerator, but we're sure it's mostly sugar water from feeding last fall so we'll save that for winter food. All the new boxes we added have undrawn wax foundation which means the bees have to draw it all out into little cells before they can start to fill it. The foundation is like the blueprint so the bees do what you want them to do.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Beginning Our 5th Year of Beekeeping and Just Collected Our First Swarm!


Five years ago this May we acquired two nucleus hives from a beekeeper in Fort Valley who has since retired. We can never thank Frank enough for helping us get a good start with this fascinating hobby. He and our square dancing buddy, Gordon, a professional beekeeper who once had 500 hives taught us what to do, rescued us when we had queen problems, and were always there with a wise word to the ignorant.