Kathy, (aka "Bessie"), and I began our beekeeping experience in the fall of 2008, when we began a year-long course in beekeeping through the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We got our first package of bees in April of 2009. At the suggestion of our daughter, Jessica, we are logging our beekeeping experience. Hope you find it interesting. It has been interesting, rewarding and entertaining for us as well.
Just a note that I did a small split yesterday from hive #1. May have been a capped swarm cell on one frame I transferred. Will have to monitor it.
Fruit trees all blossoming. The bees love the big sweet cherry.
2nd update (5/3) Added a frame with 2 queen cells. A number of bees were dead in this split, but the lid apparently had leak, so replaced that. Hopefully this hive will take off now.
These are our hives after working with the bees today. All 3 hives are strong colonies, and now all 3 are queenright. Hive #3, the one on the right, was seemingly without a queen on St. Patrick's Day. No queen to be found, no brood, no pollen being brought in, unlike the other hives. I put a couple frames with a mix of capped and uncapped brood hoping for an early queen but uncertain if it would work with typically few available drones at the time the queen would emerge. Apparently, though, we were successful in getting a queen or else she was there all along, just taking her time getting started on the season. Who knows?
At any rate, things are looking good. We added a box of undrawn frames to hive #2 and planned to do that to hive #1 as well, but I'll do that next week. We ran a bit short of frames today, since we had to remove about half a dozen due to a greenish mold that was on the frames. These were all older frames and it's good to recycle some…