A fortress full of bees, set out to make their own way in the world and build prosperity for bees everywhere.  This hive was first established in spring of 2009.  It is currently on its third ruler, queen Frederica I.  The hive has been split once into the hive now known as Cheese Palace.  The hive's second queen, Freyja, left with several of the hives inhabitants in a swarm that was not retrieved.


Mid-Spring report for Second Year of Beekeeping

This year has been a little light on blog posts but that is mostly because things have been going so well.  Two days ago I addressed the only issue I have really had to face so far this year and that was with Boatmurdered.  Queen Freyja appears to have left with a swarm that I unfortunatly did not witness or catch.  The hive failed to make a new queen or she was eaten on a mating flight, so after giving them 2 frames of open brood and eggs to prevent a laying worker situation I decided to order a new queen.  Queens have been scarce locally, so

Bee Day #2

Today was the official start to my second year of beekeeping!  Sure I had prep work and other things that I did before today, but today is the day I actually pick up the packages and make a split.  Today the bees move into their new or previously deserted boxes and build upon the structures left by their predecesors.  I am also starting a new hive today at a new location.  A co-worker has expressed interest in having bees on her property and I am certainly happy to install a hive there, especially since it is within about a mile of the community garden where the other hives are.  This new h

Beginning the Second Year of Beekeeping

I went out to the community garden yesterday to get things set up for two new packages I am getting next Saturday. The hive that survived winter is doing great and I am going to make a split from it since its bubbling over with bees. I cleaned out the hive that didn't make it and see they starved to death. It was very sad, the queen and maybe a dozen bees were stuck to a frame near the top, most of them with their heads in the cells. They had honey around them and fondant on top, and there were bees that died while chewing their way out of their cells.

Final Tasks for Winter

Its getting to be about that time of year where there isn't much else I can do for the hives but button them up and hope for the best!  That isn't entirely true, of course, but it is too cold to feed sugar syrup any more.  One hive ended up absconding in late September, my strongest one all year is now worrying me a great deal, and the hive that started off the year by killing its first queen before she was even out of the queen cage is doing the best by far! I guess those bees know what they were doing when they put out the assassination order.

Down One Hive

It appears the year of crazy queens has reached its finally.  The middle hive that was having problems was doing so-so after I requeened it back in July.  The queen had a good laying pattern and was doing what she could, but despite her laying efforts the workers drew out very little, if any, new comb.  I have been feeding them a light, 1:1 mix of sugar syrup all year to try and get them to draw out comb but they never got past a handful of frames.  Rather than stay in what I assume was a horrid living situation for them they decided to abscond from the hive.  Its the end of September and t

Trying to Save a Hive

The hive I swapped to the middle a couple months back is not doing well.  I learned they were queenless several weeks back and despite giving them frames with brood and eggs from the other two hives they have failed to make a queen on their own.  I am installing a queen for them today that I picked up at my last bee class this morning.  I am worried for this hive, not just because they have been queenless but because they have only drawn out about 4 frames of wax on their own.  I am going to need to feed them like crazy if they have any hope to survive the winter at this point in the season

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.

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.

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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