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Monday, January 30, 2006

A look back...

Contrary to anything I've said, the hive I have now is not my first hive. I tried a little over one year earlier on March 23, 2004. I wanted to keep them in an observational hive so I could look at them any time I wanted. I ignored all the nessesary equipment such as a veil, smoker, hive tool, gloves...everything. Basicly, I was an idiot. The hive died on July 17, 2004 after it absconded. They swarmed for the first time in June with a productive queen and just as I once thought they were dead for sure, I found a queen laying happily. I realize this is kind of random but, I just wanted to show you a really cool hive. The sides are made of glass so you can see the bees at any time of day. I still have the hive so, if I were so inclined, I could repopulate it and make another blog about an observational hive. I would even be able to show pictues of the queen at any time, show her laying eggs and the workers doing various duties that are impossible to capture in an ordinary hive like the one I have now. By the way, when I say the colony died by absconding; absconding is the act of abandoning a hive. When they left, Small Hive Beetles devoured the comb, honey, and pollen left and tuned it all into a foul-smelling rottting pile of slime. Here are the photos at its prime in may 2004.

Here is an overview of the entire hive...only 2 frames. THe duct tape was used to keep the two sections together...wouldn't want 6,000 bees flying free in my room.

Here's a close up section.

I wish I would have taken more photos. Probably the coolest thing to watch in the hive were the dances. By recording them and playing them slow speed I could tell the direction of the nectar/pollen/water/propolis source in meters and the direction relative to the sun at that time.


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