Friday, May 23, 2008

I see no eggs

Today I opened the hives and checked on the AJ's beetle eaters that I installed last week. I had 2 beetles in one trap and 1 in the other trap in the other hive. I inspected the foundation and see that the comb is being drawn but ever so slowly. No eggs visualized. I quess there is a queen in there? The bees are steadily bringing in pollen and seem to be doing ok otherwise. Will check again later next week. Took photo of the bees in action.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New Queen Emerges

Last weekend I opened the hives and noted that one of the hives had formed a queen swarm cell and it was evident that she had emerged. The original queen must have died or was killed some how. I was suspicious that there was no queen since I have not observed eggs in that hive yet. I do not think they have swarmed, there seems to be just as many bees present as before. Hopefully that queen will take over and start laying and get the hive organized. I also noted that the bees in that hive were more agressive and much more disorganized. Very little pollen was being brought in by the bees and they were quick to try to attack me. I had to use smoke to open the hive. The other hive is doing well. Those bees are organized and are working hard. I see eggs in the cells and comb is being drawn in 7 of the 10 frames. I have my super foundation ordered and will introduce probably next weekend. The black berries are blooming and should be ready to pick at the end of May.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Robbing Ferrel Hives

My neighbor became interested in beekeeping through our discussions and here we are robbing a ferrel hive that he had behind his house. The older gentleman helping us in the photo has experience in beekeeping and he only used a vail. I have the jacket and vail combo. This day was quite interesting. We cut the old dead tree after we devised a way to lower it to the ground with a system of ropes and pulleys. The log was rotton in that we could split it into two halves by hand. We placed the Langstroth hive near the tree and placed the comb in it. The bees eventually marched into the Langstroth hive. We then placed the Langstroth hive on a stand the following day and the bees were actually still there. It has now been 6 weeks since this attempt and the bees are actually thriving in the hive. We took no honey. Eventually we are going to place another Langstroth on top of this hive with hopes that the bees will ascend into this hive with frames. We shall see.

Arrival of the Bees

I began reading about bees this past winter of 2007. I thought this would be an interesting hobby and so I built several Langstroth hives and several Nuc hives, ordered my supplies from Dadant, and eagarly awaited my opportunity to receive my bees.

I purchased 2 nuc hives from a local professional beekeeper on April 12 2008. Both looked very healthy with lots of bees. The hives contained 5 frames nearly full of bees and capped brood. I placed the bees in my full size Langstroth hives that same afternoon. All went well. I placed the two hives facing opposite directions on a stand that is about 24 inches in height with all 4 legs in 4- 1 gallon paint pails with old motor oil in the pails for pest resistance purposes. We have a terrible problem with fire ants around here. We also have skunks that can wipe out a hive. My elevated hive stands should alleviate this problem. We shall see.