Thursday, October 2, 2014
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Before people started arriving I did a quick inspection of Hive2 layer 2. Looking better, for the rearranging of frames and comb. But low on nectar. Will continue feeding them. Also fixed the drooping comb from my mangling of the deep to medium transition.
I also went into hive1. They're getting a bit hot again. But only 5-10%. Much less than last fall.
I put layer 3 on top. Separated from the hive by a triangle escape and I closed off the roof. I took 1 "superwide" frame of honey. From the 4 there, for my crush and strain demo.
I had about 10 groups come through. Half new to beekeeping this year and half looking to start in the spring. Everyone was excited to see the crush and strain method in action and to taste the raw honey.
In the afternoon, I flitched the other 3 "super wide" frames from hive1. The triangle escape had removed some but not all off the bees.
I left hive1 with;
Layer 4 (previously layer 5) 8 full honey frames.
Layer 3 some built out comb ready to fill (added in june)
Layer 1 and 2; brood, honey and pollen I assume.
Friday, September 12, 2014
Thursday, September 11, 2014
I made up 4 mason jars of 2:1 sugar solution. They went through the first jar overnight. The next 2 disappeared within 48 hours. I just gave them the last jar during a quick check today. I also gave them 1/2 a pollen patty. I killed 7 or 8 SHBs too, in an effort to prevent them breeding in the patty. I looked to see if the "burr" comb had been stabilized: One frame had several columns of comb rising up to the top bar. The other had drooped and was partially attached to the next (empty) frame. I used the hive tool to break and recenter this comb to vertical.
Must recheck in a week or so.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Layer 2 (medium) is mostly still empty frames with a bit of comb here or there.
Layer 1 (deep) no honey or nectar some brood.
I swapped out the last 2 mediums frames in the deep. Putting in 2 empty frames and moving the medium into layer 2. I carefully broke the "extra" ~3 inches of comb from the bottom of these two frames and fitted each "burr" comb into an empty frame and put them in layer 2 also.
Must take action and feed this hive up.
Hive1 looks much as I left it in late July.
Layer 5 - honey FULL - 8 frames
Layer 4 - mostly empty, some comb built out and a little honey stored on 1/2 a frame.
Layer 3 - honey FULL - 4 very full and 3 still effectively empty.
By the point the bees got aggressive and I called it quits. I assume they are doing well judging by the bearding I see on most nights.
Layer 1 and 2 - brood?
The hive often looks very active in the cooler morning hours.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Layers 1 and 2; brood boxes, didn't disturb.
Layer 3, had 8 frames, 4 VERY full of capped honey and 4 just starting to get built out. Removed 4 mostly empty frames and replaced with 3 new frames (checker boarded) with foundation. This layer now has a little more space with ONLY 7 frames.
Layer 4 (added) medium super with 4 frames slightly built with some honey from layer 3 and 4 new frames with foundation.
Layer 5 still full of honey and damn heavy.
Since I was out and geared up I checked on Hive2, which had had a bunch of bees doing orientation flights early in the afternoon. The hive is looking fabulous full of brood and honey, except for each frames at the very edges. These are starting to get some cells built. I added a medium super as Layer 2 checker boarded with the 4 frames unbuilt and 4 frames slightly with some wax cells built from last season.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Box 3, the 4 frames with wax cells are now PACKED with nectar/honey. The 4 frames that started out as foundation are now starting to get some wax cells built out and where they are built out they're filled with nectar. YAY the mellow summer and continued blooming will be good for our fall honey harvest.
Hive2 is looking good lots of brood and building of comb from the medium frames.
the 2 frames at the east side were still foundation. I moved one to the other side of the hive to center the rest of the frames that contain brood and nectar and pollen. 1 frame of brood looks like it just hatched and will be ready for the queen. Maybe I saw eggs, certainly in several places I found stage 1 and 3 larvae.
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Hive1 Checked honey supers. Box 4 full (probably mostly sugar soln), Box3 (new last week), each frame that had partial comb built out is now full of nectar! and they are busy building out more comb and filling it. Still seems to be a chill hive.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
refed hive2 and checked on the colonies growth via the comb/egg/larvae assessment.
Comb; both medium frames are full of brood, with large hanging comb beneath that contains eggs. Larvae elsewhere too. the adjacent deep frames are built out but hanging from the wood not on the plastic foundation. I cut and manipulated this across and around several of the frames to encourage the building out from the foundation. I also closed off the entrance and opened the top entrance (in the inner cover) currently set at the back of the hive. I felt I'd seen a large amount of robbing by Hive1 bees. Some SHB larvae in the pollen patty and two SHB, all squished.
Hive1, box 3 ~50% are nectar filled. Keep and eye for adding another layer. All the rain we've being having should bring more flowers out.
Bee tour for the family that won it at a silent auction. Brief check of hive2 and all seems good, they have recovered from my ravaging the comb and are starting to build out the deep frames juxtaposed to the deeps the were built on friday. Some sugar solution and pollen stored. One SHB squished.
deep(some built), deep(more), medium (mostly capped brood), medium (50:50 capped brood and nectar), deep (more), deep(some), deep (empty), deep (empty).
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Upside I see somes eggs, and instar 1 to 3. So the queen has been active even if I didn't see her.
Monday, May 12, 2014
- garden cover
- inner cover
- deep 8 frame
- screened bottom board
Sunday, May 11, 2014
For the last two years, I've been saving the wax from our honey extractions. I store it in a tupperware in the freezer. A while back we processed what we had; melting and filtering repeatedly until we had an 8oz block of pure beeswax. Here it is with one last filter to go ...
So today we made lip balm.
~2 oz Coconut oil (really it's 5/3oz)
1 oz Shaved beeswax
Heat in a jar in a water bath.
1/4 tsp Vitamin E oil
~1/8 tsp Peppermint extract
Mix thoroughly and distribute to 0.3oz sliding lid metal tins with a 3ml plastic disposable pipette.
Notes for next time
No honey, it was really hard to mix in and didn't add much flavor.
More Peppermint, it only added a subtle tingle.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Over the last few days I've been feeding both hive1 and hive2 with sugar solution. Hive1 has had one jar, and hive2 has had two.
Today, I popped open hive2 to release the queen from the cage, four days after she was introduced. As expected (although initially a surprise) there were a bunch of newly hatched bees in the cage with the queen vanilla. She swished off into her populace and I closed up.
In other news, hive parts for the upgrade to hive2 have shipped.
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Yesterday I picked up our new BeeWeaver queen (american/buckfast hybrid naturally mated). She is pale yellow almost all over. She is marked with a green spot and has a clipped wing. We will call her Vanilla. She and her 6 or so companions spent the night in the laundry room, because I couldn't find a current queen in the 2 medium boxes. There were c larvae, so she's clearly still around, but with no luck finding her for 2.5 hours and it getting dark, I vowed to return.
Before I left I split 2 brood and 1 nectar frame plus a bunch of bees (shaking frames to dump them) into our first split. I'm using an 8 deep for the brood chamber in our second hive.
Today, another 3 hours in the Texas noon sun. But I found her. I tried the various methods for figuring out where the queen was/wasn't.
1) the listening method. Apparently a hive without a queen has a restless hum. Maybe Hive2.
2) the queen cage on the brood box. Both Hives amassed on to the queen cage. Hive2 in a swarm like way, and Hive1 a little more aggressive some were trying to sting thru the mesh.
3) the look and look again until you find her. Yup then I really know for sure.
So Once I knew which hive Queen Chocolate was in. I put a ~4"x4" 1/8" hardwire mesh into one of the brood sections of Hive2 and gentle teased Queen Vanilla and her entourage into it. Placing it back in Hive2 with much rejoicing from the populace. Each hive got a 1:1 sugar solution since they're both low on supplies and need to build out some comb.
Hive1 (Queen Chocolate) named for the red spot marked on the original queen (installed from a R weaver american package)
- medium honey super = mostly empty
- medium brood = good laying pattern, some honey and pollen, 1 new empty frame, with some wax cells built out
- medium brood = good laying pattern, some honey and pollen, 2 new empty frames, one with some wax cells built out, the other with no foundation, these are checker boarded in the middle of the brood.
- screen bottom board
This hive has some empty queen cells, they are over crowded, hence the split.
Hive2 (Queen Vanilla)