Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Into the hives and guess what?

Today was inspection day for the bee farm hives.  All four hives were opened up and examined.  In particular I was anxious to look at the smallest colony that was from the swarm that split.  Not as many bees as all the others so I had to determine if there was a queen.  Sure enough when the hive was opened, the numbers were not great but ok.  Two to three strong frames being worked on.  And as hard as I looked, there was no queen to be found.  The good news was I found active brood and what appeared to be queen cells midway up one of the frames.  We have many dragonflies in this area and dragonflies love to eat bees.  Maybe the queen went out to find a boyfriend and got eaten by a dragonfly. 

The two original hives (from the Nuc's I purchased) were going strong and the honey supers on top were already half filled.  What this means is I better get to work building more supers and frames.  Because these will soon be filled and need more supers stacked on top.  The last swarm colony looked quite healthy.  Only hive Beatles were found in one of the original hives from the Nucs.  I placed beetle traps in them.

After examining 60 frames it was time for a rest.  I still struggled with keeping the smoker lit but will get it right eventually.   All in all it was a good inspection and took a good portion of the morning.   The colony in our front yard won't be opened for a couple more weeks.

Last night frames and bases were built.  This seems to be a never ending fun project.  Deeps, mediums, more frames and inner and outer covers need to be constructed this week.  I can't imagine doing this and having to buy everything instead of building it yourself. 

Here's the guess what from the title ... I was on the side of our house and noticed a lot of bees around where the swarm traps were stacked on top of each other (with no bait scent).  A lot of activity was around the one in the middle so I removed the cover and couldn't believe how many bees were inside.  A bunch flew out at me buzzing around.  Quite amusing so I put a couple frames in the box for them to start building comb.  Why not?  What's so funny is they're only a few feet away from the noisy air conditioner.  Is this swarm 6?  Not sure yet.  I'll check back in a couple days. 

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