My Honeybees

Backyard Beekeeping


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BeehIve Inspection 2/8/2015 – The Hive is Dead

The weather here has been extraordinary warm for this time of the year with temperatures in the mid 50’s. Over the past weeks I had been watching the hive and didn’t see any activity. Today, I opened the hive and discovered the hive was dead. I had left 2 deeps and 3 supers full of honey on this hive to help winter over the bees. Almost all of the honey is still in the hive and looks like it was not touched.

I cleaned out the remaining dead bees that were on the bottom board and went through the hive frame by frame. Some of the dead bees I came across on the frames looked like they hadn’t been dead long. They looked perfect but were dead. There are no signs of disease or problem in the hive. In fact, the frames were dry and clean.  There were only a few cells of old pollen that had white mold growing on them. The hive smelled like fresh honey. While I was cleaning out the very last box of any dead bees I started to notice that there were honeybees flying around me. These honeybees must have been from another hive in the neighborhood. They were very interested in the wax that I had been knocking off the inside of the hive and the remaining honey in the boxes. Quickly I had to finish up and put the hive back together making sure to close off all entrances to the hive.

Next weekend I will harvest the remaining honey and clean out all of the old wax foundation. The new package bees will be here in March or April, and they will have all new foundation to start with.

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Only One Hive Survived

Spring feeding is essential for bees. I found this out the hard way. I was a little late in getting two of the hives setup with feeders and they both died from starvation.

The one hive is doing well. I have given the bees pollen patties and a sugar water (1:1).

I’ve seen them out pollinating the cherry trees and maple trees. The cherry tree in the front yard was covered in honeybees on the weekend. When I checked on the hive I saw that they’re bringing in lots of bright yellow pollen.

Right now there are lots of dandelions and daffodils in bloom. It looks like the tulips will be blooming this week.

I plan on building swarm boxes and trying to lure a swarm the year. It is too late to order package bees so that is my best chance at getting a second hive going.

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Hive check March 9, 2014

I checked on all three hives today and they appear to be alive. I took apart hive one and found that the bees had eaten most of the honey. They only had three frames of honey in one of the brood boxes and about half of one of the supers left. I put an in-line feeder with sugar water in the brood box to hold them over. When I cleaned up this hive there was 4 inches of dead bees in the bottom box blocking the entrance. The small space in-between the hive and the insulation on the hive was filled with dead bees as well. I’ve removed the insulation on this hive.

The pollen patties have been ordered but haven’t arrived yet. I’m hoping that I will be able give all three of the hives pollen patties this week.

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Winter Hive Checks and New Gelli Prints

The hives seem to be wintering okay. I noticed condensation on the bottom edge of the lid of the hive in my back yard. When I lifted the lid slightly I could hear the bees. There is not much to be done with the hives this time of the year. So, other than the occasional walk around I don’t bother the hives.

This time of the year is slow time for beekeeping which has given me some time for art. Here are some new gelli plate prints with bees, birds and flowers.