Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's been a while....

It's been a few weeks since I've last posted. Thanks for the kick in the pants reminder, Grams. It's just been a busy couple weeks. I have been checking on the bees, pretty regularly, but with 4th of July, work, summer vacation, and house projects, I just haven't gotten to the blog.

First things first: the hive. The hive is doing pretty well. I added the first super a few weeks ago. The bees are hard at work drawing it out. The top deep has a couple frames full of capped honey on the sides. These are going to be left for the bees, to help them make it through the winter. The queen is laying great, and the population is still climbing. It's amazing seeing the amount of bees and how hard they work. I'm seeing bees in my own yard (nearly a mile away from my hive) with increasing frequency, and I don't remember ever seeing one in the past.

Second thing: The Colony. The Colony is still there. I've had to make a few changes. Those girls are pretty smart. They figured out how to get back in the plastic escape cone I had on the screen, so my trapout was set back a little. I consulted with a few experienced beekeepers with trapout experience, and they suggested I make a cone out of screening or hardware cloth. I made that change the next day, and they've been stuck on the outside ever since. It seemed like the population in the tree was steadily declining for a couple weeks. Then, I noticed this last week that there was a HUGE increase in the number of bees INSIDE the hive. At first I freaked out a little, then remembered there were still bees that were hatching inside. I probably saw new bees that were just hatching out. I didn't see any bees going back in anywhere, so I'm pretty sure it's still working. Patience is key with these things.

I opened up the Colony's hivebox, and was pleased to see that the box was packed with bees. I added a second box with foundation above the first box, in order to give them more room. The Colony is pretty stinking big, so I may have to add a third before I get them all out. Moving this thing could turn out to be quite a chore by the time they all move in, draw comb, lay brood, and store all the honey they rob out.

I'm hoping in the next 3 or 4 weeks to get the trapout finished up. I think, depending on how much honey they are able to pull from the hive when I let them rob it out, that I may hold a few frames of capped honey for them, in case they need a little extra to help them over-winter.

I'll try to be a little more diligent about posting from here on out. If I don't, feel free to remind me. Till next time....

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