Saturday, May 11, 2013

Hive Inspection 5/11/13

Mostly Sunny

Rozina has lots of bees doing orientation flights lately.  She should have plenty of emerging bees now.  My biggest concern is if she has enough space to lay.

Opening her up it was nice to see the bees had finally finished the syrup.  It was also nice to see no ants had found it.  The ants did find the detritus in the closed off Screened Bottom Board though. Like i've said before, around here bees aren't that interested in Spring syrup.  Rarely does it all get taken.  Leaving me with jars of syrup in the fridge until Fall. 

A cleaned out Hive Top Feeder
The top box was filled with seven frames of brood, some drone cells, and two nicely developed Queen cups in the swarm position.  Neither of which had an egg in it.  What i didn't see was any space for the queen to lay.  The Pollen the bees are bringing in is the same color as the existing wax.  Which looks like capped short worker cells.  It could be the Yellow poplar which is now in bloom.

Wax & pollen the same color
The Bottom box had several frames of newly laid eggs as the Queen has finally moved down.  This brought many of the bees down too.  Who are now working the frames.   I was worried she might not ever drop down to this box since the whole colony went straight into the top box after the queen was released.  Fortunately I found her down there too and marked her.

Queen Rozina freshly marked
Not the biggest queen i've had but her brood pattern and productivity are good.  She was on frame two which is an all honey edge frame.  I believe she was looking for somewhere to lay but she had already filled up the available frames.  So it's time for another box.

Rozina with three medium ten frame boxes
Added to the hive was another medium brood box.  This box comes with four filled honey frames and six not so drawn wax foundation frames.  All from previous dead-outs and what-not.  The bees will need to finish drawing out the middle frames for the queen to lay in them.  To help out i'm going to put yet another gallon of syrup on the bees.  The flow seems OK but some cool weather is on the way which might keep the bees from doing much.  They've not been encouraged to make much wax.  I hope this spurs them on.  If so we could get some honey frames drawn later on.

The overall population in the colony is up to OK from Fair.  She has plenty of bees on every frame but does not cover the frame.  By August her population should be High.  The frames won't be visible and the Slatted Rack will be packed with bees. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

5 Years under the Belt

Today is the fifth anniversary of us getting into beekeeping.  The big issue this coming year is repopulating the apiary.  Last Summer, Fall, & Winter were hard on the bees.  We lost all the established hives.  Only a tiny Fall swarm survived.  She is now in a full hive and brooding up.  We have one package that has been hived and one more due to arrive next weekend.  I am setting out swarm traps and hoping the annual wild swarm that always passes through the yard does so again.

5 years of wear
As it is the main flow is about to start.  The Black Locust is in bloom which means the Yellow Poplars are next.  The flow will hit us while the three hives have a low population.  It will help the bees establish themselves but i doubt any surplus honey will be made this year.  Fortunately we have enough from last year to get us through this one.

We could very well go back into Winter with less hives than last Fall.  I fondly think back to two years ago when for a brief time I had ten colonies in the apiary.

Good luck to all you Beeks this year.  May your bees be many and your Honey flow.