Ebert Honey LLC: Lynnville, Iowa Phone: 641-527-2639 Email: EHoney@EbertHoney.comMt. Vernon, Iowa Phone: 319-430-3514  Email: Adam.Ebert@EbertHoney.com

Warm Syrup and Happier Bees!

We finished the latest round on the bee circuit last Friday. That did involve getting the truck stuck at one location at the bottom of a long hill, but fortunately the landowner was near at hand with his tracked skid steer from our friends at Caterpillar. That was a very short term holdup, and I didn’t have to worry about the bees longing for their carb infusion for several more days. This pallet is looking quite nice as we get them fit for winter and pull the Apiguard cards.

Toasty Fall Bees

The highs are only 40s-50s Fahrenheit these days, so feeding will slow down somewhat in hives that don’t have a strong population. Indoor heating tanks or dropping an immersion heater into the tank is very helpful for the bees to ingest and store their gift food. This year I got a couple of IBCs that I can keep warmish.

Climate Control is Our Friend!

Andrew Loves Empty IBCs!

There are basically two more rounds with the bees before everything is shipshape for 2018, but things look fairly solid so far. As usual there are a few locations that raise some doubts, but as long as we get another round of healthy brood they have a good chance. Their condition after one more month will suggest our odds a little more clearly.

www.eberthoney.com

By |2018-10-14T17:12:57+00:00October 14th, 2018|Beekeeping Blog|0 Comments

Hungry Hungry Bees!!! Bobcat to the Rescue!!!

We are in another week-long stretch of excessive cool precipitation. A few days ago it was decent enough for some moderate pollen collection, but not really an opportunity for the fall flood of proteins that make late brood rearing a well-nourished operation. This is the first fall where I’m regretting not putting out pollen patties a few weeks ago. Here is one of the ladies bringing home the bee bacon:

Yummy Yummy–But it May be a Tiny Tim Xmas

Since it is wet again, we just have to do everything possible to boost the food supply for these girls as winter nears. It’s slow going, but right now we’re pulling around the Bobcat with the syrup pump in order to keep them going and keep them alive with hope for spring. We park somewhere solid and let the loader take over to reach the bees without tearing up the property or getting stuck. It is one of those years where I feel bad for bees with keepers that refuse to feed them supplementary carbs. Without some help, there is going to be a massive die-off among bees that have endured this weird wet cycle during late summer and autumn 2018. Here is what’s going on in our yards to do our best to keep the bees out of the graveyard.

Wynne Loads Up for the Rescue Mission!

Tanner Rolls in with the Sweet Stuff!

Eat Up and Stay Warm!!!

A dry spell is supposed to commence toward the end of the week. I hope it lasts long enough to enable a speedier round of caretaking. We also need to assess our post treatment mite status to determine our course for the remainder of the fall. Away we go!!!

www.eberthoney.com

By |2018-10-07T18:09:24+00:00October 7th, 2018|Beekeeping Blog|0 Comments

Harvest Concludes and the Syrup Pump Lives!

The syrup pump from the previous post has rejoined the mission to save the bees. After several journeys back into the yards, I believe we are able to trust it to help prepare for winter during the upcoming weeks. I bought it used as part of a package deal several years ago and only needed to change the oil up to this point, so I suppose an operational blip is okay. Hopefully a new belt and drive pulley will be the last of its 2018 needs. The cool drizzly days have continued, so the hives are going to need a lot of support to provide healthy bees in spring. There aren’t many flowers left now even if the weather turns favorable. Hang on bees, we’re coming to help!!!

Proudly Repaired and Operational! Pump On!!!

Extracting is also wound up for 2018. I held back a few boxes to have something to run through the uncapper for a tour this week, but otherwise a day or two of cleanup is all that remains before we close the books on everything harvest related. It’s always incredible to imagine bees working so hard that we can fill up barrels of honey. Here is Wynne using the loader to weigh one on a platform scale when we needed to have its net content calculated. Not a terribly efficient system, but it beats buying a really expensive scale or driving to the coop’s scale several miles down the road.

Bobcat Making Life Easy Yet Again!

In the meanwhile we will be out saving some bees. This is Tanner my new Saturday sidekick!

Tanner approves of this population on his 1st day!

By |2018-10-02T16:25:54+00:00October 2nd, 2018|Beekeeping Blog|0 Comments

Hot Chocolate and A Good Day 2 DIPA

The other day I dropped into the well-loved brewpub in Solon, Big Grove Brewery, and saw that our honey had been put to good use by their brewer. He concocted the cleverly named and quite tasty Good Day 2 DIPA. I complimented his good work 🙂 We’re hoping to put honey from the bees we placed on his dad’s property in the next round of brews!

The syrup pump also decided that it might be a good day to die this past Friday…. Does anything look off here?

Something Fishy All Up In Here

The Source of All Those Mysterious Metal Pieces!

At least the old pulley came off easily, so hopefully Menards can supply the right part this afternoon and get us back in action. We had several inches of rain to start September, and many of the hives are very light—still lots of brood and strong populations but little sustenance to withstand any kind of dearth. The last several days brought warmth and sunshine, so they’ve maintained themselves on goldenrod but could use some proactive feeding attention to keep them safe from nature’s whims.

Andrew is also getting into the autumnal mood with an exploration of local hot chocolates–not something in his repertoire until this month 🙂 This was his very first, served at another fine honey-using establishment in Cedar Rapids called Brewhemia.

Autumn Arrival Calls for Hot Chocolate!

By |2018-09-16T15:53:42+00:00September 16th, 2018|Beekeeping Blog|Comments Off on Hot Chocolate and A Good Day 2 DIPA

The Wheelbarrow Bees–Silly Swarm!

As the bees move into the brood boxes for the rest of the year following harvest, there are always a few that don’t take kindly to their rapidly reduced real estate. Who wants one or two deep boxes after being all stacked up for a honey crop??? Alas, it’s important for fall management and forthcoming wintertime conditions to pull down the boxes. Not many swarms occur despite the rapid shift in available space, but here is one that took up residence on the side of a wheelbarrow!

A Questionable Place to Settle, Silly Swarm!

A Cozier Home–They Happily Obliged to Enter!

Bees are generally quite docile in swarming situations, so there was no need for protective equipment on this little mission. Since they were totally exposed with lots of rain on the approach, I am happy to know that they’re not chilly and drowned. Many thanks to the landowner for letting me know of their attempted escape!

In a week or so I will make sure the queen is laying eggs in the new abode! Adios bees!

www.eberthoney.com

By |2018-09-02T15:36:20+00:00September 2nd, 2018|Beekeeping Blog|Comments Off on The Wheelbarrow Bees–Silly Swarm!

Save the Bees 2018!

September 1st! It was a very productive week. Most of the honey is off the hives, and most of them had one or two mite treatments in August. I’ve had much greater success with hive strength and overwintering if we begin the major knockdown in August rather than September. If it waits until October, I assume that there will be more bees dead than alive by January. Hopefully we stay the course and keep the bees happy and healthy!

Here is Wynne wielding the magic pest purging Apiguard syringe! (Ironically it is not not one of the mite treatments involving synthetic chemicals despite the syringe’s image more associated with pharma-type substances.)

Bye mites! Happy Healthy Bees in the Making!

Without swift parasite control this time of year, there can be a remarkable crash from overflowing hives like the ones above. Now is the time to ensure strong clusters for next spring. Right now we’re facing a week of rain, so I’m hoping the forecast is at least partly wrong. There are still a few more yards to save and some more barrels of honey to harvest. I have not been real lucky in missing undesired rain lately however.

Here is a recent load coming off the truck!

Pallets and Forks make Unloading Joyful and Restful!

We have two or three days of honey to extract in the building, and then we’ll need to press on whenever the weather permits.

By |2018-09-01T16:52:14+00:00September 1st, 2018|Beekeeping Blog|Comments Off on Save the Bees 2018!

A Honey House Surprise!

We continue to truck along with the 2018 honey harvest. The barrels are filling as the pressure mounts to stay on top of the parasite loads. As we were working in the extracting room yesterday, I spotted some pink “honey” in a frame we uncapped for the extractor. My first thought was that the bees had discovered a pile of overripe watermelons and sucked the juice from them…that has happened before. Upon looking a little closer, there wasn’t just some pink sweetness poked into those cells! Our new recruit tasted it and suspected that they plundered a pile of jelly beans! Somehow those bees got some melted down candy into their hive lives!

The Bees Got Jelly Bean Jollies?

Pretty soon I will go down to Muscatine melon land and see if some of our other bees went for the fruit rather than the candy!

In the meanwhile we will keep harvesting away! Here is our new recruit Wynne keeping after the work!

Wynne Lives the Honey Life!

She is also learning to cart around 700 lb barrels. Impressive!

Conquest of Barrel Tipping Technique–No Small Feat!

By |2018-08-25T16:23:55+00:00August 25th, 2018|Beekeeping Blog|Comments Off on A Honey House Surprise!

Iowa State Fair 2018!

We made another voyage to Des Moines for the famed Iowa State Fair a few days ago. The Iowa Honey Producers Association had lots of folks to entertain while preparing honey lemonade for the masses 🙂 The second floor of the Agricultural Building brings bees and honey to the people every year.

The Beloved IHPA Volunteers!

One of our highlights was listening to Sammy deliver her 4H speech about her backyard beekeeping experience (yes she moonlights on us), and she received the esteemed Seal of Merit! Yay!

Sammy With Proof of Excellence!

I didn’t get to a number of my usual stops on a typical state fair outing….somebody else discovered the rides and his life was changed forever!

Andrew Likes to Share the Fair! New Friend Number 10!

And I may be a corrupting force, but I did let him discover the state fair corn dog too. It didn’t last long.

It Comes with a Stick???

He also requested that we return. Especially for the rides I suspect.

www.eberthoney.com

By |2018-08-19T02:53:07+00:00August 19th, 2018|Beekeeping Blog|Comments Off on Iowa State Fair 2018!

Power-up Bee Season!

Off we go into the depths of harvest season! Now we’re getting a bit of rhythm and fatigue all mixed into the seasonal recipe. Here Andrew is making a run at some of the honey pallets with the jack. We spent a good thirty minutes moving around pallets this morning 🙂

Here Comes Andrew!

Got It!!!!

Now we just have to fill those pallets up again with stacks of honey! Today we brought home another good yard, and I’ll aim to get some more this weekend while the warmth and good-humored bees are cooperating. Watch-out bees…Sammy is equipped with a blower of magnificent force!

Jet-pack Sammy!

By |2018-08-11T03:07:05+00:00August 11th, 2018|Beekeeping Blog|Comments Off on Power-up Bee Season!

Honey House Bounty & Antics!

A Lovely Frame for the Cowen Uncapper!

We have some wonderful frames like this one that make every load of the extractor provide quite a lot of honey. Let them spin!

Andrew woke up the other day and asked, “Hey Daddy, want to go extract for a little while?” Little did I know that he wanted to get his stool and run a few frames through the uncapper for the first time 🙂 I liked that he selected his bib overalls for this activity!

Andrew Steps Up for Uncapper Duty!

Down the line Sammy does the clean-up scratching and scraping 🙂

Wax Away! Honey Be Free!

Quality control is essential:

“Mmmmm, yummy!!!” 2018 seal of approval!

www.eberthoney.com
www.ebertbees.com

By |2018-07-29T15:25:14+00:00July 29th, 2018|Beekeeping Blog|Comments Off on Honey House Bounty & Antics!