2018 Honey Bee Package Pick Up

Thank you for choosing Gaiser Bee Co. to supply your 2018 packaged bees.  Whether it is to start your own apiary, strengthen weak colonies or replace winter losses it is very important that you are prepared for your package pick up and the travel back to their new home. 

PICK UP: Packages are pick up only at our location with the tentative date of April 20th, 2018 (this date may change and if so you will be informed). We try to factor in enough time for Atlanta traffic so pick up starts at 7:00AM and runs throughout the day, with slots every 15 minutes. This year we are using an online program to schedule pick up times. To schedule a pick up time, CLICK HERE. Unless prior arrangements have been made with us, you must schedule through that link. All packages MUST be picked up on April 20th, 2018. 

Location: Gaiser Urban Farm - 3402 Kleeman Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45211

 

All packages are guaranteed to come with 1 caged, mated queen along with 3 lbs of worker bees and some drones.  This year the bees will come in a vented plastic box "bee-bus" which is easier for installing.  All packages must be inspected before leaving our location where they are guaranteed alive and healthy.  We can only be responsible for them while they are in our presence so please read below on how to safely transport and install your bees.

Gaiser Bee Company packaged bees

Travel: Once you have picked up your packages it is important to make sure they are well ventilated and out of direct sunlight while traveling back.  Make sure to minimize stops and try your best to get them to their new home right away.  If you must stop, make sure to park in a shaded area and give them proper ventilation. 

Installing: Getting your new bees into their hive is of the utmost importance when you have packaged colonies.  So we recommend having your equipment set up and ready for when you arrive.   Please join us at our Spring Party on April 8th, 2018 to learn how to install this equipment. 

** If you are unable to get them in a hive right away make sure to keep them in a cool, dark and dry area like a basement not exceedingly more then 2 days.

Please be sure to read up on honey bee management before pick up.  Once you leave with your bees we are no longer in control of their care so we are not responsible for packages once they leave our property.  

If you would like to order hives or equipment from us to be picked up at our location please email us at, krystle@gaiserbeeco.com or call us at 513-673-0503. Please call or email with any questions. Thank you and we look forward to meeting everyone in April.

Cory, Krystle, Anne & Little Cory 

Recipe for Candy Boards

RECIPE FOR CANDY BOARDS

Are you looking for a way to feed your bees over winter and reduce in-hive moisture?  Candy boards are the answer!  During cold winter months, feeding sugar water solutions can cause deathly moisture build up in your hive.  As water evaporates from the sugar solution, it condenses inside the inner cover.   This then showers down onto your bees and can kill them.  With candy boards the dry block sugar not only provides a source of food but also absorbs excess moisture.

Below is a simple step by step recipe for preparing candy boards.  We have these available in-store while supplies last.  Please message us for availability. 

8 AND 10 Frame - Candy Board.jpg

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • Wooden candy board

  • Large mixing bowl

  • Measuring cup

  • Metal spoon

  • 1 tablespoon of White vinegar

  • 16 lbs of sugar

  • 3 cups of water

  • ***OPTIONAL: Ultra Bee or Pro Health

STEP BY STEP

STEP 1

Start by placing 1 tablespoon of white vinegar into 3 cups of water.

3 cups of water.jpg
white vinegar.jpg

STEP 2

Next, add 8 lb. of sugar in a large mixing bowl (by splitting up the 16 lb. total sugar, it makes for better mixing)

sugar.jpg

STEP 3

Slowly add 1.5 cups of the water/vinegar mixture to the sugar while stirring with a large spoon.

STEP 4 (OPTIONAL)

—> If desired, this is the time to add 1 scoop of pollen substitute (Ultra Bee) or feeding stimulant (Pro Health).

ultra bee.jpg
pro health.jpg

STEP 5

Make sure you mix it well and the consistency should be like wet sand.  Make sure sugar it is not runny. (if mixture is too runny add sugar to get desired consistency)

STEP 6

Place candy board on a washable, flat, level surface such as a counter top or the flat side of a telescoping cover.

STEP 7

Next dump the sugar into the candy board.  Make sure to pack down the sugar while keeping it even.  If you have an entrance on you candy board, make sure you leave space around the hole.  Do this by placing a block of wood in front of the hole and pack the sugar around it.

STEP 8

Mix the remaining 8 lb. of sugar in the large bowl.

STEP 9

Slowly addingthe remaining 1.5 cups of water/vinegar mixture to the sugar, while stirring with a large spoon.

STEP 10

Add in the remaining sugar mix to the candy board while packing it in tight.

STEP 11

Wait 24 hours for them to fully dry then they are ready to addto your hives!


Hope you enjoy! Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.  

Swarm Season Is Here

We are at the beginning of swarm season here in Cincinnati.  As the nectar flow strengthens the bees will start to produce swarm (queen) cells.  

What is swarming?  Swarming is the natural way bees create more hives.

When a swarm leaves the hive they cluster on a near by structure (tree, bush, deck, etc.).  The swarm then sends out scout bees to find a new location for them to live.  This is when we typically are able to catch them.

 Why is it important to help relocate them?  Sometimes  these swarms can end up in a location they are not welcome (school yards, sheds, house soffits).  When this happens some people are unaware of the importance of bees and can end up spraying them with insecticides, killing them.

What do you do if you see a swarm?  If you see a swarm, remember they are calm and are just looking for a new place to live.  Be kind to them and call an experienced beekeeper to relocate them.  You can help by sharing this information with friends and family to educate them.
 

Want to see what it looks like inside of a hive when it swarms? Click HERE to see how our observation hive swarmed last season.  At the end Cory was able to catch the queen as she was coming out to relocate them.

What happen next?  This particular hive was interesting to watch.  They attempted to swarm 3 times but the last time we were able to catch the queen and then do a split.  Click HERE to see what it looked like when we opened it up.

Want to see what a swarm looks like as it forms on a tree branch?  Click HERE to see this hives first attempt at swarming.  They landed on a tree branch before they decided to go back into the hive.
 

If you are in the Cincinnati area please give us a call if you see a swarm or any other local beekeeper.
513.673.0503
Krystle@gaiserbeeco.com

 Here we spotted swarm cells in a hive and knew they were ready to swarm.

Honey Bee Package Pick Up

You have decided to order packaged bees this Spring.  Whether it is to start your own apiary, strengthen weak colonies or replace winter losses it is very important that you are prepared for their arrival and travel back to their new home.

PICK UP: Packages are pick up only at our location with the tentative date of April 23, 2017.  (This date may change and if so you will be inform) Pick up starts at 6:00AM and runs throughout the day, with slots every 15 minutes.  Please contact us right away if there is a specific time that works best for you.  Otherwise we will contact you with your window.  All packages must be picked up on April 23rd, 2017  

Location: Gaiser Urban Farm - 3402 Kleeman Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45211

 

All packages are guaranteed to come with 1 caged, mated queen along with 3 lbs of worker bees and some drones.  This year the bees will come in a vented plastic box "bee-bus" which is easier for installing.  All packages must be inspected before leaving our location where they are guaranteed alive and healthy.  We can only be responsible for them while they are in our presence so please read below on how to safely transport and install your bees.

Gaiser Bee Company packaged bees

Travel: Once you have picked up your packages it is important to make sure they are well ventilated and out of direct sunlight while traveling back.  Make sure to minimize stops and try your best to get them to their new home right away.  If you must stop, make sure to park in a shaded area and give them proper ventilation. 

Installing: Getting your new bees into their hive is of the utmost importance when you have packaged colonies.  So we recommend having your equipment set up and ready for when you arrive.   Please watch this video before hand to see a simple way to install using this new "bee-bus" boxes.

** If you are unable to get them in a hive right away make sure to keep them in a cool, dark and dry area like a basement not exceedingly more then 2 days.

Please be sure to read up on honey bee management before pick up.  Once you leave with your bees we are no longer in control of their care so we are not responsible for packages once they leave our property.  

If you would like to order hives or equipment from us to be picked up at our location please email me at krystlegaiser@gmail.com or contact me at 513-673-0503 Please call or email with any questions. Thank you and we look forward to meeting everyone in April.

Cory & Krystle Gaiser 

Getting Ready for Spring

Wow! It's crazy to think that Spring is just around the corner. Before you know it, there will be buzzing in the air.  Whether you are a veteran beekeeper or just a new-bee, that sound will soon be music to your ears.

In preparation for spring, we have put together a simple guideline to help you be prepared for the upcoming months.  If this is your first year beekeeping or just refreshing your memory we hope you find this guide helpful:

Join in:  Joining your local beekeeping association is a great way to get involved in your community and learn from neighboring beekeepers.  If you are in Ohio, the Ohio State Beekeepers Association is  a good source for events throughout the state.

Education: In the leading months to your bees arrival, reading is one of the best things you can do.  Some great books we enjoy are Backyard Beekeeper and Beekeeping For Dummies.  Classes and conferences are other great way to get information.  If you are in the Cincinnati area, our classes take place in March and the Southwestern Ohio Beekeeper School is March 25, 2017.  It fills up quickly though so make sure to sign up right away if you plan to attend.

Ordering Bees: If you haven't already done so, make sure to have your order in for packaged bees.  You can order bees from us for pick-up at our farm on April 23rd, 2017.  Packages are limited.

Equipment: Have you decided on which hive is best for you?  There are many options when choosing the type of hive you want.  From a Langstroth, Warre Hive, Top-Bar etc.  The best way to make this decision is start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What is the climate like in your area? Which hive is best for that climate?
  • Where do you want to place your hives?
  • Are you able to lift boxes up to 40+lbs?
  • Do you want to harvest honey?

There are many questions to ask yourself in making your decision.   If you need help making this decision please contact us.

We sell beekeeping products here on our website as well as in our store front that is set to open in April 2017.  If you would like pre-order Langstroth hives or starter kits and pick them up when you get your bees April 23rd, please let us know.

Installation:  Being prepared for the arrival of your bees is very crucial.  If this is your first time picking up packages please read our recommendations on transporting and installing.


Please contact us with any questions you may have.  Hope you find this guidance helpful.

Cory & Krystle Gaiser 

Preparing your bees for winter

 Photo credit to Amanda B Griffin Photography

Photo credit to Amanda B Griffin Photography

Preparing your bees for Winter

The cold months are upon us which means that the largest amount of colony losses is right around the corner.  It is important to do your hive inspections before the cold temperature sets in.  We wanted to share some tips on what to look for in your upcoming inspections.  From the right amount of food to hive location.

 Photo credit Amanda B Griffin photography 

Photo credit Amanda B Griffin photography 

FOOD
Honey bees are cold blooded insects that regulate their own body temperature and do not hibernate during the winter months.  Instead, they will vibrate their flight muscles, creating friction to keep the hive at about 93 degrees fahrenheit .  In order to do this, they need energy.  The honey bees will eat the stored honey during the months they can not forage.  This is why adequate food storage is crucial.  
How much honey is good?  The general thought is 70-90 lbs. per hive here in the mid-west region but keep in mind that climate will play a role in this amount.  Please check with other local beekeepers if your climate is different then ours.
Do I feed my bees?  Yes, we feed.  During fall months we feed our bees a 2:1 sugar:water solution to help them store up.  We have a DIY article on making your own feeder if you are interested in how we feed.  Click here.
Are there other ways to feed?  Yes there are, it is called "dry feeding".  You can do this by placing granulated sugar on newspaper on top of the frames in the top box.  This method is best used as "in-hive" feeding during cold months when liquid feeding is contraindicated .  Other options are fondant "bee candy" and pollen pattys.  Simple recipes can be found online.

 Photo credit Amanda B Griffin Photography

Photo credit Amanda B Griffin Photography

HIVE INSPECTION
"When the Queen is happy, there is peace in the Kingdom", a quote that I heard once and enjoyed.  Going into winter with strong, healthy Queens free of disease will give your hive a better chance at survival.  The Queens age will also be a factor for survival.  Some beekeepers will re-queen a second season Queen because she has a 50:50 chance of failure over winter.
What should I look for on my fall inspection?

  • Pest management which includes mite counts and treating if indicated.  
  • Check for hive beetles and wax moths that may be looming in the crevices.  
  • Ensure to visualize adequate food stored in the combs.  
  • Make sure you have brood, the pattern should be tight as a spotty brood pattern can indict a poorly laying queen.
  • Your worker bee population should be large, if your numbers are low you may need to combined smaller colonies (see video).
  • Eliminate unused space.  If you observe that your bees are not storing food or laying eggs in a particular box, remove that unused space.  The extra space will welcome unwanted guests.
 Photo credit Amanda B Griffin Photography

Photo credit Amanda B Griffin Photography

EXTERIOR PREPARATION  

  • If not already done, your hives should be facing the southeast direction. It is important to have early morning sun and  direct sunshine most of the day.
  • Moisture will form on the lid of the hive as the bees consume the honey.  Absorbent material can be used in exchange for your inner cover to help diffuse moisture.  These can be purchased or can be made.  Absorbent boards can be purchased or you can make your own "quilt box".
  • Angling the hive also aids in safe moisture run-off.  This can be done by placing shims under the rear of the bottom board, slightly elevating the back of the hive.
  • By propping the top open, between the telescoping cover and inner, you can create an alternative exit for your bees.  This may come useful in months where your entrance may be blocked do to snow. Without proper ventilation they can suffocate. We use a simple twig about the diameter of a pencil as a spacer. This also aids in ventilation.
  • Wind breaks and wrapping may come in handy.  Using a wind break (such as a piece of privacy fence or plywood) creates a barrier from damaging winds.  Hive wraps can be used to add exterior installation or to absorb UV light for added heat.  We use 2" foam installation to cover our hives or you can purchase pre-fabricated ones.


Hope you enjoyed our tips for planning for winter.



Hope you enjoyed our tips for planning for winter.  If you have any comments or concerns please feel free to contact us.
Have a good inspection! 
Krystle & Cory Gaiser

What are my bees doing?

Your first thought when you see this photo may be a fearful ..."Umm, what is happening?" But do not worry.  What you are seeing is called "bearding".

During the hot months honey bees will cluster on the outside of the hive and the term we use to describe this is bearding .  It can be quite frightening in the beginning when you are trying to determine what is going on but no need to fear.  This is not only normal but also can be a great sign that you have a strong colony with a large population. 

So why do they do this?
Honey bees control the temperature of their hive during warm months by fanning to keep the hive ventilated and maintain it at about 93 degrees.  When we enter months with high humidity and high temperatures combined that with high populations, they will begin bearding on the front of the boxes.  Over crowding can make it hard to keep the hive ventilated and overheating can be damaging to the brood.

Could this a sign of swarming?
While a swarming hive will happen suddenly and be pouring out of the entrance is large qualities, bearding  is very calm and quiet.

What do I do now?
Although bearding is generally a good sign, be sure to check your hive.  Do they have enough space? You probably already know the living situation of your honey bees if you monitor them regularly but it is something to think about.  Providing more space, like an additional deep or honey supers, will allow for them to continue building and filling comb.


Hope this helps with any concerns you may have about bearding.  Feel free to contact us with any other questions or concerns.

Krystle & Cory Gaiser

Feeding your Honey Bees

It's time to Feed the Bees

I hope you are having a fantastic summer enjoying these long summer nights and the beautiful weather. Even if you are a busy bee I hope you can take a moment to stop and smell the flowers ... even though that may be hard right now.
As we all know July and August are some of the hottest months of the year which means, little rainfall resulting in nectar dearth for our honeybees.  No flowers means no food.  As much as we try to plant wildflowers and clovers ... sometime it just isn't enough.  We want healthy, strong bees so we feed sugar water in these times.
This week we started our new feeding technique and wanted to share with everyone our success story since it is working out so great for us!

We have a few techniques to feeding, which all work.  But we have found that this new DIY gravity feeder is a lot more bee-friendly and results in less drowned bees.

What you'll need:
5 gallon white bucket
Lid with a rubber seal
Drill
1/8" drill bit
25 lb sugar
4 gallons of water
Pro Health
Marbles and/or Rocks

STEP 1:
Make sure your bucket and lid are completely cleaned out and there is no harmful residue in it.


 

STEP 2:
Start by identifying the outer rim through the inside of the bucket (see photo).Then using the drill and 1/8" bit, begin drilling holes roughly 2.5" down from the lip going from the inside out.  
Be careful not to perforate the outer wall, but place holes about every 1".

STEP 3:
Clean out plastic shavings and fill the jug half way with warm water and add roughly 25 lbs of sugar.  Then we add a few table spoons of the vitamin packed Pro-Health which is available on Mann Lake's website.  It works great and gives the girls some much need sustenance.

**You can use marble or even pebbles to keep your girls from drowning. 

STEP 4:
Securely fasten lid to the bucket and flip it over.  We placed ours on another empty 5 gallon bucket to elevate it off the ground.  Take marbles/rocks and place in reservoirs to help keep bees from drowning. 
PLACEMENT: We have 13 hives within a small area so we put this in a central location within the middle.  Everyone is enjoying their dinner together.

**Summertime feeding is typically a 1:1 sugar:water ratio.  They use the extra water to cool their hive then the sugar is used for energy.  While fall months you want to do a 2:1 sugar:water ratio.


Please comment below or email us if you have any questions about how to make your own 5 gallon bucket feeders.  Thank you for reading.