Friday, July 30, 2010

Video: Chris and Wes Install Nucs into Hives

Video: Bearding In Metpropolis

Langstroth Inspections

Two days ago I inspected the three older Langstroth hives. Both Worker Bees and Bee Glad... are where they should be at this point in the year. The bees have stored much honey, there is much pollen, and the bees look healthy. It is Lib-BEE-taria that continues to concern me. The population is smaller than the other two and honey storage seems down. The queen does have a good brood pattern though and laying seems to have picked up. Perhaps the queen had been superceded and there was simply a gap in laying.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Top Bar Inspections, July 25th

The weather today was  muggy, 80 degree F, and  sunny. As usual this summer, we had rain the last two days.
 I was finally able to inspect the two  top bar hives.

Metpropolis is doing OK but is playing "catch-up" after its slow spring. The queen is active and laying. Her brood pattern is good. I would have liked the hive to have collected a bit more nectar but it should collect enough for the winter by the time October comes around. I do not expect to harvest any honey from this hive. I will monitor Metpropolis a bit since I found signs of chalk brood under the entrances.

Plan Bee... is even further behind Metpropolis though again is fine in most respects. I wonder if this is simply the effect of the rainy weather we've had through spring and summer, or whether this hive swarmed without me knowing.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Belated Report

I inspected all the "older" langstroth hives on Tuesday between another "bout" of rainy weather. Everything seems to be fine with both Bee Glad... and Worker Bees... which are both jam packed with bees, brood and honey. My chief concern is with Lib-BEE-taria which is still rather sluggish. The queen seems to be laying fine but the bee population is relatively small and the bees are not comb building nor honey producing.

I dusted each hive with powdered sugar after each inspection.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Today's Inspections

It was not an ideal day to make any inspections. The temperature was pleasant enough (mid 80s) but the sky was rather overcast.

Today I checked out the two nucs that had swarmed recently, as well as the two new hives created from other nucs.

The two swarmed nucs were doing fine. In both I saw the new queen scurrying about the hive. In one, the queen has not yet layed any eggs, but in the other she is plenty active.

The expansion of the two new hives has seemed to slow a bit. In  Atta Bee, the bees have not worked much into the upper third box, though all seems rather healthy in the rest of the hive. The newer, unnamed hive shows an active queen but only three frames of work done in the upper (second) box.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Importance of Being Patient

I inspected the two top bar hives today. The weather was perfect: mid eighties temps, slight breeze, sunshine. We had another torrential downpour of rain last night, leaving one large sunflower toppled.

I am so glad I did not requeen Metpropolis early this spring. The large beautiful queen seems quite prolific. She has been laying a nice solid brood pattern, and her offspring are very, very gentle. I would be happier if they had some more capped honey in the hive but they still have collected much nectar.

Plan Bee... has much less bees than Metpropolis, and the bees are nowhere as gentle. (I was stung 3 times on the left wrist while examining the hive. ) I did not see the queen although the egg-laying evidence indicates she is doing quite well. I added two bars to this hive.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Forgot To Blog Last Week

Time ran past me last week and neglected to blog about the goings-on in Beelandia. Here are the highlights:

  • Reversed the three boxes on Bee Glad... 
  • One of the remaining nucs sent out a swarm that landed in the same red maple as the last swarm. This time, however, we were unable to catch this one.
  • Added a third box to the hive that is yet unnamed.
Hopefully, I will be a bit more responsible in blogging through this week's inspections.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Today's Inspections After 4 Days of Rain

This spring/summer has been exceptionally rainy, and the last 4 days have not broken this pattern. I was finally able to look into the top bar hives, and Atta Bee! today. The weather wasn't perfect but I can't ever be assured of that, it seems, this summer

Metpropolis is looking so great, especially compared to how it looked at the beginning of the season. The brood pattern is excellent with brood of all stages of development. The bees are storing plenty of nectar and pollen. They have begun to build a few queen cells, so I added two empty bars on either side of the brood nest. I did see Metpropolis' queen.

Plan Bee..., the other top bar, also looks fine...pretty much the same as Metpropolis though the bees seem a little more defensive. I did not see the queen during this inspection though I saw evidence of her good health.

Atta Bee! has started building into the second box. Plenty of open brood right now. The bees are bringing in an exceptional amount of pollen.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Moving Day

Last Friday was our first excursion into "migratory beekeeping" as Monta and I delivered three of our nucs to the Kendall farm. The operation was makeshift. We placed the three closed up nucs in the back of our Vibe, covered them net-like fabric (you know, the type used in making wedding veils) and took the 20 mile trip off to Houston County and the Honey Run farm.

Chris and I introduced each nuc into a regular 10 frame hive box without any real incident. The bees' new homes will be right in the middle of a new orchard, surrounded by a diversity of plant life.