Sunday, April 27, 2014

Time to make the honey!

Went out today and got the MAQS out of the hives.  Put a super on each one.  Cleaned the SHB trays under the hives.  Ready for honey now!  I saw some clover blooming in the yard today.  I'm optimistic.  Of course, now the weather is going to be stormy for the next three days.  Just my luck.  But maybe they'll clean/straighten the comb that's in the supers, and draw some out on a few bare frames I put in there.

SHB tray after mite treatment:

Top Brood Box:

Bottom brood box with MAQS:

Super and inner cover on:

Dad putting the lid on the second hive:

The work wagon after working the hives:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mite Away Quick Strips

This morning Dad and I put in Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS) for mite control.  We placed two strips in each bottom brood box and put the hive back together.  We took the entrance reducer out per the instructions.  It will be interesting to see the mite drop in a week.

The boxes were bursting with bees!  It was a welcome sight to see, especially after a suspected swarm moving out recently.  I was pretty downhearted after that swarm got away, but today restored my optimism for a good honey year.  Hopefully next week we'll get honey supers on and stop feeding the bees and start getting the good stuff.

Sorry I didn't get any pictures.  I'll try to not be in such a hurry next week when we take the strips off.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Happiness turns to heartbreak turns to hope

There was a swarm in a dogwood tree close to the hives  afternoon.  It's probably from one of my hives.  The one I suspect seemed mean the other day when we were in it, but they may have just been getting ready to swarm.

Anyway, my back has been acting up so I had to get Dad to do most of the work.  I wasn't sure what we needed to do.  The step ladders we have are too short to really work on this swarm, but we gave it the old college try.

I placed a box on the ground under the swarm, so if he could cut the limbs they were on, we could just put them into the box and be done with it.

When he got up there and got ahold of the limb, he moved it a little trying to get the lopper where he could cut it.  The bees all flew off.

I left the box with a swarm lure under the limb where they were.  There might be a chance they'll return to that spot.

I have another box with swarm lure about 150 yards away towards my house.  Maybe they'll go there instead.

I guess I need to watch more swarm capture videos.  It seemed to me like all you had to do was cut they limb they were on and put them in a box.  I wasn't expecting them to fly away like that.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

I've got bees!

Lots and lots and lots of bees!  One of the hives didn't seem too busy coming and going, but when I went into the hive, there were thousands of bees everywhere!  I was so happy.  I finally got some through the winter.  However, the top super where I thought they'd all be was still full of capped syrup/honey from last fall.

The other hive was the same way.  Lots of bees and the top super was full of syrup/honey, too.

We did find the queen and brood in the middle box in each hive.  We put those boxes on the bottom and the other deep on top of that, and replaced the mediums back on top of those.  I've got to check the weather.  It's still too cool for a fume board, but I do have some escapes.  I might put them on for a couple of days so that I can get all the bees out of those top supers. I'm not sure yet what I'll do with those supers, but I can't have them on the hives when I medicate. And I have plans to use Mite Away Quick Strips next week before the flow starts.

But I'm so happy that I have bees!!!

This is a frame from the brood box.  It has some capped syrup/honey, too:

You can't see it very well, but there's some capped honey around the edges, but this frame is full of capped brood:

On each picture on the top and bottom of the frames you can see drone brood.  I didn't notice any mites on the drone, but I did see some mites in the removable tray in the bottom.