Thursday, July 23, 2009

Installation Movie

The Queen is in place and I will check on her in a week. No peeking!


Installed Fourth Queen

Here is a picture of my queen with whom I place my hope in this little hive. I pray that God wills this hive to thrive and prosper. Her attendants are all around her. I have lightley sprayed the cage with sugar water in case they are thirsty from their travels all the way from California. I will call her Queen Makeda.

You can see one end is white, this is the candy that the bees need to eat through to leave the cage and into the hive. The ideal is that by the time they have eat through the candy, the queen's pheromones have permeated the hive and the colony will accept her.

Waiting Bees

My poor beloved bees were waiting for me when I got back from the place I dumped them. They knew where home was and waited until I fixed it back into place. Little did they know I was trying to help them become a queen right hive.


Performed Method to Rid Hive of Laying Workers

Approximately 3:00p.m.
88 degrees and scattered thunderstorms.
Wind Chill: 88° Ceiling: 4200ft
Heat Index: 91° Visibility: 10mi
Dew Point: 68° Wind: 8mph
Humidity: 52% Direction: 180° (S)
Pressure: 29.85in Gusts: 0mph

Using the method outlined below, I carted the hive approximately 300 feet away. Because the site where I was going to dump the bees was close to the road that my neighbors travel, I informed them of the time I was doing this operation. That way they could keep themselves, pets, and children indoors.

The site was in the woods so I layed a sheet down so when the bees fell, their wings wouldn't get injured (I'm such a Mom). The bees were very persistent in wanting to get back onto the frames and I had to continuly brush them off. A couple of the bees burrowed into a cell and touched their little bee bottoms with my brush, which made them back out so I could brush them off.

My wheelbarrow was several yards away and after filling the extra empty hive body with frames, I pulled each frame out to ensure that no bees remained. Satisfied that the frames were completely denuded of bees, I took off back to the hive site. I could not believe how many of the bees were waiting for me.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ridding Your Hive of the Laying Worker Phenomenon

(Excerpt from Beekeeping for Dummies)

How to know if you have laying workers

The following are key indicators:

You have no queen. Remember that every inspection starts with a check for a healthy, laying queen. If you have lost your queen, you must replace her.

You see lots and lots of drones. A normal hive never has more than a few hundred drone bees. If you notice a big jump in the drone population, you may have a problem.

You see cells with two or more eggs. This is the definitive test. A queen bee will place only one egg in a cell -- never more than one. Laying workers are not so particular; they will place two or more eggs in a single cell. If you see more than one egg in a cell, you can be certain that you have laying worker bees. Time to take action!

Getting rid of laying workers

You may think that introducing a young and productive queen will set things right. But it won't. The laying workers will not accept a queen once they have started laying eggs. If you attempt to introduce a queen, she will be swiftly killed. GUARANTEED.

  • Before you can introduce a new queen, you need to get rid of all the laying workers. But how? They look just like all the other workers! The solution is tedious and time-consuming but 100-percent effective when done properly. You need the following items:
  • An empty deep hive body (no frames). The empty hive body will be used to temporarily hold the frames you remove from the problem hive. You will need two empty hive bodies if your problem hive consists of two deep hive bodies.
  • An outer cover.
  • A wheelbarrow or hand truck.
Follow these steps:

1. Order a new marked queen from your bee supplier.

2. The day your queen arrives, put the entire "problem" hive (bees and all, minus the bottom board) in the wheelbarrow (or in the hand truck) and move it at least 100 yards away from its original location. You'll want those spare empty hive bodies and outer covers nearby.

The bottom board stays in its original location.

3. One by one, shake every last bee off each frame and onto the grass.

Not a single bee can remain on the frame -- that bee might be a laying worker. A bee brush helps get the stubborn ones off.

4. Put each empty frames (without bees) into the spare empty hive(s) you have standing by. These should be at least 15 to 20 feet away from the shaking point.

Make sure that no bees return to these empty frames while you are doing the procedure. Use the extract outer cover to ensure that they can't sneak back to their denuded frames.

5. When you have removed every bee from every frame, use the wheelbarrow or hand truck to return the old (now bee-less) frames to the original hive bodies.

Again, just make sure that no bees sneak back onto the frames.

6. Place the hive to its original location on the bottom board, and transfer all the denuded frames from their temporary housing. So now you have the original hive bodies back at their original location, and all of the originals frames (less bees) placed back into the hive.

Some of the bees will be there waiting for you. These are the older foraging bees (not the younger laying workers). Be carefull not to squash any bees as you slide the hive back onto the bottom board.

Most of these older foraging bees will find their way back to the hive. But the young nurse bees, the ones that have been laying eggs, have never ventured out of the hive before. They will be lost in the grass where you deposited them and will never find their way back to the hive.

Now you can safely introduce your new queen.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bess Beetle

This lovely male beetle was found on some rotted logs. When I bent down to photograph him he made noises at me. I wasn't sure what the sound was at first because it was so faint. I listened and it sort of sounded like several baby birds with their mouths open making that squealing noise begging for food.

Go to this link to hear the Bess Beetle

Also, you can conduct "tractor pull" experiments with Bess Beetles