Monday, June 27, 2011

Queen Rearing

I attended the University of Nebraska queen rearing course last week. Here is a clip of grafted larvae.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Smell of Honey

The main nectar flow is on. The bees are making honey like mad. The bees are fanning air out of the hives to cool them since the weather is so hot. This makes the air smell of HONEY!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Russians invasion

I put Russian queens in my hives last year. I had really disappointing results. A number of the queens were quickly superseded. The remaining hives came out of winter very strong. The down side is there were also very aggressive. One hive had so bad it was like someone was shooting bees out of a shotgun at me. Needless to say they are getting a new queen (once I can find her).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Start

Believe it or not, we are in a race. A race to get hives ready for the main honey flow. The Start begins with trees. The flowering trees were closely follow by dandelions. The little yellow rascals started blooming in mass this week.

Reece and I inspected hives this week. They continue to get stronger as the weather warms up. In general they had a bit more pollen stored up than they had a couple of weeks ago.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring has sprung. (and then ran away again)

Hive inspections were great last week. The bees already have quite a bit of brood going. I put feed and pollen patties on.

The hive losses were below 20% over winter. On a positive note, none were due to starvation. Still stinks all the same.

This week is not that great, it's snowing. I've got my fingers crossed the week long cold snap does not set up back too much.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Farm Reality Check

Reality check for the farm. We've got 5 ram lambs. Ram lambs produce one product; MEAT. Raising these cute little lambs for slaughter is a hard concept to own. The reality is that meat has to come from somewhere. The best I can do is commit to treating my stock right. I've applied for certification with Animal Welfare Approved. I want to be set straight if I'm not treating my stock to the highest standards. They'll send someone out to visit the farm and make sure I'm doing it right.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Expanding the Farm

We expanded the farm this year! A flock of ploy pay sheep now graces the farm. The flock started with 4 ewes. Lambing season has blessed us with 6 lambs so far. Here is a quick peak of the flock.

Locker lambs will be available in the fall.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Chitwood Family Farm is pleased to announce that Reece has accepted the position of smoker operator for the 2011 season. Reece spent the 2010 season observing dad's technique. He is exteamly excited to take on the new responsiblity. Reece will continue to report directly to dad. Please join us in congratulating Reece on his new position.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Feeding of Bee Candy

I'm trying something new this winter for feeding bee candy. I'm using half sheet pans to hold my candy and a 1 1/2' spacer rim. The sheet holds around 8 pounds of sugar instead of 25 pounds for a traditional candy lid.

I'm hoping this new process works out. Its nice to be able to use spacers for more than just mite treatments. And I really like not having to build candy lids.