Sunday, June 28, 2009

Girls on the Porch - Hive #4

It's 73 degrees and muggy. This is the hive I split and requeened 3 times. I installed the new queen Wed, June 24th, and will be inspecting the hive this coming Wed. I also put in two additional brood frames from two of my other hives to build up the colony.


How to Organically Get Rid of Ants From Your Bee Hive!

Using a concept from a children's book, my husband built me a table with legs that were pressure treated so they won't rot in the water. This is an ecologically-balanced approach to getting rid of the ant problem. The containers are filled with water and the ants can't swim. I looked closely last night and could not find one ant on the hive. If you look closely you can see salt sprinkled around the hive, which did not get rid of the ants.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Desperate Measures for Desperate Times

Scattered Clouds Scattered Clouds
Feels Like: 85°F
Wind: 10mph Humidity: 40%

Received third queen today for Nuc. The company I buy the queens from know me by name and my address. My father and I inspected the Hives 1 through 3. During the inspection, we robbed a brood frame each from two hives. I thought I had brushed all the bees off the frames into their respective hives, however, when I got home I discovered there were a few on the brood frames. Oh yes, I had the open box in my back seat.

I moved the Nuc three yards to a spot where it would get more sun facing as it had before, South East. I hung the cage with the queen and attendants on one of the new brood frames and told the girls good night.

Attempting to Requeen a Hive With Possible Laying Worker(s)

After talking to another beekeeper in the area I think I just might have a laying worker. My second queen was doing fine up until a week ago. I've searched for her in two thorough inspections and she is gone. I had noticed about a week prior to installing the 2nd queen a cell with three eggs in it, which I thought was odd. My beekeeping friend asked me if I had noticed more than 1 egg in a cell, which I had, and she said it sounds like you have a laying worker(s). She had recently received a newsletter about that very issue. The laying worker and her followers may have killed the 1st AND 2nd queen.

If the third queen isn't accepted I will simply reunite the colony back to the parent colony. (Thank you to
amethystdragon for that suggestion, brillant.)


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Inspected Three Hives

Sunday; 14 June 2009

Hive #3 has my Cordovan bees and they have almost completely filled out the brood box with honey and brood. The honey super is being filled with lovely honey too. I must get another deep built, painted and filled with more foundation by the end of this week. I will be able to harvest honey from this hive this year.

Hive #1 is not as full. Poor bees. This is the one that survived two bear attacks last year. I located the queen and I will need to watch this hive closely. The brood was not a nice concentric circle. I will give her another month and make a decision whether to requeen at that point so they can make it through the winter. No honey from this hive this year.

Hive #3 is bustling as ever. Lots of honey and very strong. I did not have time to find the queen but it was obvious she was in there. The honey super is being filled out nicely. I should be able to harvest honey from this hive too.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sunday, June 14th 2009

Goals for the day.

1) attend book club.
2) inspect three hives

My conclusion of what went wrong.

After much research and discussion with other beekeepers, I've finally come to the conclusion that I should have done one of two things after creating the Nuc:

1) culled all queen cells on the frames and then installed a new queen OR..
2) left the queen cells intact, let nature take it's course not installing a new queen but allowing the bees to create their own queen.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Inspection of Hive 4

Approximately 4:30pm, Sunny, 80 degrees.

I found lots of larvae and the queen. She is very busy and productive. I have hope that this hive will make it. The bees aren't taking the sugar syrup so I will stop feeding them since the nectar flow is sufficient to meet their needs.

I plan to inspect the other hives this coming Wednesday since that is the next sunny day. I put a honey super on two of the hives and with luck I'll have honey this year.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Piping Queen

After doing some research I found that the Bzzz Bzzz sound was the queen was doing what is called "piping". Mated queens may briefly pipe after being released in a hive. This is exactly what the queen did when she was released into the hive and apparently it is rare for beekeepers to hear this piping.

Piping describes a noise made by virgin and mated queen bees during certain times of the virgin queens development. Fully developed virgin queens communicate through vibratory signals: "quacking" from virgin queens in their queen cells and "tooting" from queens free in the colony, collectively known as piping. A virgin queen may frequently pipe before she emerges from her cell and for a brief time afterwards. Mated queens may briefly pipe after being released in a hive. The piping sound is variously described as a children's trumpet tooting and quacking. It is quite loud and can be clearly heard outside the hive. The piping sound is created by the flight motor without movement of the wings. The vibration energy is resonated by the thorax.

I downloaded this video so you too can hear a piping queen!


Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Approximately 1:30pm; 82 degrees; Sunny

Six days after installing the new queen I inspected the hive to see if she was out of the cage. Opening the hive I did not smell the sweet smell as before when the bees did not accept the queen. I examined the cage and found the hole with candy plug had been eaten through and the queen and two attendants were still in the cage. I then opened the other end where the cork was plug in and the queen walked out onto my arm. Gently shaking her into the hive she disappeared. Pulling up each frame I heard a very unique sound of a two high pitched bzzzz bzzzz and then again bzzzz bzzzz and found the queen. The bees have accepted her and I saw her insert her abdomen into a cell, hopefully to begin laying eggs.