Friday, January 31, 2014

Hive Check 1.28.14

I have observation windows in the back of the hives. The R (pink flowers on deep box) has a lot of bees in the  hive. I am trying to get them to use 2 deeps for the brood nest.

I was surprised to see how much honey there was in the bottom box.


and lots of bees in both deeps. 007cs


Each frame had a little honey in it…


This frame is from a medium box…looks like the bees want to build on the bottom. It’s full of honey so I left it…but in the spring I’ll move it to a medium super.


I had 4 drawn frames ( frames bees had built comb in) in the top deep so I moved 3 frames of comb to that deep making it 7 and replaced them with empty frames.


This will give all those extra bees something to do…build comb in them. Here’s a frame they’ve been working on. I don’t use any foundation. All the comb is theirs…built naturally.

The bees were “festooning” and a big bunch fell off when I lifted it out. Festooning is when they all hang together for measuring and building.


Once the frames were moved around I put everything back together. I am trying to slide the top deep into place while giving the bees time to get out of the way.


I had given them each half a jar of honey and there was still a little left so put the “feeding” super back on. The jar sits upside down on the inner cover on two sticks so the bees can get under them. There are several holes in the cover for them to feed through.

I’ll remove the empty jars when the weather warms up. Supposed to have rain for a couple of days.


I did get one sting on a finger tip but only because I pinched one when pulling a frame out. Got my arthritis meds for the week.

I let the girls settle down for a few minutes then checked the other hive (blue flowers). I have the feeding supers mixed up but eventually I hope to have all the flowers match on each hive.




Looks like a frame of nice capped honey.



I did see a few cells of capped brood. Once I got to the broodnest I quit pulling frames. This hive had one empty drawn frame to the outside so I moved it into the broodnest area.


It’s amazing how heavy a frame full of honey can be. Especially when you are trying to move slowly and not crush any Honeybees.


This hive showed a lot more activity than the “pink” hive. They were not aggressive towards me so I think we had a few “robber” bees flying around. You can see all the bees in the air in front of the hive.


This hive had one deep and one medium. I replaced the medium with another deep. Shuffled a few frames around and put everything back together.


I love going into the hives but then I have to worry about possibly killing the Queen.

Next time I will do one a day. Maybe they wont attract robbers or robbers from the other hive. All in all I think it went well. I was surprised at how much honey they had stored. Some frames full some just around the edges. I think those will be brood frames. Hope I did more good then harm.

The Queen in the “blue” hive does not seem to be building up her hive as well as the “pink” Queen. Hope I don’t have to replace her. We’ll see how she is doing in another month.

I hope by giving them 2 deeps and putting some empty frames in the bottom deeps that they will be busy enough and have room enough for brood rearing that they won’t be thinking about swarming come March.

I’m new at this and read all I can on the Beemasters Forum…but still have to make my own choices for doing. Let’s hope they are the right ones.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Winter in the Hammock 1.26.14

We had a frost and in some places a freeze, but it didn’t kill everything….the Honeybees are bringing in pollen.


Some are so loaded down they are completely dusted with it.


There are 3 in this picture…and I believe the blurry one is also loaded with pollen.


A Bald Eagle soared on the thermals for a long time. I was hoping it was looking for a nesting spot…but so far…no luck with that one.018cs

These Buzzards pick dead trees to sun themselves in


My feeders attract Painted Buntings, Cardinals, Indigo Buntings, Titmice, Red Headed Woodpeckers and other birds.

Here is a Painted Bunting, a juvenile Painted Bunting and a Cardinal.


It must be spring…..the Robins are here. We usually have huge flocks in the trees this time of year….they feed on the Brazilian Pepper berries.


As you can see above…the trees have started to bud…believe that is where the Honeybees are getting all the pollen. They’ve been bringing it in since the Red Maples started blooming a few weeks ago.

Things usually stay pretty green here…but most of my African Blue Basil plants took a hit. (dark one to L of stump) And the plants to the R of it are looking pretty bad. Still beats snow, slush and mud.