Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bringing in the Pollen

Since about Sunday the Silver & Red Maples have been in bloom. Both Mary & Myrina have been bringing it into the hives. Fresh pollen will stimulate the queens to begin laying eggs. This will be a turning point for Mary. She can now replace & increase her population. Once her numbers are big enough I can requeen her with (hopefully) a new queen from Myrina.

Mary still has a few other obstacles. The Nosema continues to affect her. She would be OK if the bees drank the medicated syrup but they won't touch it for some reason. Her population is so low it will take a while for her to increase in size. To do that she must replace the worker bees faster than they die off . Unfortunately, as evident from last year, her egg laying ability is weak too. So it will be some time before Mary is out of the woods (or should I say 'garage'). The next good sign is when I find she is actually laying eggs in a good pattern. When I see that and the weather has permanently warmed up I'll place Mary's hive outside again.

Here's a quick video of Mary's girls...
video
Mostly what you see are several bees taking their Orientation flights. Important stuff since it tells them where their hive is located. The bees that flew off are fledged field bees going to get pollen & nectar.

Myrina is doing well of course. I have no doubt that she'll brood up as fast as she can. What I'm looking for in her are Swarm Cells. Some time in the next few months she might produce some. These Swarm cells will contain the queens I'll use to requeen Mary and split Myrina to make another colony. That plus the packaged bees I will get from the Beginners Class and I hope to have 4 strong colonies at he end of the year.
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My new Beekeeping Assistant
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Guarding against Robing

My one cat likes Mary's ICU hive in the garage. Maybe it's the sound, the smell, or the heat lamp but I catch her there each day. She mostly loves watching the bees fly in & out from the safe side of the window.

1 comment:

immwia said...

I did not know you had a cat...interesting. I would like it there for the heat lamp but then again I am not much on the cold.