Saturday, March 17, 2018

March 17 St Patrick's Day

I checked my large hive and it did not need a new pollen patty or sugar fondant yet. I took apart the small dead hive and cleaned the bottom screen of dead bees. I brought in ~10 combs of honey and I reassembled the hive, empty box on bottom, middle box with comb/honey/pollen, pollen patty on top of that box, then top box with some comb. I will put a new package in that hive.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Pollen patty time

It's March 6, 2018 and there was a snowstorm yesterday while we were out of town. I took the top off of the hive and pulled back the cloth long enough to put on one pollen patty and two squares of sugar candy.
There were active bees under the cloth and some were bold enough to venture out but I doubt they managed to maneuver back into the safety and warmth of the hive.
Spring is on its way.
I put the cork in the escape hole of the small hive and will disassemble it when it warms up - before pests can get into the honey comb.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

In the 40s at the end of February

Lots of cleansing flights, dead bees in the snow and the big hive is active.
Still no noise in the small hive!

The yellow spots are where they "eliminate" when they do cleansing flights and you can see dead bees in the snow too:

Hey you poking out of the hole!
Hello ladies, come on out and visit me:

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Well now I'm not so sure

Jan 27 2018
I can hear buzzing in my big hive but not much in my small hive - just a random bee or two.
But this happened another winter where I thought I had lost a hive and somehow it resurrected itself as the temperatures warmed up,
Stay tuned!

Monday, January 22, 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR! They're still alive

January 19, 2018
I checked my hives and they are both buzzing - surprising, given the arctic chill which descended upon us for what seemed like weeks.
But activity in both hives - hang in there girls, February is just around the corner.

More info (credit to Jim Kloek of Nature's Nectar):

Netflix has a good documentary series called Rotten.
The first episode is about honeybees. They talk about the struggles of a beekeeper, adulterated honey and how it happened and the theft of several thousand beehives over four years.

With the warmer weather the bees can move their cluster easily and hopefully re-position slightly on a fresh frame of honey. 

 There should be no brood in a colony right now.

 Bees will be going on cleansing flights during warm weather. It is a good time to see if your hive(s) are alive. There will be bees dying in the snow. This is normal.

 If you don't see bees on cleansing flights, it doesn't mean that the hive is dead. If a colony was very heavy with honey especially a three deep hive, the bees could still be down deep in the box and can't break cluster to get out. You can rap on the side of the hive and listen for a buzz. If you get physical with the hive, a beesuit may be in order. An interloper could fly out and give you some payback for the disturbance.

 Not seeing cleansing flights is not a huge problem at the moment. As time goes on, the cluster will shift into the top box and cleansing flights will be more frequent with the warmer February weather.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Corks out

November 11 - Veterans Day - I removed the corks from the hives and a couple of bees came out to see what I was up to. We'll see how this winter goes - it's been unseasonably cold already.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Buttoned up

November 1, 2017
My hives are covered, the feeders are off. The mouse guards are on and it's game on for winter - keep warm and sated dear worker bees.