Thursday, September 29, 2016

took apart the small hive september 28

So last night, in the dark, I suited up and decided to take the hive in, so to avoid robbing of the honey in the hive.
There weren't that many bees but the box feels about 10# so I have it in the garage and will take the honey soon.
Oh well, better luck next year - the little hive was never very strong though it surprisingly made it through the winter last year.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Pretty dismal

So I suited up, got the smoker ready and took apart the small hive - pretty sure the queen absconded with the crew but there was a cluster (small) of bees on 2 frames in the top box, so I took off the empty bottom box and replaced the second (now bottom) box which has empty comb in it and the top box which has some honey and the bees. Put the feeders back on but there were yellow jackets hanging around so I doubt the remaining bees are going to stay. Oh well. You win some and you lose some, it could be worse.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Did I lose my small hive?

I have been filling the small feeder's jars every other day until we were gone this past weekend. I got home last night and checked the hives - suddenly the small hive did not eat the sugar syrup while I was gone. Today I looked and it seems there are hardly any bees in the small hive. Ahhhh.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

These are hungry little bees

This morning, Sept 8, I checked the hives' feeders and the small hive was empty again!
Filled them up.
Large hive is fine
sept 10, filled small hive and large hive feeders
sept 11, filled small hive feeders
sept 13, filled one jar in the large hive and both jars in the small hive

I also processed the beeswax but it is too much work for very little wax, so I won't do it again!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Took the top boxes off

Saturday August 27 2016
I smoked and raised the top boxes, put queen excluders on at 7:30am.
Around 1:30pm I removed those top boxes and put the combs (some with a lot of capped pollen and some brood) into a big black contractor's bag. I then left the feeders on the hives - now each with 3 boxes.

We then left on August 28 for ND for horseback camping.

On September 3, 2016, both jars on the small hive were empty and the large hive's feeder jars were barely touched (but the sugar crystals had blocked the holes so I remedied that). Filled the jars. Some bees were "balling up" on top of another worker bee and appeared to be eating something out of her mouth - this happened with two different worker bees. Then they all dispersed and walked into the hive (this was at the small hive).

I harvested almost 4 quarts of honey and there is more in the buckets as I type this.I will save the pollen to feed in the winter.
The larvae do not have any mites - I even looked under a microscope at them.

On this day, Mark found a ball of bees in the grass - did I accidentally dump out my queen(s) a week ago when I took off the top boxes??? I never saw a queen but there were a lot of bees even though I tried to smoke them down into the hives before I removed the boxes.

On Sept 4, I saw a queen and grabbed her and a clump of workers and put them in a box on the porch. When I looked back at the ball of bees I saw ANOTHER queen and put her with bees in the box too.

Here's the queen - the caramel colored large abdomen, dead center:

Sept 5 was Labor Day and I volunteered at the Honey Booth at the State Fair in the Ag-Hort building and then Tuesday it rained all day but I checked the box and all of the bees were gone. (I was going to cage the queens). Oh well. Time will tell :)

I had to fill one feeder jar on the large hive and both jars on the small hive.