Bee Release

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Bee Release

The bees have been installed from the 6 packages that I purchased last fall.  All 60,000 bees and 6 queens, into 4 Warre hives, 1 top bar hive, and 1 horizontal hive.

 

David Proctor

 

 
  
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Bee Release

by David Proctor


April 12, 2018

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


This year’s bee release was difficult to prepare for because I have been working in North Carolina since last July.

I have had to cut back on some of the things that I really enjoyed doing; the vermiculture and Mason bees.  I decided to concentrate on the honey bee this year and to also try out a new hive style, the horizontal hive.

As a foot note to last years bee release, none of the hives made it through the winter.  I had two hives that became infested with wax moths, one hive didn’t make it and the fourth hive they absconded.

Bee Package Install Bee Package Install

One good thing was that I had Warre hives with drawn comb for the bees to work with this year.  I was able to distribute empty drawn comb and also some comb that had capped honey.
 
The bees in the top bar hive were not so lucky.  I was able to tie one drawn comb and one comb with capped honey onto two top bars and place a feeder in the bottom.  I tied the comb with hemp string.

Top Bar Top Bar

The idea is that the bees will complete the attachment to the bar and chew through the string.  I have not tried this before so we shall see how this works out.  I could cause the future combs to be built skewed.

The other hive that I’m trying, that is new to me, is the horizontal hive or the Layens Hive.  The horizontal hive has frames similar to the Langstroth hives except they are much bigger, by at least 30% and holds 14 frames instead of 8 or 10.  This allow for much more area to store honey without having to lift and stack boxes as you do with the Langstroth.  This is equivalent to 18 Langstroth deeps and holds up to 45lb of surplus honey.

Bee Hives Top Bar, Horizontal Hive, & Warre Hive

The walls are built from 2”x10” lumber to give extra protection from the climate.  This hive can be built to hold from 12 to 30 frames.  This gives an extreme amount of versatility to the hive, depending are where it will be used, such as colder climates.

I am using frames that are wired but without foundation.  I was able to cut spare comb and attach to the wires on the frame by heating them up with a battery charger.  It only takes a few seconds for the wires to heat up and then you can push the comb down through the frame to its center and let cool.
I was not able to add a feeder so I set a temporary feeder outside the hive, but I did add some bee pollen to the floor of the hive.

Installing Comb To Frame
Installing Comb To Frame
Starter Comb
Embedded Starter Comb

It turned off cool over the weekend so I wasn’t able to see if the queens had been released yet.  I will try to check on them this next weekend.

Queen Cage Queen Cage

The nice thing about all these hives; Warre, Kenyan Top Bar, and the Layens Hive is that they don’t have to be checked that often.  I am hoping that this year will be the year for strong bees.  I would like to increase that possibility by changing out the queens to Virginia queens from the Georgia queens, in hopes of having bees better acclimated to this climate.

Bee Cluster Bee Cluster Around Queen Cage

Check It Out!

 

 

Burnley Farm Apiary, LLC


Quick Tip

 

  • Assemble bee hives during the winter to allow plenty of time for the process and for any paint or wood sealer to cure.
  • Do not paint or treat the inside of the hive were the bees will reside.
  • Order bees early.  It takes time to have the bees and packages ready for the spring. Don’t just show up and say I want to buy some bees.  This isn’t something you run to Walmart to get.
  • When you select a package, be sure the bees are formed around the queen in a “V” shape, this indicates they have accepted her.
  • Have extra food for the bees to help them get started.  It is hard for the bees to collect their food in rainy, overcast and windy weather. Feed sugar water on a 1:1 ratio.  This is what nectar will be like and will promote comb and brood production.
  • Have protective clothing for working with the bees.  Most of the time the bees are pretty docile.  But you do want your face protected.  The will go for the eyes if given enough reason.  Being poured out of a box after traveling several hundred miles is a good reason.
  • Manage your bees for healthy bees. Take note of varroa mites and any other pest and do what you feel is proper and timely.
  • Try to refrain from using herbicides and pesticides.

Bibliography:  Experience



 

Posted in Apiary, Magazine Issues Tagged with: , , , ,

The Urban Chicken Update

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

The Urban Chicken Update

You may have decided that you want to start raising chickens so you have your own healthy fresh eggs or maybe you gave chicks to your children for Easter.  Now where do you put your chickens and how do you keep them corralled?

 

David Proctor

 

 
  
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


The Urban Chicken Update

by David Proctor


April 5, 2018

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Living in an urban environment can be challenging to keeping chickens or for that matter, most anything that you would consider from an agricultural standpoint.  Chickens can exist in a city environment and thrive quite well.

One of the keys to the chickens thriving is making sure that they are not a meal for the neighbor’s dog or other potential predator.
 
As much as we love chickens, so do many other animals that would love to make a meal out of them.  To help prevent this a chicken coop needs to be placed where the chickens can be safe and have a place to roost away from harm.

Since chickens have become popular to raise in the city or urban areas, chicken coops have become more available in many different styles, shapes and sizes.

I have had an interest in the mobile type of coops so the chickens can help with bugs in the yard and in turn the eggs will have that deep yellow yolk that taste so good from ranged chickens.

This particular coop was purchased and modified to be mobile.

Chicken Coop
Chicken Coop – Rear
Chicken Coop - Front
Chicken Coop – Front

Handles were added and wheels to the back of the coop.  Along the base, reinforcement was added to help keep the chicken coop from damage when moved.

Chicken Coop - Side
Chicken Coop – Side
Chicken Coop - Side
Chicken Coop – Entrance

This is a good design and modification.  One to two people can move this coop and provide the chickens with new grass and bugs to eat.  We all know how quickly grass will disappear when a coop is stationary.

Roughly a year later I was able to go back and see the chicken coop that was featured in the article Urban Chickens.

Chickens
Chickens

The chickens looked like they were really enjoying life.  The are producing large rich eggs and the location that the chicken coop occupies receives a dethatching and a dose of fertilizer.

Thatch
Thatch

The coop has been modified slightly for the needs of the chickens and the owner. The wheels have been changed out and additional supports and wall boards placed.

Modifications
Modifications

The roost area has been changed to use trays for the chickens to roost in, even though they tend to only lay eggs in the corner back pan.

Roost
Roost

Another item that has been added is a rotating composter for the material that is cleaned out from the area that the chickens roost in.

Composter
 Rotating Composter

If you would like information on composting, please just click on the yellow tab for a free composting guide.

As you can see, this chicken coop design fits the bill for the chickens in this environment.  In some locations you will not be able to let them have as free of an open range as these lucky birds have.  In a future article I will discuss chicken netting and fences that are used to keep the birds corralled.

Until then, enjoy your birds and all the good things they produce.

Happy
Happy

Check It Out!

CLICK HERE FOR INSTANT ACCESS TO THE BACKYARD COMPOSTING GUIDE


Quick Tip

 

Once you move your birds to their permanent residence, make sure they are protected from predators, especially at night. Even a latched door may not be secure enough to keep raccoons out. 

 


What Did You Think?

Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue.

 



 

Posted in Animal Husbandry, Chickens, Magazine Issues Tagged with: , ,

The Boys Weekend Out

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

The Boys Weekend Out

You owe it to yourself to get away from time to time.  This year I went with my son in law; John, to Bennett Springs Missouri, to go fly fishing for trout. Everyone else caught some fish, I didn’t do as well but still had a great time.

David Proctor

 

 

 

 
  
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 


Fly Fishing At Bennett Springs State Park

by David Proctor


March 29, 2018

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


 

One way to have a healthy sustainable lifestyle is to take a break from your routine and just get away.  I don’t do this as often as I would like, but each year I try to go back to Missouri to see old friends and do some fishing.

David & John
David & John

Bennett Spring State Park is managed by the Missouri Conservation Department.  They bring in fish to stock the river for all the fisherman that come to the park.  This was the third week that the park had been open and our tag numbers were almost eleven thousand.

Cleaned Trout
Cleaned Trout

Years ago, when I worked back around that area I use to go down for opening week.  You would see people fishing almost shoulder to shoulder.

Casting
Casting

By the third week the fishing is not that intense and you can get out and have part of the river to yourself.

Moving Water

Moving Water

In between being on the river, we would gather to eat and tell fish stories or talk about hunting.  Almost all the food we ate had been shot or caught by one of the guys attending our little get together.

Lunch
Lunch

As expected, the time went too quick and we were back on the road to catch a flight back east. Even though I am a little tired from the travel, all went great and came back relaxed and ready to try and remember what it was I did for a living before I left.

Now that is when you know you have taken your mind off things!

 


Check It Out!

These three short videos demonstrate how to tie the Improved Clinch Knot, the Perfection Loop and the Surgeon’s Knot.  All useful fishing knots.

 

 

Fly to Leader   1:53

 

Perfection Loop 2:21

Adding tippet to leader 2:59


Quick Tip

 

Gone Fishing Instead Of Just A Wishing!

 


Bibliography: N/A


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Posted in fish, Magazine Issues Tagged with: ,

No Till Garden Weed Control

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

No Till  Garden 

Weeds do not have to be part of the equation when gardening.  I will show you three easy ways to have a no till garden.

David Proctor

 

 
  
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


No Till Garden Weed Control

by David Proctor


March 22, 2018

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


We always have in the back of our mind, hours of being bent over, pulling and tugging at weeds to try and achieve that perfect weed-free garden. 

This is of course after the tiller has been run to till under the weeds and loosen the soil. But what is really happening is that you are planting weeds when you till the soil. 

The best way is to not till or at least limit tilling by establishing permanent paths and areas for plant beds in the garden. This way the area that you have your plants in does not become compacted.

The next thing is to use a good organic mulch so the weeds do not see the light of day. This will also feed your plants and help maintain moisture in the garden for your plants.

This first type of no till gardening will be discussed by Dr. Lee Reich, a former plant and soil researcher for the USDA and professor of horticulture, author, and longtime avid gardener.

To read more, Click this link>>>

Maintain a Weedless Organic Garden
No Till Garden

The next method of no till gardening is dubbed “Lasagna Gardening” because it is done in layers like lasagna. Start with newspapers or cardboard and place that on the ground where you would like to garden. 

Next start alternating layers of straw and manure or compost.  This will break down, giving your plants nutrients and at the same time controlling the weeds. 

Once your plants get some height to them, top the lasagna off with compost and straw.  To read more about this article that Teri wrote, click here>>>

Create an Instant Garden with Sheet Mulching
Create an Instant Garden with Sheet Mulching

The third method is the well-known gardening method by Mel Bartholomew, the square foot garden. The concept is to lay out a weed barrier, build a frame that is 4×4 and place a grid on top that has 1 foot squares.  This is a very efficient method of gardening, as developed by an engineer. 

To read more about Mel’s method click this link>>>

What is Square Foot Gardening?
What is Square Foot Gardening?
With these techniques you can leave the tiller in the garage plus the time saved not having to continually hoe.

Check It Out!

 


Quick Tip

 

1. Use organic material to keep weeds from sprouting.
2. Establish a permanent path in your garden to keep from compacting the soil.
3. Water using the drip method.
4. Use compost for fertilizing.
5. Sell the tiller.


Bibliography:

“No-Till & Compost, and Still Problems.” Lee Reich. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

“Maintain a Weedless Organic Garden.” Mother Earth News. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

“Create an Instant Garden with Sheet Mulching or Lasagna Gardening.” N.p., 03 Apr. 2013. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

“What Is Square Foot Gardening?” Mel Bartholomew. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.


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Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue.


Posted in Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: ,

Cherry Blossoms & Pollinators

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Cherry Blossoms

One of the most anticipated times around Washington D.C. are the cherry blossom trees blooming in the spring. When you see blooms, think pollinators.

David Proctor

 

 
  
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Cherry Blossoms & Pollinators

by David Proctor


March 15, 2018

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


We have changed our clocks forward an hour, the weather is getting warmer and the cherry blossoms are coming into bloom. March 20th is the first day of spring. What does all this mean? It is time to get ready for our outdoor growing season! 

One thing that we take for granted when we see our flowers and trees bloom, is the pollinators that are required for our plants and our survival. Without our pollinators we would not have the beautiful flowers that produce the fruits and vegetables that we need for our survival.

Washington DC Cherry Blossoms
Washington D.C. Cherry Blossoms

We can help our pollinators by planting plants and trees that occur naturally in our region so that the pollinators will have the food that they need to eat.

We can also help our pollinators immensely by limiting the herbicides and pesticides that are applied to our lawns and gardens. When a bee flies across a green lawn that may look great to us, the bee sees a green desert with nothing for nourishment. 

We love to look at the cherry blossoms, the apple trees and other fruit trees that are coming into bloom. As pleasing as the blooms are, I would take a cherry or apple pie any day over just having blooms with no fruit to consume. There are many pollinators that need a hand nowadays but I would like to point out the mason bee that is going strong. I did an interview with Dave Hunter, owner of Crown Bees, if you would like to read again, I will provide the link here for Part 1 Mason Bees and Part 2 Mason Bees.

 

Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC

I enjoy reading his newsletter which has very good information on starting your own mason bees. The mason bee is considered a super pollinator. Even though it can easily out pollinate a honey bee, the mason bee does not produce honey. Here are some excerpts from this month’s news letter:

 

Blooming Cherry Blossoms. I so want to go to Washington DC during cherry blossom time

 

Spring Bee House: Setup Tips from the Pros

You can think of bees as being cold-blooded and they need the warmth of the sun to get going. Your bees will have more time to fly and do all their work if they have a warm place to live that faces the morning sun. They also prefer a home that is stable, not swinging in the wind.

Choose a good bee house location:

• Within about 300ft/100m of your fruit & nut trees and berry patches.

• On a solid wall, fence, or post.

• Facing the morning sun (S or SE).

• Height: about your eye-level for easy viewing. Don’t give raccoons or other critters easy access to your bees.

• Avoid installing the bee house right next to a bird feeder or a birdhouse.

• Remember to keep plants trimmed for a clear bee-line to the house.

After you install your spring bee house, place only the 8mm sized nesting holes into the house. Spring mason bees prefer the 8mm sized holes. (The 6mm sized holes included in your BeeWorks kits are meant for summer leafcutter bees.)

Worried about birds?Birds might be attracted to the bee house and keeping your bees safe is easy. Get some wire cloth with 1″ openings and attach it to the front of the bee house. Make sure you give the bees space to move inside the house by bubbling the wire so that it’s 2-3″ away from the nesting holes. This keeps bird’s beaks from being able to get to the bees.

ASK THESE QUESTIONS BEFORE BUYING MASON BEES


Check It Out!

CrownBees

INTRODUCING OUR MUD BOX & STONE RAINDROP

I’m really proud of this new invention we’ve produced to ensure mason bees get the right type of moist, clayey mud.


Place your mud (or use ours that’s included) on top of the “black water transporter”. The water stored below is wicked up to the clay and lasts for a week or two. Four mason bee doors are just the right size to prevent frogs from eating them on the ground. What could be cooler than this?

In our NW bee-raising grounds we’re going to conduct an experiment to see what type of bee cocoon increase we’ll have this season. On Vashon Island are 225 bee raisers. A random third will get the Mud Box… We’ll report those results to you in a future Bee-Mail.

I’m confident mud is the number one issue impacting mason bee returns. I’d try it out if I were you. We have it at a fairly low cost!

While our Guatemalan wood raindrop was a great seller, we found that about one in twenty cracked earlier than we’d like. Quality is very important to us and we needed to replace it.

We found a wonderful pottery shop in Colorado who could make the same raindrops in clay then bake them to stone. We love the design and durability. Each is unique and handmade.

We’re substituting the stone raindrop into our previous kits. You’ll have a choice of either white or chocolate colors!
Our 4mm tubes for the smaller eastern US states is shipping to us this week. We should have them available on our website by end of next week. Consider placing these out amongst your 8mm mason bee tubes/reeds/trays this spring.


Quick Tip

“MONTHLY TIPS & REMINDERS”

✓TIP Placing out mason bees. Only place out mason bee cocoons if you have these requirements met:

Mason bee house, holes, and mud are set up correctly.
Adequate pollen is available. (Dandelions are out, cherry trees or similar fruits are beginning to blossom)
Weather for the foreseeable week isn’t stormy or snowy. While bees can handle small weather bumps, you will be more successful to wait a few days if in doubt.

Placing your bees out to emerge is easy! We want your mason bees to memorize where they came from. If they crawl over the nesting holes, it’s helpful. So, place your cocoons either loosely or in a small container (dixie cup) behind your tubes/reeds/trays, or on top of them. Don’t place your cocoons on top of the house as things might blow over.
 
Think through wind protection and beware of the cocoons as perfect “bird treats.” If it’s windy, ensure your cocoons won’t blow out. If you are concerned about birds, place chicken wire (3/4″ holes) on the front of your mason bee house.
 
By placing the cocoons out in the evening or early morning, We believe they’re more likely to hang around.
 
Many of you may be concerned that your bees may not be coming out when you want them. Please, rather than call us, read this web page I wrote this week that answers a lot of your questions about when should they emerge, what to look for, etc. 

✓ TIP Pre-emerging mason bees
If you have an early blooming tree, such as a plum, that might be too early-blooming for your mason bees, you have three choices.
1) Do nothing 2) Hand pollinate your tree with a feather duster or mittens 3) Pull a few mason bees out of hibernation early.
 
To pull mason bees out of hibernation early:
Using sharp scissors, you can cut the cocoons and let the bees out early.  
A simpler method can be to place a portion of your mason bees into a small container in a dark warm room (like a furnace or hot water heater closet) for a week. Check on your bees periodically. When most bees have emerged, cool the container in a refrigerator for 10 minutes and then place the mason bees on the top of your nesting holes. (Cool bees are less likely to fly away when you open the container. You can then easily place them on your nesting holes.)”


Bibliography:

CrownBees; Bee Mail News Letter


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Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue. 


Posted in Apiary, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: ,

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