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Monthly Archives: May 2012

No Bad News Is Good News

Two months later it looks like we’re finally off and running!

Checked on the girls yesterday and we have queens in every hive. Ole and Thor are the farthest along, with eggs and capped brood (as the larvae get close to being done with that part of their life cycle, a cap is placed on that cell and when ready, the new bee chews its way out, about 10 days later).  Lena has eggs, but nothing far enough along to be capped.

All three colonies are building out wax on all the new frames in the top hive body. The bees live in the bottom two boxes of the hive. Once they have those filled out, we will put honey supers on top, which are slightly shorter than the hive body boxes and are only for honey. They’re slightly smaller for easy handling as they will be heavy when full of honey! Eggs nor brood should be in the supers (uh, tho that did happen to us last year because we have bad luck.). Honey from the supers is what we harvest and the honey in the hive is what the bees live on during the winter.

We’re hearing of others that have supers on their hives and are running ahead of schedule. When we have established hives we hope we’ll be running fast like that too.

Things are Looking up!

Everyone bow!  We have queens! 

Ole and Thor have eggs. Lena doesn’t have eggs, but the colony is very calm, thus, very likely they have a queen, but the egg laying start up has been slowed. We feel good – we thing Lena will be fine.

The weather forecast is good and blooms have picked up in the prairie, so maybe, just maybe, we’re finally walking in high cotton. 

The Bad Luck Continues

Looks like we better hoard the little bit of honey we have in the cupboard, because it might be all we get this year. Well, at least it feels that way.

Tuesday night we ran out to check on the girls as rain looked like a sure-thing the rest of the week. We were hoping to see three queens – each ruling over a colony. Annd, didn’t work out as planned. Again. We couldn’t find even a hint of the new queen we introduced in Ole, and Lena and Thor appear to be queenless, even though it looks like queens did emerge from the queen cells.

Division Board Feeder, photo courtesy of University of Georgia, http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/get-started/equipment.html

And worse yet, the colonies had burned through all the nectar they had gathered this spring and they were starving. Starving! We quickly ran home, grabbed division board feeders and the 5-gal on syrup we purchased a couple months ago. We put a short gallon of syrup in each hive. We felt like very, very bad been parents at this point in time. This was as bad as Robin not figuring out that she forgot to feed the cat – and yet – couldn’t figure out why the cat was yowling. This is why we don’t have kids. 

So tonight, 48 hours after feeding, Robin ran out to quickly check on the colonies. The bees exhibit much more energy – pep, pep, peppier. And, those feeders were empty. Bone dry! Amazing!  But, still no signs of egg-laying queens.

Hopefully we don’t have crazy rain tonight so we can get out there Friday night, or over the weekend for more feeding. And then we’ll get good ol Andy, State Apiarist, out to look at out queen issue early next week.

I’m sure we’ll laugh about this someday. Just not now.