Monday, August 5, 2013

Late summer update.

I've been neglecting the blog but not the bees. Everyone is in a hive now except 1 nuc. Should be able to get them in a double deep by September.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Quick post rain inspection.

Checked all the hives today and things looked good except for the blue nuc. It was short on bees so I shook 2 frames from the green hive.

Cassie nuc got moved into red hive.

Kenny nuc got another box.

White hive got honey super added that needs to be drawn.

Stained hive needs a honey super and I'll get one on asap.

Blue hive got a empty deep added that needs drawn.

Purple hive got drawn honey super added with drawn comb.

Sorry it's so short but kinda rushed for time today.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Patience pays off.

Happy to report the swarm that's been in the tree forever is now hived. We had cold temps at night for the last week and I noticed their numbers had been dwindling. This morning they were still up in the tree when I checked but it was only about half the bees. Late this evening I checked the hive and noticed the comb in the tree bee-less. I looked around a little bit and noticed a swarm in a small peach tree behind the hives near the ground. I snipped the branch and laid it on top of the blue nuc. They went right in and within minutes they were fanning. It was amazing to watch up close and I wish I would have made a video of it. Anyway it'll be nice to see what happen with the hive. I'll check in 7-10 days and see if all is well.

I'll get another empty nuc out this week for a swarm trap.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hot half inspections...

Boy was it hot and muggy today. I don't know what I was thinking but decided to suit up and check the hive. It was steamy in that jacket for sure.  Everything looked good but I didn't look check the blue, stained, or white hive except to add a popsicle stick under the top cover for ventilation.

Orange nuc
Starting to look good. Lots of bees brood and eggs. Really jumped off after adding some capped brood and bees.

Purple hive
Doing great. Drawing out the top deep super. Hope to get a split out of them in a week or two.

Kenny nuc
Saw three nice queen cells. Lots of bees and some brood still. Knock on wood but maybe the curse has lifted.

Green hive
Moved the out of the Ceirra nuc and into a green hive. Theres a ton of bees open brood and stores. Like the other hive there were a couple queen cups at the bottom of one frame. They had built everything out so I'm hoping they just needed some room.

Cassie nuc
Looks great. Gave them an extra box to build out. They'll be ready for a hive soon.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers Day Inspection...

Did a quick inspection on everything today before a others day party. Most things were good. Boy the locust sure are blooming and there's a heck of a flow on right now here.

Orange Nuc...
Still little bees and eggs. Added a frame of eggs/brood/bees from the blue hive to give them a boost. 

Lexi Nuc - Purple Hive...
They filled the top nuc box so I moved them into a full size box. All 10 frames were packed full of bees brood or nectar so I added another box on top with 5 frames of drawn comb and 5 frames of foundation. Everything else looked great. Nice bees these are turning into although I didn't like the 4-5 queen cups they built on the bottom of one frame. All were empty so I hope it was just because they needed some room.

Kenny Nuc...
I swear this nuc is cursed. I opened it up today and there's lots of bees but no queen cell or eggs. Just a little brood left to hatch from the frames I started them with. I took a frame of eggs and nurse bees out of the Ceirra Nuc and hopefully they'll get it right this time. 

Ceirra Nuc...
Looks good. They haven't filled the top box as fast as the Lexi Nuc but if the flow continues they will be ready for a full size hive this weekend. 

Cassie Nuc...
They have a nice dark carni queen and she's a laying machine. I'll have to keep a close eye on this one to make sure I keep up with them. They should be ready for another box also this weekend. 

Blue Hive...
Looks good. Nice amount of bees and stores. There were a couple of head butters but after a little smoke it ended. I didn't have time to swap boxes but will this weekend and add the deep super back to them.

Stained Hive...
Full of drones, bees, and nectar. I pulled a few frames and noticed a couple queen cells that had been chewed open. I also found another that was closed. I didn't see a queen or eggs and I'm guessing they don't have one yet. I'll check it again this weekend to see. 

White Hive...
Same as always... Just great! I'm guessing I'll get 5-6 supers of honey from this hive alone this year. They'll more than likely need another super this weekend as they have already started to cap the center frames. Just chock a block full of honey and nectar.

I'm almost certain the swarm in the tree is the same. I guess the queen is lame or can't fly. They are still on the tree branch higher up from before. No way to get them down so I guess that's their new home. Hope the cold temps aren't too much for them out in the open like that. It's been really breezy at night and a chance of frost tomorrow night.

Happy Mothers Day to all you moms out there!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Swarm again...

This morning the swarm was still I place but I figured it would move now that sun was out. They didn't disappoint. This evening when I got home they were gone from their spot and nothing was left behind but a little comb they were building.

I see another swarm about 15-20 feet higher in the tree from the previous. Almost directly above the place the comb was built. This one appears to be a lighter colored bee so I'm guessing its from the white hive. Hard to say for sure since they are so high and no one witnessed which hive they  came out of. Anyway.... maybe I will have better luck and this one will end up in my swarm trap. I really need to order some of those swarm traps or put another empty nuc or two around the property. I will make sure I am better prepared in the future.

Alsi seeing the first clover blooms. Can't wait to see fields of it.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Swarm stayed...

They were still in the tree this evening. We've had incredibly hard rain today but they stayed clustered. More rain for tomorrow so I'm not sure they'll move. I'll update if anything changes.

Stay swarm... Stay!

This evening right before dark the swarm was still in place. It's drizzled all day and now is raining pretty good and has been since around 8 last night. I'll check in the morning to see if the still are in the tree. I know they're just waiting for me to go off somewhere before they make their move. ;) I put a little fresh lemon grass oil on the empty nuc so maybe with the rain and all it'll look pretty inviting.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday inspections...

Checked everything today before the rain settles in.

Orange Nuc
Slow. Queen is there and laying but it's she's holding back. Nothing showing they want to replace her but she's not living up to my expectations after making it through winter. After the rains are over I'll add a frame of capped brood from another hive and see if it gets things going. I'm hoping she's slow because there's not enough coming in. They over wintered in a 5 frame nuc so they are pretty tough and I'd like to keep them around. If they aren't significantly better by the end of the month I'll requeen them.

Stained Hive
They swarmed again today. I couldn't get to them yesterday and by the time I made it out there today they had swarmed. At least I guess it's the stained hive. It's the only hive with dark bees and there's a volley ball size swarm 30 feet up in a oak tree behind the hives. When I came in this evening they were still there. I'll check in the morning. Maybe I'll get lucky and they will move into the empty nuc I have out there.

The rest of the hives and nucs looked good. I ordered some more gear and when my escape screen and fume board arrive I'll give the hives all a new honey super to fill up.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Stained hive swarm and return...

The stained hive put out a swarm today and then returned after an hour. I'm guessing the queen didn't make it out. I'll check it tomorrow and probably split it after work is over.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Splits and Checks...

I checked all of the hives today and everything looked good except for the Orange Nuc.

White Hive
Pulled a split and 2 honey supers off that were empty so they aren't overwhelmed with space. I set the honey supers out for all the bees to rob and clean up. Noticed some ants at the top but I think it's because there's so much space. Lots of bees but they should have better luck with the ants now that they aren't protecting so much. Everything else looked good as always.

Stained Hive
Just a note... This hive had a head butter or two during the inspection. It wasn't persistent but one would but my veil and then bugger off. Maybe 4-5 butters the entire inspection. Just wanted to make a note however as this is my most aggressive hive so far this year as well as last. They are great bees so far besides the couple butters. They've built up really really well.

Blue Hive
This hive layed in the honey super so I reversed it to the bottom and removed one of the deep supers. The other I filled with drawn comb and placed on top of the medium. I hope they'll move up and I'll

Cassie Nuc
Took 2 nice full frames of bees and nectar from stained hive as well as a frame of bees and brood that held a nice queen cell at the bottom. I checked these frames quickly for a queen as it was in the 50's but will go over them real well this weekend to make sure I didn't get the queen from the stained hive.

Lexi Nuc
Looked great. Added another box to give them room. Seemed settled and very gentle.

Kenny Nuc
Pulled 3 frames full of bees/honey/brood from the white hive and set this nuc up. I'll make sure this weekend they have a queen cell in the works and that I didn't get the queen from the white hive.

Ceirra Nuc
Looked good also. Added another box for room. They are also very gentle.

Orange Nuc
They aren't very strong for some reason. I did see brood and eggs but no queen. I'll check them again this weekend and see what's up and make sure they have a queen. I'll probably add a frame of brood and bees from the white hive to give them some numbers.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

2 New Nucs...

Picked up 2 nice nucs from a beekeeper in a neighboring county to add to my genetics. Both are Italian with nice Italian coloring. They have the 5 frames pretty filled so I'll add another box for them in the next day or so. I want to make sure they have time to settle.

Fool me twice shame on me...

Received a letter today that I was named as a creditor in a bankruptcy filling by "Russell's Apiaries". Expected as much. This is the second time I've gotten a letter from a "bee supplier" that stole my money and filled for bankruptcy. The other was my first year from the guy Rory at "Busy Bee". Shame Russells decided to go this route as the queens I got previously from them did very well. I won't share it here but if you would like to read more there's a few big threads on BeeSource about the whole jaded ordeal and what people have been able to dig up on the guy.

A word of advice to anyone new to beekeeping... DO NOT let someone hang onto your money for more than 45 days. If they have not shipped your bees/queens/boxes/etc ask for a refund until they are shipped. Most banks/cards/paypal have a 90 day limit on making a claim. If you wait you will lose your money. Don't let a bee supplier give you an excuse as to why he/she can't ship your product. This being agriculture is the most used excuse and it's crap. If they can't deliver they can't and shouldn't be able to hold onto or spend your money.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Farm swarm traps.

I placed a couple of empty nucs at the farm this evening to use as swarm traps. Always see lots of bees over there so hope to catch a swarm or two.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New Hives Arrived...

UPS delivered the new hives today from Mann Lake. 6 boxes in total and I got them all together. Still have 100 frames to assemble but those can wait. Will start painting ( red, green, pink, purple, & yellow) the hives tomorrow and they should be ready by the end of the weekend. Pretty pleased with everything. Actually they're probably the nicest hives I have. I do plan to cut a hole in the bottom board and add some screen since the bottom boards are solid.

Hopefully I'll be able to make splits in the next couple of weeks as it looks like spring is arriving this weekend finally. Hopefully I'll have enough mediums until I can order some more. I'll probably take advantage of free shipping again from Mann Lake and buy the medium supers there along with frames and foundation again.

Also reserved 2 deep nucs from a beekeeper in the next county over. Found him on craigslist and he's supposed to let me know when they are ready.

Monday, March 25, 2013

New Hives

I ordered 5 new hives from Mann Lake today. Looking forward to expanding this year! Can't wait until everything gets here and I can get it all assembled.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Winter Update...

It's in the high 60's here today and the bees are out taking advantage. I'm seeing activity from all the hives but all but one nuc is active. The orange nuc was the only one showing any activity. I figure the very cold temps we had would probably be too much for the nucs I made late in the year but didn't expect the natural nuc to have trouble. It's unfortunately one of the quiet ones today. I should have plenty of bees to make splits again this year but am going to look into getting a few packages and queens just be safe. If nothing else I can make more nucs with them. I'll check on them later today to see if anything has changed. It's supposed to be in the high 60's again tomorrow but rain is forecast. We'll see how things go. I'm not planning to open the hives but if I change my mind I'll update things.