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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Much Better!

I checked on the Russian hive today for the first time in over a month, probably a month and a half. While I wasn't looking forward to it given the dismal condition it was in last time I had to do it anyway. I wasn't even sure if they were alive. When I got there they seemed to be in heavy foraging. This was a good sign. I suited up as usuall, lit the smoker and got to work. The population had much improved and now they're probably at close to half of the population of the Italian colony. They seem to be gathering nectar and have stored entire frames full of pollen. I think I've identified the primary attributes which make them uncomfortable to work with. Listed in order they are: Loud noise, balling tendencies, head-butting tendencies, lack of honey production and stinging behavior. While some people think I may be over reacting about the loud noise..I have to tell you, it is just kind of hinting of unfortunate things to come. In the italian hive, they buzz for a few seconds after I smoke them and then it tapers off. In the russian hive it just grows into a roar. From 30 yards away it could still be heard. Back to the inspection, this queen appears to be doing better than before. Egg laying is much improved in grouping...there's actually one frame in the center that is enirely filled. The other frames aren't great but they're better than before. The brood nest now, at least partially, occupies four frames. It was more spread out at first but, I suspect that the warmer temperatures of spring and summer will become the catalyst for lateral brood nest expansion (I like using BIG words.) Next time I'll get photos...maybe that's what I should do with the Christmas money...buy a camera! Tomarow I'll open the italian hive and see how far along that honey is!

1 Comments:

Blogger Susi said...

My russians sting about the same as my italians. My queens are from Purvis Bros in 05 and Jester in 04 & 03. I;m getting Purvis' Gold line (italian hybrids) in 06. I agree, mine keep a much smaller broodnest than the Italians, and yet in the spring they can build up and swarm really quickly. However, I've had no varroa this last year... at all. Surprised the VA bee inspector.

3:55 PM, January 29, 2006  

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