Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday update

Checked on the package today.

The queen was still in her cage, but the bees had opened the candy. So I thought I would take my hive tool and remove the screen to help her out.

As I set the cage on top of the frames, I attempted to brush the bees away from the cage. So I thought I would use my handy-dandy bee persuader (aka the smoker). I gave the cage a little puff, and POOF! Out the queen went through the candy like a rat out of an aqueduct!! So she is now in the hive. Go, baby go!!

On a bit of sad news, my hive that survived is now apparently queenless. I'm checking to see if I can get a new queen soon, as there are many bees, but no eggs or brood or sign of the queen. And she really should be going like crazy right now! I've contacted Purvis brothers to see if I can get a new one by next week.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New package installation

Yay! I now have two pounds of new friends!!

I went up to Lula, GA today to visit Don (Fatbeeman) at Dixie Bee Supply. What a setup he has! Wow! Don was great, he let me choose the package, and then took me out to the bee yard (without veil or smoke, as is his trademark) and made sure I knew how to install a package properly. My son, Owen (6) went with me, and was amazed at the number of hives there.

So I got home, mixed up a quick 1:1 syrup mixture in a 20 oz. soda bottle (an inexpensive sprayer!! Thanks Don!), punched a couple holes in the lid, and then went out to Floyd's to install the package. So they are there now, and I hope they are happy! I plan on stopping by after school tomorrow to make sure they are acclimating well. I'll also check to see if the queen is out yet.

I also need to buy some sugar to mix up a larger batch of syrup for them tomorrow.

Monday, April 20, 2009

CRCT week update

Well, there's not been much to report on lately. And with spring break and now CRCT testing going on, I really haven't had much time to type to you, my loyal readers. For that, I apologize!

It's official, I only had one hive make it through the winter. Italian hive #3 survived! It has been building up nicely, so I decided to try a split the other day. I've never done one before, and I'm sure I did it wrong, but here goes:

I opened up hive three and pulled two frames with capped brood, larvae and eggs. I also noticed that there were about three queen cells started on these frames. After checking for the queen, I moved them over to one of the now empty hives, and replaced them with empty drawn comb. There are honey and pollen stores available to them as well.

So now I wait. I'm praying that it works, and that I haven't completely messed up the only working hive I have!

I'm also planning on getting a package from Don at Dixie Bee Supply this week. I have my son's scout troop coming over, and I need to make sure they have something to see! Don has some pretty docile bees, of the Russian/NWC mix. I'll be interested to see what I get, and I'll be sure to keep you informed.

Until later!!