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Old 01-01-2010, 04:35 PM   #1
jmowbray
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Mowbray Honey Farm


We are dedicated to providing you with the finest quality of beekeeping products available. Our honey is made from our local wildflowers, and is produced by our fine Italian honeybees. This is raw pure honey that has been filtered through a 200 micron filter, and is 100% pure just the way the bees make it. My brother and I also make indoor observation hives, for pricing and pictures see website.

http://mowbrayhoneyfarm.com/default.aspx
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:25 AM   #2
VincentK
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Looks good, I'm not thinking about ordering about anything, just interested, what care does the observation hive require? What do you feed and do you have to clean or anything?
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Old 02-12-2010, 01:03 PM   #3
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Believe it or not, they require almost no maintenance. The one pictured is in my brothers’ bedroom and once a year we take it out and scrape the inside of the glass. The bees love to build new comb on the glass. Some people leave it, others remove it. My point of view is that if you’re going to shell out that much money (and many people do since we started with 17 and have 2 left, one was even sent to Australia which cost $$$$$$$) that you mis well enjoy the spectacular sight of watch thing queen lay eggs, babies hatch, worker bees evaporating water and putting pollen into the cells, etc.; and why ruin it with comb on the glass. These hives are not just simply bee hives; most people refer to them as pieces of furniture and often install them in their living rooms.

Just like any commercial bee hive you have to feed them whenever they look like they’re not getting enough food on their own. We usually feed ours all winter long and on and off in the summer.

If anyone else is reading this and has any other questions feel free to ask; I won't sting.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:32 AM   #4
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Is it connected to the outside? And during the winter do you feed them sugar water or something? And have you ever had bees escape from it before?
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:37 PM   #5
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Sorry I forgot to mention that. Yes, it is connected to the outside via PVC pipe. And yes they get a 75:25 sugar to water mix. I wouldn't call is sugar water though, it's more like and nice STICKY syrup at that ratio. We originally did have a couple of bees escaped when we built the original design, but now we have perfected it and none have escaped yet.

I just realized that your from MI. Where abouts? If you ever find yourself around the Standish area let me know. I would gladly take you on a little tour of our LITTLE operation. Any time would work, but late fall is the best; that's when the honey is being extracted.
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:37 AM   #6
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Ann Arbor, if I ever am in Standish, I will be sure to give you a call =), when you set up the thing, did you have to lure them in? Or did you just stick them in there? I wish I could get them, but having more than one aquarium is already too much for my parents, haha.
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:46 PM   #7
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Since we have a decent amount of hives around this place, you can just take a frame of babies along with the queen and put them in there. I'm sure you're now wondering "Will the other hive die now without a queen?" Actually no. This is one, of many amazing things bees can do.

When the queen lays her eggs she can decided whether she wants it to be male or female. Females are the workers, cleaners, the baby feeders, they do everything. Males eat food and mate. Sounds like a typical male. lol Most queens can tell what they need; you always want more females then males, since male do nothing for the hive itself. Some queens don't really know what their supposed to do and lay what ever they want, where ever they want. These queens must be destroyed. GOOD queens will create a rainbow of brood/babies then the workers will make arches of honey, and pollen around them; to help the workers out so they don't have to travel as far to get food to feed them. ***At the bottom is a picture of the rainbow, as you can see the honey is in the upper left and right corners and across the top, than a arch of pollen, then the brood***

If you take the queen from a hive and they have enough brood they can make a queen. Any female bee in the larva stage can be transformed into a queen. To do that, the worker feed a couple of select brood a special food called royal jelly; which to me looks like thick milk. They will then build up the cell
that she's in so she has more room to grow and in 2 weeks you will have a virgin queen. She must then leave the hive and mate with a "useless" male from another hive and return and start laying eggs. In a day a good queen can lay 800-1500 eggs a day.

Last edited by jmowbray; 05-31-2010 at 05:41 PM..
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:34 PM   #8
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Very cool observation hives, and it's great that you rehome honeybees. I wish there were more beekeepers like you.

I once had honeybees in my bedroom wall. No area beekeeper was willing to take the bees alive; they only offered to kill the bees, remove the hive, and rebuild the wall.

I ended up doing the job myself, which I regret to this day. It was only after killing the bees and opening the wall that I discovered how beautiful what they'd created was. 30 lbs. of bees, honey, and amazing architecture! If I'd known what I was destroying, I would have found some way to install a window in my inside wall.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:05 AM   #9
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Check out our updated pictures observation hives and our swarm removal pictures.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:56 AM   #10
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This is amazing. Awesome business idea. I hope you're able to grow your population of bees!

-Gordon
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Old 01-18-2011, 04:37 AM   #11
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Italians, huh? My uncle decided to get that variety, and I'm not sure if it's his bees or what, but you can't go anywhere near them or they dive bomb you.

We had Carniolans for a while, but they were too passive to deal with the more aggressive honey bees that are raised in the local area. We've since switched to Russians, which are very nice. I can still walk right passed them at a pretty close range and only get smacked a couple of times, but they are certainly aggressive enough to get the job done. They are pretty easy to deal with. We actually only feed ours in the late fall, and a few times throughout the winter. We also leave dishes of soy meal out for them in early spring to keep them out of our livestock feed. This seems to be all they need, but we do let them keep a decent amount of honey over the winter. It's a hobby for us, no harm in letting them keep some of their hard work
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