Monday, March 21, 2011

Honey Bee update


It’s been 5 days since my last check. They still had plenty of honey. The weather is warm, the orange trees, bottle brush and flowers are blooming all over…pollen everywhere. I leave the honey jar for days when they can’t forage….either too cold or raining.  They have no stored honey of their own and still have to eat.

I had the honey jar in the empty side of the hive. ( picture from last check)069cs

I decided to put the rest of the empty frames in and set the honey jar on top of the inner cover, inside a super.  I wont have to lift the inner cover each time I check the honey. It is hard on the bees if I keep changing the hive temperature by raising it up each time.

I didn’t take any pictures, but Jim did get a quick video.

There were a lot of people at the church and I didn’t want to antagonize the bees. They were very quiet. I merely pulled the jar and blocks out and slipped the inner cover back on. I don’t think there were more than 3 or 4 bees buzzing around. But I was thrilled to see them “festooning” (hanging together by their feet) on 2 of the 3 empty frames, were there weren’t any last week and the top of the bars had more bees than last time.

As the bees leave the tree thru the funnel, they are not able to return and must move into the hive ……so the numbers should keep increasing.

Most of the bees should have emerged from the brood cells. And hopefully the queen has emerged, mated and is laying eggs in the empty brood cells. I might be a bit early in my thinking…..I just read on   that it takes 24 days to get a laying queen even if you have to start from scratch. I did have a queen cell and they were feeding her at the time we moved that frame into the trap out hive. If she survived then maybe I have a laying queen. I don’t dare look!

We need to leave it at least another 2 or 3 weeks…..until we don’t see any more bees leaving the tree. Then I will have my “bee mentor” George, help me look for her. If I don’t have one….I will have to purchase one.

Here is a close up that I cropped out of last weeks pictures. Aren’t they beautiful?072cscs1a

I sure hope that little Queen made it.

Check in for the next update.



  1. I love your enthusiasm! This is such an interesting undertaking. The bees are Beautiful! And so are you.

  2. They really are beautiful. Obviously there's so much to learn about beekeeping. :)

  3. Wonderful! I'm watching with bated breath. Will she or won't she?

    However I'm missing something here. You have been talking about a funnel but I don't quite understand how it's set up. Is it just at the entrance of the hive? ATB!

  4. How exciting. Wish I was not allergic to bees! Diane

  5. Rusty...The funnel is made of hardware cloth and screen. The wide end is cemented over the entrance to the bee tree...the narrow end is aimed towards the entrance of the hive. They can get out of the tree but not back in. There is a picture of it in an earlier post. The hive entrance is aimed towards the tree.

  6. They are darling. I'm so glad they have a new home where they will be appreciated and cared for. I'm really enjoying learning a bit about beekeeping.


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