Would you like to learn more about honeybees and beekeeping? Are you curious about seeing the inside of a beehive? Then come to our monthly Open Apiary. You will be given a guided tour of the inside of a beehive by an actual beekeeper. Our apiary tours are held at our Community Apiary in the Homewood Neighborhood of Pittsburgh. 6933 Susquehanna St., Pittsburgh, 15208 Protective head gear will be provided. Please wear or bring long a long sleeved shirt, preferably with a collar, and long pants (no Capris or shorts please!) Also, closed toed shoes such as sneakers are recommended. Honeybees are gentle but we want to keep as covered up as possible. A donation of $10 per person is appreciated. Open Apiaries are limited to 15 people so please register early. RSVP by email to Lynnetta Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 5pm on the Friday before the scheduled Open Apiary. The tentative schedule is below. Actual dates will be determined by weather and will be posted in the events section on our website. Saturdays will start at 11am (gates close at 11:15am - no late arrivals are permitted. Sundays and will start at 1pm (gate closes at 1:15pm - no late arrivals are permitted). Please allow 2 hours. Saturday May 30 (11am) Saturday, June 27 (11am) canceled due to rain Saturday, July 25 (11am) Sunday, Aug 23 (1pm) Sunday, Sept 20 Sept 27 (1pm) We have also partnered with Penn State's Master Gardener Program. We will have students from the Master Gardener program on hand to discuss pollination and pollinator friendly gardens.
Installing Packages Written by Steve Repasky Safety is important and even though bees can be gently, when installing a package of bees, you should wear a veil and take appropriate precautions to prevent bees from crawling up you pant legs. You also will need a hive tool, a small nail, a couple of large rubber bands, a spray bottle filled with sugar syrup (1:1), and one or more gallons of 1:1 sugar syrup to feed the new colony. Your equipment should already be set up days in advance of your bees arriving. 1. Carefully inspect the bees to make sure they are alive and in good health (it is normal to have up to about one inch of dead bees in the bottom of the box). Spray the bees with sugar syrup- a light spray will do - no need to make them wet. 2. Make sure the bees are not exposed to excessive heat or cold. Periodically, if not installing immediately, 3-4 times a day spray the bees with 1:1 sugar syrup until you are ready to install the bees into a hive. 3. Be sure to keep your hands away from the screened sides of the package to avoid getting stung through the screen. Place the package on the ground in a shaded area or inside if temperatures are below 50. 4. Remove three or four frames from the center of the brood chamber to create a space in the hive for the bees. 5. Give the package a good knock on the hive or the ground to knock the bees into the bottom of the cage. With the hive tool, remove the wooden panel from the package of bees. Gently remove the
Feeding Honey Bees Written by Steve Repasky In the spring it is often necessary to provide new or weak colonies with supplemental feed in the form of sugar. White table sugar (sucrose) mixed with water to create sugar syrup is simple and preferred mixture to feed honey bees. Sugar syrup fed in the spring should be one part sugar and one part water (1:1), either by weight or by volume. Fall feeding requires a thicker syrup (2:1) and we will discuss this in a later topic. In the spring thick/concentrated sugar syrup can cause digestive problems since the bees are trying to consume it for immediate use to build comb and feed larvae. Generally the bees will accept syrup mixtures with a ratio between 1:1 and 2:1 anytime of year without significant problems so it is not necessary to measure the ratio exactly. The recommended syrup ratios is a general guideline. Hot tap water should be sufficient to dissolve table sugar for making 1:1. Overheating (boiling) sugar syrup on the stovetop can make the mixture difficult to digest due to caramelizing (oxidation) of the sugar and is harmful to the bees. Calculating ratios is simple. One gallon of water weighs 8.35 pounds. So a 1:1 ratio would be approximately eight pounds of table sugar to one gallon of water. An easy way to transport sugar syrup to the hive is in clean, one gallon plastic jugs. They are also very convenient for pouring into the feeder. There are many methods to feed sugar syrup. Feeders that are placed either inside the hive or directly on top of the hive are generally preferred because the syrup is readily available to the hive and it is difficult
This three evening classroom-based course offers beginning beekeepers an introduction to honey bee biology and basic approaches to beekeeping. The course will include: an overview of honey bee castes and races, a discussion of bee biology in order to understand the challenges facing honey bees, and an overview of the basic equipment necessary for successful beekeeping. The goal is for students to learn how to keep bees for the first year. The three classes will be held on: Monday January 13th, Wednesday January 15th and Monday January 20th 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm Where: Penn State Extension of Allegheny County, 400 N Lexington St, 3rd Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15208 Registration will be available on our new website. Space is limited. REGISTER HERE (https://www.burghbees.org/?product=beekeeping-101)