My Honeybees

Backyard Beekeeping

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Link to story about disappearing honey bees in Japan


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Hive check & observations 5/20/12

I inspected both beehives this weekend to check on their progress.

I topped up the new hive’s feeder but didn’t inspect the frames. The hive was doing well. There was lots of activity in and around the hive and the forger bees had their pollen baskets full with white and light yellow colored pollen.

I only inspected the exterior of the older hive this weekend and observed the hive. Many new bees have emerged this past week and there were new bees just learning how to fly outside of the hive. The newly emerged bees look smaller than I remember them being last year. It is very obvious which are the young bees compared to the older bees. They are smaller, the fur is slicked back on their bodies and they stay close the hive. The young bees are found on the ground and flowers close the hive. Mostly they just sit around or walk.

In the yard there are many new blooms. We have a white lilac tree in the yard that just bloomed for the first time in five years. The peonies that we transplanted 3 years ago are blooming for the first time as well.

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Noshing on Pollen

A European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) flying b...

A European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) flying back to its hive carrying pollen in a pollen basket. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a difference between my over wintered hive and new hive when it comes to noshing on pollen patties. When I checked on the bees in the new hive yesterday, I found that they had almost completely finished the second pollen patty. This new hive is a lot more interested in the pollen patties that the over wintered hive. The hive that was over wintered was not interested in the pollen patty at all. I guess they must have saved their own stores of pollen that are better than the pollen patty.


Hummingbirds in the Yard

Last night several hummingbirds were feeding in the backyard. Six to eight hummingbirds circled the feeders and buzzed around the yard.

It’s nice to see the hummingbirds getting to use their feeders instead of the bees.20120516-202838.jpg

Slugs & Beer

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When I first found slugs in my beehives I wasn’t sure what to do about. I decided to put out homemade slug bait traps made from water bottles cut in half, buried to the top in the dirt and filled half way with beer. I set these out on Sunday night and finally found that it is working. Already in this trap were two slugs under beer and another one headed in.


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New home of the second hive

The bees are in their new home. Today I checked in on them to see how they are doing and topped up the feeder. Their new home is in a bees dream location: pond with moving water, lots of flowers and space to fly. The hive entrance gets morning sun and afternoon shade.

Here are some photos of the hive in its new location and the garden.

Temp: high 78, low 44




View from the front entrance of the hive


Pond and water fall just outside the hive entrance


Lilac bush in the yard


Wisteria blooms just quick buzz away from the hive


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Hive check and move 5/13/12

Over the weekend I checked in on the Italian bees and moved the new hive of Carniolan honey bees to another property.

The Italian bees are doing well. There was lots of new brood and evidence of newly emerged bees.

The new hive was moved to another garden ten blocks away. The hive was closed up at 6am for the move and transported to its new location. While inspected the hive I found slugs in the box by the feeder. I removed the slugs added a second deep and refilled the feeder. An entrance screen was inserted that the bees can get through but slugs and mice will not.

When I returned to the spot where the hive use to be there were bees buzzing around. Some had been left behind when the box was moved. By the end of the day they had all left. I can only imagine that they found the moved hive or joined the other hive still in the yard.