Hope all is well.
I am back in town for a couple weeks and ready to assist you if there are any needs. New beekeeper a should continue feeding through this week. Believe it or not, rain causes bees to have less nectar. If your bees significantly cut down on feeding, you should be able to take your feeder off for a while after this week. Once again, the bees will let you know. The purpose of feeding is to prevent them from eating their own stores of honey. I plan to pull honey off of my hives next week.
Just returned from a 45th wedding anniversary trip with my girl and my grandkids. What a wonderful time we had….watching the kids do things and learn things for the first time.
Just finished with an Apiary check. Topped off sugar water in Irene and Keli’s Hive. Noted that Sand has added a Super to her hive…her bees are going gandbusters! I make the following observations:
- All first year Beekeepers should now resume feeding your bees 1:1 sugar water. 4 lbs sugar to 8 cups water). The nectar flow is now ending and you need to help your bees store up at least a Super of honey for the winter.
- Be sure when you are feeding bees you have your screen turned so that it will lay flat with NO gap!
- I will try to do some weed-eating around the apiary tomorrow, but remind everyone, we all need to help with this and keeping water vat filled and clean.
- I am leaving for a youth mission trip Saturday morning at 4 am. and will be gone until next Saturday night. I will be available by text, phone, or email during this time.
- For those who will be pulling honey off it looks like the first of July is going to be our beginning target date. Schedule a time for pull off with me and be sure you have some airtight plastic containers to place honey frames in.
- Hope you are all enjoying your bees. Read, research, and ask questions…this is how you learn.
The rain has finally subsided and the time has come to make Joe and Irene’s Hive whole again. If you are keeping up with this blog, you know that this hive lost their queen. I am taking a swarm that I caught earlier this summer with a good queen and will be combining it with that two or three thousand bees that remain. This should do the trick and Irene and Joe will be up and running again. In order to do this I’m making the move at night after the bees have gone in. This will allow me to safely move the bees and hopefully have all of them in one place when sun rises tomorrow. I will separate the two hives with a single sheet of newspaper and punch a few small holes in it to help them along. By the time they chew through these holes, they will have the phermone of the new queen and all will be happy. I will be adding to this blog after our adventure. I think Joe and Irene plan to join me for this adventure. This will be my third hive to move at night…the others were successful and I think this one will be as well.
Mr. G – the Busy Bee
It has been a very busy week for me personally in beekeeping and “family keeping”. Really enjoyed having my Colorado Family in over the weekend. Here are my updates. Please send updates on your own hives to me and I would love to publish here for all to see.
Went to check on my hives in the Alexis Apiary and hound yet another queen less hive. This is most puzzling to me as you would think our bees would create another queen. This same phenomena has occurred in Irene’s hive as well. Instead of securing a new queen, I decided to combine this weaker hive with a swarm of bees I had installed at this apiary about a month ago. I learned in Bee School that it is better to combine weaker hives…one strong hive is better than two weaker hives.
Video Link: How to combine two hives 1
Video Link: How to combine two hives 2
- Bee Day was at the market Saturday. Wonderful attendance and enjoyed the presentations by Eddie, Jim, and Tommy. All three of these are beekeepers who have been at it for many years. Then Chef Erin tempted us all with delicious ways to use 🍯! All in all it was our most successful and well attended Bee Day yet at the market!
- Sean and I met to check his hive Sunday afternoon. He now has two complete supers slap full of Honey and working on a third. We decided to rotate his partial super next to the two brood boxes and added a new super on top. Now we wait for July to come and see how far the bees get. I am predicting a third complete super of Honey for him. No sign of hive beetles or wax moths. A good strong hive.
- While we were in the Apiary we checked Keli’s hive and determined all is well with her hive. I had thought we might take off the feeder, but now believe we should continue feeding for two weeks. We need to take the feeder off, take it up to the hose next to house, and wash out all the dead bees. Otherwise, this hive is strong and has all evidence of a good, productive hive.
- Moved to Joe and Irene’s hive next. One look at the outside made me suspect bad news…and sure enough…there is no queen in this hive. We can now safely assume that when the new queen was released, the old queen killed her. Lesson learned? Indeed…if you are going to requeen a hive, you must be absolutely certain there is no other queen aboard. The good news is I have a new swarm of bees at my home I was planning to move to the apiary. We will combine Irene’s hive with this very strong new hive and she will be good to go. Plan to do this in the next two days as I am off to celebrate my anniversary this weekend in the mountains….45 years I think?
- Exterior observation of Sandy’s hive shows all good signs of a strong hive. She will need to do an inspection this week and check for a good laying queen and a good beginning of nectar and stored Honey. If she does not see adequate stores she will need to resume feeding.
- You would thank all of this rain would mean good nectar flow, however the opposite is true. All the rain dilutes the nectar. In other words, right now we are getting too much of a good thing. Yesterday, Leigh and I made a very detailed inspection of her hive. Lee got to see her queen for the first time ever. She is a beauty! Her hive is doing very well and the bees are actively storing Nectar and Honey. All new hive owners need to monitor their hives closely and watch nectar and honey stores.
- I was really worried about the new yellow hive I installed in our apiary as the heat had melted some of the frames. However, I can report as of Sunday we definitely have a good laying queen and the hive is moving in a very positive direction. Lots of capped and uncapped brood. I will continue to feed this hive for now.
- Meanwhile, my old demo 8 frame is making no progress. If I go down to the brood boxes, everything looks good…plenty of brood both capped and uncapped….but no progress with any stores of honey and nectar….I am still exactly where I was at the beginning of this year. Will definitely be replacing this queen in early fall, if not before.
- The top bar hive continues to make progress. Sean and I found the queen here and progress is being made. Plan to resume feeding this week to assist their building program. You are welcome to take off the viewing cover anytime you visit the apiary, a flashlight or phone flashlight will allow you to see better.
- Yesterday, Leigh and I made a very detailed inspection of her hive. Leigh got to see her queen for the first time ever. She is a beauty! Her hive is doing very well and the bees are actively storing pollen and nectar. This is a very strong hive of bees, but now must be treated as a first year hive since it is a new swarm with a new queen. The good news is she got seven good frames of honey out in early Spring!
- Back home in my apiary things continue to do very well. Have his number two and three both received an additional super yesterday. I have anticipation of a good bit of honey this year. All bees are doing well and all hives are strong. No signs of hive beetles this year which is a blessing.