Archive for July, 2010

Honey Supers and Queen Drama

by Ginny. 0 Comments

I added honey supers to both hives. The top brood box of FlashMob was so full of capped honey and nectar (90%) that it was all I could do to lift it off to inspect the bottom brood box. And it was very difficult to get it back up on top, I’m afraid I squashed more bees during this inspection than in all the previous inspections combined. I guess I will need a helper during my inspections from now on. The boxes won’t be getting any lighter.
No new eggs in FlashMob. I saw 2 queen cells when I was inspecting the top box, as I was removing them the queens dashed out. I was able to capture one of them. I inspected the bottom box and saw no new eggs so not knowing if either of the new queens was healthy enough I let the second one loose in the hive along with the other one. I guess they will battle it out and the stronger one will survive? Or we will have a swarm.
The Others had the top brood box 60% full of nectar and capped honey. In the bottom box I spotted new eggs. Not sure if the queen is the returned swarm queen but the hive should be fine now. The weather has warmed up and blackberries are blooming.


by Ginny. 0 Comments

June 22 Garrett called me at work. “Mom, the air outside is filled with bees. I stick my head out the window and I hear buzzing.” I could not leave work so I called Philip and he went right over to the house to try to capture the swarm. They had settled in the hemlock tree. He and Garrett went to gather some gear but by the time they got set up the swarm had vanished. I was not prepared for a swarm, everything I read said that a swarm would not be likely in the first year. The first swarm was The Others. July 5-6 another swarm. This time in a low branch on the cherry tree. We had just arrived home from camping and Gavin was going to help me with my overdue hive inspection. We were sitting in the garden serenely watching the hives, contemplating lunch and Anita came down and asked oh by the way had I had seen the cluster of bees over in the cherry tree. It was a surprise to us but thrilling to see. We simply lowered the branch into a box, cut the branch, and returned them to The Others hive after a thorough inspection. Lots of swarm cells, lots of drones, lots of larvae and capped brood but no new eggs in either hive. I spotted a queen in FlashMob. So hopefully both hives have queens now. I removed the entrance reducers and added some spacers in the lids to give them some extra ventilation – warm days coming up. Not sure what they’re up to. I removed the feeders. They’ve had over 100 pounds of sugar between the 2 hives. I will check for eggs and queens next week.