June 5 – Weekly Update
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.