Another Busy Day

I thought that today would be an ordinary day like any other as I began to paint bee equipment.

Then I got a phone call from Gerrit. He had gone to our out apiary to check on the bee hives there and take some notes. He found a hive that was just in the process of beginning to swarm and had many swarm queen cells with virgin queens emerging from the cells right as he was watching them. He phoned me and asked me to bring out some equipment so we could make up nucleus hives from all these new queens, and save as many of them as possible. I did so, and we broke the swarming hive down into two frame mating nucleus hives (since they were virgin queens), as well as borrowing some frames of brood from other hives and putting queen cells into them. In all, we made up 18 new nucleus hives from the queens that had already emerged along with the queen cells from which the queens had not yet emerged. If all these are successful, as well as the hives we already made up previously from the queens we grafted, then we now have 57 bee colonies. They are not yet production bee hives, but most are small and mid sized nucleus hives that are just building up.

It therefore turned out to be a rather busy, hectic day. I returned home and picked up more equipment and went out a second time and we worked until dark to try and use all the queen bees and queen cells that we found. We brought the new nucleus boxes home and found places to put them in our yard. As Gerrit and I work together, we discuss what we see and what each of us think is the best thing to do in each case. We learn from each other. Some times we make decisions and try new things that we have not done before, but do it based on past experience and also from what we have learned through reading and watching and listening to what others have done in similar circumstances. It is interesting and challenging.

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2 Responses to Another Busy Day

  1. Terry Halsey says:

    Greetings! I will be visiting Japan for 5 weeks starting April 16 and am hoping you might consider allowing me to visit and speak with you about your work as a beekeeper. I would like to make some short videos to post to YouTube to heighten awareness concerning importance of beekeeping and different methods used around the world. I also have a practical angle in that I am helping a friend in New York State setup bee hives on a lavender farm where we will to harvest the honey but allow bees to keep it, and are looking at “most natural” means of creating hive environments (that is, hives not specifically designed to harvest honey, but rather for promotion of hive and bee health).
    Thank you for you time and attention.
    Best of luck in all your endeavors!

    • ljwestover says:

      Dear Terry,

      I am no longer in Japan, but am now living in central Texas and am keeping bees here. I do have an acquaintance in Japan, though, whom you might consider contacting. His name is Michael J. Trout. You can find him on Facebook. He is a very interesting person and quite knowledgeable about keeping bees traditionally in Japan. I feel confident that he would be willing to help you. Tell him I sent you. Best wishes for success.

      Layne Westover

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