The Princeton BEE Team

Yellow is the new Orange.

The Princeton B-log

New Hives!

Posted by Hannah Safford on April 1, 2013 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Post written by Ben Denzer.

This Easter weekend signaled the resurrection of the Princeton bees! On Saturday we had a good group of volunteers come down to the BEE yard where we removed our old hives, constructed a storage trunk, and put down mulch for our bee yard (to stop problems we have been having with weeds). It was a beautiful day and nice to do some manual work!

Today, with the help of Bob Harris, we successfully installed two boxes of bees into new supers. Bob instructed our group on the proper way to introduce the bees to their new home.

Photos can be found here:

We will return to the hives on Thursday to make sure the bees are acclimating well. Exciting times at the BEE Team! 

Honey Extraction 2011

Posted by Hannah Safford on August 18, 2011 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Posted by Sarah Bluher

This year's extraction was a great success!  We ended up with 5 gallons of honey, 1 more than last year. We extracted 2 medium supers from Locke hive, and 1 shallow super from Hughes hive.  Our "summer beekeepers," Josh, Irena, Tessie, Aleks, Dawn and myself, with help from Dave Wagenblast, worked hard... but not as hard as the bees!

Dave Wagenblast, a Princeton groundskeeper and beekeeper of 19 years, helped us load the frames one by one into the back of his pick-up truck to transport to Terrace.  We gave each frame a forceful bump and some vigorous brushing to get all of the bees out before transferring it to the empty super over in Dave's truck.  Then we quickly put the cover on to prevent bees from following their honey.  Thanks Dave! 

Once we got all the frames loaded in, we took the honey to Terrace, where we had our extractor set up.  Thanks to Irena and her friend for getting a hold of the extractor!  Thanks to Terrace for tolerating such a sticky situation...

The hand-cranked extractor works like a centrifuge.  You load up 2 frames at a time and spin them around to get the honey flowing out.  Honey comes out of a faucet and pours down through a strainer into the collecting basin.  Yum!

Before loading the frames, we cut off the wax cappings using a pronged fork or a hot blade.  We saved the wax for making candles. 

Eating honey as we go... makes for a giddy time!  I personally ate so much honey.  I think Josh did too :D  Dawn brought popcorn to make our favorite bee team snack (BEE CORN!)  While we were at it we sang songs with the word "honey" in them (Dawn definitely wins at this game) and invented our own when our sources ran dry.  So, all in all it was a good time for everyone.  Hope you can join us next year!

Second Hive Visit!

Posted by Nadirah Mansour on October 15, 2010 at 7:32 PM Comments comments (0)

Hey there,

 I’m Nadirah, a new freshman addition to the Bee Team. I’ll be poking around here, putting things here and there (Watch outfor the new book reviews that’ll be going up after midterms!). But without further adieu, let’s get to our second hive visit!

‘ It was a pleasant day at a time when pleasant days were a rarity, a ruby amidst coal.We hadn’t expectedit and many of us flung our sweaters over our shoulders, explicit symbols of frustration with the unruly weather gods. But as soon as we began our trek from the courtyard at Jadwin/Fine/McDonnell, we realized that sweaters could barely matter on a day like this. A bee day.’

Or something like that. Anyways...

 The lovely Dawn led us down to the hives,where Sarah was already working on a film project for a course she was taking (I’m crossing my fingers we can upload it to the website when its done). Suited up,then went to the yard. First order of business was checking the mite meds (AKA Apiguard): one hive seemed to be eating away at it, whereas the other didn’t; guessing it was probably a location issue, we moved it to a more accessible area within the hive.

 We checked the top two supers of each and foundto our delight some beautiful, full frames of honey. Plenty of food for the winter. Brood’s also looking good and appropriate for the season.

 But you don’t want to just hear about the logistical stuff, do you? I'll give you some juice- we did have a casualty;One bee sting to the knuckle. Wasn’t too bad and the fallen beekeeper jumped right back up, having not really fallen at all.

 In other news, we got Denis Feeney, a Classics professor, to come sometime this semester to come speak to us about bees in Virgil. Whoot Whoot! And we might be  painting the shed next week! I promise you nice hi-res pictures!

 See you next time!



Report From the First Hive Visit!

Posted by Hannah Safford on October 3, 2010 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (0)

About ten of us headed down to West Windsor for our first group hive visit of the year. Sarah and I had checked out the hives last week with our hero and mentor, former NJ state apiarist. We were delighted to hear from Bob that hive #1 (the Panamike), was one of the strongest hives he had seen over the past few weeks, and that hive #2 (Hughes Hive) would only need a little bit of sugar water to get them through the winter.

The hives looked just as great on Saturday as they did last week. It was a beautiful day for beekeeping, with just enough sun to stop the bees from getting angry when we opened up the hives, but none of the gross, sticky humidity that's been plaguing us the last few days. Everyone who came down and wanted to had a chance to bang around with hive tools and take out frames to look at, and no one got stung (which doesn't make for a very happy post, but does make for a happy BEE Team). We also stuck tins of Apiguard into our hives per Bob's orders since we might have a developing Varroa mite problem.

We'll be making another hive visit next week--after all, we have to "Winterize our Weeds!" with Jennifer Bryson in the garden. Details on that coming soon via listserv...and on our calendar.