Welcome to Oak Orchard Honey

We are a small beekeeping operation a short bike ride from the shore of Lake Ontario. Our hives are located in the heart of an old growth apple orchard planted by Ed Archbald back in the 1920s. A variety of apple trees were planted nearby in the 1990s that our bees visit, and we also have enough meadow with wild flowers to supply them with nectar and pollen through much of the season.

We are in the process of collectin feral bees and regressing our present bees back to the cell size of 4.9 mm. Cell size has been artificially increased since 1890s, and some members of the beekeeping community attribute many of today's bee health problems with this increased cell size.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Trap-Out Continued

On the second day of my very first screen-cone trap-out I was called by the homeowner to tell me the hive boxes (two mediums) were overflowing with bees. He said they were hanging off the front entrance in a long beard. I didn't need a bunch of bees running out of space on a house only twenty feet from the busy sidewalk, so I hurried over and swapped it out for another two- medium hive.

I'm trying to switch over to using only medium boxes for brood and honey supers to make trading out frames simpler. I cut down a deep that had ten frames of empty comb and made the whole thing into a medium. It all went pretty well except for all the wire I had to cut. The three inches of comb strips left over were tied to new frames for the a nuc.

I left the second hive on the house for a week and a half. I had to get help to lower the hive to the ground. They had loaded it up with a lot of honey. It felt like sixty pounds or so.

The picture shows the Washington hive on the left that was removed yesterday with some rope assistance. The Adams hive is in the middle. The Jefferson hive was pulled off the trap-out a couple weeks ago and appears to be very active. The eight frame nuc is at the sight and I am hoping that will become the Madison hive.