Sunday, May 31, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Jessica sent a cool link about bees. Here it is:
Kids getting an education about bees. Cool place. I'd like to visit that myself.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Today we needed to go back in and complete what we started unsuccessfully last week. We were unable then to find the queen, so we gave it a week and looked again today. It was warm but windy. I'll have to remember to try to do this with less wind.
We first took a look at the bottom hive body. We found a lot of honey, open and capped, as well as some larvae. Some of the larvae appeared to be capped, which it should be at this point. We did not find the queen in the lower box, so moved to the upper again, which we examined last week. Much more comb had been built up. On the next to the last frame, we found the queen. She was very easy to spot. In the video, she is in the lower left corner of the frame, difficult to see on the film. We carefully put that frame back in and closed the hive. We never did see any eggs, though we could have been more thorough in our examination. Clearly, there was larva present and things looked fine, at least to our untrained eyes. We have class again this weekend and will need to add the rest of the chemical for AFB.
Bees have been very busy and active. There are many dandelions about and the fruit trees still have blossoms, though not as many as a week ago. Other flowers and bushes are beginning to bloom, though. The blueberries are just starting to blossom, and the grapes will be in full bloom in the next couple weeks. We're getting rain tonight and the coming week appears wet, which is great for the flowers but not so much for the bees. We are still feeding the sugar water, however, for those cooler, damp days.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Although a number of bees were flying in and out of the hive, it was interesting how many were in the frames and on top of the frames in the top box. There were some up in the box housing the feeding can but only a dozen or so. Once we smoked, then removed, the inner cover, we saw hundreds of bees in the frames and many on top of them. I removed the frame farthest back, which had no bees or comb built up on it. We moved a couple frames over, then pulled a frame out to inspect. The whiteness of the new comb they had built up was surprising. It looked clean and fresh. Our previous experience had been older frames we passed around during the class session, which were dark in color and obviously older. In many of the cells we found yellow substance which we assumed was pollen. There were hundreds of bees on the frame and they simply proceeded on with their work, pretty much ignoring us. I don't think any bees even landed on us the whole time we did the inspection.
We examined several frames similarly. They were heavier than I had imagined and I found it a little difficult to hold them. I need to work out a method for keeping the hive tool handy while having both hands available to handle the frames.
We did not see any eggs or clearly identified larvae. The queen was also not obvious. We did not inspect any in the lower box, however, and most likely that is where we would probably find eggs and larvae. We didn't want to push the bees any further or press our luck, and since they clearly were busy building up on the foundation and appeared healthy and active, we decided to close the hive and wait for a day next week to examine the first hive box. One step at a time.
We also will need to apply the second application of the tetracycline for control of American foul brood at that time.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
This video was shot late afternoon, when activity for the day was winding down, at least outside the hive. Located next to some pine trees, the hive gets late afternoon shade. You can see some bees moving around the small entrance hole in the front. Sometime later in the week we will open the hive and check to see how things are going and try to find the queen. As busy as the bees have been, we think there are certainly some things happening in the hive.
Dandelions are not the only things popping around here. Grant has developed quite a keen eye for finding morels, which were late this spring but have been popping in some pretty big numbers the last couple days.