Leaf Litter

Apiary: 
community garden

This hive was the strongest in 2011, but it began to fail in the fall and then the bees unfortunatly starved to death.  When I opened the hive up in March to see what happened I found the sad site of Queen Isabella starved to death and frozen to a frame along with several of her loyal attendents.  At least the wax and remaining honey stores were able to assist the new inhabitants of Leaf Litter get off to a better start in spring.  In 2012, the new hive has been the slowest to get going.  It has built out all of the deep frames it needed but added no wax to any medium frames for honey supers.  Queen Elizabeth the 1st went missing in late spring, but her workers went quickly to task and raised her daughter, Queen Elizabeth the 2nd, on their own and she is now leading the hive forward into the fall of 2012.  Unless the fall flow is strong there will be honey from this hive this year, but hopefully they will build up well enough to make it through the winter and come out strong next spring.

Current Queen: 
Elizabeth the 2nd
Bee Genetics: 
Italian mother, raised by the hive she resides in
Begin of reign: 
June, 2012
Queen notes: 
Daughter of previous queen. Successfully raised by the hive through emergency supersedure. My first local and (sort of) self raised queen!
Past Queens: 
Elizabeth the 1st
Bee Genetics: 
Italian
Reign Dates: 
March, 2012 to May, 2012
Notes: 
Elizabeth the 1st started off well. Great brood pattern and the bees were fairly productive. Something must have gone wrong though, as she went missing in May. I hope I didn't squish her on accident during an inspection!
Isabella
Bee Genetics: 
Italian
Reign Dates: 
April, 2011 to December, 2011
Notes: 
Isabella did fabulously until the fall. Her bees built up the hive very quickly and even built out several extra deep frames and filled them with brood to help them get going in their first year. The honey from her hive is also the first I ever produced. Unfortunatly, things started to go bad in the fall of 2011 and she starved to death with her remaining bees sometime between December and February of 2011/2012. The work she and her bees put in lives on through the comb from her hive that is in all 4 of my current hives (2012).
Hive News: 
The last inspection had me worried because there was no brood or eggs, and it looks I had just cause. Just found a frame with about 8 emergency queen cells on it with their sides chewed through. Hopefully this means a virgin queen hatched out and will get the hive back on track soon! I just hope she doesn't get eaten by a bird or dragon fly on any of her mating flights.
Saturday, June 2, 2012 - 2:30pm
We have eggs and brood! It looks like the hive successfully made its own queen. Now begins the reign of Elizabeth the 2nd.
Saturday, June 16, 2012 - 1:30pm
Elizabeth the 2nd has me worried. I will do an inspection one week and find capped brood but no larva or eggs and think she has been killed, but then I check back the next week and larva and eggs are there. This has happened twice now in the past four weeks. Is this a quirk of the queen or are her workers restricting her? The hive is not honey bound, so I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Saturday, July 21, 2012 - 3:15pm
Had a mite count of 2 during sugar roll today. Should be good for a bit, hopefully for the year, without treatment. Hive beetle population is up though. I had to squish at least a dozen of them on the inner cover. It was up on all the hives, but this one had slightly more of them then the other hives.
Sunday, July 29, 2012 - 9:30am
Leaf litter is doing ok, but I am going to need to feed them a little for their winter stores. Brood and honey in the top deep, but not a lot of honey and the bottom deep is nearly empty. The medium I placed on top has some honey in it, but it is at best half full and they will almost certainly need more food for the winter.
Friday, October 12, 2012 - 1:30pm
Strapped down leaf litter with all of the other hives for the storm today. I also gave them 1/2 gallon of 2:1 sugar syrup since they needed a little boost for their winter stores. Hopefully draining these jars will give them something to do during the bad weather so I can give them some more next week.
Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 5:15pm

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