Saturday, June 29


Since the bees are now using the pet waterer - I cleaned it out. I replaced the removed the water, rocks and sticks which were very grimy.
And replaced the feeder with clean fresh water, marbles and skewers. Hopefully the checkered pattern of skewers will keep the bees from drowning. 

Friday, June 28

Outside Activities

In my online reading, I learned...

Bees fanning with bottoms up, are helping new forager bees to orient to the hive.
Bees fanning with bottoms down, are circulation the air.
Bees washboarding (appearance of licking) are cooling off the hive.

Hot Temperatures

Earlier today I watched as several bees stood on the entrance board with their heads pointed in and their tails pointed down and their wings beating rapidly.
Temperatures reached 90 degrees today. I wondered why the bees were fanning outside the hive. Were they robber bees, telling the gang where to find the honey? If they were fanning to cool off, why were they outside the hive?
Upon opening, I can see the hive quarters are very crowded.
There are even many bees at the back of the hive near the camera. I used to adjust the camera with bare hands, but I won't be doing that today.
I took out the false wall and opened up the whole hive to the bees.
Using the crowbar, I shifted all the bars back far enough to insert two empty bars in front. The bees festooned from the front wall to the moved comb.
Before I inserted the two bars, bees were bearding at the entrance. Afterwards they moved in.

Thursday, June 27

One in Three

Reading in American Bee Journal, it sounds like I have a 1 in 3 chance that this hive will survive through the year. That's pretty bleak. With all the mistakes I make as a beginning beekeeper, it must be a miracle I still have my bees. I think of it as a blessing.

Wednesday, June 26

Saturday, June 22

Inspection noVideo

Today was the last day before the rains were to start up again. I have wanted to get in since seeing the dead larva outside the hive. I haven't noticed anything else to be concerned about from the outside view, but it has been several weeks since I have made an inspection and I was curious how they were really doing.
As always, my inspection didn't start until late in the evening. I suited up while the cameraman setup his station and got the smoker puffing. The bees were very calm. My boys were walking around me in their bare feet the whole time, making me think I was overdressed. Sometimes they even stood directly in front of the entrance. They have no fear. Neither of them have they been stung before.
I really wanted to upload the boring video, but it was too large.
Inspection Report:
8:00 pm - 8:20 pm
mostly cloudless sky
Bar #0 - new full comb, most empty, uncap honey at top
Bar  #1 - front full cap brood, back sparse cap brood
Bar  #2 - front 2/3 cap brood, back 1/2 cap brood, some uncap larva, festooning
Bar  #3 - 1/3 cap brood
Bar  #4 - drone comb, uncap honey at top, many empty cells
Bar  #5 - 3/4 cap brood
Bar  #6 - 1/3 cap scattered brood, larva
Bar  #7 - 1/3 cap scattered brood
Bar  #8 - empty, few cap brood on bottom
Bar  #9 - heavy, 1/2 cap misc, some cap drone, some uncap honey
Bar #10 - eggs, few cap drone, 1/3 uncap honey at top 
Bar #11 - new comb, 1/3 uncap honey, rest empty
Bar #12 - 1/2 new comb, uncap honey at top, rest empty, festooning
Bar #13 - tiny new comb, empty, festooning
Bar #14 - no comb, festooning
Bar #15 - no comb, few bees
Notes: quarter patty 1/2 consumed, replaced pint feeder syrup, no queen found

Thursday, June 20

Finding Drones & Larva

This afternoon we went out to see the bees and found this hollow larva lying below the hive. I wonder if more experience would tell me what the dead larva signs mean or if it will always be a mystery. 
I told the boys that drones can't sting.
So when we found a half-a-dozen crawling under the hive, we coaxed them into our hands and enjoyed them close up. The boys got a kick out of being able to handle the bees.

Tuesday, June 18

Rains Return

 The rains are back. They come for a few days and then give us a break and return again.
Lots of bees chilling out on the entrance when the rains subside. 
Here's our hive orientation...the front faces East.

Thursday, June 13


Perhaps I should keep a forecast of the weather. The rains are back and I haven't prepared enough syrup. It's rained the last three days. I made some syrup today. Just my luck, it will be sunny the rest of the week and I'll have missed the window again again. Sorry, no pics today. From the entrance it looks like comb #0 is completely built.That was fast!

Saturday, June 8

Hive Growth

 I opened the hive to peek inside the back.
Syrup was empty and a few bees were feasting on the patty.
The bees just began comb on bar #11.
I wanted to see the activity level on bar #0, but as I started pulling the bar up a beard of bees spewed out and startled me since I wasn't suited up for that kind of job. I carefully closed it up.

Thursday, June 6

What Is Too Dark?

How dark is too dark to keep?
I can't decide whether to cut the dark comb (all comb) or leave it for the chance that it could be used. 

New Coat of Paint

I painted two brood boxes. The round comb box that I painted a few years ago sits under the newly painted yellow brood box. And the two boxes under those are supers of original color.

Eviction Complete

No more drone are being evicted. Seven days to evict the drone. Must have been a lot of drone.

Monday, June 3

Eviction Continues

Upon arriving home, I found the bees still evicting drone. The hive wafted a sweet smell. I worry that when I go out of town the bees will swarm or die.

Saturday, June 1


I made up a new 1:1 syrup, putting it in a pint jar this time around and cut a new patty out. Then placed those in he back of the hive just before heading out of town.