Saturday, May 10, 2014

2013-08-25: *Time Machine Post* Goldenrod

Satellite yard:  Goldenrod "funk" could be smelled even outside the fence perimeter.

2013-08-25 14.40.33 Bee Inspect

Hodgepodge:  Removed the medium super above excluder since it was just bare foundation.  I transferred the small frames that had mistakenly been placed in a medium super into a small super.  Some of the frames were mostly filled with honey while others were nearly empty.
    -Drone frame had uncapped larvae, I need to remove it next week.
    -Other frames in top brood box appear to be largely honey.
    -Weight from the back was 43.5 lbs which means that the brood boxes and contents roughly weigh 86 lbs.
    -Sugar dusted the hive.

Here are pictures of how I weigh the hives using a electronic baggage scale:

2013-08-25 15.17.02 Bee Inspect     2013-08-25 15.17.06 Bee Inspect

*Interesting note, here is a picture of what appears to be a bee in the process of extruding the wax scales used to build comb.

2013-08-25 15.05.22 Bee Inspect

Goldenrod:  Many more bees outside of Goldenrod then Hodgepodge.  Foragers were bring in bright orange pollen.
    -One medium super on top of a queen excluder, bare foundation.  I decided that I just was going to remove this whole super since they were not going to do much with it before the end of the season.  So I put a bee excluder (one way exit) board underneath it and plugged the entrance hole of the box.  Next week I should be able to remove it without having any bees at all on it.
    -I moved the HP partly filled shallow super over to Goldenrod.  I felt that Goldenrod with its large work force would do a better job finishing it off by the end of the season.  And this way Hodgepodge could just fill in its stores and have a better shot at surviving the winter.
    -Drone frame was rebuilt and being filled with honey.
    -The 2 brood boxes weighed 38.2 lbs from the back, for a guestimate total of 76.4 lbs.
    -Sugar dusted.

2013-08-25 15.39.47 Bee Inspect    2013-08-25 15.40.06 Bee Inspect

2013-08-25 15.59.11 Bee Inspect


Home yard:

2013-08-25 17.07.57 Bee Inspect
Aubergine:  Some honey in supers confined mostly to the frames in the middle.
    -Drone frame, uncapped larvae, cut next week.
    -The 2 brood boxes and bottom board (which did not want to be separated) weighed 54.7 lbs from the back, for a guestimate total of 109.4 lbs.

Sage: Dusted, forgot to weigh.  Shallow super partially filled, shuffled the frames around to put the nearly filled frames at the sides and the unfilled in the middle where the bees are more likely to fill them. 
    -Removed the drone frame, partially hatched out -> new eggs.  Replaced with regular frame of foundation.
Holly: Drone frame, capped workers!  Left it in place.  Supers empty.

2013-08-16: *Time Machine Post*

Sattelite yard:

2013-08-16 15.13.35 Bee Inspect at Satellite Yard

Goldenrod:  Pollen being carried in, brood in medium super.
    -Cut out the capped drone brood.  Noted nectar dripping out.  Also noted that it was filled with mites!  Possibly because drone laying restored so would be very attractive to the mites, but still this is a sign that this hive should be medicated.

2013-08-16 15.52.17 Bee Inspect at Satellite Yard
    -Other Medium was bare foundation.
    -Placed a Queen excluder underneath the bare super to keep the queen from laying up there as well.  Next week make sure the Queen is gone from the supers and move the excluder down underneath the other super (the one with brood) as well to prevent the queen from laying additional eggs in the supers.  The existing brood should hopefully be hatched by the time of extraction.

Hodgepodge: Nothing to report.

2013-08-16 15.39.44 Bee Inspect at Satellite Yard

2013-08-13: *Posted after just a few months delay*

Satellite:   Slight bearding, foraging bees and a few of those have pollen

Hodgepodge: I realized that the super I had put into the hive is a Medium sized but the frames are shallow, thus leaving a gap. I could not tell if any of them had more honey (about 2/3rd full).
    -Drone frame, honey, no drones.
    -Sugar roll a sample of bees for a mite count
    -Sugar dusted the hive.

Goldenrod: Not much seems to be going into the supers.  One is about half full and the other is still foundation.
    -Drone has brood, should be pulled next week.
    -Had spotty brood on other frames, but perhaps a consequence of honey in many of the cells.
    -Did the sugar roll to count mites.
    -Sugar dusted.

Home yard:
    -Added the frames from Green Nuc to Yellow.  Yellow nuc had bees and brood.  Don't seem to be exploding yet.

Friday, August 23, 2013

2013-07-28: Biting Into Sweetness

Home yard (apparently I did weed wack it last week)

2013-07-28 13.48.56 Bee Check

Yellow: Removed the drone frame for comb honey and replaced it with a green plastic drone frame (to fill space more than anything).  I did find a frame with brood.  Also noticed that the bees seemed more aggressive than most of my hives.

Green-Nuc: I opened up the gate and many bees rushed out and are likely more robbers that had been trapped in there all week.  Closed it back up and will deal with it tomorrow.

Release, the Robbers!

Yellow-Nuc: Many bees.  Foragers coming and going.  I saw the queen and eggs.

This is the frame that was removed before I cut out the comb honey.

Comb Honey

2013-07-20: Preparing the Heist

Satellite yard

Satellite yard as I arrived

Both hives were bearding, especially Goldenrod.

Goldenrod:  Top two supers full of honey and capped, and the third is a work in progress.

Fully capped frame in top super in Goldenrod    Newly white capped frame in second super in Goldenrod   Partially filled frame from third super on Goldenrod 

Drone frame cells empty.  Removed a frame of mostly full frame of honey from the side of the top brood box and swapped in a frame of bare foundation in order to (you guessed it) try to keep the hive from getting honey bound.  Technically, drawn foundation would be better, but as a nectar flow appears to be ongoing I thought that they would be able to draw it out quickly enough.

Empty cells in drone frame in Goldenrod    The new frame going into Goldenrod

I decided to prepare to remove two of the supers since they were full and I didn’t want to shift two 35 lb boxes each time I wanted to check on the hive.  Also, I wanted to ‘lock in’ what might be the majority of the honey harvest for the year so that a bear visit or a robbing incident etc.. wont cause it to be lost.  So I brought my escape board (it has a one way exit on it so the bees can re-enter the supers) to the yard and placed it under the two filled supers.  I also gave a few sprays of Bee-Away to the top inner cover to help goad the bees out.  And this time I did remember to block all the holes in the supers and the top inner cover so that the bees can’t get back in.

The one-way triangular bee escape   Goldenrod after I have put in the bee escape 

Hodgepodge: I moved the super out of the middle and put it on top since the bees had started to draw it out and honey was being put into it.  I noted many old swarm cells.  Added a medium super of foundation frames as well to make sure that the bees don’t get honey bound.

Shallow frame partially filled in Hodgepodge    Hodgepodge after rearanging and adding super

Home yard

Home yard as I got there

Aubergine:  Looks like the bees are adding to the super again in a small way.  I dusted with powdered sugar to try to knock of mites.

Slightly filled super in Aubergine

Sage:  Same as Aubergine.

Holly: Cut out the drones from the drone frame.  I noticed the queen on the drone frame and tried to gently scoot her onto other frames.  I really hope I didn’t squish her as I slid the drone frame back in.  Also swapped one frame of honey for one of foundation, again to make sure the hive does not become honey bound.

Queen Holly!

Blue:  Surprisingly strong.  Not seeing any brood yet, even in the upper box where the queen had first been kept while part of the Swarm hive I did remove the queen excluder that had been separating the boxes.  Frames in bottom are being drawn out so hopefully there will be space there as well.  Storage box, to keep random frames is on top of the hive over an inner cover.

Deep frame in Blue being filled with honey

Realized that the Green nuc was being robbed out.  Even saw one bee apparently abducting a pupae.  That bee headed directly across the pasture to the East so I wonder if one of my swarms ended up out that way.  I closed the gate (the previous owner had made them and they are pretty awesome) and decided to deal with it next week.  Afterwards I noticed the swarm of bees wanting to get in (and continue their plundering no doubt.

Robbers wanting to get back in.

I looked into Yellow.  The drone frame was being filled out with honey.  Had a fair bit of honey and also found old swarm cells, no surprise.  The hive seemed rather more aggressive than I normally expect from my gals.

Drone frame in Yellow being drawn and filled with honey    Deep in Yellow filled with honey

2013-07-14: Beestile Day

Satelite yard

2013-07-14 17.53.01 Bee Check

Goldenrod:  Some foragers had white or pale yellow pollen.  Top super (green one I originally put on) was very heavy.  Second super had lots of white wax and is being filled quickly (I had added it 8 days ago).  I decided that I would need to add another super to keep up with the bees and I was worried that they may become honey bound.2013-07-14 18.08.41 Bee Check

Hodgepodge: I finally got around to adding a real inner cover.  Didn’t do much else but check on the drone frame which was being drawn out but apparently filled with honey.

2013-07-14 18.12.39 Bee Check

Home Yard

Sage: Took a super off that only had patches of capped honey (I suspect that it had been stripped out when this hive swarmed (I assume it had swarmed since there are only so many hives in that yard and there were so many swarms) earlier in the year.  I would put this super into Goldenrod.

I moved the box I had put out to capture foragers from Swarm onto Blue.  I was surprised at just how many bees there were.  While some might be robbers there for the frames with some honey, I am still glad I took the time to capture them.

Back at Satellite yard

Goldenrod: I added the super from Sage.  I also swapped out 2 frames from the brood chamber with bare foundation to try to make sure that the hive would not become honey bound.  One of these frames had some brood so I added it to the Yellow Nuc to help build it up.  Again I was struck by how many bees were in Goldenrod.  I suspect that this is what the beekeeping books mean when they say that the hive should be ‘boiling’ with bees.

2013-07-14 19.46.14 Bee Check    2013-07-14 19.50.43 Bee Check