Wednesday, May 21, 2008

We found our other Queen and got a surprise...

May 21st, 2008...We are moving on up on Hive #1. Hive #2 is not quite as strong as Hive #1, but we have had some unusually cool weather for the month of May too.

Today we checked and filled the feeders in both of the hives, and was going to try and locate the Queen in Hive #1. Being as we had not seen her in the last couple of times that we were in Hive #1, I really needed to locate her today.

What we got today was a couple of really nice surprises. First of all, we did find the Queen in Hive #1. This ended up being quite a chore. We had inspected nine of the ten frames in the hive, and still had not seen anything of the Queen.

Now I was starting to get kind of worried, that we had somehow lost the Queen in Hive #1 and that she was not with us anymore. When we made it to the tenth frame on Hive #1, we found her. There she was, strutting her stuff, like she owned the place or something. Just cruising along taking care of business over the honeycomb.

Now I am really am glad that we went ahead and had our Queens marked. This made it a whole lot easier in finding the Queens in both of our hives. When all you have to do is look for the dot on their back, they are a lot easier to see.

We also received yet another very welcome surprise...The workers have been extremely busy in this hive too. The Hive Body on Hive #1, was almost completely full of frames loaded with Brood, Pollen and Honey. The frames in Hive #1 had at least 80%, if not more of the frames full.

I already had the extra Hive Bodies loaded in the bed of the truck in anticipation of being able to put them on today. We readied only one of the extra Hive Bodies and placed it and the frames onto Hive #1. Hive #2, just is not quite ready for the second Hive Body yet.

Hopefully the weather will change and it will stay warm enough so that Hive #2 gets going as good as Hive #1 is so far. Hive #2 only looked like it had somewhere around 50% or so of the Frames filled. It is still not quite ready yet for the second Hive Body.

It is going to need to get a few more of the frames filled before we are able to add the other Hive Body to it.

Both of the hives are still looking really good and both are still going through the sugar syrup at a pretty good pace too. So far we have had to fill the feeders back up every four days, with each of them being between 1/2 to 3/4 empty.

Well it is just about time to call it a day, so stay tuned, there will certainly Bee more to come in our adventure into the world of Honeybees.

Friday, May 16, 2008

It was a Beautiful day in the Bee yard...

Today May 16th, 2008: We had a peek at the inside both of the hives, just to get an idea as to how the Honeybees are progressing with filling the frames and how our Queens were doing. We were able to spot the Queen in Hive #2, but I could not find the Queen in Hive #1. We will wait a couple of weeks and take another look for her again in Hive #1. (hope she is still there) The Frames in the Hive Bodies are really starting to fill up, looking like almost half of the frames are full in both of the hives and it also looked like we had some capped brood in some of the cells on both of the hives. When we get a couple of more Frames filled up in both of the Hive Bodies we will add another Hive Body to each of the hives. We also noticed that there was lots of Pollen coming into both of the hives today, and from what we could tell, it is most likely coming from all of the Dandelions that we currently have in our yard. I think I may have found me a new Photographer too,with my youngest son was taking some really great pictures of the bees as they were landing on the Dandelions and also some really nice pictures of all the happenings inside both of the hives.My youngest son was my helper for today, not only taking pictures, but he also lent me a helping hand in checking both of the feeders and the removal and replacement of the frames in both of the hives. After checking both of the hives, we topped off the Feeders with our Sugar Syrup and put the Top Covers back on. I hope everyone can bear with me with this Beekeeping adventure, being as I’m still fairly new at this, and I am still learning quite a bit as we go, but from what I could tell, as we were looking into both of the hives, that they are looking really well for no longer than they have been set up and if the weather holds out and stays nice they should get going even better. Between the rain and the chilly nights, I think it has slowed the bee’s progress a quite a little bit. Hope you enjoy the pictures we have for today, because they are some of the best ones we have taken so far. There are some really nice shots of the frames from both of the hives, the Queen in Hive #2 and also some of the honeybees collecting pollen from the dandelions in the yard...After seeing how many of the bees were out and about in the yard collecting pollen, it almost makes me not what to mow...and with fuel prices where they are it didn't take too much to convince me into not mowing this week. Click on the images to view it in a Larger size.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Checking the Hives

Well here's another day in the books for us on taking care of our bees. We couldn't do much all weekend due to the very cold and stormy weather we had, but it wasn't all bad being inside being with both of my sons who are home from college for the summer. Now I got me some helpers, whether they like it or not...or at least I have a couple of photographers that will help me with this blog page. Here we go for for today May 12th, 2008. We started with Hive #1 and then on to Hive #2, trying not to have the hives open for any amount of time, so as not to bother the bees to much by checking the levels of our Top Feeders and then cleaning any mold that had started to grow inside of them. We then re-filled both of the feeders with our 1:1 Sugar/Water mixture and covered the feeders with the Shallow Honey Supers and the Inner Cover and the Telescoping Covers. While we were in the Hives we also checking on the progress of how the honeycomb was coming along, and right now both of the hives are looking really good. It looked like the bees had pretty well covered three to four frames in Hive #1 and had covered at least or close to the same in Hive #2. At least this time while we were in both of the hives we were able to get some nice pictures of the inside of the hives to show how the honeycomb was coming along. After getting all done my oldest son and I just sat around for at least an hour or so just watching both of the hives and playing with the video camera that we had pointed at the hives to see how the bees were coming in and out.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Filling the Feeders and checking the Hives

Yesterday May 6th, 2008 I had to fill the feeders and decided to check on the Queen in Hive #1, while I was at. She has been set free from her cage. Also while I was removing the Queen cage I noticed at least two of the Frames in the Hive Body are really covered with some really nice looking Honeycomb. While checking the hive I did happen to see a few Drone bees land at the front of the hive. (these are the fattest bees I have ever seen. Their legs barely hit the ramp, they were so fat).
So far the Hives look like they are doing really well. They both seem to have lots of activity in front of, and around each of them. We are still seeing lots of pollen coming into each of the hives.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Busy in the Bee Yard

Today Sunday, May 4th, 2008, it started out a chilly 37 degrees this morning around 6:30 a.m., and I didn't think it would get warm enough to remove the shipping packages from the Hives, but by noon it was up to 67 degrees and by mid afternoon it had made it up to 70. This method of placing the packages into the hive after removing half of the frames seemed to be a very easy way to install the packages. Even though it was not what my first choice was going to be, to begin with, it seemed to work out great. All of the bees had moved from the shipping containers to the frames that were left in the hive. We also got a really nice surprise on Hive #2, the Bees had already released the queen and I spotted her down in the Hive, they also had started building some really nice comb, which was just as white as it could be. After removing the packages from each of the two hives, I then installed the remaining frames into both of the hives. Now they can go to town and start filling them with comb. I did also find out that bees can eat...When I first removed the telescoping cover and the inner cover from both of the hives, we found that the feeders were already half empty. Each of the hives had already gone through nearly a half gallon apiece of the Sugar Syrup in less than two days. While we were adding the frames back into Hive #1, I decided to check and see if the queen had been released...she hadn't, so it may be a few more days before she gets set free from her cage. The hives were also really buzzing with activity after the temperature came up enough for the bees to come out. We got to see many bees coming back to the hive packing Pollen, which was a very light shade of yellow. I am not sure what the pollen was from, but they were really bringing it in this afternoon. The bees were also doing some sort of dance when they were coming back into Hive #2, this afternoon...They would land and then they would be standing on what looked like three legs, with the tail ends raised into the air. Not sure on what it meant, but it was really cool to watch. We have video of me working both of the hives, but until I find my cable for the camcorder to hook to the computer I cannot get it on the page. Give me time and I will either find the one I have misplaced or I will end up buying a new one. Well it has been a terrible long day, but it turned out to be a great day, from they way it started and I ended up getting quite a bit accomplished...I had the bees taken care of and I got my new tiller motor on the tiller, and now I think I am tired enough to call it a day. That and my vacation is over, from this past week, so it's back to work on Monday.