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  1. In the past few months, one Ukrainian guy that I know of, and one Khmer fellow, have started beekeeping businesses. The Ukrainian guy is within two hours of Battambang. The Khmer fellow lives in Phnom Penh. I am really glad to see this happening. The Ukrainian fellow has whole frames of honey (3kg to 4kg), at $18 USD, each. He also sells honey by the bottle, $10 USD. He also sells nucs, hives, and bees. ============================== The Khmer fellow has a neat looking hive, he says is Vietnamese, for $35 USD: Hives at $90 USD. Hives at $60 USD. Extractor at $130 (3 frame) Extractor at $200 (4 frame).
  2. Greetings: I have been pretty sick for a while. Coughing my guts up, for the most part. Have been delayed in returning to the farm due to the crud that I have contracted. Chan was able to talk with our regular pharmacist, though, who is a godsend for us. Honestly, she should have been a doctor. She recommended the appropriate medication once again, to help me get rid of yet, another illness. I hope to be over this enough to travel to the farm this morning (past midnight here, currently). Anyway, a little while back, I went ahead and moved forward regarding building our own wood ware, even though the table saw deal had fallen through. (For those who may not have read about it, I was issued a full refund from eBay.) I figured something would happen. And, it apparently has. I met a Khmer fellow who grew up in the US, having returned here about the time I came to Cambodia - back in 2012. He also happens to live not very far from the farm. He also happens to have a wood workshop, where we should be able to build the parts necessary for us to build our own hives and such. (I will try to get him involved in beekeeping, too.) So, this too, is a godsend - and for two reasons. Firstly, it has allowed me to meet a guy who is on the same page as me, but also lives near the farm. (Most of the foreigners I know, live within Battambang City limits.) Someone I can relate to on a westerner's level, and who understands what I am thinking about things. In short, someone I can damned talk with, to prevent me from going crazy at the farm. (I seem to recall a certain member, without mentioning any names, who said I wouldn't last six months at the farm. The odds just went more into my favor.) Secondly, he and I can combine our resources and build things that may benefit us both, in our respective interests. It will be great to be able to work hands on, building my girls their own "bee housing". Anyway, I had purchased a 3 horsepower compressor with a 50 Liters tank and two hose connections. I just have not taken the time to use it yet, because I am still lacking in some other tools. It seems as though, my new friend may have what I need, including the table saw. Anyway, here is the compressor and its respective accessories: Brad nailer with 15mm, 20mm, & 30mm brads Staple gun with 8mm staples. Not sure how long the air guns will last. They were only $15 / $16 USD, each. Not seen: 2 each - 9 meters length air hoses with quick disconnect couplings.
  3. This is a video I shot on Monday morning, September 4th, just before 08:00 local time. By moving the mother hive I split this nuc from, and putting the nuc in its place, this caused all the foraging bees to return to the nuc rather than to the mother hive. (I rang James (jimmyboy) to confirm what I needed to do at the time. I was fairly sure, but not 100%, as to what I needed to do with both hives after the split.) Anyway, this video is from the following morning, after we had completed the split. They were bringing in resources as fast as they could, to that little nuc. Hopefully, I will be able to make another split very soon, from that same mother hive.
  4. So, this past weekend, we did a few things in the apiary area of the farm. I'm callin' it that now, since we have a new addition - another hive. Well, a nuc anyway. I had two of the 5 frame poly nucs, shipped up from Phnom Penh. I just had a new hive stand built at the farm, as well. I need to go ahead and have a few more built, just in case... Anyway, we started out by doing a deep hive inspection of both the hives at the farm. This was to take the hives completely apart and look into both brood chambers of each hive, upper and lower. We found TONs of honey and open and capped brood. The hives are doing well, it seems. I'm impressed. Of course, feeding them by the tank load seems to have caused them to work their little bee butts off making comb, and filling it with honey. All the while, the queens continued to fill other frames with eggs. First, a close up of some bee larvae, both capped and uncapped: Capped brood, with some drone brood around the lower corners of the frame: Capped brood with drone brood around the lower corners and upper right side of the frame. NOTE: You can tell the worker bee brood from the drone brood, by the size of the cap on the cells. The vast majority are worker bee cells. Drones are larger than worker bees. So, the caps on drone brood cells extend out from the frames, while the caps on the worker bees are almost flat, by comparison. Lots of honey stores for the bees. None of this, will I touch. This honey is only to provide the bees with stores, as they need it. It can stay in the hives as long as necessary, until they decide to consume it. This is where Khmers would look at me as though I had lost my mind. They would take this honey from the bees, without a second thought. Me? I just want as strong of hives as I can get. I don't want to take a chance at weakening them in any way. Well, aside from doing my own splits. That will put a bit of a strain on any hive you do that too, I'm sure. A frame of brood and honey: And, me making a stupid mistake by dropping 3 frames on the ground: The bees flew EVERYWHERE, but not one of them stung any of us there. This included Tha, Chan, and me. Chan and I were only wearing veils. Tha wasn't wearing anything, because he had just come over to assist for a bit, from working on some other hive bodies I had just purchased. I was impressed by the calmness of the bees. I tell ya, had they been other species, they would have come after us with a vengeance. They barely even need to be smoked, to be honest. The calmest bees I believe I have ever seen. I definitely want more of this breed. While doing the deep hive inspection, we found one swarm cell in the lower brood box of the second main hive. (Sorry, no photo of it. I got too wrapped up into doing a hive split that I neglected taking a photo of it.) This hive seemed to be the stronger of the two, offering tons of capped brood. There is about to be one serious population explosion in that hive, for sure. Hense the reason for them making a swarm cell. Hopefully, though, I have delayed that just a bit, by splitting them and moving the "mother" hive to a new location and putting the nuc where it was. I will inspect it again in a few days, to see if I need to make another split. I am going to go the natural route, and let the bees make any new queens they see fit that they need. I figure they know more about doing so, than I ever will. Temporarily, we added another full deep box on top of each hive, to give them some new frames to draw out in comb. After the comb has been drawn out, I will remove those frames and use them for my honey supers. Both Chan and Tha are quite comfortable working around the bees, and have been for a while. Knock on wood, to date, Chan has yet to be stung by a single bee. (I can't say the same for myself or Tha.) I'm very proud of her being able to do this. She surprises me quite often.
  5. These were taken from the upper brood boxes. Tomorrow, we will look at the lower brood boxes.
  6. Parrothead

    Vaporizer arrived today.

    No, my bees don't have bronchitis. I don't either. It's for mite treatment of the hives, if, or when it becomes necessary. Another $125 USD added to what I have paid out for beekeeping. If, or when I begin having problems with Varroa mites, I will have something to combat them with. So, why did I buy it before I have a mite problem? Well, because it took one month, to the day, to arrive from the US. I would rather have it and not need it, than not have it and be in a world of poo-poo. Definitely a tool to have on hand, along with the Oxalic Acid that came with it. This little jewel, when connected to a 12vdc battery, of suitable Amp Hour rating, will heat the acid up and turn it into a vapor. The vapor will then move throughout the hive and destroy the mites, without harming the queen bee, the bees, their brood, or their stores. (You would not keep honey supers in place during an OA treatment, though. They would need to be removed from the hives and all bees taken off the frames.) After treatment, you would repeat this process two more times over the same number of weeks, to make sure the hives were cleansed of the vast majority of mites.
  7. Here are my current costs: So far, I have just under $900 USD invested in my bees. This includes 2 hive stands, 2 colonies of bees, all wood ware, including 12 deep hive bodies, 4 inner covers, 2 outer covers, 2 screened and 2 solid bottom boards, 2 entrance reducers, 90 frames - all with a minimum of wax sheets, 35 with drawn comb, 2 frame feeders, 10 bottle (chicken) feeders, 4 boardman style feeders, 2 mini (mating) nucs from Simon The Beekeeper (UK), 20 frame separators (to space 9 frames equally apart in supers), 5 veils, 1 smoker with smoker fuel, 2 pairs of gloves, 16 metal entrance gates (for 5 frame nucs I will construct), 2 frame holders, 4 queen excluders, 3 bee brushes, and 40 queen cages. The majority of items, aside from the wood ware, were purchased off eBay.com. All wood ware was purchased in Cambodia. The total includes $30 USD for wood and $7.50 USD for shade cloth, to build the cover over the bees.
  8. Parrothead

    08/08/17 - 10/08/17 Bee Trip

    So, after waiting a while for my supplier to send me my first two hives of bees, we finally got them here, sorted, and opened them up. They arrived on July 22nd, late in the afternoon. Then, all hell broke loose. Of all the landlords in this world I could have, I ended up with one that is a bigger wuss than probably anyone I have ever met. I made a mistake, as many new beekeepers do, I'm sure. I opened my bees in the evening, after they had arrived. Had I thought, I should have left them until the following morning, after they had time to calm down - from a 5-7 hours ride from the Capitol. In my defense, I did tell him not to open his door - his 100% glass door, dual opening, with tons of evening light emitting from it. Since it was evening time and the bees had just been released, they made straight for his door. But, he opened it and ended up stung a couple of times. Next day. He came to our apartment and informed us that we had 2 weeks to move the hives, or to move ourselves. He has no clue about bees and is scared at the site of them. Anyway, we complied and moved the bees to the farm. This was two single box poly hives, I am talking about, here. Probably about 70,000 bees in all. Damned strong hives, honestly. So, two weeks later, and after buying more boxes, frames, etc., for expansion, we packed all the "bee stuff" up and headed to the farm with them. Upon arrival, we set the two poly hives on stands - I really didn't want to try to transfer agitated bees into other boxes, until they had time to calm down - and I opened them up. They made their orientation flights and began, right away, foraging. (It was just after sun up, at this point.) I sat there and watched them, for what seemed ages. But, within just a few minutes, they were back with their little pollen sacks filled and entering the hives. I was impressed. They hadn't performed this well over the previous two weeks they were at the apartment in the city. I let them continue to stay in the poly hives this day, and into the morning of the third day. I figured they would be okay to handle at this point. I was right. In fact, they are very docile bees, for the most part. I don't have to use smoke, aside from getting them to move out of the way. And, I don't use gloves. A veil is the only thing I use, to keep the little girls from flying into my mouth, nose, and ears. Anyway, immediately below, are their original hives. These are the hives used in Vietnam and Cambodia. They are great if you only want them for a specific purpose, say raising queens, etc. But, for my bees, I want to give them ample room for their eggs and stores. Viets and Khmers simply just rob this one box to get what they want to sell, etc. Doesn't make sense to me. But, what in SEA does, right? I will say this, the poly hives are pretty good. Just flip down the lids you see here and it closes the entrance. Behind the doors are large vents that provide ample airflow for the bees, great to use for moving bees from one location to another. Their new digs. These hives are set up with two brood chambers, all stores strictly for the bees, an inner cover to set internal feeders on, and a third box to serve to house the feeders and provide adequate ventilation for the hives. Finally, the outer cover is on the top, to help keep rain out of the hive. Later, I will add honey supers, boxes containing frames strictly set aside for honey stores. This will be the honey that we will keep for ourselves.​​​​​​​ Here are some photos from the transfer: This little gal decided she would check me out to see what I was up to. No sting from her. I set her down on the hive and she walked right off, onto a frame. Chan took this image of a forager bee that has returned to the hive and waiting to enter to unload its pouches filled with pollen. Truly, an amazing image. My favorite, thus far, of all our bee photos. Tha, our employee, holding a frame of bees being transferred from a poly hive to the new wood ware langstroth hive. Of all our projects at the farm, this is, by far, my favorite. I could sit and watch these little girls fly in and out of their hives, for hours. In fact, soon, I will be doing just that. External feeding has become popular here. This is to help curb one hive from robbing another. While you are manually feeding the bees, they look at it as just another nectar source. However, I have four smaller feeders, as well, sitting on top of the inner covers, on each hive. This gives each hive an internal supply of 4 liters, as well as being fed from another external location nearby. Oh, it takes them about 20 minutes to completely empty this feeder, of about 1 liter of sugar syrup. (It is a 1:1 mix. That is, one kilogram of sugar, to one liter of water.)
  9. Something I didn't know, was how much honey you can hope to harvest from beehives throughout the year. In the interview linked below, Jeff tells a local news reporter (he's in Louisiana) that he tried to harvest 400 gallons per year, from 43 hives. That's 1,514 liters of honey, folks! Interview with WDSU television station Jeff's Youtube channel videos
  10. I am considering getting one hive for here at the house. I figure I could use the honey for my own consumption. Perhaps, have some for others as well.
  11. Beekeepers Workshop on YouTube. Building A Telescoping Top Cover Associated plan: Telescoping-Cover_20110321.pdf Screened Bottom Board Associated plan: Screened-Bottom-Board_20110324.pdf Hive-Bodies Associated plan: Hive-Bodies_20110323.pdf Making Frames - Part 1 Associated plan: Frames_20140701.pdf Making Frames - Part 2 Associated plan: Frames_20140701.pdf
  12. Parrothead

    Beekeeping Video Resources

    Other really good Beekeeping channels to view on YouTube, in no particular order, are: Joe May David Burns Jeff Horchoff JPthebeeman Scott Hendriks Barnyard Bees Walls Bee Man 628DirtRooster Trevor Gillbanks Jason Chrisman Honey Bee Honey Don The Fat Bee Man Beekeepers Workshop The Norfolk Honey Company UoG Honey Bee Research Centre Funny Bug Bees and Wood Works Something I am VERY happy to see, is a Khmer who is working to help populate bees in Cambodia. He is trying to teach others, so they will stop destroying hives and killing bees. This fellow is in Siem Reap and has a good channel going, as well: Khmer Beekeeping
  13. Parrothead

    Aquaponics and Bees?

    During my initial seeking of bees and bee hives in Cambodia, I was bounced around from one Khmer to another, each offering to set me up with a hive, bees, etc. Not one of them came through. All ended up dead ends. In fact, I have only recently met a Khmer who is, like me, just now getting into beekeeping, and seems to be pretty serious about it. Fortunately, through him, I also have met a guy who lives in Siem Reap. He is a commercial beekeeper there, and seems to have quite a number of hives he looks after. He seems pretty switched on. He sells hives, supers, and bees, from what I have learned already. Not sure what else he sells, but will find out next week, while in Siem Reap. (I should be able to update this thread after then, with information I learn from him directly.) My primary reason for this is, I want bees at the farm to pollinate the plants. In fact, upon researching, you may be surprised as to how many different crops there are, that need to be pollinated by bees. Anyway, I want to have at least one hive in the same area as my aquaponics system. Then, set one hive outside the aquaponics area. The little gals can do the rest. I'm really pumped and excited about going to Siem Reap next week. I can't wait to see what else I learn.
  14. mollydooker

    New style bee hive

    Radical Bee Hive Rakes in $4.8 Million Jessica Harlan‎March‎ ‎10‎, ‎2015 Radical Bee Hive Rakes in $4.8 Million (Cedar and Stuart Anderson’s beekeeping idea has gotten lots of buzz. Photo: Honeyflow) It’s a maker’s dream come true: come up with a great invention, set up a crowd-funding campaign, and surpass your goal in less than 10 minutes. For Australian father and son team Stuart and Cedar Anderson, founders of Honeyflow, a simple idea has changed their lives forever: Twelve days into their Indiegogo fundraising campaign, they raised more than $4.8 million and counting for Flow™, a frame system for a beehive that enables honey to be extracted just by turning on a tap. The idea in question has the potential to change beekeeping, and maybe could even be a key in keeping the world’s bee population from further decline. It’s an invention that seems sweet to the more than 9,000 people who have contributed to the record-breaking Indiegogo campaign. “The Flow hive is now the largest international campaign ever on Indiegogo,†says Slava Rubin, CEO of Indiegogo. The company also set records for the most funds raised in one day: $2.1 million. Cedar Anderson says that a few posts to Facebook — his friend convinced him to join the social media network only about a month ago — got the snowball rolling. “We have a lot of friends of family who helped us by spreading the word,†he says. His sister made some videos and a friend built the website. “People think that we had a huge promotional budget behind us, but we just did it all ourselves,†he says. “Local media coverage went viral, and before we knew it, the whole world was taking a much greater interest than we thought possible.†Related story on Yahoo Makers: Killer Apps for Makers It’s easy to see why the invention has captured the world’s attention: Flow frames are comprised of partially formed honeycombs. Once installed in the beehive, the bees complete the honeycombs with their own wax and begin filling the cells with honey. When the cells are full and the bees have capped them off, a turn of a lever splits all the cells open, allowing the honey to run out and be channeled to an external tap where the honey is collected in jars. image (With the Flow hive, honey is extracted through a tap. Photo: Honeyflow) What does this mean for the bees and the beekeeper? Harvesting honey is far easier and less involved than traditional methods, and is less stress on the bees as well since the process doesn’t disturb them as much. “Harvesting was this long procedure, sweating in the bee suit, pulling apart the hives, heavy lifting, and all day processing just to get your honey,†says Cedar Anderson. “I just thought there had to be a better way, so my dad and I got to work inventing the beekeeper’s dream.†image Cedar is a third-generation beekeeper, and a self-proclaimed born inventor; as a kid he and his siblings built a go-cart from an old generator and bicycles, and he and his dad adapted their farm trucks to run on used vegetable oil. He follows in his father’s footsteps in this respect: Dad Stu designed and built two of the houses in the rural cooperative in which he lives, and also developed a solar and water powered electrical generator that serves a dozen homes in the coop. His idea for Flow has been a decade in the making – he says he’s been trying various new methods for years, refining his failures into the final product. “People think of us as an overnight success, but it has taken years to get to this point,†he says. With the Indiegogo campaign, supporters have the option to make straight donations to the company, or to actually preorder their own Flow kits. The options range from a set of 3 Flow frames to install in an existing beehive, for $280 to a complete hive kit for $600, including the flow frames, a brood box, and everything needed –except the bees—to establish a hive. image (Photo: Honeyflow) But would-be apiarists shouldn’t assume that the Flow Hive is a no-brainer way to get into beekeeping. “I want to stress that the Flow Hive still requires beekeepers to know what they’re doing, both for getting the results they want and for the wellbeing of the bees,†says Cedar. He says that Flow owners should educate themselves about bee care and try to connect with local experienced beekeepers to share knowledge and ideas. image (Honeyflow hive explainer. Honeyflow.com) Could the Flow Hive be a key in saving the bees? “We make no claims at all that Flow is going to save the planet and the broadscale agriculture that sustains humanity,†says Cedar. “However, this invention does make [beekeeping] a little easier, which we hope will lead more people to take up beekeeping as a hobby, which means more bees and ultimately more pollination – and honey.†Cedar says that much of the nearly $5 million that they’ve raised is in exchange for finished product, so the bulk of the funds will be spent manufacturing and delivering stock, as well as to establishing the infrastructure and staff needed for the company to sustain itself. That’s right: if you missed out on buying a kit through the Indiegogo campaign, Cedar says that ultimately the company plans to manufacture and distribute kits around the world. Their first priority is to fulfill the orders of their Indiegogo supporters, but Cedar promises, “rest assured, the wheels are in motion to bring Flow to the world
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