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Friday, March 18, 2011

Filling the Feeders

This evening after work we headed up to the farm to prep the hives for large scale feeding.  I took off the old candy boards, which were about finished off anyway and replaced the inner covers for the spring season.  About a month ago I made several entrance feeders and decided to put them to good use.  I had Dawn make up 1.5 gallons of 1:1 sugar water and I placed 3 1-quart feeders on the inner cover and placed a hive box and lid over them.  That gives each hive enough sugar water for several days.  I hope to get up there soon and see how much water they are consuming this early in the season.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Busy as Bees Today

Dad and I spent the day at the farm with our focus on honey bees.  We teamed up on building hive components including bottom boards and telescopic lids.  How I wish I had a right angle bender for the aluminum to cover the lids...things would go a lot faster!  After lunch I suited up and headed out to the hives to rearrange things for spring production.  I dug into the West Hive first, found the queen who was laying eggs and had probably day 3 larva in the comb...I was so excited.  I placed the queen and brood frames in the bottom box, removed the honey super, and got things squared away.  The East Hive also had brood, but I couldn't find the queen.  I moved the brood frames into the bottom box as well....I was really surprised how much honey the East Hive had in the hive!  I need to get up there this week to check on the feeders and maybe set up multiple feeders on top of the inner cover so I don't have to check that often.

Here is the West Hive during Spring Inventory.  I repositioned all the frames for Spring Production.

Here is my West Hive Queen Laying an Egg!!!  Is this cool or what!!!

Here's one of my West Hive bees with a strange growth on her butt.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bees Vital to Pollination!

This is an interesting quote from United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) executive director Achim Steiner.

"The fact is that of the 100 crop species
that provide 90 percent of the world's food,
over 70 are pollinated by bees."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dropping Numbers

Aaron & I went up to the farm today to check on the bees.  The East Hive was looking good, so I stuck a Brood Builder pollen patty on top of the frames, stuck in a drone frame, and went to check the other hive.  What I found I didn't like.  A few weeks ago the West Hive was looking strong, but this time they were few in numbers and hadn't eaten much more on the original pollen patty I have them in January.  There were few bees on top and most were in between the frames.  I checked to lower boxes and found nothing except dead bees on the bottom board screen.  I used the mouse guard to rake out many, many dead bees out of the bottom made me sick to see so many dead ones when the other hive is still strong.  I put a Brood Builder patty and stuck in a drone frame, and began the long process of trying to figure out what to do next.  I did make up some 1:1 sugar water and set up a feeder for each hive; I check on them later on in the week.  Aaron and I then went to the wood shop and worked completing ten inner covers and getting all the wood cut out for 15 telescopic covers.  Next time we'll assemble the lids and start on the mating nucs.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bee School in Kentucky

Today I went to the bee school in Henderson, Kentucky, which was the same one I attended last year when I decided to commit to beekeeping.  This time I took Dawn, Aaron, and my friend Dick Loy.  They didn't have quite as big of a turn out as last year, but still quite a crowd.  I went to workshops on marketing your bee products, swarm control, bee nutrition, and raising queens.  It was a lot of fun, and I think all of us had a good time a learned a good bit as well.