Wednesday, May 25, 2011

24 Hour Mite Drop

I did a "24 hour mite drop" on Bee Glad... and found 5 mites on the sticky sheet placed below the screen bottom board. I will monitor this hive carefully in the next few weeks and continue to remove capped drone brood when able.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

All For Good Intentions and Beauty

For the last 4 years, come summer, my bees and many native pollinators have foraged wild grape vines that covered an old store front building just down the block. Today, a gentleman, with all good intentions, was out early in the morning removing these plants thus "beautifying" this building and possibly raising the building's value.

And thus, in a nutshell, the treadmill of "development" goes on at the expense of other creatures who live in the neighborhood. All this is done with entirely "good" intentions and for the "love of beauty".

Friday, May 20, 2011

Second Inspection

Yesterday I did the second inspection of the season for all the hives. I don't usually do them all at once but the weather hadn't been promising all week and, for the next few days, the weatherman predicted overcast skies and rainy conditions.

All the hives seem to be doing well except for Plan Bee..., one of the top bar hives. The queens were laying and the brood pattern was excellent. The bees have consumed the pollen substitute patties I had placed in last week.

I have some concerns about Plan Bee... . Everything seems to be going well except for the brood pattern which is spotty at best. I will watch this hive carefully and I may requeen from my own stock if it does not improve. I did not see any queen cells, however.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Video: Honeybees On A Plum Tree

I took this video last week and neglected to upload it until this morning.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

First Inspections of 2011

I made my first inspections of the hives this week.

On Saturday, the temperatures were in the low 60s (F) with sunny conditions. The next two days were overcast, and stormy, so no inspections took place. Today is sunny and warm with temperatures finally reaching into the low 80s.

From outside the hive the bees are bringing in a good deal of pollen. I have caught the bees foraging on our plum tree's blossoms and those of the dandelions on the neighbor's lawn.

On Saturday, I inspected the 3 langstroth hives, 2 of which I just installed. In the newly installed hives, I found plenty of eggs and young larvae, I also found the queen in each which wasn't all that difficult. All the queens in the newly installed packages are black and the workers packaged with them are all much lighter in color. The bees are not eating the sugar syrup provided and prefer the combs of capped honey  last year's bees have provided them. I retrieved the queen cage in each.

Today I opened the top bar hives and found pretty much the same thing. Eggs, larvae, (even some capped brood) and an active dark queen. Again, the syrup provided went pretty much uneaten. Queen cages were retrieved.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May Day Installation

Yesterday did not seem like the first day of May, even for Minnesota. The temperature hovered in the 40s; it was rainy and overcast with a brisk wind. Not the type of day you'd expect to install bees in.

John and I went down early to B and B Honey Farm to pick up our bees. John was getting two 2 lb. packages and I was getting 4. With the chill in the air, the bees were rather quiet in the packages, all huddled together around the queen cage.

Installation of my four packages went without a hitch. I installed two of the packages in two top bar hives, and the other two in two langstroths. Except for dropping a jar of sugar syrup on the only cement in the beeyard, there were no major disasters.

I will be going home this afternoon to take a look at the hives and see how they're fairing. I don't expect to see much. May 2nd has temperatures in the mid 30s.