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Bee TV — U Can’t Touch This

July 26, 2010 Leave a comment

You know the Yule log channel that’s on around Christmas each year? I think they should have one that’s just focused on a hive. I could watch these bees all day long… (Notice the very full pollen baskets coming in. Very ’80s. MC Hammer pants!)

I didn’t have time for a full inspection, but I did see that the drone eggs the queen had laid in the super (before I added the excluder) were hatching. You can see four of the newborns chewing their way out of the wax, next to the wooden bottom bar:

I’m hoping to be able to extract at least two supers in a week or so. The finished tower:


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?

A Reprieve

April 19, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m so curious to see what’s happening in the hive–particularly since I didn’t see the queen or evidence of her existence (eggs) during the first hive inspection. Since there’s much foraging activity–and more stormy weather forecast, starting late tonight–I’ll give the little dears a break and not remove their roof today.

Sugar water bottle empty; replaced with fresh 800 ml bottle.

Categories: Uncategorized

Grand Opening

April 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Big day today–the first official hive inspection. Lighting the smoker went better and I got the hive open quite easily. Despite the relatively warm, sunny weather, there were a ton (ok, probably three pounds) of bees in the hive. And they were hard at work.

If you look closely, you can see where they’ve started drawing out the comb on the wax foundation.

There were several cells with bright yellow or orange pollen–and some cells were already filled with glistening nectar.

But I couldn’t find the queen or any eggs. This could mean: (1) she’s gone to the Great Beehive in the Sky and we’re doomed or (2) I’m too myopic to find tiny white eggs on pure white comb. I’ll check again in a few days…

Otherwise, though, our little friends seem to be thriving. Lots of foraging activity and the feeder bubbling away like a water cooler.

So, I closed up the hive carefully–without squishing anyone. Whew.

Sugar water bottle empty; replaced with fresh 800 ml bottle.

Stormy Weather

April 12, 2010 Leave a comment

It was very windy and rainy this morning, but I wanted to get the shipping package out of the bottom brood box. After some trouble getting the smoker lit, I opened up the hive and saw that the queen (and mini marshmallow stopper) were both gone from the queen cage–a bit earlier than expected. I didn’t want to chill everyone while I looked for Her Majesty, so I’m hoping she’s doing well. I’ll open up the hive again in a few days.

Below you’ll notice two distinct styles of beekeeping attire: me in my haz-mat suit; Nancy, in regular clothes, making friends with a bee that landed on her finger.

There were still a bunch of bees clustered in the package, so we (unceremoniously, I’m afraid) helped them onto the landing before it got much rainier. Although it wasn’t the smoothest transfer (months of book learning don’t add up to five minutes of experience), the bees were gracious and calm. They’re now all in one medium brood box. As you can see from the half-empty sugar water bottle, they clearly love my cooking.

Sugar water imbibed = 400ml

Categories: Uncategorized