My Honeybees

Backyard Beekeeping


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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.

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The Queens Have Been Busy!

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6/16/13 -  frame of nectar

6/16/13 – frame of nectar

Both hives now have two brood boxes and two supers. The queens have been extremely busy and there was brood in the supers of both hives.

The first hive had some empty frames in the second brood box and it appeared that many bees had emerged this past week. I saw dozens of bees emerging as I was checking the hive. The Queen was found in the second brood box laying eggs. Both supers had brood in them. Not exactly what I was hoping for but at least the queen is laying lots of eggs.

The second hive only had two brood boxes and one super. In this hive I found lots of queen cells being built. I cleaned off the queen cells and added a second super. The  hive was full of honey and brood.

Flowers in Bloom 6/16/13 -1 Flowers in Bloom 6/16/13 -2 Flowers in Bloom 6/16/13 -3 Flowers in Bloom 6/16/13 -4 Flowers in Bloom 6/16/13 -5 Flowers in Bloom 6/16/13 -6 Flowers in Bloom 6/16/13 -7 Flowers in Bloom 6/16/13 -7

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Spring Beehive Feeding – Gone Wrong

Beekeeping safety poster

Beekeeping Safety Poster

Yesterday, I went out to feed the bees.  In past years, I’ve just cracked the corner of the hive where the inline feeder is and topped up the feeder without much notice from the bees.  Normally, I would wear my bee suit to do this but as I was just going to top up the feeder I though it would be fine to not wear one. Well these new bees sure noticed me cracking the corner of the hive. Before I could even start pouring the syrup I had multiple stings.  At first I was fine but as more of them came out and started to sting me I started to panic and ran.  As I ran into the garage, I tripped over the threshold and stumbled down some stairs and into a shelf and concrete wall.  As a result of my panic, I now have a black eye and bruised leg.

This experience inspired me to make these posters for beekeeping.  The poster above will be placed by my beehives.

 

Spring Beekeeping Safety Poster Spoof

Spring Beekeeping Safety Poster – Spoof


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Videos of Bee Package Installations on 4/14/13

Here are the videos of the bee package installations from Sunday.

This video is the installation of the bees in my backyard. The bees are being fed with an inline feeder with 1:1 sugar water and frames of honey as needed.

 

This video is of the installation of the bees in my in-laws backyard.  The bees in this hive are being fed with an exterior bottle feeder containing 1:1 sugar water and frames of honey.

 

 


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Hive checks 3/31/13

Over the weekend I checked both of my beehives and found that both of the colonies had died over the winter.  I can’t tell why the one  died but the cluster was very small and most of the bees were gone. It was very clean except for the small cluster of dead.

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As you can see the bees died with lots of food available but they just didn’t survive. It looks like the varrola mite took its toll on this hive and the cluster size just got to small to keep it alive.

My second beehive was attacked by what appears to be a small rodent. There were signs that the small creature had crawled in and eaten the comb and honey in the bottom brood box. This forced the cluster up into the second brood box but by the time they moved up, I believe that too many of the bees had died from the attack even though there was lots of honey and food stores in the top brood box and super.

As you can see from the photos below that cluster was very small and had started to mold. You can also see the frames that had eaten out by the rodent and the path that attack.

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This is a photo of the bottom board and it shows the wax chips and dead bees from the second hive.20130331-204525.jpg.

My new packages of bees will be here on April 13 and they will have lots of honey to get started with in these hives.


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10/11/12 Hive Check – Varroa Mite Treatment

Low temperature scanning electron micrograph (...

Low temperature scanning electron micrograph (LTSEM) of Varroa destructor on a honey bee host (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three weeks ago, I noticed that some of my bees had deformed wings. A random selection of three of the dying bees were collected in from the yard.  All three of the bees had deformed wings and one had a varroa mite on it’s back.  A hive inspection revealed that varroa mites were in the hives.  The bees were first treated with a dusting of powered sugar in hopes that they would remove the mites as they licked the sugar off one another.   I’ve watched the hives closely and haven’t seen any improvement.  Today, I installed apistan strips in the bottom brood boxes of both of my hives and removed the supers.  At this time both of the hives had lots of honey stores in the brood boxes.  The supers that were removed had lots of nectar and some capped honey.  In six to eight weeks, the apistan strips have to be removed and the supers put back on the hives.


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More Honey!

Yesterday we extracted honey from the second bee hive, we bottled eighteen honey bears and 4 one pound jars. This latest honey has a light floral taste with a hint of mint. It is Delicious!