Wednesday, April 30, 2008

First inspection, and a surprise!

Yesterday I went out to do my first full inspection of the new hives. I took the video camera with me, and as soon as I can get the disc finished, I’ll post my first video here.

In the first hive (I call it Jabez, due to the number of stings I got when I first received this hive…) all seemed to be going well. Bees were busily working, the queen looked fat and happy, and there were many brood and eggs. I also saw quite a bit of honey being stored. I believe they are going after the tulip poplar right now, because we are in a good flow right now. None of my hives have touched any of the syrup I’ve made available!

I also noticed in this hive that there was very little pollen being stored. I know that this is being fixed now, as I have seen many bees coming in with large baskets full of the yellow stuff.

In the second hive (Russians. No name yet.), I found the activity to be going quite well. The queen was busily going about her duties, and there was repair work going on the older comb in the hive.

The third hive surprised me. I’ve noticed little activity out front, and when I opened it, I found the bees working quite diligently and ignoring me altogether. When I removed one of the frames, I found a very advanced queen cell in the middle of the frame, covered with bees. There were also eggs on this frame. On the next frame I found the queen, and more eggs and a bunch of capped brood. There was also a small early-stage queen cell.

So I emailed my supplier with my thoughts on this observation. The hive is nowhere near full, as it was a 3-frame nuc installed last week, so I didn’t think swarming was on their mind. It could be that the queen, having been introduced two weeks ago, had not started laying soon enough for the workers so they began some queen cells. My supplier agreed with me on this and said I should remove the queen cells and keep a close eye on this colony for awhile. Hopefully I can get some good pictures of this cell in the next week or so. I haven’t decided if I should remove it, for if this current queen is weak for some reason, the bees would know better than I. What do you, my knowledgeable readers think? Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts! Today, there is much activity in front of all three hives, as it is currently 73F and sunny.

One final observation: All 3 of my AJs BeetleEaters were empty of SHB, and I saw none in the hives. So far so good!!

Enjoy The Office with me!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Great description of a cut out

I want to direct your attention to WVBeekeeper's blog. Not only is he from the greatest state in the Union, but he has an excellent report with pictures on how he removed a hive from inside a house. Please check it out!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

AJ's Beetle Eater installed

Today I went out to see how the bees were doing after I uprooted them yesterday. I also wanted to install the AJ's Beetle Eaters that I had purchased this winter. AJ recommends using only 3mL of oil in these. So I took a medicine syringe that holds 10mL and filled it to the 9mL mark. Then I put the traps together, inserted them between some frames, and put the oil in. Pretty easy, now we'll see how they work.
I haven't seen any beetles in these hives yet, but I wanted to do a preventative treatment.

Also, I discovered that it is important to tightly tie down the veil when wearing it. I had a bee get out of the first hive I opened and get up under the veil. It then popped me on the end of my nose!! So now I have to go to school tomorrow and teach with a fat nose! To make it worse, I may have a job interview at 2:00pm! Oh joy!

So, tie down those veils!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I'm a Beekeeper Again!!!

Hooray! I picked up my bees today! Bruno at Cave Hollow Bee Farm has a nice setup behind his house, and gave me lots of great advice to help keep this round of bees alive!
So I now have two Italian hives and one Russian hive. The Russians are the hive in the middle.
I also managed to get my first two stings of the year! I was walking past one of Bruno's hives and got popped in the left arm below the wrist. Then, as we were installing the nucs in my boxes, I got popped in the ear! I was pretty sure that I wasn't wearing anything smelly, but they were not happy with me being there!

The kids came to help me, along with Jeremy Keisler. Here's a shot of Owen with the new hives:

So now I need to spend more time with them this summer. I have purchased some Beetle Eaters for the small hive beetle problem I had. Hopefully they will work, and I won't loose the bees this year!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Forbidden Kingdom!!

I am excited about this movie! Jackie Chan and Jet Li together? My hovercraft is full of eels!!!

The Forbidden Kingdom

Monday, April 14, 2008

Jealousy rears it's ugly head...

Ok, I've been reading my friend Linda's blog, and am getting jealous. She has gotten herself on a swarm collection list, and has been called to collect at least 3 swarms this spring! Since I've been without bees since the fall, I'm really jonesing for a bee fix, so I've contacted her to find out how to get on a swarm collection list. I know I have 3 hives coming this weekend, but since I've managed to not have a hive survive 2 years yet, those are getting expensive. If I can perform a public service and get free bees at the same time, then that would be great!

Friday, April 11, 2008

New Bees!


I just found out that I will be getting bees on April 19th! Yes! Finally! I've been seeing things bloom and go away here, and I can finally take advantage of some of the beautiful spring flowers!
So, I should have some new bee updates soon!