(Close Window)
Topic: Anybody ever put up an electric fence?
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Jun 7, 2012 10:18AM)
I live in black bear country, so when I started beekeeping as a hobby this spring, it wasn't much of a surprise to find that I had a spring bear gnawing on a hive yesterday. Now, I have to put up an electric fence to keep the bears out of the beeyard.

I've never installed an electric fence before. I have been researching stuff on the net about them and think I have the basics figured out, but was hoping there might be some of you out there who have installed them that might be able to give me some do's and don'ts that you have learned through experience before I begin this project.

Anyone?
Message: Posted by: critter (Jun 7, 2012 10:21AM)
My Grandpa put ours in so I can't tell you about installation.
What I can tell you is that, after it's installed, do [i]not[/i] pee on it.
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (Jun 7, 2012 10:30AM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-07 11:18, RJE2 wrote:
I live in black bear country, so when I started beekeeping as a hobby this spring, it wasn't much of a surprise to find that I had a spring bear gnawing on a hive yesterday. Now, I have to put up an electric fence to keep the bears out of the beeyard.

I've never installed an electric fence before. I have been researching stuff on the net about them and think I have the basics figured out, but was hoping there might be some of you out there who have installed them that might be able to give me some do's and don'ts that you have learned through experience before I begin this project.

Anyone?
[/quote]

You may want to contact your local Dept of Natural Resources, or whatever they call it in your state. Or a local University Extension office. They will probably have some tips for you and in some cases may actually give you the materials. I know in some states they will provide free electric fencing materials to beekeepers.

I'd love see some pics of the hives and/or the bears if you get a chance. Good luck with the bees.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jun 7, 2012 10:42AM)
Never put one up, but I had one knock me down.
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Jun 7, 2012 10:43AM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-07 11:18, RJE2 wrote:
I live in black bear country, so when I started beekeeping as a hobby this spring, it wasn't much of a surprise to find that I had a spring bear gnawing on a hive yesterday. [/quote]

Awesome :) ! Marlin beat me to this a little, but, I recommend keeping your camera handy. :bg:

And, good luck explaining to the bears why they shouldn't bee ( ;) ) there. :shrug:
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Jun 7, 2012 01:02PM)
I don't have any pictures of the offending bear, but here is a photo of another taken from my kitchen window before I had the beehive. The beehive now sits about 20 yards away to this bear's 2 o'clock.
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Jun 7, 2012 01:04PM)
This is a different bear again. Again, this was taken prior to the keeping of bees. This picture was taken through my patio doors at the back of the house.

This bear is in my backyard. The previous photo shows a bear in my driveway. These are both spring bears and visited in different years. I just started to keep the bees this year.

I guess I was being optimistic in hoping that there would not be a bear interested in the bees.

Anyway, I'm off to the hardware store on Saturday morning to get the supplies to put up the electric fence.

I live in Ontario and am a registered beekeeper. The Ontario government will make a one time payment of $300 if a hive is destroyed. My hive was just chewed up a bit, so I'm not going to file a claim. I'll put the fence in at my own expense.
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Jun 7, 2012 01:12PM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-07 11:21, critter wrote:
My Grandpa put ours in so I can't tell you about installation.
What I can tell you is that, after it's installed, do [i]not[/i] pee on it.
[/quote]

Hehehe I don't know if peeing beside a beehive, with or without an electric fence is such a good idea!
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Jun 7, 2012 01:24PM)
Thanks for the pics. Get more! :)
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (Jun 7, 2012 01:27PM)
Yes thanks. Cool pics. They look like pretty healthy bears.
Message: Posted by: critter (Jun 7, 2012 01:32PM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-07 14:12, RJE2 wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-06-07 11:21, critter wrote:
My Grandpa put ours in so I can't tell you about installation.
What I can tell you is that, after it's installed, do [i]not[/i] pee on it.
[/quote]

Hehehe I don't know if peeing beside a beehive, with or without an electric fence is such a good idea!
[/quote]

I wouldn't ever get that close to a bee-hive anyway. Deathly allergic.
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Jun 7, 2012 02:31PM)
Looking forward to seeing the pics of those bears with their hair standing all on end.

Or does electric shock make their hair fall out? Would they then be "fuzzy-wuzzies"?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 7, 2012 04:38PM)
Be sure to check local laws before putting up an electric fence. I found out the hard way that you shouldn't put them around the kid's playground or in a swimming pool. :eek:
Message: Posted by: critter (Jun 7, 2012 04:45PM)
What if it just makes the bear mad? :eek:
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Jun 7, 2012 04:59PM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-07 11:42, Michael Baker wrote:
Never put one up, but I had one knock me down.
[/quote]I had one knock me down once too Michael; yikes, what a jolt that was.
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Jun 7, 2012 07:03PM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-07 11:21, critter wrote:
My Grandpa put ours in so I can't tell you about installation.
What I can tell you is that, after it's installed, do [i]not[/i] pee on it.
[/quote]I could tell you a story about my little sister, but I won't.
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Jun 7, 2012 08:01PM)
Bob, Why would anyone get upset if the electric fence was in a kid's pool? It's not like it was a real person's pool. ;)

I remember as a kid walking across some fields with a couple of friends and coming up to an electrical fence. I was going to touch it to see what it was like, but one of my friends touched it before I had a chance. I'm glad he did because after I saw him jumping around and swearing, my curiosity was gone.

Apparently these things come in all sorts of different powers and types of "wires." For my bear fence, this is a bare wire and extra strong juice. I don't want to hurt him, but I do want it to get his attention and make him want no more of it.

And yes, it would be great fun to be able to see him when he gets zapped!
Message: Posted by: critter (Jun 7, 2012 08:30PM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-07 20:03, ringmaster wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-06-07 11:21, critter wrote:
My Grandpa put ours in so I can't tell you about installation.
What I can tell you is that, after it's installed, do [i]not[/i] pee on it.
[/quote]I could tell you a story about my little sister, but I won't.
[/quote]

As one rather accomplished mentalist would say: :eek:
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jun 7, 2012 09:42PM)
[quote]On 2012-06-07 11:21, critter wrote:
My Grandpa put ours in so I can't tell you about installation.
What I can tell you is that, after it's installed, do [i]not[/i] pee on it.[/quote]
That was my first thought too. I remember the day my cousin Andy took up that dare. At first we laughed at him but then I think we were all pretty scared by his screams and lingering pain.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Jun 7, 2012 09:47PM)
So if I understand you country folks right, this is kind of like urinating on the subway's third rail? Several hair raising legends about that.

A recent incident with some interesting background:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9221635/Man-killed-while-urinating-on-Chicago-subway.html
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Jun 7, 2012 10:00PM)
I dared my cousin to pee on an electric fence about 60 years ago, and he still talks about it. Apparently it's a memorable experience.

My farmer uncle had me touch his fence while carrying a pail of water. I was about 11, I think, and luckily he had a low-zapper one, but that was bad enough.

It shouldn't take much to discourage a bear.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 7, 2012 10:27PM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-07 21:01, RJE2 wrote:
Bob, Why would anyone get upset if the electric fence was in a kid's pool? It's not like it was a real person's pool. ;)
[/quote]

I don't know. I thought it would be a good way to keep the kids and my piranha separate.
Message: Posted by: The Drake (Jun 7, 2012 10:41PM)
Mythbusters claimed to have busted this theory. I don't believe them. If they really believe it won't shock you then let one of THEM pee on it. LOL
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 7, 2012 11:48PM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-07 23:41, The Drake wrote:
Mythbusters claimed to have busted this theory. I don't believe them. If they really believe it won't shock you then let one of THEM pee on it. LOL
[/quote]

No, they found the theory plausible regarding an electric fence, but busted it regarding a third rail:

[quote]Upon retesting the myth on an electric fence it was found to be Plausible, but the rail was still Busted. Distance was the factor, as the urine stream breaks up less at the close range needed for urinating on the fence than urinating on the third rail, thus ensuring a direct line of current between one's body and the electrical source.[/quote]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_%282004_season%29#Peeing_on_the_Third_Rail
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jun 8, 2012 12:07AM)
I use to touch electric barbed wire fences as a kid in Washington. It is an experience one must try.
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Jun 8, 2012 12:29AM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-08 00:48, mastermindreader wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-06-07 23:41, The Drake wrote:
Mythbusters claimed to have busted this theory. I don't believe them. If they really believe it won't shock you then let one of THEM pee on it. LOL
[/quote]

No, they found the theory plausible regarding an electric fence, but busted it regarding a third rail:

[quote]Upon retesting the myth on an electric fence it was found to be Plausible, but the rail was still Busted. Distance was the factor, as the urine stream breaks up less at the close range needed for urinating on the fence than urinating on the third rail, thus ensuring a direct line of current between one's body and the electrical source.[/quote]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_%282004_season%29#Peeing_on_the_Third_Rail
[/quote]
I wonder if standing in a puddle of water represents the same thing as peeing? I was unknowingly standing in a little puddle of water out in Montana twenty-five years ago when we came upon a wild game farm in a remote area near White Sulphur Springs. I had to get a picture of the elk out there, and thought nothing of the wire fence at the perimeter off the road. Got my camera out, mosied up to the fence, put the camera through the wires on the fence, braced my chest up against the fence and WHAAAAAP! I honestly thought my heart was going to stop. Scared the **** out of me.

I don't get within ten feet of those things anymore. And the final indignity was the sign on the fence that warned of the electicity that I didn't see till it was all over. Those things aren't for playing with.
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (Jun 8, 2012 09:32AM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-08 01:07, MagicSanta wrote:
I use to touch electric barbed wire fences as a kid in Washington. It is an experience one must try.
[/quote]

I came across one a few weeks ago and had an almost irresistible urge to reach out and touch it. But I didn't. Maybe next time.
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Jun 8, 2012 07:38PM)
Progress report:

Before I could put the fence up, I had to move the hive a couple of feet forward. That required splitting it into 2, upper and lower boxes (brood supers). Lets say the bees weren't none too pleased with having to move. I was prepared though and was wearing my complete bee suit with a pair of work gloves over my bee gloves no less.

Got the posts in the ground, still in the bee suit because I had them all over and around me. Next, I had to string 4 strands of wire around the posts. Well, apparently, if you do not keep the tension on the spool of wire, the wire "springs loose" and some how ties itself into knots, while still on the spool, and won't unroll! Great!

I am now sweating in a full bee suit. There are hundreds of angry bees buzzing me. I have two pairs of leather gloves on. My glasses are fogging up and I'm looking through a screen mesh attached to my head trying to find the end of a silver colored wire tangled in a spool of said wire gone haywire. Why should anything be simple when you can make it so dang difficult?

So, finally worked out the wire and strung it on the posts and joined the strands. Attached the "hot" wire to the fence and began unraveling it toward the garage, where the energizer is. About 8 feet from where it is to attach to the energizer it stops. The dang wire wasn't long enough. Of course I didn't measure it. It was supposed to fit! Doh!!!!

So, tomorrow, it's off to the hardware to get a few things to finish the job.

In the mean time, all hot, sweaty and definitely bothered, if that d*** bear shows up tonight, I'm goin' to stab it in the eye with a broken pencil!!!
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jun 8, 2012 08:42PM)
Why the bee suit? I saw a nut reach in a lump of bees and yank out the momma then shove em into a box. No mask! Bees caame zipping in from all over, dang bees.

Bears have rights!

Bear walks into a bar and says 'i would like a.............. white wine' the bartender asks 'why the long pause?' The bear replied 'I was born with 'em'. Pause! Paws! Ha ha ha
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Jun 8, 2012 09:48PM)
Aaah, what you saw Santa was a swarm. That's when the bees are looking for a new home. They form that big bundle of bees and aren't interested in stinging anyone. Me, I had just ripped apart their home and they were p***ed about it. They were lookin' to lay a hurtin' on anyone they could. That's why I was wearing a beesuit.

Loved the joke, but I'm still goin' to stick that ol' bear in the eye for puttin' me thru so much hassle.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jun 8, 2012 09:58PM)
Oh, see I learnt sumthin.

I read an article that said a parasite killed all the native bees in California.
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Jun 9, 2012 06:48AM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-08 21:42, MagicSanta wrote:
Bear walks into a bar and says 'i would like a.............. white wine' the bartender asks 'why the long pause?' The bear replied 'I was born with 'em'.
[/quote]

Good one! :)

And RJE2, I think the bears might have a different opinion of who's putting who through a hassle. Remember, you said [b]you[/b] live in [b]bear country[/b] .
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Jun 9, 2012 08:27AM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-09 07:48, magicalaurie wrote:

And RJE2, I think the bears might have a different opinion of who's putting who through a hassle. Remember, you said [b]you[/b] live in [b]bear country[/b] .
[/quote]

True, but I sure wish he'd go find someone else's bees to munch on.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jun 9, 2012 02:49PM)
I bet if you did just sashay on up to that old bear and poke him in the eye with a broked off #2 Ticonderoga (and it has to be a #2 Ticonderoga or it won’t work), if you did that, he’ll never bother you no more.

For one reason or another. ;)
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jun 9, 2012 03:03PM)
I put up an electric fence, but my dog isn't quite the pick of the litter so he kept getting shocked. I eventually took it down because I felt bad for him :)
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Jun 11, 2012 08:25AM)
Fence is now up with 7000+ volts just awaiting to train that ol' bear and any other woodland critters that may want to do harm to my bees.
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Jun 12, 2012 05:34AM)
Got 'im!!!

Or, at least I got something.

Lying in bed last night around midnight I heard a series of sounds all in quick succession. It sounded like a wire being twanged followed by a loud whuump and then an animal scream. Went out early this morning and the fence is still up and working and the bees are fine. Whatever walked into that fence won't likely be back.

Guess I can put away that ol' broken pencil now.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jun 12, 2012 06:12AM)
Fortunately you are not dealing with a wolverine . . . who'd likely tunnel under your fence, tear it down, and rewire it to your bathroom tap so that a fistful of 7,000 volts would be the first thing greeting you in the morning . . . just saying . . . honey badgers aside, wolverines can be ornery . . . .
Message: Posted by: Salguod Nairb (Jun 12, 2012 06:36AM)
Maybe it was Bigfoot!
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Jun 12, 2012 08:15AM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-12 07:12, Woland wrote:
Fortunately you are not dealing with a wolverine . . . who'd likely tunnel under your fence, tear it down, and rewire it to your bathroom tap so that a fistful of 7,000 volts would be the first thing greeting you in the morning . . . just saying . . . honey badgers aside, wolverines can be ornery . . . .
[/quote]

Thanks for a great morning chuckle... :)
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Jun 12, 2012 09:11AM)
I think I'll get my wife to turn on the taps in the morning from now on! :)
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (Jun 12, 2012 09:49AM)
Can you tell us a little about the honey operation. How many bees are in the colony, how much honey you collect, what kind of honey is it, etc? It sounds fascinating.
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Jun 12, 2012 10:42AM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-12 10:49, Marlin1894 wrote:
Can you tell us a little about the honey operation. How many bees are in the colony, how much honey you collect, what kind of honey is it, etc? It sounds fascinating.
[/quote]

Sure.

I live in south central Ontario on a large country lot with about an acre of it as deciduous forest. This winter, I decided to utilize some of what is there, so I began with tapping my maple trees for the first time and boiling up a batch of maple syrup. When that was done, I looked to see what else could be done and I struck upon the idea of beekeeping.

I bought the hive (wooden structure to house the bees) in late April/early May and order the "nuc" of bees. A "nuc" is short for "nucleus" and is a laying queen bee along with a relatively small number of bees. You place the nuc in your hive and let them go to work. I picked up my nuc just over 4 weeks ago.

The queen's only job is to lay eggs. She lays about 1000 to 2000 eggs a day. The workers create the comb for the eggs to be laid in and then feed and raise the young through their various stages of life. It takes about 21 days for a worker bee to emerge from the comb. The inside of the hive is kept at about 92 to 94 degrees F. by the bees to facilitate the young and developing bees.

Most of the bees are worker bees and females. There are a couple of hundred males in the hive, known as drones. Their sole job is to fly out and try to mate with a queen. If they find a queen and mate, the process kills them. If they don't mate, during times of famine or winter, the workers throw the drones out of the hive and they die. The queen will make new drones in the spring.

So, my hive is now about 4 1/2 weeks old and the number of bees in it is growing at the rate of about 1000 per day. The hive will grow into the ten's of thousands. The life expectancy of the worker bees is anywhere from about 2 to 4 weeks during the warmer months. They often work themselves to death.

A typical hive is made up of boxes called supers. (There are other types, but this is the most common in North America). The "brood supers" are at the bottom of the hive. They have frames that hang in them that the bees attach and make their comb on. Inside the brood supers, there will be a combination of eggs/developing bees, pollen and honey in the combs. Pollen and honey are their food sources.

You want to allow the bees to mostly fill the brood supers to ensure that they will have enough food to survive the winter before you put on your honey super. Honeybees do not hibernate but remain awake in the hive all winter. They keep the hive warm by vibrating their wing muscles to generate heat. The temperature must remain above 50 degrees F. for the bees to survive. The bees in a hive can eat a 1 to 2 pounds of honey a day over the winter.

Once the brood supers are at least 70% filled with capped comb, then you place a queen excluder on the top of the frames in the top brood super. This screen allows the workers to get through, but the queen cannot. This means that only honey and pollen will be put on the frames in the honey supers.

Once the honey super is combed and 70% capped, you remove it from the hive. (The 70% is important because it is at this stage that the honey you get from the frame will be of the correct water/moiture content to ensure that it will not ferment.) You cut off the caps of the honey combs and drain the honey from them. You replace the frame, with the comb, and the bees will fill it again. You take the caps, drain them of honey, and render them into beeswax by melting them and filtering them.

A standard hive should produce about 70 to 100 pounds of honey in a year. I currently only have one hive, but hope to increase that to three for next year.

Each worker bee produces about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey its lifetime. Each bee visits about 50 to 100 flowers per flight. A flight lasts up to an hour and they can make as many as 10 flights per day. The bees in the hive fly anywhere between 40 000 to 50 000 miles to make 1 pound of honey. There can be hundreds of pounds of honey in a complete hive.

The honey is edible straight from the hive. The type of honey depends on where the bees were getting the nectar from.

Honey is made from the nectar of flowers or plants that the bees ingest. They then regurgitate it in the hives. It is put into a cell in the honeycomb where the bees will monitor it until it is of the right moisture content for storage. Then, they will cap the cell.

The bees are mostly interested in the survival of the hive. They mostly work at gathering food and rearing the young. There are guard bees near the entrance of a hive, but most have no interest in stinging you unless they feel threatened by you. If the hive is attacked though, the bees can attack in large numbers.

The bee will die if it stings you since the sac containing the venom is ripped from their body in the process. The sac continues to pump venom into you after the sting and the bee is no longer there. The stinger itself is made up of barbed piercers that alternate back and forth so that is actually digs itself deeper into you after it detaches from the bee.

I wear a full beesuit, with gloves and have not been stung. I have not even noticed a bee trying as of yet.

And, they're really cool to watch!
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (Jun 12, 2012 11:11AM)
Very cool! Thanks for the info.

What are the bees feeding on in your area mostly, clover? That's quite a bit of honey, can you use that much or do you plan on selling or giving the excess away? Good luck with the hives!

BTW how was your maple syrup operation this season? I live in WI which is basically due south of you and even up north this past winter was fairly mild. Production was way down this season. Did you get enough to make a good batch of syrup?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 12, 2012 11:18AM)
[quote]I wear a full beesuit, with gloves and have not been stung. I have not even noticed a bee trying as of yet. [/quote]

Well if you are dressed like a bee, of course they won't sting you!

(I visualized John Belushi in his Killer Bee costume when I read that part of your post.)
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jun 12, 2012 11:46AM)
Do the bees survive the Winter?
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (Jun 12, 2012 11:48AM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-12 12:46, MagicSanta wrote:
Do the bees survive the Winter?
[/quote]

Apparently they do. "Honeybees do not hibernate but remain awake in the hive all winter. They keep the hive warm by vibrating their wing muscles to generate heat."

I didn't know that either. But I do know it can get awful cold up there. I thought they migrated or something. lol!
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Jun 12, 2012 12:32PM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-12 12:18, mastermindreader wrote:
[quote]I wear a full beesuit, with gloves and have not been stung. I have not even noticed a bee trying as of yet. [/quote]

Well if you are dressed like a bee, of course they won't sting you!

(I visualized John Belushi in his Killer Bee costume when I read that part of your post.)
[/quote]

Now that's a beesuit! :)

Yup, bees survive the winter, even here in the frigid cold of Canada. You can actually put a "bee cozy" around the hive in the winter if you want. It is an insulated wrap that still allows them to come out of the hive on warmer days if they want.

You also have to put a mouse guard on the hive entrance way in winter. Mice like to crawl into the bottom of the hive for the warmth and eat the comb.

I had never made maple syrup prior to this year, so I really can't compare it to any other season's production. I have heard different things from locals, that it was a poor year from some and an average year from others. I don't believe I heard anyone say it was a really good year.

I tapped about 10 or so trees that were close to my house beginning in late February or early March I believe. The sap ran, on and off for me, for about a week or so. I believe, a typical year is supposed to be about 3 weeks of sap run here.

I then made a small fire pit out of cinder blocks (some of these blocks are now painted and my beehive is sitting on them) in my laneway to boil the sap. The firewood I picked up from my woods. I finished the boiling on the stove in the kitchen.

I can't remember exactly how much syrup I ended up with. I believe I bought 4 dozen mason jars and filled most of them. I kept about 20 jars and gave the rest away to friends and relatives. (I plan on doing the same type of distribution with the honey I get.)

It was a fun learning experience and next year, I hope to tap about twice as many trees. It is not very difficult to do. It also is not a bad way to spend time, around an open fire with a sieve (scooping out ashes) in one hand a drink of one's choice in the other.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jun 12, 2012 01:35PM)
I saw a maple documentary, very neat stuff. It becomes different products from one temp to another.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jun 12, 2012 04:02PM)
Very nice introduction to beekeeping. Recently had an active hive removed from the wall of the house, and enjoyed discussing the art with the beekeeper who took care of it.

The Queen is not really the ruler of the hive, but it's designated reproductive slave. When the sisters get tired of their Queen, that is, when she is no longer as productive as they require, they make a few new ones, and let them fight it out - with the old Queen, and each other - to the death.
Message: Posted by: critter (Jun 12, 2012 04:26PM)
I knew it. All bees are evil. The honey is like the candy from the guy in the van.
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Jun 12, 2012 05:10PM)
Woland,

That's actually a pretty honest way to look at the queen and her role. Further on that, every bee in the hive is the queen's child, so it would be her daughter that can challenge her if another queen is allowed to emerge.

Sometimes though, when there are two queens, the hive will split. One queen will leave the hive with thousands of followers. After a short flight from the hive the queen stops somewhere and the majority of the followers bundle around her. This is called a swarm. (What Santa saw) Others will go and scout out a new home for the swarm.

Santa,

You're right. Temperature is everything when making maple syrup. You boil the sap until it is 7 degress F., or 4 degrees C. over whatever the boiling point of water is where you are. That ensures that the sugar and liquid content is correct and you have maple syrup. Most of the boiling off of water is done outside for the hobbyist like me. Trying to boil off over that much (the ratio for sap to syrup is about 40 to 1) sap in the kitchen will mean that you have to scrub and repaint the walls. Lots of stories about people making that mistake!

To get the right consistency to do the syrup on snow thing or maple cream, you boil it to about 24 to 28 degrees F. above the boiling point for water. And to get maple candy, you go 32 degrees F. above the boiling point for water. Finally, to get maple sugar, you boil the sap until it is 45 to 50 degrees F. above the boiling point of water where you are. But you have to be real careful not to start a fire in your kitchen when you get to these high temperatures.

For accuracy, you are supposed to boil a pan of water when you get ready to boil the sap to determine what the water boiling point is. Elevation, humidity, faulty thermometer and air pressure are some of the things that will give you a temperature other than 212 degrees F. or 100 degrees C. for water's boiling point.

I've only made the syrup.

Another weird thing about making the syrup is that minerals or nitrates, or something like that, in the sap crystalize when it is heated. I didn't use proper filters to strain it out because I didn't know how. So, in the bottom of my jars, there is a fine white sandy material (the crystalized minerals). It won't hurt you if you choose to eat it, but we just pour out the syrup to use and leave the grit in the bottom of the jar.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jun 12, 2012 05:34PM)
Yeah, thap maple stuff is amazing my wife is a New Englan type and love maple candy.