Kirk's latest.

I had a hive at Joseph's in Eagle Rock. It was in a wooden Nuc. About two months ago I dumped in a Nuc of queenless bees. I also added another nuc box. They have done great—I went over Sunday and put them in regular boxes. Now they have more room.

I also was doing a trap out at Debra Beards house in Pasadena. A month ago I went over and found no bees in the box and no bees coming out of the escape. Bummer.

Well, I came back in a week to take it down, and bees had swarmed into the nuc box. Wonderful! Plus, there are bees going in and out through tile in roof. I arranged for all the bees to go into the new box.


Viewer mail


From a new backwards beekeeper in New York State:

My new bees have been doing fine building comb in the first brood chamber but when I added a second box they started building comb from the bottom of the frame up. Of course when it gets hot the really backwards comb melts and droops over. The super is on top of the original chamber. I have the same strips and bees wax in the frames.

Has anyone else experienced this? Do you guys fill the grooves in the bottom of the frames ever? It seems like they find this attractive.

In an attempt to encourage building frames from the top down I switched the second box to underneath the first but haven't seen much sign of comb building yet.




Next Bee Meeting - Sunday, August 30th

Our next Backwards Beekeepers meeting will be at 11am on Sunday, August 30th at Mark's house in Studio City.

Further details (like the address) will be available via the Yahoo Group. Click on the link on the right-side of this blog to go there.

Hope you can make it!


New bees in Studio City, dead ones in Pasadena

Kirk checks in with stories of his latest beekeeping work, including the loss of a trap-out project to The Forces of Ignorance:

Here's the Atwater cut-out:


Kirkobeeo meets some grumpy bees.

Backwards Beekeeper Penny recently let our Yahoo group know that her bees were getting very aggressive around their hive, chasing and sometimes stinging people in the vicinity.

Kirk paid a visit to Penny's bees, and here's what he found:

I went to see Penny to check out her mean aggressive bees.

Penny had added a box a week or so ago. When we checked out the hive the Bees were bearding on the outside of the hive. This is a sign of crowding and it being pretty hot. So we arranged the frames to maximize the space in the hive. We opened up the brood space some. We also put a small piece of wood under the top board to improve air circulation.

The bees were alot calmer and not attacking me or Penny like they were a week ago. Keep your hive tops open a little to help get some air. Crowding is a reason for grumpy bees. Like trying to put 40,000 people in a 10,000 person Stadium.

Now is also ant time be on the look out.


Kirkobeeo: Bees in a box

Here's Kirk about what he did on Saturday:

These bees swarmed and landed on a life guard Tower in Venice. The life guard got a box for them to go into. They went in, and he put that box in another box and took the bees to a backyard right on the beach.

Ginger called me to come and get them from her yard in Venice. I took them to Martin's house in Eagle rock.

So now the life guard's got my number and how to get the bees into any old box. Save the bees.


Kirkobeeo hits Lakeview Terrace.

Here's Kirk, from last Sunday:

I went and did a cut out up at Lake View Terrace. It was a big one—more honey than bees.

The comb was 3 feet long by 12 inches got 45 pounds of honey. I couldn't get the bees.

Went back in the morning and they were clustered up rushed them into a nuc took to my garage.

Big hive.


Viewer mail

subject: Howdy From Sunny Florida

I have enjoyed reading your blog. Also, watching videos of yours and others on YouTube has been very educational. I have been thinking about starting a hive to help my vegetable garden and fruit trees. My thought before stumbling across your site was to capture a swarm of feral bees to put in hive. My thought behind this was that they would be use to the local temp, environment, and pests. Because of this the bees would be stronger and able to adapt quicker to a new home. I am glad to have come across your site. From what I read, I already have the “Backwards” mindset. Well, what do you expect from a Florida Cracker!!

Do you know of others in or around the Orlando area that has our belief in beekeeping that would like or be willing to help a greenie get started? I have heard that Orlando has a large population of Africanized Bees and need guidance with this. If you would not mind, please provide me with who in my area would help or pass on this email to them. Also, do you have or know of a site with instructions to construction a hive body, supers and frames? I have the bee fever and do not want to let it go on for too long with out taking care of it.

Thanks in advance

Hey Floridian Backwards Beekeepers—can you help Andrew out? If so, send us an e-mail (our address is in the right-hand column of this blog), and we'll hook you guys up. Let's spread this Backwards footprint.


Nice Swarm!

Filmmaker and photographer Sean Arenas sent in this great video of Beekeeper Kerry capturing a swarm. Kerry obviously knows his bees!

If only the San Diego Padres had done this instead of killing a perfectly harmless swarm...


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Our very first hive (which gave us two fine honey harvests) pooped out after a long decline. Its queen died or got killed, and those bees never succeeded in replacing her. Our other two hives are thriving.

I'm eager to step up our beekeeping game, so I want to capture the swarm that will make up our third hive. On Kirk's advice, I took five frames of drawn comb from the dead hive and put them in a cardboard nuc box that's now perched in a Eucalyptus tree.

I'll keep you posted on what happens next.


Baseball gets an F in beekeeping.

Blog reader Brian tipped us off to yesterday's Astros vs. Padres game in San Diego, where a bee swarm interrupted play for 52 minutes.

The ESPN recap of the incident is Exhibit A of bee ignorance, capped by anchor Linda Cohn pointing out cheerfully that after the delay, "They got back on the field—not the bees, they were all dead."

Apparently the Padres have someone they refer to as a beekeeper on speed dial, but from the footage he looks a lot more like an exterminator.

Here's the clip—you be the judge.