Sunday, April 16, 2017

Checked for a queen today

Today I checked and the queen (buckfast) from Monica is still alive. She was still in the cage, so I let her out since the past requeening failures have all been the smae (queen died in the cage).  They had only eaten about 3/8" of the fondant so far.  The queen was installed Thursday, so I would have expected more of it to be gone.  The queen is marked with a yellow dot.

The split she was installed in was made on wednesday, so they were queenless for at least 24 hours.

The hive that it was split from was originally from a swarm removed from under a shipping container.  When that hive got big enough, I split it and tried to requeen both.  I think one was successful, but due to poor notes I don't know if it was the queen from Monica or Jaime (this was last year).

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hive Inspection April 27th

Did a (mostly) full hive inspection today.  The bees have been quite busy.

Here is my original hive (alpha):

And here are a few pictures from the container hive I removed (beta):

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Cleaned up the new hive today

Hard to believe how fast time goes.

Since I have last posted, I have been very busy!  I got a swarm/baby hive, did a small removal at a neighbors house, and had a newbeek come over to learn!  I will post about each individually after this post.

Today I went in and "renovated" the hive that came from under Andrea and Max's shipping container.  They had seriously crosscombed the frames, due to me not having the hive level when I placed it in the apiary.  My fault.  I was trying to figure out how I was going to remove and straighted up the comb... and the idea of rubberbanding the comb to frames was not very exciting.

I found a webpage from The Garden Academy that has a "Rescue Frame" made with fence wire.  Freaking genius.  I made 7 of these frames up and ended up using all 7 of them today to straighten up the hive.  I only lost about 1 piece of comb the size of a deck of cards.  To be honest, I didn't try to hard to save that for the hive since it was capped honey and looked so tasty.  It's in the fridge right now :)


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Michael comes to visit the bees and learn (March 23rd)

Michael from the Tucson Beekeepers Facebook group came over this morning to learn some of the basics of beekeeping.

He brought beer :)

We got all suited up, went over the finer points of lighting the smoker (and keeping it lit).

I opened up both the hives I had.  The oldest hive is kind of a mess, there are undrawn frames in the bottom and top, and things are in general disarray.  Nothing new there.  Needs to be fixed up, I think they want foundationless frames.

The new hive (cutout) is looking really good, except for it not vbeing level.  The bees always build up and down, so it's something I am going to have to fix before it gets out of hand.

Had a beer with michael after we were done, and a good chat.  He's a good guy I think.

I like teaching people new things =)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hive removal from Max and Andrea's place

One of the neighborhood friends had a swarm move in underneath a shipping container a few days ago. I stopped by yesterday afternoon to take a peek, and I saw comb... They are building a hive.

Got an old hive body and filled it with frames, drilled two holes on opposing sides, screened one from the inside and attached the shop vac to it. Sucked the bees out from under the container and they were then trapped in the hive. Removed the comb, which got pretty damaged by me pulling it out and it sitting in the sun. it went in the comb bucket. I put the hive in the apiary (next to my other hive).

I went back to Max and Andrea's later and there were no bees at all, anywhere. Successful removal!! And some free german bratwurst for my efforts :)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Lots of orientation flights this afternoon!

I went out to watch the bees for a few minutes today, they were really busy at the entrance of the hive.  Lots of bees circling then taking off, looks like they got a new wave of foragers!  That's exciting, I am hoping it means the hive is getting stronger. 

I will get some pictures next time I open the hive.  I think it will be wednesday morning.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

First visit to a large apiary today!

A local beekeeper let me volunteer some time today, and showed me around his apiary.  We checked several hives (about 10 I think) and got them fed to get them strong for the upcoming mesquite / creosote / palo verde blooms.

I also worked on my hive today after I got home, and removed the last "wild" comb out of the hive, and wired it into a frame.  I can now pull out all the frames in the hive for inspection, and was able to fit a 9th frame in the hive!

I rearranged some of the frames, and added a second super on top.  I put some of the drawn frames (including the one that I had removed from the bottom) in the top super, hopefully they will start to draw out the top box.

Also gave them some sugar syrup to hopefully encourage some comb drawing!