gaiser bee co

'Bee Well' Alliance Integrative Medicine

Thank you to Teresa Esterle and the Alliance Integrative Medicine team for hosting the Bee Well hive in the Gaiser Bee Company apiary for the 2017 beekeeping season.  We also want to thank you for being one of the first stores to support our mission of saving the bees!

Here, Cory is transferring these frames into the new box.

Here, Cory is transferring these frames into the new box.

INSPECTION DAY MAY 14, 2017

New honeybee colonies can start from a number of sources.  For the Bee Well hive, these girls started from a swarm of honeybees that we were able to rescue from a Cincinnati Public School.  These honeybees were seen by the principal on the school grounds where the children frequent. He was educated on the declining population of honeybees and knew not to spray them but instead to call a beekeeper– so we headed out on April 17th to catch them.

Alliance Integrative Medicine Host A Hive Gaiser Bee Co.

The swarm was right outside of the school where parents pick up/drop off their children and school was almost out so we had to hurry.  We were able to safely remove the bees from the tree and place them into a swarm box without anyone getting stung.

Alliance Integrative Medicine Host a Hive Honey bees Cincinnati Ohio Gaiser Bee Co

We took the bees back to our apiary and let them get acclimated with the area for a few weeks before we did anything to them.  We wanted them to enjoy their home and needed the queen to start laying eggs before we did a full inspection.

Once we opened up the hive to see how they were doing, then placed them into their new custom "Bee Well" Hive, we found they LOVED the new place.  The queen had laid tons of eggs, they were very calm and had a good mix of coloring. (A variety in coloring indicated to us that the colony has a good genetic diversity)

The population was exploding and they were almost ready to move out! During our inspection we noticed that the worker bees were beginning to form queen cells.  Queen cells indicate to us that the hive may be preparing to swarm.  This is not a bad thing– just means they have outgrown their home and are ready to move on.

So what we did was remove the many queen cups and split this hive into 2 hives.  We took frames with plenty of eggs, larva and capped brood (unhatched baby bees) and placed them into a separate box.  Giving this hive empty frames and plenty of room to grow.  So essentially we helped them swarm but did it for them.

There is no egg in the cup, it is just in preparation for one.

There is no egg in the cup, it is just in preparation for one.

Although our goal was to see the queen and mark her with a yellow color to help us find her during our inspections, we were able to see fresh eggs so we know that she was around there somewhere.  So instead of keeping the hive open for longer than we needed to, we put it back together confidently, knowing that they would do great.  Their population was flourishing so we expect them to continue this progress and need another box here soon.

Host A Hive Cincinnati Ohio Honey Bees Swarm

INSPECTION DAY JUNE 9, 2017

On June 9th, we did our second inspection on the 'Bee Well' Hive, and these ladies seemed to be doing fantastic. 

This colony of honeybees is flourishing and quickly growing in numbers. When we opened up the boxes, we noticed the queen seemed to favor laying her eggs in the middle of the hive, so we took the empty frames from the left and right sides of the boxes and put them between every other frame to basically fool the queen into thinking she has more space. The population is doing so well and expanding so quickly that they even started making queen cups– we noticed about three of them!

We couldn't seem to find the queen but we do know she's in there because there were an abundance of eggs and the bees were crafting their queen cups, which means they could potentially swarm. Swarming is the honeybee's natural way of reproducing and essentially creating a new colony because they have outgrown the home they're in currently. The queen cups are a signal to beekeepers to add a new box so there's enough room for the growing population.

They didn't need a new box just yet, so the next time we go down to the apiary for inspections, we will most likely be adding another box to support this thriving population.

Overall, these ladies are looking great. Stay tuned for more info on the next inspection! Be sure to follow this blog for more updates and feel free to leave comments, questions or concerns. 


inspection day august 5, 2017

We went out to the apiary for another inspection on August 5th and decided to treat all of the hives for precautionary reasons. The "Bee Well" Hive was doing so well– the population was booming! We took the top off, looked at a couple frames, determined it was doing exceedingly well, then closed it back up and treated it for mites.

We're getting to that tricky time of summer when it's much too common to find the hives being infiltrated by mites and other unwanted species. We saw these bees had fallen victim so we ended up having to treat them for Parasitic Mite Syndrome(PMS). 

Reports from the Ohio Department of Agriculture are indicating that the varroa mite population this season appears to be excessively high. Varroa mites are minuscule in size but they latch on like ticks and drain the life from the victim. We wanted to see if this was true with our hives so we did a thorough inspection on 10 of the hives in our apiary.  Of those 10 hives, 6 had obvious signs of heavy mite infestation.  Including but not limited to:

  • bees with deformed wing virus
  • poor honey storage
  • spotty brood pattern
  • larva that appears melted in their cells.

But, not to worry! Just because your hive has mites, doesn't mean it's the end of the world– or their world, really. We have started treatment and will be treating every hive in the apiary every five days for the next twenty days to ensure that the brood, currently in the larvae stage, is fully treated and protected from the varroa mite infestation once they hatch and start to grow/work. We believe these ladies will pick themselves back up and become a healthy, thriving colony once again in no time! 

TREATMENTS 

Because of the high number of Varroa mites throughout the entire state of Ohio, we spent the month of August treating all hives.  We did an organic treatment of oxalic acid in 3 treatments, 5-7 days apart in order to treat all capped brood as they hatched.


fall extraction season: late summer - mid fall


Inspection Day September 9, 2017

After treating all of the hives and monitoring the bees behavior throughout the month, we opened their homes back up on September 9th to see how everyone was doing. We specifically went in to check on the status of the Varroa Mite treatment and to see where their food supply is at. 

The treatment looks like it worked tremendously and everyone seems to be happy and healthy! Therefore, we proceeded with checking the food supply and decided to add in some Easter marshmallow candies on the inner cover until we start the feeding for fall. 

Feeding during fall is necessary after extraction season so that the bees can continue building up their food supply for the winter months, before the cold gets here and they're forced to bundle up indoors just like the rest of us!


october 3, 2017 inspection day + final extraction!

On October third, we went to the apiary to gather the frames for our final extraction of the year– the beloved fall honey!

Fall honey is dark in color, plus rich and bold in flavor. It is a bit thicker and more of a dark amber color compared to spring honey. While darker honey is more flavorful and intense than light, it also contains more nutrients; including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

We didn't pull many frames from the newer colonies this year so the honey you will be receiving will be coming from some of the stronger, more established hives– so yours can continue to thrive. 

The final step, in the first week of November, will be to go through and consolidate some of the colonies and insulate them.

CLICK HERE to see a video of how we will be preparing the hives for winter


We will be sure to keep you updated on our next visit out to the apiary. Be sure to follow this blog for updates and feel free to post any comments, questions or concerns.

Stay tuned!


Kling Family

Thank you to the Kling Family for hosting a hive in the Gaiser Bee Co. apiary for the 2017 season.  It was pleasure having you guys at the class and we hope to have you out to the farm again soon.

Here Cory is taking off the side of this pillar to expose the honeybees.

Here Cory is taking off the side of this pillar to expose the honeybees.

The Kling Family hive story begins May 2nd.  What you see here is our neighbors pillar, FILLED with honeybees!  Late one afternoon, we got a call from a concerned neighbor informing us that he was noticing some strange activity coming and going from his garage.  As he explained this to me I knew right away what was going on, so Cory and I headed down the street to check it out and see what we could do.

When we got there, right away we identified them as honeybees and noticed that they had moved into this pillar.  So with the owners permission we gently removed a side of the pillar to expose the bees.  To our surprise, there were more bees than we could have anticipated!

The amount was incredible!  This was one of the biggest swarms that we caught this year.

The amount was incredible!  This was one of the biggest swarms that we caught this year.

Their numbers were so high that when Cory removed the panel they began falling onto the deck.  So right away we started getting to work; collecting these bees and safely getting them into our swarm box.  

Once they were all safely in the box, we closed it off and took the hive back to our apiary.  The next day we opened up the entrance to enable them to fly around and get acclimated. 

Here, Cory is transferring the swarm to a larger box since their numbers were so high.

Here, Cory is transferring the swarm to a larger box since their numbers were so high.


INSPECTION DAY MAY 14, 2017

It wasn't until May 14th, when we did our first inspection on the hive to see how they were doing.  When we opened the hive we instantly had a feeling that the queen may not have made it because they were humming very loud (which can indicated irritability in the hive as a result from a missing queen).  Once we got into it more we did notice that the queen was missing.  

Jeni Kling Host A Hive Cincinnati Ohio Gaiser Bee Co

So what did we do?  We called a friend that had some queens and placed her in with the colony.  She stays in a small cage for a few days in order for the other bees to recognize her pheromone and make sure they accept her.

Now we wait.  

We have provided the colony with more room for growth and gave them a new queen that they should release in just a few days.  On our next inspection we will want to make sure they have accepted her and that she has begun laying eggs.

Host A Hive Save the Bees Cincinnati Ohio Gaiser Bee Co.

inspection day August 5, 2017 

Kling Family Hive

We went out to the apiary for another inspection on August 5th and decided to treat all of the hives for precautionary reasons.

We're getting to that tricky time of summer when it's much too common to find the hives being infiltrated by mites and other unwanted species. We saw these bees had fallen victim so we ended up having to treat them for Parasitic Mite Syndrome(PMS). 

Reports from the Ohio Department of Agriculture are indicating that the varroa mite population this season appears to be excessively high. Varroa mites are minuscule in size but they latch on like ticks and drain the life from the victim. We wanted to see if this was true with our hives so we did a thorough inspection on 10 of the hives in our apiary.  Of those 10 hives, 6 had obvious signs of heavy mite infestation.  Including but not limited to:

  • bees with deformed wing virus
  • poor honey storage
  • spotty brood pattern
  • larva that appears melted in their cells.

But, not to worry! Just because your hive has mites, doesn't mean it's the end of the world– or their world, really. We have started treatment and will be treating every hive in the apiary every five days for the next twenty days to ensure that the brood, currently in the larvae stage, is fully treated and protected from the varroa mite infestation once they hatch and start to grow/work. We believe these ladies will pick themselves back up and become a healthy, thriving colony once again in no time! 

TREATMENTS 

Because of the high number of Varroa mites throughout the entire state of Ohio, we spent the month of August treating all hives.  We did an organic treatment of oxalic acid in 3 treatments, 5-7 days apart in order to treat all capped brood as they hatched.


fall extraction season: late summer - mid fall


Inspection Day September 9, 2017

After treating all of the hives and monitoring the bees behavior throughout the month, we opened their homes back up on September 9th to see how everyone was doing. We specifically went in to check on the status of the Varroa Mite treatment and to see where their food supply is at. 

The treatment looks like it worked tremendously and everyone seems to be happy and healthy! Therefore, we proceeded with checking the food supply and decided to add in some Easter marshmallow candies on the inner cover until we start the feeding for fall. 

Feeding during fall is necessary after extraction season so that the bees can continue building up their food supply for the winter months, before the cold gets here and they're forced to bundle up indoors just like the rest of us!

IMG_3251.JPG

october 3, 2017 inspection day + final extraction!

On October third, we went to the apiary to gather the frames for our final extraction of the year– the beloved fall honey!

Fall honey is dark in color, plus rich and bold in flavor. It is a bit thicker and more of a dark amber color compared to spring honey. While darker honey is more flavorful and intense than light, it also contains more nutrients; including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

We didn't pull many frames from the newer colonies this year so the honey you will be receiving will be coming from some of the stronger, more established hives– so yours can continue to thrive. 

The final step, in the first week of November, will be to go through and consolidate some of the colonies and insulate them.

CLICK HERE to see a video of how we will be preparing the hives for winter


We will be sure to keep you updated on our next visit out to the apiary. Be sure to follow this blog for updates and feel free to post any comments, questions or concerns.

Stay tuned!


Cincinnati Waldorf School

Thank you to the staff, parents and students at Cincinnati Waldorf School for not only coming out and spending the day on the farm to learn all about honeybees, chickens and goats;  but for helping us save the bees by hosting a hive in Gaiser Bee Co. apiary for the 2017 season.

It was a pleasure having everyone out and the kids were wonderful. We hope to see you guys again soon!

Cincinnati Waldorf School Host a Hive Gaiser Bee Co. Cincinnati Ohio

The Cincinnati Waldorf Hive

New honeybee colonies can start from a number of sources.  For the Cincinnati Waldorf Hive, these girls started from what is called a swarm.  These honeybees were rescued from a tree in North College Hill on May 8th.  We got a late call from a resident in the area who was concerned they would be sprayed and harmed by someone if we didn't get them.  Right away we headed over and suited up.

The tree was right off the street and the bees were about 12-15 ft up.

The tree was right off the street and the bees were about 12-15 ft up.

Cory checked out the hive to see if he was able to spot the queen right away but no luck.  So we geared up and got the tools ready to gently brush the bees into a swarm box.

The bees did great.  We were able to get almost all of them into the swarm box without anyone getting stung!  This is a strong indicator that we were able to get the queen in the box.  The worker bees and drones will follow the queens scent, so by getting her into the box, you are able to lure in the rest. Sometimes her scent can be left behind on the tree or wherever they landed, so you may have some stragglers.

Once we got the hive back to our apiary we removed the tissue we had closing off the entrance for transporting purposes.  Now that they are in a new place they will come out and explore their surroundings.

Opening up the swarm to transfer them into their new home.

INSPECTION DAY June 6th

After the school visited, we waited a while before checking the hive.  Glad we did too, because they were some busy bees in there building up wax, storing pollen and even nectar.  They seem to love their new home.

Cory began transferring the frames one at a time into the beautiful new home hand painted by the students at Waldorf school.  With each frame he made sure to check for a queen.  It is always a good idea to try and find your queen during inspections so that you can set her aside and be sure not to hurt her.  In the case of a swarm, you want to try to find her to see if she is marked and to inspect her condition.

Can you see the queen?? She's beautiful and she's marked!! This is such a perfect example of why marking the queen is a good thing.  Whoever's hive this was had marked her last year with the color white, which indicates to us that she is going on her second year.

Waldorf School Host A Hive Gaiser Bee Co

After we spotted this beautiful caramel colored queen and transferred over all the frames into their new hive, we closed it up.  They are doing so well, we did not want to continue to disrupt them. We know she is healthy and laying good eggs and they have a flourishing population.  

Our next inspection will be soon and we will most likely add on another box so their population can continue to grow.  The Waldorf Hive looks great!


inspection day july 30, 2017

On July 30th, we did another inspection on the beautiful Waldorf School Hive, and the bees seemed to be doing fantastic. They were very calm and docile as we were handling the boxes, which is more than ideal.

This colony of honeybees is thriving and quickly growing in numbers. When we opened up the boxes, we noticed they had tons of stored and capped honey in their frames. The population is doing so well and expanding so quickly that they even started making queen cups– we noticed so many of them it was hard to count!

We couldn't seem to find the queen but we do know she is in there because there's an abundance of eggs and the bees were crafting their queen cups, which means they could potentially swarm. The queen cups are a signal to beekeepers to add a new box so there's enough room for the growing population.

This colony may have already swarmed because they seemed to be slightly lower in numbers but they are healthy and still laying eggs/hatching baby bees so now they are in the process of regrowth!


inspection day august 5, 2017

We went out to the apiary for another inspection on August 5th and decided to treat all of the hives for precautionary reasons.

We're getting to that tricky time of summer when it's much too common to find the hives being infiltrated by mites and other unwanted species. We saw these bees had fallen victim so we ended up having to treat them for Parasitic Mite Syndrome(PMS). 

Reports from the Ohio Department of Agriculture are indicating that the varroa mite population this season appears to be excessively high. Varroa mites are minuscule in size but they latch on like ticks and drain the life from the victim. We wanted to see if this was true with our hives so we did a thorough inspection on 10 of the hives in our apiary.  Of those 10 hives, 6 had obvious signs of heavy mite infestation.  Including but not limited to:

  • bees with deformed wing virus
  • poor honey storage
  • spotty brood pattern
  • larva that appears melted in their cells.

But, not to worry! Just because your hive has mites, doesn't mean it's the end of the world– or their world, really. We have started treatment (these ladies are on their second round of treatment) and will be treating every hive in the apiary every five days for the next twenty days to ensure that the brood, currently in the larvae stage, gets fully treated before they hatch so they are able to mature without being infected by the mites. We believe these ladies will pick themselves back up and become a healthy, thriving colony once again in no time! 

TREATMENTS 

Because of the high number of Varroa mites throughout the entire state of Ohio, we spent the month of August treating all hives.  We did an organic treatment of oxalic acid in 3 treatments, 5-7 days apart in order to treat all capped brood as they hatched.

We will be sure to keep you updated on our next visit out to the apiary. Be sure to follow this blog for updates and feel free to post any comments, questions or concerns.

Stay tuned!


fall extraction season: late summer - fall


Inspection Day September 9, 2017

After treating all of the hives and monitoring the bees behavior throughout the month, we opened their homes back up on September 9th to see how everyone was doing. We specifically went in to check on the status of the Varroa Mite treatment and to see where their food supply is at. 

The treatment looks like it worked tremendously and everyone seems to be happy and healthy! Therefore, we proceeded with checking the food supply and decided to add in some Easter marshmallow candies on the inner cover until we start the feeding for fall. 

Feeding during fall is necessary after extraction season so that the bees can continue building up their food supply for the winter months, before the cold gets here. 


october 3, 2017 inspection day + final extraction!

On October third, we went to the apiary to gather the frames for our final extraction of the year– the beloved fall honey!

Fall honey is dark in color, plus rich and bold in flavor. It is a bit thicker and more of a dark amber color compared to spring honey. While darker honey is more flavorful and intense than light, it also contains more nutrients; including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

We didn't pull many frames from the newer colonies this year so the honey you will be receiving will be coming from some of the stronger, more established hives– so yours can continue to thrive. 

The final step, in the first week of November, will be to go through and consolidate some of the colonies and insulate them.

CLICK HERE to see a video of how we will be preparing the hives for winter