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.