My Honeybees

Backyard Beekeeping

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Photos from beehive 4/22/12



4/22/12 – Larva in the hives

I did my weekend hive checks and found that the new queen, in my second hive, had already been laying eggs. There are larva in the hive. The worker bees have drawn out almost 2 whole frames. Many of the cells already have nectar and lots of pollen. I topped up the feeder with more 1:1 sugar-water and gave them a pollen patty. The bees drew out burr comb in the hive, using the extra space that I had left when I installed the queen’s cage. I removed the burr comb which had lots of nectar and pollen stored in it. I put the removed comb by the entrance for them to clean up. This is a very positive sign that new package of bees is settling in.

The new hive may have to be moved. It faces into the yard right where my husband needs to cut the grass. He wasn’t to sure about cutting the patch of lawn that is in front of the hive. The girls didn’t bother him but he seem a bit bothered by all the activity at the entrance when he walked by with the mower. We may have to move the hive to a different spot in the yard that has a better flight path for the girls.

The honey bees, from the new hive, have taken to the hummingbird feeders that we installed last weekend. They have been drinking from the feeders every day. At first I thought it was really cute that they were drinking the sugar-water from the hummingbird feeders. However, the hummingbirds will not come to the feeders with the bees sitting on them.

I checked on the older hive in the yard and it is doing well. Last weekend I installed an entrance feeder and they have taken the 1:1 sugar-water from it. The hive is about the same as last week. The queen is laying eggs. I found larvae and a nice brood pattern on frames in the bottom box. There were 2 full frames of honey in the bottom box. In the second box I replaced the frames that I took out last week and removed 3 others for cleaning. The bees have cleaned up the frames but with the winter losses I think it will take time for them to clean the frames. The two top super boxes are clean and they are storing honey in the every top super.

The weather was great this weekend. It was warm and the skies were clear. Lots of trees and flower were blooming. The honey bees really liked the blooming weeping cherry trees. It definitively looks and feels like spring is here.

79 degrees, clear skies

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Bee package install 4/14/12

Yesterday, I installed a new package of bees in the back yard. I picked up the bee package at Tate’s Honey Farm at 8:30 AM and installed them in a new brood box just after noon. The brood box contained an inline feeder filled with 1:1 sugar water and one drawn out frame with some cells already filled with honey from my other hive. The rest of the frames were new with plasticell foundations. Once installed in the new hive the bees started to forge and were coming back with pollen.

I was unable to get Russian bees, as planned, so I purchased Carniolan honey bees. These new bees were purchased with the funds I received from the Walt Peterson Joy in Beekeeping Merit Award I received last fall. In my other hive I already have Italian honey bees and wanted to see what type of differences there really is between breeds of honey bees.

So far, I have noticed the difference in color and level of activity. The Carniolan bees are a lot more active.. It think it is too early to tell if this will remain consistent. After all, I did just installed them in a new hive yesterday.

My Italian bees are a bit slower. The bees are cleaning up and reorganized the hive. This weekend I removed 4 frames from the upper deep and replaced them with new frames. Three of the frames I removed had dead bees still in the cells. It looked like some may have starved over the winter or got too cold and died before emerging from the cells. It is hard to tell what happened to the bees on those frames. There is no sign of disease in the hive. On the three frames I removed many of the cells were empty but some cells had pollen and others had the partly capped dead bees (I posted photos of those frames last week). I cleaned out the dead bees from the cells using a modified fork and will lightly wash the frames with warm water and a soft brush. The bees have moved most of honey up into the top super and the bottom super has been completely cleaned up. The frames and cells in the bottom super are clean and empty. The queen has laid more eggs and there have been some new emerging bees.

It was a great weekend to install the new beehive and check on the bees that were over-wintered. I learned a lot from the over-wintered hive and even though I didn’t enjoy cleaning out the old frames, I’m grateful they have survived the winter. The best part of the weekend was picking up the package of bees and installing them in the hive. There is nothing quite like bring home new bees and get them set up.

Saturday was 59 degrees and partly cloudy

Here is a link to the video I made last year of installing bees.

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Hive check 3/31/12

I checked the hive today and found the queen was laying eggs. I found larva and capped brood in the second deep. The worker bees had cleaned house and moving honey to the top super. The bees had removed some of theĀ mold but some of the old pollen bread was still moldy. I noticed some old frames that had dead emerging bees in the cells. Overall the hive looks like it is in good shape.

The bees were out gathering pollen.

The weather was overcast and the temp was 53 degrees