Thursday, July 27, 2006



Bees reared in cities 'healthier'
I’m a constant reader of Beesource Forum and Organicbeekeepers group I find out few days ago an article named: Bees reared in cities 'healthier'
As beekeeper who kept bees on the balcony for few years a can tell you that there is true in this article. Yes, in the town the bees go out more and very morning (I mean 5 am) for nectar. I don’t think that urban bees enjoy higher temperatures as you can see in the photo.
The second article "Bees and flowers decline in step" the author and the researchers are right.
I’m speaking from the point of view of normal man living in this world. In my opinion in last 10 –12 years the climate changed dramatically. Here in Romania we had floods every year. A new meteorological phenomena show up in Romania: tornadoes. It’s enough to look to the news on TV and you’ll see a lot of floods, earth flows, the deserts. are growing. Why? For sure not the bees are the cause for this. For sure climate change and modern industrial farming are factors for this decline. As far as I know there is Kyoto agreement. (Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol) Why the politicians speak about this only when the election time comes?
I don’t want to be a pathetic prophet but for sure the world is on a wrong way. We have to wake up before is too late.
I know that I’m writing only for this blog and nobody pays attention to this. Pity!

Monday, July 17, 2006

No name for this post

Well, It’s not time for summing up my activity but I can tell you that I made roughly what I planned with my bees till now. I made increase, requeened my hives. I rearranged my out apiary. I was happy with this till last week end when I checked my hives. I find a bad queen in one hive, I mean that when you look to brood pattern you can see more drone cells that worker cells. So, something is wrong, the queen has to be change. Thanks God I have spare queens. All I have to unite the 2 colonies.
I know a lot of you are using "news paper method" to unite 2 colonies. We do use this method here too. We do use another 2 way to united 2 colonies.
First one is to rub the top of the frames of the both colonies with onion, and than the colonies can be united with no problems.
Second one is to spray " palinca" over the top bar of the frames of both colonies and than the colonies can be united. Good results.
To be true with you I use the first method. (Onion method TM) more that the second (palinca method TM). What is palinca? You don’t know? You miss a lot. Palinca is drink made from fermented plums. Home-brew. Strong drink.
I’ll let you know what method I’ll use to unite the 2 colonies.
What name to put for this post?

Monday, July 10, 2006


I don't use to argue with other beekeepers because: "Ask two beekeepers, get three answers." The subject was about the most important plant for bee. The important bee plants, or trees. For God sake a lot of answers: acacia, lime, and honeydew, sunflower.As far as I can remember I read in Bee Culture few years ago an article wrote by "Older But Wiser" (must be a pseudonym, a pen name) named "Weeds" in witch he said that the weeds are important for bees. I agree with him. I think that the weeds pay an important role, I can say number one. In the spring, when the colony build up and in the autumn to grow brood for winter. When no nectar flow there are the weeds all around. Along the road, near river side the bees can find nectar for their family. Take a look to this Canada Thistle Cirsum Arvense (I'm correct?) the bees do visit them and I think they love them. And for sure they are a lot just look around.What is your opinion?

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Last 2 days I evaluated all my hive to see how many I’ll winter. I have to think that my apiary is 64 km far from Arad and only in weekend I can look after them. I have to think that the weather can change in matter of hours and I’ll have no chance to work my bees even when I’ll be in the apiary.

Checking the hives I can say that all the hive are OK. All the queens are mated, marked and clipped. I evaluated the stores and I have to buy about 100 kg. Well, it’s summer and the bees have plenty of time to gather some honey.

Well, looking under the hive I had the chance to see a new problem: this is mouse. Mouse guard needed.
For about a week the temperatures are around 33- 35 Celsius degrees. It’s dog days.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Half summer

Half summer
Looking to calendar I realized that a half of the year gone and a half summer gone too.
I’m really happy: I done all plans. Only one unmated queen but I hope that next week end I’ll find her laying.
Well, I’m happy I have spare queens, and I could help a Friend of mine, beekeeper, who lost one queen on mating flight. It’s good to have queens bank.
I’m writing this small article to say “ Thank you Jorn ! “He help me with the computer, so starting for today I can write and use the PC it will work. I have a lot to write so “Thank you Jorn !”

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Traveling night

Last night was the traveling night to new home for the bees from balcony. I’ll miss them.
Every day when I came back from the work I was eating and then I spent a lot of time looking to them. It was very relaxing for me.
9:47 PM. Last inspection before departure. Make sure if everything is OK. I fixed the inner cover, blocked the entrance.
10:05 PM With the hive in boot of the car started the journey to Capruta.
11:25 PM Arrived in Capruta, the new home.
About mid night the hive is on the new stand. I opened the entrance. The bees were calm after 64 km traveling. I slept in Capruta till today, traveling by train back to Arad. Today coming back from the work. I did find 5 or 7 works bees flying up and down but no home for them. I fill sorry for them.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Time to move

Funny things: till one week ago was raining even every day. In the north of the country floods, landfalls. Now for one week the temperatures are around 35, 37 Celsius degrees (98 F degrees).No winds.
Yes, it’s time to move to Capruta the hive from the balcony. The temperatures are too high for bees on the balcony. My experience with bees on the balcony tells me that I have to move the bees to my bee yard in Capruta. From one frame of bees and a queen now is a strong hive on 8 frames.I want to raise 2-3 queens from this queen. Three years ago I kept the bees on the balcony and due to high temperatures the combs start to melt and a lot of bees and capped was killed.
To protect the bees my Mom had the idea to put the umbrella on the hive. Looks funny. Tomorrow night I’ll go to Capruta with my hive.
Last week end when I visited my bee yard every things looked Ok. I had 3 unmated queens. Hope that this week they will mate.
To write this post took me 4 hours. Not because of my poor English but because of this bloody computer. But from next week Thanks of my friend Jorn I’ll have a brand new one. Thanks Jorn.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bad Weather

For 2 weeks we have bad weather in this area. This means that every day or at least 2 days we have rain here. What mean this? This means that the rain washes away acacia nectar flow. So, little acacia honey. After acacia is the turn of lime to get in bloom. It was
promising, but the rain had a strong come back .

Last week end I had only 2 hours Sunday to look to my bees. Recording played an important role. I had to check the queen cells. I was happy I saw the virgin in one nuc.There are 2 queens to emerge. I worried about the weather when the mating time comes. Hope for better. I want to write more but I have problems with the PC.
I have to visit my fiend he catches a swarm for me. A nice one. See you!

Monday, May 29, 2006


Well, because of this bloody PC I have to write from time to time to my blog, when my neighbor boy PC is free .So, I have to concentrate my thoughts to say all I have to say in few words.
For the star I can tell that everything is OK but only one thing is not OK: the weather. We have plenty of rain and cloudy days.Well, it’s acacia time and the bees are busy gathering nectar for them and I hope for me. As you can see in the photo. It’s wonderful

One week ago I marked 2 queens and clipped them. As you can see I use genuine method to mark my queens. I use fluid corrector. Because here in Romania we don’t use to mark our queens so you don’t find marking pen or colors to mark your queens. About clipping the queens I can say that at the beginning all the beekeepers in my area had a good laugh. They don’t understand why I do this. But I keep marking and clipping my queens because I find that is very useful One week ago I mark 2 queens and clipped them. As you can see I use genuine method to mark my queens. I use fluid corrector. Because here in Romania we don’t use to mark our queens so you don’t find marking pen or colors to mark your queens. About clipping the queens I can say that at the beginning all the beekeepers in my area had a good laugh. They don’t understand why I do this. But I keep marking and clipping my queens because I find that is very useful
Last Sunday I got angry with my bees: I did find out that they are communists; they gather a lot of red pollen.
The big problem for me is :what method to use to raise few queens. To use Jenter System, Miller method or to use swarm cells. I’m a little bit confuse,but I think that in few days I’ll make up my mind.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


I have problems with the computer. It’s an old one so … this is why I can’t publish something or to answer to my email. After 5-7 minutes I start it this bloody machine turn off by himself. The specialists said that I have to buy a new one. In the same time the net connection was broken due to the excessive rain. I’m using now the PC of my neighbor Alin.
6.05.2006 The weather is unstable. We have rain, winds and all you call bad weathe.The problem is that in the south of the country we have floods. Lot citizens lost their houses and all they have.
6:20 in the train. Arrived 7:30. Temperature about 6 C degrees. Sometime happen miracles: I have electricity. Now I can use my electric tools and visit my bee yard day and night and summer or winter.
First thing I mowed the grass and made some arrangement in the “house.” Little by little the weather warm up. Around midday I checked my hives. Looks OK. I decided: I will gather some acacia honey and after acacia flow (if any) I’ll make nucs.
By 8 o’clock PM a guy (about 35 years old) from next village on the way to the train station stop by and ask if I know somebody buying honey in bulk with better price. I said: no. We talk about bees. He gets on my nerves. Why? He do not pay attention to the new way of bee keeping, I mean, he is not interested in queens rearing, new methods to manage your bees and so on. All he wants is to get as much honey as he can. He said that that his grand father got a lot of honey doing this way. I think that he don’t accept the time change. It was an exhausting discution. It’s a way of doing beekeeping, I have to accept this.
1.05.2006 The first of May. international holiday celebrating labor and workers. 2 years ago Jorn Johanesson visited me. In the first of May we visited Capruta and we had a nice talk with an old beekeeper. Well, I was 2 years younger.
The bees on the balcony gather plenty of pollen from chestnut. The hive on the balcony gets stronger because of the new generation of bees. It’s a real nuc. Next week I’ll put the fourth frame (foundation).I think that it strong enough to draw for himself foundation.
28.04.2006 I took 2 days off and Thursday, Friday and Saturday I did spend on the bee yard in Capruta. I blanched the trees using lime.
24.04.2006 The temperature comes up to 25 Celsius degrees. The color of the hive on the balcony is intense red so a lot of heat inside the hive. The bees come out in front forming a beard (as you can see in the picture). I did stick Xerox paper around. Now everything is OK.
23.04.2006 Easter time. This is a day of joy but for a lot of people is a day of tears. The bloody Danube flooded the south of the country. Not only has the Danube been to be blamed but the administration too. It Saint George celebration. It’s my name day. But I did not have the mud to feast.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Two beeyard:one in Capruta and one on the balcony

8. April I did visit my bee yard for several hours. In the train going to Capruta I saw floods everywhere. I did feed them and uncapped one frame of honey for each hive. Back home 2 pm. I did take a look to the hive on the balcony. I’m really happy. There are capped brood (as you can see in the pictures) so everything is OK. The bees gather pollen and I was sitting near the hive to see them bringing in communist pollen. No luck for the moment. I’m waiting for high temperatures( 13 C degrees now) and a lot of flowers.

7. April The temperatures drop to3-4 C degrees during night. Keep feeding the colony with sugar syrup.
3. April The temperature is at noon up to 18 C degrees. The girls are OK. I started feed them with 200grms each evening. By the end of this May I’ll be the happy owner of the super strong colony
31 March. Sunny morning but started the rain at 1 PM. A hell of weather
30 March (morning temp: 5 C degrees noon: 15 C) Open the entrance. Too early but the temperatures are to high and I have to open it. Only a few bees go back to old place .I have lost only around 20-25 bees. The queen started laying eggs. Feed the bees 200Gr. of sugar syrup.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sometime happen miracles

At work everybody was looking for me. Ring to your apartment! I have ringed my Mother and she said to me to come at once home because my neighbor finds a bee family in his stove she wants to demolish it. (Parenthesis: During Ceausescu regime they did not give us enough heat to our apartments and if you have kids you have to add a supplement of heat. So, a lot of families build stoves in their apartment. The way around, now.)
The man doing this job-his name Mircea ( Michael if you want)-is a softhearted and took care of this little and wonderful creatures and ask my Mother to get me to save the bee family. Back home, going strait to workshop pick a new hive and try to get the bees in their new home. A difficult job but at the end it was successful operation. A lot of stings but worth it. In the afternoon I picked the train and go to Capruta to get few drown combs with honey to use them in new hive. 7:30 pm back home and started to transfer the bees on the new combs. 8:05 pm the bees are on the new combs. Today March 29, 2006 I take a look and I saw eggs, the queen started laying. I’ll keep the hive closed because they will go back to their home. Now I’m a happy owner of a small bee family on the balcony in the middle of the town Arad.
A bet Toni? Who will get more honey from one hive on the middle of the town?
Do believe me I’m so happy.
15 years ago ,when I started keeping bees I did keep them on the balcony for one year.Is this a new start?

First sting this year (25 March 2006)

Thanks God the spring is here. The sun it’s on the sky and a promising day it’s coming..
Arrived at Capruta 9:20 am. When I left Arad the temperature was 1 C degrees, it’s about 5 C degrees the time of arrival.
Well, for the beginning I have to plant some prunes and cherries I brought with me. I want the place, in the coming years, to become a garden ( the exact word is orchard)
By the noon I started working my bees. Before opening the hives I took a look at the hives entrances. As you can see in the photo they bring in pollen. As far as I know it’s hazel pollen, the first pollen in the area- except of the snowdrop and viola. Judging the activity in the hive- looking at the hive entrance as the books say- must be a lot of brood inside.
Opening the hives I saw a really big coming and going and everybody is busy. So, I decided not to disturb them. I did take a photo and live them alone. Seems that the bees don’t like my camera so I got stings. Two stings. These are the first stings this year I’m really happy anyway.
I did received an email asking about united the 2 hives with both queens and what happened. Yes you can unite the 2 hives with the 2 queens. Important is the 2 queens to be clipped. Happened as working with 2 queens. If you do want to see how this works take a look here.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

A little bit nervous and a little bit tired

I’m a little bit nervous and a little bit tired. Nervous because the spring is not coming and I had enough of this winter. In spite of the calendar and the forecast the temperatures are still low-midday the temperatures are not more than 8-9 C degrees. Tired because I worked a lot in my bee yard.
8 AM. Left for Capruta to see my bees. The temperature is 2 C degrees (but feel like 0 C Celsius). 9 AM. Arrived to my bee yard. The temperature is 4 C degrees. It’s to cold to work my bees.
In the back of the existing fence I planted plants to make a bushy fence. In August this will have flowers like one you can see in photo. These flowers have a lot of pollen. I did plant some prunes.
11 AM. Start working my bees. Except of 2 colonies all the hives are ok. and come out of the winter in good conditions. It was a difficult moment for me. What to do: to unite the 2 colonies or to let the alone. I decided to unite them because I don’t know what the weather will be and in the case that the bad weather will continue the colonies have no chances. Well, I come to a conclusion: I’ll raise all my queens from local bees. The queens raised in the plain are not good to winter on the hill.
The rest of the families are in good condition and plenty of capped brood.
Checking the dead hive I saw a lot of bees with deformed wings. Conclusion: the hive was heavy with that bastard named Varroa . Well, I was asking the many times if the bastard did not become resistant to the Varachet (Romanian drug for varroa). In my opinion varroa become resistant to this drug. I have read that the American biologist-Walker Jones- find out a fungus(Metarhizium anisopliae )agains varroa. It’s interesting idea. Waite to see when will be on the market.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Somebody stolen the spring

Saturday I did visit my bees. It’s 11 of march- the calendar says that’s spring time- but the weather is cold and on the hill you can see snow. The temperature is 4 degrees Celsius but feel like 0 degrees and the wind blow at 28 kmph in blast. I start thinking that the weather is changing I mean the climate. Years ago (when I was child and even 10 or 11 years ago) at this time we had a clear seasons I mean the spring was spring and the winter was winter. Now we have mild winter in February with sunny days and the temperatures up to 12-15 C degrees in February and snow and cold in April. And a lot of floods
I intend to check and change (or clean) the floorboard. No chance. The wind was blowing and decided to postpone this till next week. The only things I made were to open one hive take a quick look and give up. Few days ago I was thinking to my bees and ask myself what the bees dream in long cold nights of the winter? Do they dream to flowers on the field or on the hill? I’m sure they do.
Being a householder I started to work in the garden. I planted a walnut. I love to eat toasted walnut with honey. They are delicious. You can eat toasted walnut and drink wine.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I love doing experiments.

This season I want to do only one experiment: to try Alpine hive.I have read about this hive last year from” The Beekeepers’ Quarterly”.Why I want to try this hive? Because constructor claims,” the average season honey crop per a hive exceeds the honey crop of more frequent hives, especially in seasons with not very favorable honey crop.” Now, I’m using Longstroth hive and Dadant. Anyway there are a lot of explanations. For this we have to go back in time.
As I told you I live in Arad,west of Romania, 40 km far from Hungarian border and 100 km far from Ex Yugoslavian border. Hundreds years-- till 1918- the area was under austro-hungarian overruled. So,the local beekeeping was influenced by the austro-hungarian beekeepers. Just take a look to the hives(frames) used in my area:
-Orszagos 19/22,5 cm ~855 sq cm
-Neizer 25,5/22cm ~1122 sq cm
-Kuncs 24/31 cm ~1488 sq cm
-Arady 26/30,5 cm ~1586 sq cm
As far as I know the measurements for Longstroth 1676.6 sq cm and Alpine Hive is 27/21 cm ~1134 sq cm ( Oh,God I hate math).
Years ago,with my friend, I was going with the bloom.My friend had Kuncs hive(frames). Our hives were roughly strong but every time he got more honey than me up to 5-7 kg. I keep asking myself why.
3 years ago I met a beekeeper not far from my out apiary who changed his hives from Lonstroth to shallow hive (like shallow supers). With this hive he got about 16kg/hive when other beekeepers in the area got 6-7 kg/hive ; I have to mention that the season was poor like last years .(Other beekeepers testimony, not his)
For long time I realized that the beekeepers in my area don’t persist(they are not headstrong like a mule) they have a good reason to use old hives.
This is why I want to try this Alpine Hive.

Legend:Above photo: old Dadant hive made from reed(cane) not from wood.8o years old yet in use.
Below photo from left to right: Orszagos,Neizer,Kuncs,Arady frames

Friday, February 24, 2006

2006, February 22

Local weather:6 Celsius degrees(42 F) sunny day .After 4 weeks of cold weather(lower temperature -16 C (3 F) I can visit my bees. For 3 days I try to visit my bees,but every time something happened so I have to postpone my visit but.... today I can visit my bees.
In the train on the way to my beeyard I I was asking myself how the situation will be.
16 PM I arrived on beeyard.
16:15 PM checked the first hive and I found:Disaster. The colony dead.Oh, my God! A good start.! A fugitive look did not tell me what was wrong. Anyway they had plenty of food and no sign of diarrhoea. I’ll check next time. I wonder what could be? You can see my face looking to the the hive.(click here)
Except of one weak colony (in my opinion) ALL THE COLONIES ARE OK. I have to make plans for coming season. For sure I’ll try to double my colonies.Well,I’ll try this year Roger Delon’s Alpin hive..
It’s still winter here(as you can see) so I have to wait.The spring will start here in 20 of March spring equinox.
Till then I wish you planty of flowers for your bees.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


What happened if a 53 years old beekeeper will fall in love?
First of all it would be a problem. Well, I don’t know when to celebrate lovers’day. It would be 14 of February or 24 of February. The Valentine’ day is the celebrate in 14 of February is ideantical with Dragobete lovers’ day celebrate in 24 of February.Dragobetele is an old traditional celebration here in Romania. You can put equal sign between this two. The birds wedding take place in 24 of February. An old saying:if you have a chance to hear the hoopoe in this day you’ll be industrious(labourious) all the year round. It’s not my problem.
So, the answer is: if a an old beekeeper will fall in love he will love his bees.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Knocking to know what happen

Finishing with the technical problems concerning the blog(thanks to Toni Bee)let’s focusing on beekeeping. I’ve read in BeeSource Forum about checking the hives without opening them(in winter time).
Back in nineties –when I started beekeeping-I was teach to listen and understand how the bees winter,without opening the hives.If you do treat the bees properly before going to the winter the two things you have to looking after:food and queen.
Here is how the system work.All you need is a plastic(or robber) hose. It’s better if you have a stethoscope.(sound like surgeon job ). Now pick up one hive(you think that something wrong is going on),put the robber hose in to hive entrance and knock on the hive body(only once). You’ll get a lot of answers:
1.A short,intensive buzz tells you that the bees wintered OK there are no problems with food and the queen.
2. The very feeble buzz similar to the rustle of a dry leaf tell you that the bees have no food.
3.The prolonged buzz,spotty in intensity and weeping show that the queen is not in hive(is dead).
You can try this system(cost you nothing).I use this and works. Please try it.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Spotting a queen

Half winter gone. We have only 3 month of winter and the spring will be here. What a Drone like me is doing this time?Try to repair his equipment for next season and reading beekeeping forum.
Beesource Forum one of the topic “Spotting a queen”.First of all I have to said that Michael Bush metaphor about queen moving is great:”The queen is moving she is listening to Schubert or Brahms.She move slowly and gracefully.It’s like she’s waltzing and the workers are doing the bossanova.”
About finding the queen (spotting) one of the greatest Romanian beekeeper L.C. Hristea wrote in his book “The Beekeeping” that the queen usualy stay during the night in the middle of the hive.In the morning she will be one the first or almost the second frame from the center. In the afternoon she will be on the last(or about) frame of the brood nest. I tested this few years ago and 6 out of 10 it worked. I made a drawing to try to explain this ( click to see).When you looking for your queen in your hive try to think to this . See you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

First visit in 2006

To day-5 January I visited my bees.The temperature at 11 am was 9 degrees Celsius. I’m glad they look OK.I have put patties (I use to call them “cakes”) made by myself(honey+ dust suger+pollen) .
Well, I’m happy because my bees are OK.My hopes resurrect and so the plans for this year. I want to double the colonies. The snow gone but is cold and. Looking at this 2 pictures I realised how much I love summer. It will be here soon. But till then I have to do a lot.Repairing and fixing old supers,repairing and fixing old frames , old top and bottom boards or making some new tops and bottoms .Not plenty of time now......and only maybe until end of March or into April to get this done .

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

George is writing

Hi All,
My name is George Tamas,I’m 53 years old and I live in Arad(some photos of my home town).Arad is situated in the west of Romania .
I start this blog to share information about bees and beekeeping and to tell to beekeeper all over the world that : there are beekeepers here.
I started the beekeeping back in 1989 and for one year I kept 2 hives on the balcony.There were the time I learned a lot about bees. I came back from work and stayed on the balcony for hours to see the bees coming and going and read about bees and beekeeping.
In 1993 I had the chance to know John Phipps and his wonderful magazine “The Beekeepers Quarterly” and a lot of beekeepers and men involving in beekeeping industry like:Mathew J. Allan, Michelle,
Foucon, Jorn Johanesson,Jack Griffes,Jeremy Owen.
As happen in real life the things are not as we wish. Back in 1995 I was elected Trade Union leader and having problems with the company board I became unemployed.
Starting a new job I can’t have a proper care so from 63 colonies and now I have only 7 hive. I hope that this year to double the number.For the love of bees I did buy a terrain in the village Capruta- 62 km far Arad and I start learning to use PC.
Because is winter time and we do not have to work in apiary I’ll tell you more about me and romanian beekeeping.See you!