Category: Talks

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Florin is still holding strong. They look like they’re growing a lot. Hopefully they will be able to find enough honey during the fall for them to get through winter. I don’t doubt they will, but it’s been really dry for a while now.

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The yellows are just after the cast-outs of the natural hive it seems. They aren’t trying to get in; they’re just picking up the dead bees on the ground around the hive that are thrown out by the bees inside.

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The yellow jackets are back.

It looks like the combination of yellowjackets and hive beetles has caused the crawl space hive to abscond. There are also a crazy number of yellow jackets interested in the ground just in front of the natural hive. They don’t seem to be flying in to it, just landing on the ground in front of it. I cleared away all the leaves and plants around the area but found nothing of interest. There’s gotta be a huge nest nearby, and I need to find it.

The yellow jackets don’t seem to be very interested in my traps either. I’m killing several, but I’m getting more flies than yellow jackets.

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It appears as though the natural hive has swarmed. There’s no more visible honey at the top and the numbers have been drastically reduced. I really hope they’re able to build back up before winter because it’s really late.

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Apparently a good few bees didn’t get the memo. I hope they find their way to their new home across the yard…

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So I officially moved Easter Hiveland to the bee area last night. I also moved them from their double deep 8-frame (total of 10 inhabited frames) in to a single deep 10-frame. This should allow them to better control pests and heat. My only task now is making sure they don’t swarm out before winter hits. They still are only about 6 frames worth of bees, but this colony has shown their potential for growth quite effectively over the past months.

I set an old nuc in the old location to hopefully capture any foragers that return to the old location. That way I can dump them back in the primary colony and have an empty trap set in the old location for when spring hits. ^^

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Hive checkup time!!!

Since it had been a while, I decided to go out and check on all the hives to see what was up. The natural swarm hive is doing about as well as expected from a hive untouched by man. (3, 4) Lots of comb and in a video I saw lots of capped cells. I also saw the queens in all the other hives so I know they’re in there.

The massive extraction colony (1, 2) is doing exceptionally well, and they seem to be hoarding all the honey. They have a huge hive beetle problem though so I’m not sure how they’re gonna fare. They don’t seem to know how to use the traps that I put in there, so the hive beetle population is huge. I might remove their inner cover to minimize beetle hiding space.

Easter Hiveland (5, 6, 7, 8) apparently swarmed right as the summer dearth hit so the colony doesn’t have any honey at the moment. They have lots of spotty brood and a queen though so I’ll hold out hope for them for a while. I might reduce them a little to hopefully ward off the hive beetles and keep them a little less spread out. They have quite a large population but they are only inhabiting the lower box for some reason.

And my latest little extraction (9) seems to have swarmed as well, but the remainder of the colony didn’t do so well. They have maybe a full frame’s worth of brood across three frames and no honey stored up. I moved them in to a nuc to keep them safe and hopefully ward off ant attacks. Their queen seems a little…lazy? I’m not sure what to call her. She doesn’t move much and her laying pattern is restricted to just the center of the frames.

The super-hive Florin (no photos) has consolidated their brood space. (I assume in preparation for the winter.) Now they only take up about 6-7 frames, and have another 5-6 frames of mixed pollen and honey in the front of the hive. I didn’t see any large honey reserves anywhere in the brood area, but they probably just have it stored further back. They are much more calm than usual which is rather concerning for me. I’m not sure what that means, but they usually are really defensive.

This one looked like it was a primary hive. No…

This one looked like it was a primary hive. Not only did it have proper layers of brood and honey, but it had a marked queen inside. It also looked like it had been in there for quite some time judging by the amount of propolis and burr comb inside.

It’s perfectly “healthy” for them, it will just give to very small and very weak swarms. The lower numbers also makes them more vulnerable to diseases and pests and especially the cold come winter.

Saw a really neat plexiglass observation hive …

Saw a really neat plexiglass observation hive in an apple orchard by my grandparents house. I spotted the queen on the back side but she buried herself in the masses of bees shortly after.
They are super packed in there and my hope is that they won’t swarm out before it gets too late. A swarm this size this late will inevitably fail…

fuzzybuttbees: This was a big week for our hi…

fuzzybuttbees:

This was a big week for our hives! We spent Saturday pulling honey, shaking each frame free of bees before taking them inside to be spun in our extractor. Despite having only one hive, we managed to pull between 5 and 6 gallons again this year. Nefertiti’s hive was very productive!

We also did some basic hive maintenance and tested for varroa.

Lastly, we said goodbye to Queen Ophelia and Queen Nefertiti. We installed new queens Thursday morning. Please welcome Queen Persephone and Queenie!!

That’s a lot of queen cells!! Wow!