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Archive for May, 2010

Leaning Tower of Beesa

May 28, 2010 2 comments

My hunch was correct. Those darn bees sped up their comb building. I took a quick peek today–and they were definitely needing more room. I added the last brood box (hopefully in time).

What’s with the gaps between boxes 1-2? Warping already? I don’t want the bees to think I’m some kind of hive slumlord…

Offered new 800ml bottle of sugar water to placate the tenants.

Categories: bee hive, beekeeping, bees Tags: ,

Beekeeping with Kids

May 23, 2010 4 comments

I love the first view of the colony, just after I take off the inner cover. All those little bee-heads (now, probably 20,000) staring up at me. Maybe our own house isn’t that crowded, after all.

We had a great family hive inspection this afternoon. Two of my kids are showing definite signs of beekeeping interest. They had to trade off using the one extra veil, but still had a lot of fun. They’re certainly more fearless than I am. And their adventurous natures paid off with an audience with our queen.

Latifah on 2nd frame of top box
As soon as we closed the hive, the foragers started returning–many with pollen baskets full of bright orange, golden yellow, and tan pollen.
It was a gorgeous (that is, un-foggy) day–and our other creatures enjoyed themselves, as well:
New bottle of sugar water on 5/20. Add third medium brood box in a week?

The Queen is Seen

May 13, 2010 2 comments

Another hive inspection yesterday (day 32)–and, aside from the usual evidence of the queen’s presence (eggs, etc.), I now have a photo:

The lighter coloring of the Italian queens makes them so much easier to spot. Ours was on the third frame of the bottom box. (About four frames in the top box were drawn out–I’ll probably add the last brood box in a week. After that, it’s honey supers.)

We’ve been trying to come up with a good name for our queen. After much family deliberation, my mother-in-law came up with the perfect one: Latifah.

New 800ml bottle of sugar water

Mother’s Day Gift for the Beekeeper Who Has Everything

May 8, 2010 1 comment

Categories: beekeeping, bees

Baby Bees Due Any Day

May 3, 2010 2 comments

It takes 21 days for new worker bees to emerge. So, since this is day 22 for the hive–and assuming Her Royal Highness began laying eggs within a few days of being released–we should have several hundred bouncing baby bees any day now.

I opened the hive for an inspection today. The top box had a bit of burr comb that I had to scrape out. (The Italian hive tool I got from Brushy Mountain is perfect for this.) Only the middle frames had any comb drawn out, so I probably won’t have to add the third brood box for at least a week.

The bottom box was filled (really packed) with capped and some uncapped brood, pollen, nectar, and much honey.

It’s still breathtaking to be working with 10,000 bees–and these are just the original colony. Wonder what 50,000+ will be like…