Category Archives: Beekeeping 101

23 May

Quick way to wire bee hive frames without a BEEKEEPING frame wiring rig

Quick way to wire bee hive frames without a BEEKEEPING frame wiring rig

Visit our beekeeping video channel for more honey beekeeping frame wiring videos and http://www.mahakobees.com/store.html for beekeeping frame and wiring supplies.

Beekeeping frame wiring is usually involved among other wide variety of regular bee equipment maintenance tasks such as honey bee frame repairs, making new beehive frames, wiring bee hive frames, cleaning propolis and beeswax, or replacing beeswax foundations. This needs to be done throughout the beekeeping season, but during the off season, typically in late autumn, winter and early spring, beekeepers get started with building new or replacement beehives, honey supers, and the all important honey bee frames. We have several videos on how to build a strong and long lasting timber frame from scratch, in great detail, so skip through as required:

https://youtu.be/jRWxK2zc4qQ

https://youtu.be/fltI7Zcg3bQ

https://youtu.be/–xHCd9k4kk

This video covers wiring a Langstroth style honey bee frame, without a custom built beekeeping frame wiring rig. A frame wiring rig is an excellent tool to have, but realistically, unless you are a high volume beekeeper that has the need to manufacture large volumes of honey frames on a regular basis, a rig is usually not required. Our video shows you the tools required, and the step by step process close up. It is not the best way or the only way, but a way that works for us, is cheap, fast and very efficient. As a beekeeper, using this method, you are not tied to a bee workshop as the tools are light, and little space is required. We manage to wire a frame in 2-3 minutes.

Take a look, click the thumbs up if you find it useful, and share with others. We will also keep you updated with future videos if you press our SUBSCRIBE button. We’d love to have you along.
Have a great beekeeping day!
MahakoBees

Support us on PATREON https://www.patreon.com/mahakobees

Support Mahakobees on PATREON

04 Mar

Is Flow Hive ™ a revolutionary silver bullet for beekeepers or a minefield?

 Is Flow Hive ™ a revolutionary silver bullet for  beekeepers or a minefield?

Beekeeping Flow Hive

Flow Hive for beekeepers

In the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ScDMIakxd4, Jeff Heriot is giving his honest opinion of the Flow Hive ™ based on his 27 years experience as a serious beekeeper. Worth listening to! We share many of his concerns, and many more.

Flow Hive ™ appears to be a great idea at first, one that all beekeepers no doubt think and dream about during each strenuous honey extraction process. BUT all beekeepers will no doubt have some of the bellow and numerous other concerns:

Flow hive setup

Flow Hive frames

 FLOW HIVE ™ concerns we believe deserve answers:
  • Longevity of the Flow Hive ™ plastic frames. How will they fair once propilized and the beeswax builds up? How can they be cleaned? Unless all parts are plastic and stainless steel, rust could also be a problem.
  • Robbing bees will most certainly be an issue, even though we can see new plastic caps placed around the hose and the top of the honey jars, there is no chance of anyone coming around with a plate of pancakes to “trickle” a bit of honey on top. Although, you may be tempted to try it once.
  • The length of time it takes to fill and the speed of the extraction process from prep to finish. Must be very time consuming, and unless you are there at the right time to swap the jar, you will get spillage. How long do you need to wait and hang around as it “drips” into the jar.  The speed will always be different depending on the weather, location of the hive and overall ambient temperature. The beekeeper would need to be present for hours.
  • Can the bees get into the bottom track to clean up the dripping honey, the buildup of wax particles, pollen, and any other matter that sometimes makes it into the honeycomb? If not, it may possibly ferment (if uncured) and it will most definitely attract wax moths, ants and other pests creating a perfect breading ground.
  • Propolization and wax build up. At what stage will the leaver fail, or possibly warp, bend or snap the FlowHive plastic foundation? The plastic cells are very thin, and only a very thin line of propolis can glue things together very firmly. Ask any beekeeper when they break the seal between each hive box.
  • If the honey is capped, and the separation does not pop the wax capping, the honey may not pour out. It needs air to release and run out. But the designers mention that the cappings remain in tack in one of the videos. This will be interesting to see. If that is the case, it would be interesting to see how the bees deal with that. They would need to remove the cappings to somewhere, to refill, that is IF they even find out that the honey is gone.
  • How will these frames be cleaned up? How will they be rotated? How much mess with they make when moved/removed after “extracting”the honey? There appear to be too many moving parts. As the frames are plastic, you certainly could not heat treat them, and repairs would be difficult. So many unanswered questions… Why are the reporters not asking these Flow Hive inventors? Why are they not sitting them down with a panel of beekeepers to discuss all the concerns? Why can we not see the prototypes in detail, in the field, over a period of time? Let’s go on…
  • If you use these in the entire hive, the bees would need to adjust to the much reduced wax production requirement. If Flow Hive ™ works as well as advertized, and becomes mainstream, beeswax could become the new liquid gold commodity! The foundation is manufactured plastic, size of the comb is predetermined, cappings are reused/recycled according to the videos. Where will we get new wax? How will this disrupt the honey bee colonies? What will the bees do with the beeswax scales building up on their bodies as they develop?
  • Pollen deposits will no doubt be a concern. Honey bees don’t only produce and store honey. Often pollen is stored among the honey frames. Would larger deposits damage the fragile plastic foundation/comb of the Flow Hive ™ when turning the splitting lever?
  • Beekeepers would still need to filter the honey to some extent, or in deed clean up any debris built up inside the plastic Flow Hive ™ plastic frames and tubing. Even if there is no debris, the remaining honey will crystallize over time, clogging up the pathways. The lack of information on the detail is baffling.
  • If the queen gets away from your brood chamber, or beekeepers choose not to use a queen excluder at all, that could get very messy. The question of cleanup from the above point becomes even more relevant here. Failure to take the time to suit up, light up the smoker, opening the beehive and inspecting the frames to identify if everything is good to go or if problems exist where brood mixes in with your honey frame prior to pulling the lever, will produce a concoction of larvae, honey, royal jelly, eggs, and pollen that would leave many wondering where is my receipt and warranty?
  • Same goes for small hive beetle (SHB) or wax moth infestations. Can the bees protect the beehive given there are many more nooks and crevasses for the invaders to hide in?
  • Unless you have all hives setup the same Flow Hive (tm) way, you still need to extract the traditional way as well! Can this system still be extracted the good old way? If you are extracting 50 frames the old proven way, you might as well extract these at the same time. Can you though? Or will it turn out to be just another contraption and hindrance you need to remember to do at another time, ultimately not saving time…
  • Cost is super prohibitive at the moment. But this will change no doubt as more units are shipped out and alternative cheaper variations are brought to the market by competitors. But as Jeff mentions in his video, these are nowhere near ready to be released to market, not a single beekeeper will have an opportunity to extract the first collection of honey for another 6-12 months, so at this stage, we are simply being sold something that does not exist, we cannot touch it or test it, we have no reviews and no objective trials taking place. Alarm bells are ringing!
Flow Hive (tm) - Looks too good to be true?

Flow Hive ™ – I don’t know mate. Looks too good to be true?

Beekeepers need to visually inspect the hive regularly to check on the health of the colony, and then decide which frames to extract frame at a time before deciding whether to extract it or not and that will not be taking place with the Flow Hive ™. They are selling a dream that has nothing to do with beekeeping. This we think will not be good for the beekeepers, the beekeeping industry, and least of all to the honey bees. They will be left mostly unattended by people that bought into the free and fast flowing honey, and as soon as the contraption will stop working, they will simply give up and abandon the beehives. We hope for the sake of all buyers and investors that they read the instructions very carefully so they can get a refund if this goes pear-shaped. And for the inventors sake, we hope they have a bullet proof insurance cover, because if the product does not hold up after spending close to a $1,000 for a small setup, there will be a very long line of very dissapointed non-beekeepers wanting their money back.

Overall, we think the Flow Hive is a fabulous concept, an ambitious prototype, and extremely well marketed. If the frames sold for $10-$20 each, we would test them as well. Even if only for observation hive as a point of interest. We wish the inventors all the best, because one way or the other, like it or not, it is an invention worth raving about. And we need inventors coming up with new solutions, and the Flow Hive ™ may if nothing else, please a few uptakers and most importantly, spark thousands of others to think in new ways, reach for better solutions and perhaps use the existing design as a stepping stone to the ultimate solution that will benefit everyone, especially the honey bees. So well done, and let’s get the above concerns addressed.

What are your thoughts? We are keen to hear your comments. Would you be interested in a video discussing the FLOW Hive ™? Pros? Cons? Let us know in your comments below.
Thank you
MahakoBees

here is Jeff’s link to his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/mugsyjeff
MAHAKOBEES

13 Nov

NUC HIVE BEEHIVE – SUPER productive honey bees and Beekeeping equipment

NUC BEEHIVE – productive bees in our custom BEEHIVE

NEW VIDEO – Custom Made Nuc box BEEHIVE decorated by bees themselves. http://www.mahakobees.com/store.html looks briefly at our custom made beekeeping nuc hive which our hyperactive and super productive honey bees filled to the brim with burr comb and golden honey. We also show you a close up of our handmade wooden hive entrance reducer which assists new bee colony splits in protecting their hive entrance until they grow in numbers.

So when would a budding beekeeper use such a small beehive, or a nucleus beehive? These hives are typically used for splitting your colonies or to relocate a small swarm of bees if you are lucky enough to find one. The beehive itself can come in many forms, shapes and sizes. Standard width is 4 or 5 Langstroth style full depth frames and the beehive body itself is usually made out of wood, much like a normal full size brood chamber would be with an entrance and a top cover. There are also polystyrene and cardboard versions available in various local beekeeping supplies outlets, but these are used for transportation generally. The nucs can also be user to raise queens if you have lots of beehives and want to save money on re-queening. 

Custom Nuc Beehive

Custom Nuc Beehive

Custom Nuc Beehive - Honey overflow

Custom Nuc Beehive – Honey overflow


Once you order one (or better yet, make one), it is usually flat packed like other timber beehives and needs to be assembled. It functions exactly the same way as a normal full size hive would, but the space is smaller and most importantly, the hive entrance is much smaller in width, which enables the new guard honey bees to protect the colony from being robbed, attacked or invaded by pests such as the wax moth and small hive beetles. We add an additional adjustable hive entrance reducer which further restricts the opening because the bees in their first few days after migration only have a few guard bees available for beehive protection, so the reducer helps by reducing the opening further minimizing their exposure to external threat. Once the colony fills up all the frames and you have a healthy fertilized and laying queen, you can either migrate them to a full beehive or add a second level to the nuc beehive. You will need to make that decision depending on where you live and how strong your bee colony is as well as other factors such as the season you are in, availability of food and flowering plants, and availability of your beekeeping equipment.

Productive Beehive burr comb

Productive Beehive burr comb

If you are interested in splitting your hive and making your own bees and expanding you beehive apiary or would like to try rearing your own queens, or you just like the look of our hives, come and visit our simple online beekeeping supplies eStore at: http://www.mahakobees.com/store.html and have a full beekeeping beginners kit or just few tools shipped to your door today.

We appreciate your support and invite you to click the thumbs up, share and subscribe if you enjoy our content. Thank you for visiting.

MahakoBees

•Website:                  http://www.mahakobees.com/blog
•Blog kids:                 http://beekeepingwithkids.blogspot.com.au/
•Youtube:                  https://www.youtube.com/user/mahakobees
•Google+:                  https://plus.google.com/+MahakoBees
•Pinterest:                 http://www.pinterest.com/mahakobees/
•Twitter:                   https://twitter.com/mahakobees
•Flickr:                      https://www.flickr.com/photos/125372235@N04/
•Stumbleupon:           http://www.pinterest.com/mahakobees/
•Reddit:                    http://www.reddit.com/user/MahakoBees/
•Tumblr site:             http://mahakobees.tumblr.com/


Music composed, performed and provided by Groovey – Adam Kubát a Pavel Křivák. You can visit their website on: http://www.groovey.cz/

Also, a big thank you goes to Kevin McLeod for providing his royalty free music “Sidewalk Shade”. We appreciate your kind contribution – (incompetech.com).

08 Oct

Beekeeping – how to SAVE your wired timber beehive frames


HOW TO Save your wired timber beehive frames.

All beekeepers know, that building and maintaining your beekeeping equipment such as beehive, timber frames, beeswax foundations, queen excluders and all the beehive related tools of the beekeeping trade is time consuming and costly. Here is a quick tip on how you, as a new beekeeper, can save yourself many hours of your time by saving the frames before each peak honey flow season.

 

Beekeeping Equipment - frames with foundation

Beekeeping Equipment – extracted honey frames from the beehive


It is recommended, that as part of your beekeeping frame rotation schedule within your beehive apiary, all your old drawn beeswax honey comb foundations extracted and removed at least once every 1 to 2 years to keep your hives and bee colonies within them healthy and disease free. The removal of the old comb reduces the potential for spreading diseases and keeps the wax nice and clean for each new beekeeping season. You can melt the beeswax comb, process it, render it, purify it, and reuse it for new foundation sheets, or to make candles, creams or other cosmetic products. We show you this process in a small home based backyard beekeepers way in this series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfE6cWwwWKog1Mx0wdsnkPbeIDvo-qPng.

So nothing goes to waste. The Honey Bees simply need to draw the new honey comb in the beehive body on top of the new beeswax foundation sheets, and use it either as honey stores or as the new brood frames in your lower hive boxes.

Solid Beekeeping Timber Frame

Click to view HOW TO make this Solid Beekeeping Timber Frame for your beehive

So, what are we suggesting? Simple. Firstly, watch our earlier video series on how to build a solid timber honey frame: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRWxK2zc4qQ. Once you have a solid full depth honey frame assembled, add foundation and put the frame into rotation in your hives. A year later, once you extract the honey and the beeswax inside the honey frames becomes darker, use a sharp knife to cut along the inner edge of the timber frame, and then carefully cut the wax along the wires. Remove the strips of beeswax, melt, render and filter as required. The beekeeping frame should now be relatively clean of all beeswax. Then, use a heat gun or a blow torch to melt the remaining wax, and to kill any remaining parasites, wax moth eggs, and to coat the frames with the beeswax for protection. (See this video on HOW TO clean frames and kill wax moth eggs using a heat gun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwRAW7_xLw0). 

This will save you lots of time and effort by reducing the time spent on rewiring your frames and you get some wax for new foundation sheets as well. Not to mention, it will go a long way in saving you money by reducing requirements for treating diseases and controlling unwelcome parasites in your bee colonies in the apiary even if you sometimes mix and match the frames from one beehive to the next. So all in all, a worthwhile investment we think. 

Old retired Beeswax honey comb

Old retired Beeswax comb removal. It is not ideal to keep old comb in the beehive.

We invite you to share this video, click the thumbs up and to SUBSCRIBE if you enjoy our content. It goes a long way in helping our pollinators in crises as we continue to combat the phenomenon of bee colony disorder where our bees simply disappear in massive quantities. Thank you for visiting. MahakoBees.

07 Sep

Beekeeping 101 – Honey frame spots – harvest extraction


Beekeeping 101 – DARK SPOTS in your beeswax honey frame? Backyard beekeeper . 

http://www.mahakobees.com – The uniquely simple beekeeping video channel.

The dark spots can be many things, but more often than not, it will be pollen. It is often difficult to see as the bees cap the honey with a white beeswax capping. But if you shine light through the honey frame, you will see the spots. They are perfectly normal and are very good for you. In fact, they are very good for you in many ways. Unless you are allergic to honey and pollen, you should try and eat RAW honey in your diet as it helps prevent and in many cases cure hay fever by introducing your local flora into your body, therefore reducing hay fever symptoms when local trees and plants flower. 

It is not advisable to give children under two years of age raw honey or pollen. Seek medical advise prior, and seek medical help immediately should your child consume raw honey and show adverse reaction to it. 

To learn more, we encourage you to take a look at our range of earlier videos and specifically a short closeup of the honey bee queen eggs and larvae (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-2E76XaDYk), or alternatively our playlist of CLOSEUPS which has many related and interesting videos (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfE6cWwwWKoiXEp4xSACAmvTHSrweW0nU)

BUT, if the art of beekeeping interests you, the best place is to visit our http://www.mahakobees.com/store.html website for many instructional and HOWTO videos.

We invite you to subscribe, like, and share our content.
Have a relaxing day
MahakoBees


•eSTORE:            http://www.mahakobees.com/store.html
•Website:                      http://www.mahakobees.com
•Blog:                             http://mahakobees.com/blog
•Blog kids:                  http://beekeepingwithkids.blogspot.com.au/
•Youtube:                    https://www.youtube.com/user/mahakobees
•Google+:                    https://plus.google.com/+MahakoBees
•Pinterest:                    http://www.pinterest.com/mahakobees/
•Twitter:                        https://twitter.com/mahakobees
•Flickr:                            https://www.flickr.com/photos/125372235@N04/
•Stumbleupon:          http://www.pinterest.com/mahakobees/
•Reddit:                         http://www.reddit.com/user/MahakoBees/
•Tumblr site:               http://mahakobees.tumblr.com/
•Tumblr blog:            https://www.tumblr.com/blog/mahakobees

Music composed, performed and provided by Groovey – Adam Kubát a Pavel Křivák. You can visit their website on: http://www.groovey.cz/.

Copyright MahakoBees 2016