Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 2015 - Large Hives

July 1, 2015
Hive 3 - I opened it up, took off the top feeder, and the next box which was new on June 18th was full of bees on every frame.  Some were fuller than others.  It was very heavy with honey.  The 2nd box down was very full of honey also, and the bottom 2 boxes (a medium and a deep) had brood in them.  I looked a little more into the hive.  It looked great.  I added a scoop of IPM Patties for mites on top of the frames in the bottom box, put all the boxes back on and added another box.  I had been using the box as a swarm lure so it only had 8 of the 10 frames it needed.  It didn't matter though because I needed to put something in there since the hive was so full.

Hive 2 - It was also very full.  Lots of bees and lots of honey.  I added a medium box I had put on Hive 1 last time as I was hopeful they would need it, but it wasn't being used so it moved to Hive 2.  I had put it back together before I realized I hadn't added a scoop of IPM Patties.  I put it on their landing board as they are coming into the hive.  Hopefully that helps until I open it up again.

Hive 1 - Was not as mean as it had been on June 18th.  I was hoping for lots, but I couldn't find any eggs still.  I did notice some mite droppings around the cells, so I added a scoop of IPM Patties.  I hope that makes a difference.

IPM Patties: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Patties

  • Quality All Natural IPM Option
  • Excellent hygienic behavior in hive
  • Use once every 12 weeks
  • Contains 17 essential oils, vegetable oil, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and plant polyphenols

I think I will try Albert's method if there are not any eggs the next time I open it up.  They only had about 4 1/2 frames being used in their only box.

I took a long hike and saw lots of bees, but 99% of them were only on one white flower - Leafy Jacob's Ladder.  The same flower I saw them on the 18th of June when I looked before.

Jacob’s ladder is a perennial herb that reproduces sexually. Its flowers are visited by a variety of insects and require cross-pollination in order to set fruit. Beetles and flies eat their pollen and butterflies and moths extract nectar, with little or no pollination occurring. Bees are the major group of pollinators and are attracted to the nectar contained in the nectar chamber at the bottom of the flower (hidden beneath the hairs at the bases of the stamens); purple lines at the base of the flower act as nectar guides. On a given plant’s flowers, the anthers mature and produce pollen before the stigmas become receptive, helping to prevent self-pollination.

Jacob's Ladder is all over Timber Lakes!!
July 11, 2015
Hive 3 - They had started on the new medium super I had added, but I think the nectar flow has slowed down.  A lot of the Jacob's Ladder is about done blooming.  I didn't add another super.

Hive 2 - The bees had not started on the new super I added last time.  There were a few bees on the frames, but nothing happening.  I took a finished frame out of the next super down so I could try out the honey.  I brought it home.  I left this hive as is.

Hive 1 - There was brood and larvae in this hive!!!  It is nice to see that something is happening.  There were a lot of bees on about 4 frames, and some on the others.  I assume I will be able to add another super next time I go.

July 24 & 25, 2015
Hive 3 - Friday I got into the hive and added a bee escape board where I thought the honey was on top of the board.  I checked it a half hour later, and the top was FULL of bees.  I had put it on upside down.  I fixed it and went out the next day with Reed helping me and there were still bees in the upper boxes.  Between a blower and brushing them off, we were able to pull off 7 medium frames of honey.  I left 2 medium supers on that were partially full of honey & brood, so it has 4 boxes (3 brood, 1 honey) on it right now.

Hive 2 - Friday I also added a bee escape under the top two supers.  When we got in on Saturday, there were no bees in the top.  It was super easy to take out the frames and check them out to see which ones we were going to take and which ones we needed to let the bees finish.  I ended up taking off 7 frames, but counting the one I took off 2 weeks ago, I got a total of 8 frames of honey.  We ended up leaving 2 supers on the top with assorted frames in the process, so it has 4 total (2 brood, 2 honey)

Hive 1 - Friday when I got in this hive, there were 2 frames that looked like the honey had been stolen, but 4 frames that had eggs, brood, honey, & pollen in them.  I am so confused with this one.  I don't know what to think.  I added a 2nd box on it, and decided I wasn't going to get back in there till fall.  I am quite frustrated with this hive.  It has been weird all year.

I also went down to tractor supply and bought a dog run that was regularly $300 for $233.  We added panels to the bee run so we could actually move around in there.  It is a great size now!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 2015

June 9, 2015
Hive 1 - We were up cleaning the cabin, and I hadn't checked the beehives since I dropped them off on May 23rd.  I opened up Hive 1.  There was not anything happening in the 2nd box I had added.  When I got down to the 1st box, there were only bees on the top of 2-3 frames.  When I took out the 1st frame to start checking, they were mad and swarmed me and were hitting my head gear.  Then I felt a sting on my leg.  I was wearing levis and thought I was completely ready with my boots and all my gear.  I was nervous now.  I didn't know if I was going to have another bad reaction and have to use my epi pen.  I decided that I should shut it back up and go inside so I could watch myself to see what happened.

It was frustrating that I got stung on my first hive I opened up.

June 18, 2015
Hive 3 - I decided that I had better leave my hive that was mean till a little later.  As I took off the top feeder, I noticed there were maybe 10 bees feeding.  Not too many.  They had not started on the 3rd box yet.  The second box was 70% full of bees.  The first couple of frames I looked at had brood, and they all looked really healthy.  I had been thinking and wondering about the Hive 1 while I had been at home since the 9th.  I wondered if they were so mean because they did not have a queen.  I knew if there were some good frames in the others that I should probably share.  I knew I could not put a medium in a large whole, so I got into the bottom box.  I found a frame with eggs and young brood that was quite full.  I checked for the queen, and then opened up Hive 1 and put it in.  The bees from Hive 1 were mad that I opened it up.  I used the smoker and then added the frame of brood.  Hive 3 seemed to be really happy.  They seemed to settle down a lot once I did that.

Hive 2 - It is my healthiest and biggest hive.  They had just started to go into the 3rd box and start building on it.  There were a few in the feeder but not too many.  Box 2 was full.  Then I got into box 1 to see if I could find another frame for Hive 1.  I found one and added it, finished checking Hive 2 a little more.  I couldn't see any signs of foulbrood in any of the hives.

Hive 1 - when I finally started pulling out the original frames to check them, they still were not happy, but it was definitely better than when I opened it on the 9th and earlier today.  They had settled down a little with the smoke and the 2 new frames.  After looking, I was confused because I was seeing brood.  I finally found a frame that had eggs in it.  The closer I looked, I could finally see that there were 2-3 eggs in some of the frames.  A sign of laying workers.  Hopefully with the new eggs and brood, they will make a new queen and stop laying.  It will be interesting to check on the hive when I come back up to Timber Lakes.

The hives were busy this afternoon.  Lots of bees doing their number 8 flights.  I couldn't see any bees on the flowers around our cabin.  I was so confused.  I took a drive as I headed out and found lots of bees on the flowers by the roadside.  They were busy.  It was good to see, and I took lots of pictures.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mini Hives May & June 2015

May 15?, 2015 - Mini Hives 1 & 2 - Albert gave me 2 frames of brood for each hive, and I bought 2 queens.  It rained for many days after I brought them home, and was very cold.
(Both hives have 2 frames new brood)

May 21, 2015 -
Hive 1 (with the window) was completely dead.  Dead bees in the bottom, and black larvae.  It was cold right after I got my bees, so I was worried the brood and bees had frozen.
Hive 2 had some black larvae, but was doing ok although I could not see the queen or eggs and larvae.
I put all the drawn comb from both hives into Hive 2 and took Hive 1 up to Albert to get more brood so I could try again.  He said to bring Hive 2 with the black larvae in it so he could look at it.  I had something the next day so I came home, picked up the bees, and took them back to Salt Lake.  I got there after they closed so I left both beehives under the bushes and sent Albert a text the next day on Friday.
(Left both bee boxes at Albert's - the empty Hive 1 with only starter frames, and Hive 2 which had 4 drawn frames and bees still alive, but some amount of black larvae on all 4 frames.)

May 27, 2015 -
Hive 2 - I finally made it up to see Albert because of a busy Memorial Weekend.  He looked at Hive 2, and he looked at it and said I had a beautiful black Carnolian Queen, and brood.  I didn't know what to think.  He didn't see anything wrong, and the hive was thriving.  I took it home.
Hive 1 - Albert put new brood in Hive 1, and I left it there so it could make itself a Queen.
(Hive 2 had queen, so I brought it home, Hive 1 left in SL with new brood, all new frames)

June 4, 2015 -
Hive 2 had not had a lot of bees coming and going, so I finally decided to check it out again.  It had black larvae in it again.  There were no dead bees in it, and all the bees were gone except 5-6 robbing the sugar water and 2 nurse bees on the frames.  I couldn't do anything since we had a snowcone event that night and were headed out of town for the weekend the next morning.  I saw ants on the ground all around it.  I researched Sunday and it said if ants tried to take over, sometimes the bees would leave.  I assumed that had happened.
(Hive 2 empty, black larvae.  Hive 1 still in SL)

June 10, 2015
Hive 2 - took to SL to get more brood.  Albert put new brood in it, and then I asked him why the larvae kept turning black.  Was it ants?  I needed to know so I could do whatever I needed to do to stop killing bees.  He looked, and got nervous and said it was foulbrood.  He didn't know if it was American or European.  He put the 4 frames in a bag and sealed it off so it could be checked by Joey Caputo, and gave me medicine mixed with powdered sugar.  Duramycin - he told me to give them 1 teaspoon now, and check with Joey about future medicine depending on the test results.
Hive 1 - still looks good.  Leaving it there a little longer.
(Hive 2 new brood, new frames, medicine, home in Highland.  Hive 1 still in SL)

Timberlakes Hives - I need to check the hives at Timberlakes now also.

June 16, 2015
Hive 2 - I opened it up and checked and no foulbrood yet!!  The hive was very strong and healthy.  I didn't see any queen cups, but I didn't see any in the other hive either that made their own.  So excited this one is doing so well!!  Hive 1 is still in SL.

June 29, 2015
Hive 2 - Checked today and we have brood in the frames!!  I also have a lot of Tiger's Blood honey.  That will be quite fun!  Luckily, they look really healthy so I am glad the medicine worked.  All the frames were full so I added another box.  I called to check on the test results before I went to SL to pick up my other mini hive.  Joey does not have results back, but does not think it is American Foulbrood (the worst option).  Hive 1 was picked up from Salt Lake.  It was not quite as full as Hive 2, but I put new boxes on it, and gave them blue raspberry syrup.
(Hive 2 brood in frames, so I have a queen, added box!!  Hive 1 brought home from SL & added box)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

May 2015

May 5th, I got into all the hives.  The two hives that I had put sugar water into last week were ready for a 2nd story.  I added that and put an assortment of frames.  Some black, some white, and some with a portion of beeswax cut and put into them with melted beeswax holding them in.

I also added sugar water to the top medium box I placed on the other hive last week.  They had not done anything in the top box yet, so I wanted to get them started filling it up.

May 23rd, I took all 3 of the big beehives to Timberlakes.  I put an extra box on each of them and sugar water on top.  I want to make sure they have enough food and they don't starve.

Starting the 2015 Season ~ April 2015

I bought 3 packages of (3lb) Italian bees April 13, 2015.  They were each $107.  I installed them in the 3 hives that all had deep boxes on the bottom.

A couple of the black inserts broke the deep frames as I tried to put them in, so I decided just put in as many frames as I had.  I left some empty spots in all the hives, and closed them up.  I thought that would give the bees room to get settled because I had just dumped them out of their packages.

About a week later on April 21, I got into the hives, and in every hive, they had built new comb in the empty spot.  The problem was that it was not on a frame.  I went into the house quick and grabbed some rubber bands.  I took the new comb from each hive and used a rubber band to keep it in a frame.

I decided to put in a feeder into one of the hives to make up the difference since I still did not have enough frames because of the breakage.

About a week later, on April 28, I got back into the hives, and the hive that had the feeder had exploded.  All the frames were full.  The other 2 hives were not anywhere close to the hive with the feeder.  There were so many frames with eggs in them, I couldn't believe it.  It made me want to get new queens for the other 2 hives, but I decided to put a medium on top of the good hive, and take the feeder and put one in each of the other 2 hives.

About the end of March, I bought:

  • 1 Bottom Board (15.00)
  • 3 becks honey bee wax (11x3=33.00)
  • 1 bag locking clips 18.75
  • 1 top board A frame with copper $80
  • 1 Honey B Healthy $50
Total was $210

When I was there the 1st time, I showed him a picture of my dead bees from the winter and he told me they had got mites.  He said if you get mites, your hives only last into February.  Albert said I could just put the new bees in and they would clean out the hive for me.  He said there were no mites left since the bees had been dead so long.