Thursday, April 30, 2009

Isabel Blessing the Bees - April 30, 2009


My List to Install New Bees and Split Hive

  • Bring camera!!!!!BRING EMPTY DEEP HIve BODY
  • smoker gather dry wood slivers and kindling --
  • Bring power drill to screw bottom of Nuc temp on.
  • Wire or stuff something in entrance of Nuc.
  • Bungee cord
  • Flowers for Isabel

**** Stop by Isabel for her to bless the bees ****

1. put on bee veil

2. have sugar spray and smoker ready

3. tools

Install New Bees
1. Take off plywood covering entrance of package with HIVE tool

2. Exposes feeder can. Metal should be holding queen cage.

3. Work up can and hold onto queen cage.

4. move can gentle back and forth.

5. bring out queen

6. shake off bees exposing queen - check to make sure she's ok...remember two queens. put one in pocket snugly screen facing you --shake off outside bees before doing this! ack.

7. Installing queen - look for end with mass of sugar candy

8. Remove cork and put a small hole through sugar candy

9. Guide nail in gently so as to not injure queen.

10. The hole in the candy makes it a little more easier for bees to eat through and release the queen.

11. Place queen cage right in the middle of the brood nest.

12. sugar candy part pointing straight up - if worker bee dies she will fall to bottom and not block entrance.

13. insert frame into hive and have two frames removed

14. shake bees into frame.

15. reinsert two frames.

16. push frames tight together

17. put on inner cover.

18. feeder -- pour sugar syrup into green container.

** Fill up sugar syrup container and place bits of floating wood or screen so bees don't drown

  • Have entrance stuffed with something to keep bees in.
  • Have bungee cord ready.
  • Remove frames - they will go into parent colony.

1. Look for circles of brood

2. 3 frames that have capped brood

3. 1 frame that contains honey and pollen

4. MAKE SURE it doesn't contain queen - isolate queen in empty brood box

5. Look for queen cells - hidden in corner.

6. Place frame with honey and pollen on end.

7. Place brood side by side

8. Shake of brush more bees in if you think you don't have enough bees.

9. Make sure the queen goes back into parent colony.

10. Installing queen - look for end with mass of sugar candy

11. Remove cork and put a small hole through sugar candy

12. Guide nail in gently so as to not injure queen.

13. The hole in the candy makes it a little more easier for bees to eat through and release the queen.

14. Place queen cage right in the middle of the brood nest.

15. sugar candy part pointing straight up - if worker bee dies she will fall to bottom and not block entrance.

16. Separate brood frames and slide her right in the middle. _ Don't worry about destroying some of the wax on the frame. bees will repair.

For parent colony 17. replace removed frames with new

Bring Nuc to new location.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Arrival of Bees and Two Queens

The temps had decreased from the previous days of 90s. This was good. The high today was in the 60s and we had rain showers throughout the day. My plans are to install the bees in their new home tomorrow evening. You want to install the bees in the evening so that they won't fly away, get some food and then shack up in another location. Bees are the only nonmamalian creatures that sleep at night. Fascinating! Because the bees have been jostled about during the overnight flight I want them to settle down and acclimate.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hive #1 - Requeen by Workers

Today I did a thorough check of Hive #1 and could not find the marked queen. My dad helped me recheck the hive and spotted a new UNMARKED queen! I'm not sure what happened to the old queen but am hopeful since it's the beginning of the season and it's during the nectar flow.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Nuc (4 frame hive) for Split Hive

Top feeder that slides into Nuc for easy access for the bees and will prevent robbing.

This new temporary home is for the bees that will be divided from my very strong hive. I will locate them in a lovely spot in a cluster of maples and lots of flowers.

New Home for 10,000 Girls and 1 Queen

Fresh paint and ready for a Queen and 10,000 girls.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 19th - Searching the Dandelions

Today I searched my yard for bees on the dandelion. I have many, many dandelions and am very happy now that I know bees love this flower for the pollen. However, after a thorough search of my front and back yard the only bee found was a sweat bee on one lone dandelion. Very sad day.

April 18th, Saturday, Fed Bees Sugar Syrup

Saturday evening at 7:00pm, approximately 75 degrees. Hive #1: Not too much activity but that's to be expected this time of day. Opened top cover and saw that feeder was not empty from what I fed them on April 5th, which is about two weeks. I did not pour in anymore syrup and hope they finish off this medicated syrup. I will wait until one week from today and do a complete inspection and look for queen.

Hive #2: very active even at this time of day. Feeder is completely dry. This is good because I know they have ingested the antibiotic to fight Nosema. I filled feeder up with sugar syrup mixed with Honey B Healthy, which contains essential oils to help strengthen the bees.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Bear Just Wanted a Bit of Honey... (2008)


The Bear is Looking Down at the Hives (2008)

This was taken last Summer after my dad put electric fencing around the hives. This was necessary because the bears almost demolished one of the hives not once but twice. Poor hive, I was almost in tears but found the Queen. I did pray for her and the girls, well, the drones too. Drones are important too.


Bear Nosing for Sugar (Spring 2009)

This spring the bears have decided to have a party fest in the yard. They are everywhere and are really not a bit afraid. Here is one that is nearby where the dry sugar was dumped. My dad buried it far away from the hives and the bear's nose exactly where it is.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Components of a Hive


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ethiopian Bees

Today, a couple from Ethiopia dropped in my husband's shop and brought in some business. After talking to them a while my husband found that the couple lived very near my parent's home. When Craig told them I keep bees at my parents near them the man became very excited. He said he saw a honey bee in his yard this past Summer and was very happy to see a bee as he hadn't seen any for a while. We think it was from the hives I keep. The man said in Ethiopia every family has a bee hive and that he is going to make a bee hive the way they do in Ethiopia, which is to weave it into a barrel and hang it from a tree. I am looking forward to visiting them and their bees in the near future.

The man told my husband that the drone is called a water bee in Ethopia because he brings water to the Queen. How poetic.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Medicating & Cleaning Hives

Temperature 63 degrees at approximately 1:30pm. Prepared sugar syrup medicated with Fumagilin-B, and medicated grease patties for tracheal mites. Nosema apis, sometimes referred to as bee dysentery. Noted brown spotting on outside of hive, which indicate Nosema. Nosema is treatable with Fumagilin-B. Fumagilin-B is an antibiotic which restricts the “firing” of the polar tube. If the parasite is unable to attach to the cells of the bee’s gut it cannot reproduce. Researches now recommend treating with Fumagilin-B Spring and Fall.

Hive #1 (previously attacked twice by bear) - Feeder had a lot of dead bees. It appears as though they drowned in the sugar syrup. Because of the low temps a couple of months ago I put dry sugar in the feeders. The bees in Hive #1 didn't seem to eat the dry sugar. When the temps warmed up I added sugar syrup and it was late in the day. There were a lot of bees in the feeder and because a storm was brewing I poured the syrup in quickly. ARrrgh approximately 15 bees were drowned. Note to self: DO NOT USE DRY SUGAR to feed in winter. It's not worth the mess and the loss of a handful of bees. Try using candy noughat this winter.

Noted many bees from Hive #1 with pollen baskets on their legs. The top super very heavy with honey.

Lots of bees noted in Hive #1. Scraped bottom board. Bees seemed calm and I didn't need to use smoke. Reversed the supers, placing the top super on the bottom and bottom on top. On top of each super put grease patties and api life. Cleaned out feeder and poured in sugar syrup.

Hive #2: Very busy hive. I lite the smoker. There are three supers on this one and I plan to split the hive the end of the month. I will remove one of the supers as I don't think they need all that space. When I split the hive I will remove 5 frames and will then be able to remove one of the supers.

Again, I removed all supers, scraped the bottom board. Reversed the order of the supers. Noted two or three queen cells that the bees have created and the queens were larva stage. I killed the queen larva because I don't want the hive to swarm before I split them. I have an Italian queen being shipped the end of the month fully fertilized and ready to be installed in new hive. Applied the patties and api life. Filled the feeder with medicated syrup. The bees were calmer than usual, however, still had to use smoke. Lots of bees coming from the field with pollen baskets on their legs.

Began procedure at 1:30, including preparation of meds, patties, etc. Procedure finished at 4:00pm. Bees very excited about patties. Saw one bee carrying part of it in her mouth. Happy bee.

Spring Cleaning

1. Open hive using the smoker.

2. Place the upturned outer cover on the ground and then remove the upper deep hive body.

3. Keep the inner cover on the deep and close the oval hole in the middle of the inner cover with a piece of wood shingle or tape.

4. Place the deep across the edges of the outer cover, so there will be only four points of contact (you'll squeeze fewer bees that way).

5. Now you can see down into the lower deep that still rests on the bottom board.

It is probably empty, but even if some inhabitants are found, lift the lower deep off the bottom board and place it crossways on the inner cover that is covering the deep you previously removed.

6. Scrape and clean the bottom board. *note to self -- order slatted rack for summer venilation.

NOTE: This is good opportunity to add a slatted rack, because I won't get another chance until autumn. Slatted racks help with the hive's ventilation and can promote superior brood patterns. They also encourage the queen to lay eggs all the way to the front of the hive, because of improved ventilation and draft control.

7. Now stand the deep body -- which had been the relatively empty bottom one -- on one end, placing it on the ground.

Then place the full hive body onto the clean bottom board (or on the slatted rack).

8. Smoke the bees and remove the inner cover so that you can place the empty deep on top.

Replace the inner and outer covers.

This reversing procedure enables the bees to better distribute brood, honey, pollen, fresh nectar, and water. Reversing gives them more room to move upward, which is the direction that they always want to move.

Repeat this reversal in about three to four weeks, restoring the hive to its original configuration. At that time you can put on one or more honey supers -- assuming the bees are now bringing in their own food, and you have ceased feeding and medicating.

Treating the Bees for Spring Time

Thoroughly inspect hives

Treat for Nosema - small jar half filled with lukewarm water, add 1 teaspoon of Fumigilin-B. Shake thejar until dissolved. Stir the jar's contents into the cooled sugar syrup solution you useto fee your bees. Feed at top of the hive using a hive top feeder. Medicate the first twogallons of syrup, but not subsequent gallons.

Varroa Mites - Use Api-Life 1 wafer broken into 4 pieces and place around the brood nest. Leave 7 to 10 days and replace with another wafer and after 7 to 10 days replace for a 3rd time.

Grease Patties for Tracheal Mites - (Will have to do this later next week as I don't have all ingredients.)
Tracheal Mite Control: Grease Patties

Current Formula:
4.4 pounds (1814.4 g) of granulated sugar (sucrose)
3 ounces (88.8 ml) of corn oil
1.5 Pounds (680.4 g) of vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1 pound (463.4 g) of honey
1/2 Pound (226.8 g) of mineral salt (pink color) approx.
$7-$8 for 50 # from feed stores.
2.2 ounces(65 ml) of wintergreen oil or peppermint oil.

One batch will treat about 8-10 hives, depending
on number of brood chambers, size of patties, etc.
We place 5 small patties (about 2 ozs each) on top
of each brood chamber and a 1/2" [1.27 cm] “roll”
across the entrance, about 3/4" [1.9 cm] back in
(otherwise, rain will wash it away).


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Things to do for first week of April

  1. Prepare grease patties
  2. Thoroughly inspect hives on Sunday if temps are high
  3. Treat for mites.