Friday, May 22, 2009

This Week's News in Beelandia

I am a bit behind in blogging on the comings and goings in Beelandia. Two days ago, I did an inspection of the two hives containing Carniolan honey bees. The top bar hive, Plan Bee..., is doing very good. Twelve of the 13 bars between the follower boards have some comb built on them. Plenty of brood, at all stages of development, were observed on each of these bars. At the edges on each side, a significant amount of capped honey and multi-colored pollen is stored. The weather has been pleasant the last few days, so the foragers have been out and actively returning with pollen, mostly I imagine, from dandelions at this point. As I worked with the carniolans in Plan Bee... I noticed how much more "gentle" they are than my Minnesota Hygienic bees: calm on the comb, and more intent on what they're doing and less focused on my intrusion. Of course, just at the time I was thinking this, one worker, intent on letting me see that no man controls their activities, stung me on the left wrist. I added one new undrawn bar to one side of the hive and closed the hive up.

I opened up Lib-BEE-taria after this as the wind picked up. The carniolans did not like the wind too much and the smoke was just ineffective, but what I did see I did like. I had to scrape some burr comb off the top of frames, and the bottom of the feeder. Like in Plan Bee..., the honey bees in this hive are active in drawing comb, caring for the young, etc. the wind made it difficult to inspect this hive however, so I closed it up swiftly. No reason to stress these honey bees.

Earlier in the week I did a sticky board examination of each hive looking for varroa mites. I am happy to report: no mites sighted.

I added some floating plants to Lake No-Bee-Gone and the honey bees are finally using the pond as their "watering hole." Even though some view them as a pest, the water hyacynths I placed in the pond are extremely "popular" landing sites for the bees. I also planted some floating parrot feather as well. The white clouds also seem to "like" the new additions.

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