Sunday, April 27, 2014

Feeding Apparently Not Needed.

The bees were fed 1:1 sugar syrup yesterday, and they barely touched it, which is a good sign, they are not starving as I thought. There were some good activity during the sun breaks yesterday, foragers were bringing pollen. Today was hail and freezing rain, so I'll let the quart of sugar syrup. I also added an "attic" to the hive, since the bottom of the roof was moldy. The attic box was filled with wood shavings and paper.
So far so good for this year.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Slow Start for 2014

After showing good activity, a few weeks of rain have taken their toll, and activity at the entrance is now moderate. I saw a worker bee dumping an almost fully form larva. It probably died from starvation. This is an indication that I should feed them if the weather turns to rain again.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Season 2014 in ON!!

The beehive has awaken from the winter and appears healthy from watching the entrance activity. Foragers are bringing in pollen, which indicates that the queen is laying. The hive will be opened on the first weekend that breaks 60F.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Super added on May 22nd

Update post to make the date on the first inspection, during which one super and one nadir were added. The colony was found to be very strong, with 4 boxes containing combs, three boxes relatively heavy. A fourth box was full of bees, but no comb. Total number of boxes after inspection is 7.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Expected colony failure

My second hive was a late small swarm of last year. It had three handicaps: a very late swarm, a small swarm, and a third swarm from the same hive. Here is the beehive where I set it up:

I only put two sections, knowing it was already doubtful the colony would have time to fill them up. To have a chance to survive our winter, a colony should have at least two full sections. With three sections, survival is more likely.
A few days ago, my other colony was very active, while this one showed no signs of life at all. Today is sunny, and again, my other colony is active, while this one was quiet, so I decided to open it. After removal of the roof:

Cool bee art, but no bees. The bottom of the hive section shows some mold, which is pretty common, except mold usually forms at the periphery, not the center like here.

After removal of the top section, the section below was completely empty:

The bottom of the hive showed must less dead bees as I expected. It looks like the colony absconded, or merged with another colony.

I will probably add a new colony from a package in this spot. I may try to put the hive on a stand, as I am not happy with the hive being on the ground, too much moist gets in, as well as ants and other critters.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Emergence 2013

The picture below was taken two days ago. Looks like the colony survived the winter. This year I may try comb honey. The Warre hive is ideal for comb honey. I better start preparing the honey super.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hive Status

W10: My main hive, produced 2 gallons of honey this year. It is resting on 5 sections. W11: made of a swarm I got from Jack. It was a small late swarm (3rd swarm), and has a low probability of survival.

That is all, after 2011 losses, I decided to have only one hive until I get a full harvest, which actually happened. W11 was not planned, as it was a swarm.
I will only increase my number of hives if I get a swarm next year.

As far as equipment, I do need to improve the honey harvesting method. Smoking the bees out of the honey super is fine, but the filtering process was too slow. Once I get several producing hives, it won't be manageable.