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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 5

Went to open boxes and start feeding , and was disappointed to find that the top bar was nearly empty, no bees save maybe 500 or so,not sure what happened as this box was healthy a month or so ago. Could have been the drought or the record temperatures that we had this year. 
The nuc delta also looks weak as well and this hive was also very strong a month or so ago. Very disheartening after losing one hive over the winter and was hoping to go into the winter with four hives and now looks like maybe two hives will be strong enough to make through the winter.

Not hardly any honey to speak of as well so the year was Kind of a bust all around . If this keeps up I may just stop and cut my losses as this hobby is getting expensive and disappointing to keep up.
As it is I will not continue with the top bar hive, just to much trouble to manage in my opinion. Well that's about it, sorry no pics as I just don't feel at this time like messing with it.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Modified Top bar Hive open for business

Finished the modified top bar hive today and placed the swarm from Nuc 1 into it. The girls seem to like the additional space and took right to it. We also believe we have found the new queen in Bravo, which was the hive that swarmed 3 times and gave us Nuc1 and Nuc 2.

We will be moving Nuc 2 into an expanded box hopefully tomorrow, giving them additional space as well. The top bar is large enough to accomodate two complete colonies if we decide to. We also found a queen cell unhatched in Bravo and are a little concerned about it, not knowing if this is an indicator of yet another swarm, hard to believe as the new queen has already mated and is laying brood. Have half a mind to remove said queen cell and place with some nurse bees in a separate queen chamber, if nothing else it would be an emergency queen for any mishaps in the future. Will wait and put some thought into it tonight.

Enjoy the photos!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hive Activity 5/19/10

Bravo post swarm:
after 3 swarms this hive still looks very strong, lots of bees sitting on the landing board, and lots leaving every minute, looks like a strong hive in summer. Not sure what the number of bees were in the swarms, both were pretty large as we caught 2 of the 3 swarms. Still not sure if the hive has a queen even as the weather has been dismal and not have an opportunity to get into any of them. They are bringing in pollen, lots of it, so unless we have a laying worker, it may mean that we are queen right. So lots of activity at this stage.

package put in this year, they are very aggressive (Russian) they will sting at any attempt to enter the box, hoping that her brood is more docile, will wait and re queen in the fall if necessary. Otherwise they appear to be doing well. Building up well and as they were placed on drawn comb, the queen went straight to laying brood.

Nuc 1:
swarm that was captured from Bravo, all looks good at the entrance, pollen being brought in and lots of activity.

Nuc 2:
swarm that was captured from Bravo, all looks good at the entrance, pollen being brought in and lots of activity.
Speculating as to combine both the swarm nucs into a top bar hive that i have built and ready to use.

Overall the weather has been dismal, lots of rain and cool temps for the past week or so, getting into the hives have been impossible due to the rain, odd side note some of the girls have been landing in the mud in packs and are gathering something though i do not know what.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Well we believe with the amount of activity in Bravo yesterday and this morning that it we may have just postponed the swarm accidently until this morning, and like clockwork while I was outside they started to swarm again this morning. My son and I cut the limb down and put them in a box again, and (fingers crossed) they are doing housekeeping and some orientation flights now. Hopefully everything went off without a hitch this time.

The first photo is the ball of bees in the tree, the other photo is our beagle sitting under the tree and watching the bees ball up.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Went outside to check on the hives and look off to my left and there is a ball of bees hanging out a branch, looks like Bravo swarmed! I got my gear and a box and then with my wifes help we cut the branch and put the girls in a box.
Less than an hour later and they had swarmed again. We looked everywhere nearby , but could not find them again.
Oh well, hopefully they will find a home and do okay. At least we are helping to reestablish the depleted bee population here in the area anyway.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I attended the 2010 Indiana Beekeepers field day on 4/24. There was a pitch in dinner and a hive inspection for the newer folks with bees and then a seminar from a local member regarding swarming. If you are not in a local club I strongly suggest you get into one, as the benefits are many for the novice bee keeper.

Weather has not been kind the past couple days. Nothing but rain and storms. Havent been able to get into any of the hives, was going to attempt some queen grafting this weekend if the weather permitted, but was not to be. There is always next week I guess.
The above pic is of one of our bees that landed on my wife's finger

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A great inspection!

70 degrees

We opened bravo and charlie on sunday and were very excited by what we saw. Charlie only been in for 2 weeks and the queen is laying and everything looks good. No comb to draw since we provided them with comb already. Bravo looks fantastic, after coming out of winter very small, they have built up quick and large.
Queen is laying good brood patterns and several orientation flights have already taken place, they have built up so well I added another deep today as they are already filling 7 of the 10 frames in the brood super.

It looks to be a great year for beekeeping as the weather is really cooperating for the girls.