bees

Six Weeks into Keeping Bees

I did an inspection today, good news and bad from it. The contrast between these hives amazes me every time. I fully understand now why they suggest beginners start with at least two hives.  If I only had the problem hive I am pretty sure I would be beeless by now and out of luck for the year, as well as extremely frustrated with a new hobby.  Instead I have a fabulous first year challenge!  The hive that has been having queen problems appears to be ok. They have accepted the third queen and she is laying.

Queen Woes

The regicide hive continues to have issues.  I do not know what the workers were thinking when they convinced the attendants to murder their mistress, but it appears all their plans have gone awry every since.  Though switching places with one of the outer hives has helped population in this hive, it has just caused population problems due to drifting in the now center hive.  In an attempt to fix this I have staggered the hive positions a bit and slightly altered entrance angles.  I hope it will be enough.  I don't have all that much room to work with, so I need to make do.  One of the chal

Guard Bees and Queen Problems

I wish I brought my camera to inspection today. I saw two cool guard bee acts. For the first there was a horsefly hanging out a couple of inches away from the reduced entrance on the bottom board. A bee flew out of the entrance and rammed right into the fly butt first, getting rid of the fly while the bee squirmed on its back trying to right itself.  The second was a bee escorting a hive beetle out of the front entrance of the hive. It was just pushing it along and herding it until it got the thing out the door. Pretty neat to see them taking care of things like that.

What have the Bee's built in 16 days?

Its been just over two weeks since I put the packages in my three new hives. The two outer hives are doing great! I am really worried about the middle one that killed its first queen, however. I was able to get a new queen in there that was excepted by the package of bees I had installed a week earlier.  this middle hive has far fewer bees, maybe 2/3 less than the other two hives. I did see eggs, but only a very small number. I didn't see any larva so unless I missed them that means the queen has only been laying for a couple of days.

Regicide!

I Went out to the hives to release the queens today. It was very exciting to open a hive for the first time since installing the package and see what they had done. I think the holes on my feeders are a little too large. Its been 5 days since i put the bees in and two of my gallon containers are half empty and one was completely empty. Maybe they drank it that fast, but I doubt it, especially since some of the bees had dried sugar on them.

Bee day!

Bee day! Yesterday my foray in beekeeping began for real and the hours spent assembling frames and painting hives would pay off. I picked up 3 packages of bees, 12,000 bees a package, and installed them. It was crazy busy at the pickup place. I wasn't expecting the mass of people there all to get bees. There were at least 200 people there when I arrived, and I made it there in the last 30 minutes that they had bees. The crew that came up from Georgia with the bees seemed to be having fun though, and they didn't seem too tired despite being up for more than a day straight.

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