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.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Trapout in Bergen - Video update

I didn't have any fresh eggs to place in the trapout, so I contacted Jill at www.bloomfieldhoney.com/‎. She was great and sold me a laying queen so I was able to get things all set up. Here is the video of what was done.

I'm going to go over and remove the cone from the tree to allow the new established hive to rob-out the old hive in the tree. I assume there is a lot of honey left behind and I want this new hive to build up enough stores to make it through winter.

With only one hive really established back at our apiary, we won't have much honey to harvest this year. Hopefully, if we continue to grow we will be able to split some hives in the future.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A few problems and a trapout

Well, the winter went okay except we lost one of the two hives... the Washington. As you may know, I've decided to name the hives after the US presidents to help me learn them as I go - ha!

Time to try a trapout from a beehive in a tree out in Bergen, NY. The owner is highly allergic to bee stings and would like to walk along his wooded path without worry. He is glad to have the bees taken to a new home.

So, I set up the trapout and was ready to pull a frame of fresh eggs out of the Jefferson hive, but... no eggs. I knew the numbers had dropped after a predicted swarm, but I thought the old queen would still be doing her job. Not from what I saw. The whole brood box was empty and clean. Lots of bees though. The numbers looked strong.

So, I called Jill at Bloomfield Honey Farm and she set me up with two laying survivor stock queens for $30 a piece. She will have them for us today in queen cages with attendants so I can go out tomorrow and get the trapout started as well as requeen the Jefferson hive.

(Video of the hive ready in the tree in Bergen, NY)
(Video of the screen cone that will be placed over the opening in the tree) video

Since starting to name our hives we have lost "Adams", then "Washington". In an amazing historical coincidence:"Jefferson lives!" was said by John Adams on his deathbed, not knowing that Jefferson had passed away. They both died on July 4, 1826 within 5 hours of each other.