Category Archives: 養蜂場 – Apiaries

Winter 2015-2016

I still have at least one more month until winter is over and I am in the clear. So far I haven’t lost any hives but two are not looking great, So this year I decided to feed them 200cc of sugar water every 10 days to 14 days, I hope it’s enough.

Weeding is a must!

Well it’s my birthday today, so why not do something interesting on your birthday :-)

On Thursdays I generally check on the Hatada apiaries and today I noticed that the Perilla had started to take their dance of death and turn brown and honesty the stone terraces just weren’t looking good.

I knew this is gonna happen and had been putting off weeding that  section of the apiary because I  just don’t like weeding.

I had decided on only weeding around the beehives, but being a  Mr. Can’t stop when he gets started ended up pulling all the Perilla.

Now next, I’ve just got to get rid of all the Madagascar ragwort around the hives.
before_after2 before_after

Yellow Hornet vs Japanese Honeybees 黄色スズメバチが日本蜜蜂を猟る

You can’t really do much about the yellow hornet, traps don’t work. Luckily they don’t attack in numbers.


蜂球 – Bees balling a yellow hornet

エゴマの蜜源 Wild sesame perilla nectar

In less than four months, Following very wet rainy season (duh) the stone terraces have turned a brilliant green. At first I had no idea what this weed was and it turns out it’s a very common herb/spice used in Korean cuisine and known as wild sesame. It’s suppose to flower at the end of summer around September hopefully and is a good nectar source so I been told, I just hope the honey doesn’t smell like the leaves :-)



西洋蜜蜂だった! Ops! European honey bee

It seems that my troubled beehive is in fact European honeybees.

They won’t last long at this rate.





Going going gone.

Going going, almost gone!

Well it looks like hive number H20150522-01 known as Erika isn’t going to make it.

On top of the dwindling population, it seems that the workers have tried in vain to build new Queen cells. I actually don’t know if this hive is queenless and because of type of hive used here it is very hard, almost impossible the check if there currently is a queen.

That’s most probably the biggest downside to using the Jubako style hive.

So what can I do ?

I could try a number of things, but because I keep an endemic honeybee species I believe beekeeping for this species should as treatment free as possible.





Queen-less? 無王群?

2015の初採蜜!First Honey Harvest for 2015

After recovering from a 40.6C (105F) fever I decided it was time to harvest from the Fuku Cafe apiary.

From two hives I was about to harvest around 10kg* (22lbs) with a sugar content of 80.4% and an unusual dark color for spring honey

*10kg is a very good haul for Japanese honey bees. We average a little over 3.5kg (7.7lbs) per hive per year.



弱群!This years runt!




Not really sure  what is happening here, I know this hive has been under attack and getting robbed from sunup to sundown, Even adding a reducer didn’t really help, Talk about a battle royal, So maybe it just hasn’t had time to create the base honeycomb and beef up it numbers. Hopefully that will change, Only time will tell.


畑田組のミツバチ達 The bees at Hatada Village

There is something special about this village, Even though I only caught four swarms they are all doing well and exceeded my expectations and growing at an alarming rate.

An early harvest is looking very likely for at least one hive.

hopefully next year we can triple the amount of hives next year on once stone terraced  flourishing mandarin groove.

ふくカフェ養蜂場の草刈り完了! Weed eating complete


Weed eating complete at Fuku Cafe apiary.

Man the weeds in this country grow fast, I need to look into mulching