Ag Valuation with Honeybees

Agricultural Valuation – aka “Ag Exemption” – with Honey Bees

Do you own 5 to 20 acres? Are you interested in saving hundreds, maybe even thousands on your property taxes each year (especially by preventing rollback taxes!)  ?

If so, having honey bees can help you qualify. We sell bees hives with an established colony (seasonally), but for those that may not want to get into beekeeping, we also perform agriculture maintenance with our hives to land owners for a reasonable management fee. We do everything to manage and maintain the bees, and you reap the rewards that ag-valuation provides for your property for the use of your land.

Have our Honey Bee hives to qualify for an Ag Valuation and leave the Beekeeping to Harmony Hollow Apiary.  Call Rex at 469-251-2BEE (2233) for more information and pricing.

November 2022 – we are currently taking commitments for placing and managing hives in Spring of 2023.   Best to contact Harmony Hollow between November 2022 and January 2023.   State LATE deadline for 1-D-1 paperwork is April 30.

Texas law, effective January 1, 2012, made it possible for beekeeping to qualify for an Agricultural Valuation (commonly called “ag exemption” – see below) on property taxes. This is covered in the Tax Code under Chapter 23, Subchapter D, Sect. 23.51 (1) and (2).

An Agriculture Exemption is not actually an Exemption but rather a Special Valuation. If a portion or all of a property is deemed eligible to receive an Agricultural Valuation, that property will receive a Production Value along with its Market Value. The tax savings that a property receives depends on the current Market Value of the property and what type of Ag Valuation you are requesting. For example, Native Pasture areas can have a lower Ag valuation than Dry Crop areas and generally both are lower than the market value that the taxes would normally be based on.  That is dependent on county.

There are several key phrases and requirements to this law. Sect. 23.51 (1) covers the definition of “qualified open-space land”. Specifics state land that has an established agricultural use history for five of the preceding seven years. Record keeping is critical. Registration and permitting with Texas Apiary Inspection Service (TAIS) helps establish this history. Wording of the law states agricultural use to the degree of intensity generally accepted in the area. Each local appraisal district sets their own standards as the accepted degree of intensity.  Most appraisal districts use a minimum of six colonies (beehives) as a standard. That is the accepted definition of an apiary from Texas bee law under the Agriculture Code, Title 6, subtitle A, Chapter 131, Sect. 131.001 (2).

Size of qualifying acreage is not less than 5 or more than 20 acres. Remember the definition of agriculture use. Losing an acre to a homestead exemption has to be accounted for on acreage. (check with your appraisal district to be sure, though -as I have heard of counties allowing the full acreage without removing an acre for the home)

Also, realize the landowner does not have to own the bees. You may hire the maintenance of bees from a beekeeper who owns the hives.   Again, keep accurate and complete records. The wording of the law states “the use of land to raise or keep bees for pollination or for the production of human food or other tangible products having a commercial value.”

Lastly, it is important to stress the fact that each local appraisal district can set their own standards and requirements for the beekeeping valuation. Please contact your local appraisal district for guidance and minimum requirements.   Some counties may want to see a copy of a bee maintenance agreement or land lease agreement as part of your documentation before coming to evaluate your property for ag valuation.  Some require a special report be submitted annually.    Most county appraisal districts now have this information available on the county appraisal district website.

Benefits include:

  • Professional management and maintenance of beehives on your property
  • Annual Transport Registration through the Texas Apiary Inspection Service (TAIS)
  • Pollination for your property
    Contributing to the welfare of the honeybees
  • Annual Report listing harvested tangible products with commercial value.
  • Qualifying requirements for Harmony Hollow Apiary management include:

The site must be suitable for bees and provide the necessary elements for bees to thrive. A complimentary site visit will be scheduled for all prospective clients.  A Honeybee Management Plan is included – and lists expectations of flowering plants that the landowner should seed or plant – for the benefit of honeybees and ALL other native pollinators.

Harmony Hollow Apiary must have unrestricted access to the location of the hives at all times.  (For locked properties – I can/will provide a lock to add to your chain of locks on a gate)

A 2-wheel drive vehicle must be able to access the area where the hives are located and park no further than 20 yards from the hives’ location.

Harmony Hollow Apiary reserves the rights of ownership to the bees, the equipment, and the products of the hives.

 

TAIS – Texas Apiary Inspection Service – Form for Registering your apiary:
(Choose “Apiary Registration Application”)
https://txbeeinspection.tamu.edu/forms-fees/
TAIS Will return a confirmation receipt of your apiary registration.   For areas where you OWN the hives – You may need to pay the TAIS their fee ( $10) for them to issue a “brand ID number” to you.     For hives that Harmony Hollow Owns – our ID number is marked on the equipment.

Your county appraisal district will have the 1-D-1 Application for you to fill out for ag use of your land.

We are based near the Dallas, Texas Metroplex. However, we cover a large portion of North and East Texas. Contact us to reserve bees for your property.

Registered with and Permitted by the Texas Apiary Inspection Service, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University

2023 Honeybee Removal Information

Rex Smith’s Honeybee Removal – 2023

*** IF TEMPERATURES EXCEED 95 DEG F – THE REMOVAL MAY BE RESCHEDULED FOR A COOLER TIME or DAY ***

If you are in need of having a honeybee swarm picked up, or a full colony of bees removed from a structure – please see the following links for my contact information:  (These same links are in the top menu bar on this website as well.)

Also please understand that most bee removal specialists are overwhelmed beginning in March with calls.  In peak season I personally receive between 30-40 calls per day – and do several full removals per day.  If I do not answer the phone, I am probably in a hive – so please do leave a message and I will return the call as quickly as possible.

My bee line is 469-251-2BEE (2233) – please DO read the removal information links and FAQ links below, however.

I will ask you (a) How long the bees have been there.  (b) How high from the ground is their entrance.  (c) Your location, and (d) for any photos you can text to me to help assess the structure overall and zoomed in photos of where the bees are entering/exiting.

Removal Information:
http://www.bohemianutopia.com/wordpress/?page_id=2

Frequently asked questions (and my answers):
http://www.bohemianutopia.com/wordpress/?page_id=512

YouTube Channel  (Please Subscribe!!)
https://www.youtube.com/user/HarmonyHollowApiary

Facebook Page (Please “Like” the page!!)
https://www.facebook.com/HarmonyHollowApiaries/

 

Rex Smith is a member of the Texas Association of Professional Bee Removers
https://txapbr.org/    #TxAPBR

 

Varroa Mite Management with your hives

Varroa mites are the latest finding in the plight of our agricultural (and hobby) European Honeybees.  The Varroa Destructor is known to be a vector (carrier for diseases) for several viruses, including (but NOT limited to:)

  • SacBrood
  • Deformed Wing Virus (DWV)
  • Black Queen Cell Virus (BQCV)
  • Nosema Apis
  • Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV)
  • Lake Sinai Virus 1, Lake Sinai Virus 2 (LSV1, LSV2)
  • Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV)
  • Kashmir bee virus (KBV)
  • Kakugo Virus
  • Varroa Destructor Virus 1
  • Israel acute paralysis virus (IAPV)
  • Slow Bee Paralasys Virus (SBPV)

(list source: http://articles.extension.org/pages/71172/honey-bee-viruses-the-deadly-varroa-mite-associates )

While there is a rift in some beekeeping circles and groups about whether varroa mites can be managed with breeding “varroa resistant” or with “hygienic behavior” in bees – the fact remains that if bees are bred to coexist with – or to tolerate the varroa mites, then the colonies are subjected to a variety of possible diseases.  Folks that are “treatment free” – should still perform varroa mite count tests – and not be disillusioned about the fact that mites are in your hives.

Another option is to use scientifically bred lines of queens that produce workers that do indeed perform hygienic behavior as a method of culling affected brood that has been infected with mite progeny (offspring) )from a reproductive foundress (female founding) mite.  Research on this line of selective breeding can be found through Arista Bee Research Labs around the world.

A fantastic resource for learning to do mite-counts and various treatment methods is available at :
https://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/varroa/ (link will open in new tab or window)  This has been updated in June of 2018 – and also includes links to videos showing how to perform mite-counts as well as several treatment methods.

Monitoring methods

Varroa mites can be monitored with any of several methods.

Alcohol Wash (or soap/water wash)

Sugar Roll

Treatment Methods

Dealing with varroa is a delicate and tricky proposition – when it is considered that we are trying to eliminate a “bug ON a bug”.  And the host bug (apis mellifera – or honeybee) we want to thrive and be healthy.

A variety of treatment methods can be employed.  I’ll also say, though – that some have proven to be ineffective.   See this video link for a quick overview.

  • VSH Lines of honeybees (Added Nov 2019)
  • Oxalic Acid (OA) Vaporizing
  • OA Fogging
  • OA Drizzle
  • OA Long Release (shop towel application)
  • Thermal Heat Treatment of the hive (added Jan 2019)
  • Apiguard
  • Formic Acid
  • Drone Brood Culling
  • Brood Break
  • Thymol (in various application methods)
  • Screened bottom boards (ineffective – not a control – but as a monitoring method)

There are many more treatment methods that were found on the internet while researching treatment methods.  Some – such as using screened bottom boards – have been dis-proven to be effective by themselves – however MAY be an aide to help another method be more effective.  Regardless – it is recommended that you employ at least two methods for varroa control.

Newer methods of applying Oxalic Acid are being experimented with by several researchers, including Randy Oliver of Scientific Beekeeping, and others in Central Texas.

Randy’s OA results are shown here: http://scientificbeekeeping.com/oxalic-shop-towel-updates/
and his 2019 end-of-year report is here: http://scientificbeekeeping.com/extended-release-oxalic-acid-progress-report-2019/

(Jan 2019) – Experiments with using thermal heat treatments of the hive have proved effective for varroa management.  In essence, the hive is heated to 106 deg. F for about 2 hours.  This mimics the temperature that is achieved in nature that is associated with hive overcrowding for swarming action.  This temperature also is that which the varroa cannot survive.  When the hive temperature is raised to 106 deg. F. – the mites attached to the bodies, and those that are in the brood cells are killed – thus breaking the mite’s life cycle – and allowing the colony to move forward with fresh brood that is healthy.

Sources:

Honeybee Health Coalition:  https://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/varroa/

Arista Bee Research Labs https://aristabeeresearch.org/

Randy Oliver – Scientific Beekeeping – http://scientificbeekeeping.com/extended-release-oxalic-acid-progress-report-2019/

Mighty Mite Thermal Industries – https://www.beehivethermalindustries.com/how-it-works/

Dave Cushman – http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/varroatreatment.html

Photo from: https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2017/08/09/central-bee-health-threat-varroa-mite-parasite-may-manageable-using-oregano-oil/

 

Come to YAM for your honey this Saturday!

Come to Yoga Art Music (YAM Dallas) this coming Saturday for their Small Business Saturday from 1pm-5pm to get your Holiday honey and support several small local businesses.

We will be at:
9850 Walnut Hill Ln (Suite 427), Dallas Tx 75238.
Saturday, Nov 26 2022 – 1pm-5pm

As a bonus – if you are a prior Harmony Hollow customer, and have glass honey jars that you’d like to recycle – bring them in with you for a $1 credit ea towards your next honey purchase.  (must be a Harmony Hollow labeled pint or quart jar)

 

Sept 2022 Newsletter

This year has been so very dry (up until this week) – and natural food availability has been very scarce for the honeybees. You may have noticed that I’ve making rounds more often this summer to make sure they have supplemental feeding with sugar syrup provided directly into the hives, as well as protein supplements – to stimulate brood rearing. I’ll also be placing/refilling powdered pollen substitute near(ish) to the hives for supplemental feeding. The goal with the feeding is to not only sustain the bees – but provide extra food to allow them to survive through whatever winter will throw at us this next year.  I have also been performing mite treatments on the colonies.

I’d like to also pass along a reminder that as temperatures get cooler – it the optimal time to sow and plant your pollinator wildflower seed mixes for your 1-D-1 land management program. That gives the seeds and plants through the winter to germinate and start growth, then blooms in the spring and summer to provide nectar and pollen (carbohydrate and protein sources). Best germination is when the seeds can directly touch the soil and be covered lightly. Sowing on top of grasses has a significantly lower germination rate.

A good (yet verbose) set of seed sowing guidelines is here:

https://www.wildseedfarms.com/pages/planting-instructions

Pollinator wildflower mixes are available from companies such as:

Turner Seed (Breckenridge TX)              https://www.turnerseed.com
Native American Seed Co.                      https://www.seedsource.com
American Meadows                               https://www.americanmeadows.com
Bulk Seed Store                                    https://www.bulkseedstore.com

and Google turns up many other suppliers as well.

Finally – if you have not listed your property as an apiary with the Texas Apiary Inspection Service (TAIS) – that can be done at the following link:
https://txbeeinspection.tamu.edu/forms-fees/ then select Apiary Registration Application.

Once filled out and mailed in – TAIS will return a confirmation receipt via US Mail – and this is more documentation that helps your application for 1-D-1 agriculture status for your land.

At the end of the year – I will be sending out an annual synopsis of the harvests from all my managed bees. In most cases this year, the harvest was in the form of producing more livestock (honeybees) to replace hives that may have perished.

Rex Smith
Harmony Hollow Apiary
469-251-2BEE (2233)
HarmonyHollowBees@gmail.com

Varroa Mite Reproduction – Adult varroa on developing pupa. Photo credit: Dennis Anderson

Varroa and Mite Management – More important than ever

It is now July of 2022, and Varroa Destructor mites have been detected in Australia.   The beekeepers there have long enjoyed their vocation (and hobby) of beekeeping without this pest, which is a known transmission vector for at least 27 destructive viruses.

Varroa Mite

Australia’s Department of Primary Industries current action plan is to eradicate the varroa – by eradicating the food upon which they feed.    That means that the bee colonies – both managed and feral – in the know contamination zones – will be destroyed to destroy the pest.  My understanding is that honey harvests, equipment, and bees – all will be destroyed in an attempt to give their continent a clean slate again.

Varroa Mite Reproduction – Adult varroa on developing pupa. Photo credit: Dennis Anderson

Varroa feed upon the hemoglyph (fat bodies) within the body of the bee (and other pollinators as well).  Their reproductive cycle – occurs in the cell of a honeybee larvae – as it pupates.   An excerpt from the USDA states:

Varroa reproduce in capped worker and drone brood cells. Mature female mites (called mother mites or foundresses) enter cells just prior to capping. The foundress starts feeding on the brood within six hours of the cell being sealed, and feeding occurs regularly thereafter. The site on the larvae where the foundress pierces the cuticle to feed becomes the feeding area for her offspring. The first egg laid by the foundress develops into a male. The second egg develops into a female mite that mates with the male. The foundress mite feeds on the developing larvae, and can transmit several different viruses in the process. In worker brood, foundress mites produce 1-2 mated daughter mites. In drone brood, which takes longer to mature, 2-3 mated daughters can be produced. When the bee is fully developed, and emerges from the capped cell, the foundress mite and her daughters emerge and attach to adult bees. Mites on adult bees are called ‘phoretic mites’. Most commonly, phoretic mites attach to young worker bees tending developing brood (i.e., nurse bees). Nurse bees are the target of phoretic mites because the bees remain in the brood area and can serve as a vehicle to transport mites to brood cells. Phoretic mites can feed on adult bees, but when a brood cell of suitable age is found, the mite will detach and enter the cell to reproduce. Mites will enter and reproduce in worker brood, but preferentially enter drone brood if it is available.  Source:  ( Varroa Mite Life Cycle and Reproduction – from Carl Hayden Bee Research Center: Tucson, AZ )

When they were detected in the US in 1986 – after being found first in Mexico and Canada, the destruction to colonies was massive.  Entire operations lost to disease being transferred from these pests.

Varroa Life Cycle – photo credit Bayer @ researchbayer.com

In other parts of the world, we have learned to deal with varroa with several methods.  Chemical, Environmental, and Genetic shifts are currently being employed.    Of these – so far – there is no “Magic Bullet” that eradicates the mite completely…

Chemical treatments may include: (but no limited to)  Apivar , ApiGuard, Formic Acid (Formic Pro, etc) , Oxalic Acid in various forms (liquid drizzle, vaporized gas, blended with glycerine onto sheets, etc.

Environmental changes include heat / thermal treatments of the brood space of the colonies.   Products such as the “Bee Hive Thermal Industries” – Mighty Mite Thermal Treatment uses a heat plate to raise the internal hive temperature to 106 deg F – which has been proven to sterilize mites so they cannot reproduce.   This done on a regimen of several treatment periods spaced 5 days apart – can interrupt the life cycle of the varroa.   This method was employed after observation of the natural brood break cycles that occur when a colony swarms.   During the initial swarm period, hive temperature is raised by the bees, and was found to be a “knock down period” for the mite.   With the development of tools to simulate this temperature shift in a controlled manner, the mites can be knocked back significantly.

Genetic Shifts include the raising and reproduction of queens and colonies that have true Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH).   VSH was first described as being behavior in which the bees groomed the mites off of each other.  This, while nice, doesn’t necessarily mean the bees are performing significant changes to their internal health & hive cleanliness.   True VSH behavior has since been found in colonies that sense a difference in the developing honeybee pupae.  They can sense (by smell) a cell that has varroa inside – and will uncap the pupating larvae – remove it (and the attached mite(s) feeding and reproducing on the body of that developing bee, and throw it out of the hive.   Hygienic Behavior at it’s finest.    While this does not kill the mite immediately – it allows the bees to deal with the mites that exist in their natural environment, and toss them out the front door to die outside of the hive with the discarded pupae.

Queen breeders and researchers around the world have been working on developing lines of genetics that have this behavior.  Arista Bee Research – based in the Netherlands works with and provides scientific methods and metrics for queen breeders and beekeepers internationally to report findings from their queens, then produce queens from those lines, and continue to take metrics, and provide a supply of queens from various producers that can handle existing with varroa and managing the colony because of that varroa.

Breeders toughen up bees to resist deadly mites

Long term – at some point – Australia – IF it is able to eradicate the varroa temporarily – will need to instill a program that DOES work.  The bug and it’s diseases WILL be back. Eventually the virus and it’s transmission method will make it across barriers again.

I urge beekeepers to know the status of their hives and varroa levels.   When varroa increase their population – we see it’s effect in the hive in the form of changed behavior, absconds, expression of disease symptoms (i.e. Deformed Wing Virus ‘DWV’).

Use a method to see what your mite-load is in your hives.   Randy Oliver of Scientific Beekeeping has articles on performing mite counts.  See here:  Mite Wash Counts and Refining the Mite Wash

A recent article Randy authored on Australia:  The varroa incursion in Australia 4 July 2022

For me – the immediate use of vaporized OA as well as thermal treatments when possible for my yards – as well as a shift in queen sources (and my own rearing of those genetics) will be my long-term plan.   Let’s hope that Australia’s Department of Primary Industries comes up with a similar plan to manage the bees and pests – instead of eradication of an industry.

Bees for 2021 Season

Hello,

I wanted to send out a message to remind anyone on the fence about needing bees for the 2021 season – that Harmony Hollow ( Rex Smith ) is currently adding to the list for NUCs to be produced this spring.   If you think you’ll be needing more colonies – don’t hesitate to contact me to get on the list – so that I know how many NUCs to produce this year.

Info about NUCs (price and appx delivery dates) can be found on my website at:
http://www.bohemianutopia.com/?p=2380

As an aside – if you (or a neighbor) are needing colonies to be managed for Texas Ag Valuation purposes – that is probably one of my fastest-growing activities this last year – and moving forward.  With property taxes rising FAST in counties surrounding the Metroplex – it is definitely worth putting pencil to paper, and see if the cost of having Harmony Hollow manage hives on your property is advantageous for the tax savings – if you have 5-20 acres that can qualify for Ag Valuation.   In most counties – the 1-D-1 paperwork is typically due to your appraisal district by the end of April – so don’t wait too long!

Ag Valuation / Bee Management Info here:
http://www.bohemianutopia.com/?p=2187

If you also have family or a neighbor that may be interested in hives for hobby – or ag valuation – please refer them to me as well.The easiest way to contact me is via phone call or text –  email is also fine (I just don’t respond as quickly to email)

Thank you!
Rex Smith
Harmony Hollow Apiary
HarmonyHollowBees@gmail.com
http://www.BohemianUtopia.com
469-251-2BEE (2233)

NUCS – Bees for sale – Nucleus Colonies for 2021

2021 – Orders for Harmony Hollow nucleus colonies (NUC) are NO LONGER being accepted for 2021 delivery.   **UPDATE 3-25-2021 – CURRENTLY SOLD OUT – MORE WILL BE AVAILABLE IN THE SUMMER **
**UPDATE 4-14-2021 – QUEENS ARE SCHEDULED FOR DELIVERY BY THE END OF APRIL.  THE FREEZE HAS AFFECTED MOST AGRICULTURE – INCLUDING THE QUEEN PRODUCERS.   THIS MEANS THAT NUCS ARE LIKELY TO BE READY BY THE END OF MAY INSTEAD OF THE BEGINNING OF MAY. **

NUCs are a “starter” colony that include a mated and egg-laying queen of known Italian genetics, several frames of eggs/larvae/brood, at least one frame of resources (nectar/honey/pollen) and a frame with foundation for the bees to draw fresh comb onto.

NUCs are $225ea for the 2021 season.   These bees will be provided in either a corrugated plastic EZNuc box or a rigid Pro-Nuc box – ready to transfer to your permanent woodenware.  They should be ready in mid-to late May – 2021.  (*** Update 4/14/2021 – Most national queen producers were affected by the February freeze across America – that queens have been delayed by a 30 days.  ***)

Terms:  $125 non-refundable deposit, and balance ($100) CASH at pickup/delivery

NUC: $225 ($125 deposit + $100 balance at pickup)
Marked Queen: +$20
1-Gallon Pro Frame Feeder: +$15

 

CALL TO ORDER – 469-251-2BEE (2233)

NOTE: Pickup of colonies is by scheduled appointment at:

  • Locust Grove Sanctuary in Farmersville, Texas
  • Wolfsong Farm near Forney, Texas
  • If reasonable distance – we can arrange for delivery (2 nuc minimum) – and I can install into your readied woodenware – for a $50 delivery fee.   MANY customers chose this option.   In all cases – purchase and pickup/delivery needs to be personally scheduled.
  • All customers will be contacted to communicate availability and when pickup dates and times will be scheduled.  When you place your order, we will need a valid email address and a phone number for communications.

Care for your NUC:

After purchase, you will need to carefully move the frames of bees to your prepared woodenware for them.  This can be 8-frame or 10-frame boxes.  The safest way is to pick one of the outside edge frames that is either empty, or has the nectar/resources on it to remove and place first.  Then the other frames can be pulled away separately and placed into their full size hive body.  Watch each frame closely for the queen, and the brood frames for freshly laid eggs as well as various stages of larvae and capped brood.

It is highly suggested that you also have a feeder available for the bees.  Internal frame feeders, or a feeder that sits on top of the brood box for the bees to access from inside will reduce robbing from other hives or colonies in the area, and will encourage the bees to draw wax on the additional frames in your hive and maximize the population (and their hone/food stores) before entering the next winter.  Reduce the entrance down to an inch or so to further reduce any robbing activity from feeding your bees.  Sometimes placing a robber-screen or some blockade in front to the entrance will discourage robbing activity.

Varroa Mite management information HERE.  I treat all hives for for Varroa before making the NUCs with 1 oxalic acid vapor treatment.  Please research methods for varroa management – and use a method that works for you.   My link above is NOT a comprehensive list of ways to manage or eliminate varroa.

Note:  This is a livestock/NUC hive purchase only – and does not include classes, “mentoring”, maintenance, or on-site consultation on how to manage or care for honeybees.

Bulk Purchases and hive hardware and installation can also be arranged.

Contact Rex Smith at 469-251-2BEE (2233) if you are interested in leasing or purchasing full hives to qualify for Texas Ag 1-D-1 valuation to reduce property taxes.    See THIS PAGE FOR 1-D-1 AG VALUATION WITH HONEYBEES.

Dealing with Small Hive Beetles

This video shows several methods for dealing with small hive beetles.  Some methods are:

  • Beetle Blaster Trays – Loaded with oil or DE
  • Unscented Swiffer Sheets
  • Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Other methods not mentioned in the video are:

  • Beetle Buster Bottom Boards
  • Mighty Mite Thermal Treatment (yes – kills SHB also!)

https://youtu.be/kc2bZhHtByw

 

Grow Light Fixtures for Sale

These grow lights were used for growing microgreens (for chefs/restaurants) indoors in a hydroponic setup.  A total of (18) of these lights are available.   Along with grow-light bulbs, they provide the light needed for your seed starts, microgreens, etc.

They each hold (6) bulbs (T5 high-output) in sets of 2 at a time.   These light fixtures are made for use in wet/damp areas such as in hydroponic settings.   They are 2′ wide x 4′ in length.

Model:  FBF654HO-UNV

Brand new, these light fixtures retail for $350ea.     These are not brand new – they were used in production for about 1-1/2 years.  These are deep discounted to $100ea. (cash price).   If you prefer “contactless” payment – I can invoice you through Square and you can pay via card ($105ea + tax).

To purchase – contact Rex Smith via phone at 469-251-2233.   I will be joining the moving sale (5/30/2020) at the Texas Worm Ranch in Garland, Texas and lights can be picked up there – or beforehand at my home in Richardson, Tx. by appointment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Successful Swarm Trap Pickup

This video shows picking up of a swarm trap that successfully lured a swarm to move in.

The traps are 38 liters in volume, and hold 6 deep frames.   They can be baited with old comb, Swarm Commander, lemongass oil, etc.   Traps were built over the winter, placed at the end of February, and were successfully luring swarms by the end of March.

 

Prepping your PRO-NUC for use with a feeder

If you are using a pro-nuc for raising bees, whether you have captured a swarm, or simply making splits – you will want options for feeding the bees when there is no nectar flow.

In the video below, I show two methods of opening the holes for an external hive (or NUC) top feeder.   Another option is to use an internal feeder – however those take up the space of 2-frames, so they do not allow a full buildup of comb onto all 5 frames of a NUC.

With an external feeder, the bees will have all frames available to them for drawing out wax.

Methods for opening the feeder slats:

  • Multi-tool (oscillating vibrating tool) that quickly slices through the plastic ridges
  • Box Knife Blade

As shown in the video, Jason Smith of JC’s HoneyBees uses the oscillating multi-tool.  I do not own this type of tool, so I opted to heat up a box-knife blade, and slice through like a hot knife through butter.

Enjoy!

 

NUCS – Bees for sale – Nucleus Colonies for 2021

2021 – Orders for Harmony Hollow nucleus colonies (NUC) are NOW being accepted for spring (May) 2021 delivery.

NUCs are a “starter” colony that include a mated and egg-laying queen of known Italian genetics, several frames of eggs/larvae/brood, at least one frame of resources (nectar/honey/pollen) and a frame with foundation for the bees to draw fresh comb onto.

NUCs are $225ea for the 2021 season.  (Cash payment price).   These bees will be provided in either a corrugated plastic EZNuc box or a Pro-Nuc box – ready to transfer to your permanent woodenware.  They should be ready in early to mid May – 2021.

Terms:  Cash only.  $200 cash due at pickup or delivery per NUC.

NUC: $225 ($125 deposit + $100 balance at pickup)
Marked Queen: +$20
1-Gallon Pro Frame Feeder: +$15

 

CALL TO ORDER – 469-251-2BEE (2233)

NOTE: Pickup of colonies is by scheduled appointment at:

  • Locust Grove Sanctuary in Farmersville, Texas
  • Wolfsong Farm near Forney, Texas
  • If reasonable distance – we can arrange for delivery (2 nuc minimum) – and I can install into your readied woodenware – for a $50 delivery fee.   MANY customers chose this option.   In all cases – purchase and pickup/delivery needs to be personally scheduled.
  • All customers will be contacted to communicate availability and when pickup dates and times will be scheduled.  When you place your order, we will need a valid email address and a phone number for communications.

Care for your NUC:

After purchase, you will need to carefully move the frames of bees to your prepared woodenware for them.  This can be 8-frame or 10-frame boxes.  The safest way is to pick one of the outside edge frames that is either empty, or has the nectar/resources on it to remove and place first.  Then the other frames can be pulled away separately and placed into their full size hive body.  Watch each frame closely for the queen, and the brood frames for freshly laid eggs as well as various stages of larvae and capped brood.

It is highly suggested that you also have a feeder available for the bees.  Internal frame feeders, or a feeder that sits on top of the brood box for the bees to access from inside will reduce robbing from other hives or colonies in the area, and will encourage the bees to draw wax on the additional frames in your hive and maximize the population (and their hone/food stores) before entering the next winter.  Reduce the entrance down to an inch or so to further reduce any robbing activity from feeding your bees.  Sometimes placing a robber-screen or some blockade in front to the entrance will discourage robbing activity.

Varroa Mite management information HERE.  I treat all hives for for Varroa before making the NUCs with 1 oxalic acid vapor treatment.  Please research methods for varroa management – and use a method that works for you.   My link above is NOT a comprehensive list of ways to manage or eliminate varroa.

Note:  This is a livestock/NUC hive purchase only – and does not include classes, “mentoring”, maintenance, or on-site consultation on how to manage or care for honeybees.

Bulk Purchases and hive hardware and installation can also be arranged.

Contact Rex Smith at 469-251-2BEE (2233) if you are interested in leasing or purchasing full hives to qualify for Texas Ag 1-D-1 valuation to reduce property taxes.    See THIS PAGE FOR 1-D-1 AG VALUATION WITH HONEYBEES.