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Monday, July 10, 2006

100th Post!!!!!!

Today I went over and saw the remaining three hives...then went for a swim in the landowners' pool. Hey, it's hot out and wearing all that gear in the sun is even hotter. Anyways, before I cooled off in 8 feet deep of liquid salvation, I did get something accomplished.

Russian Hive:

They're building up but, still not much stronger than the package hive. They still have eggs and everything but, they also still seem to have a disablility of drawing comb. These bees must be lazy given, there's a honeyflow going on and they can't seem to get their act in gear. I'm probably going to order up a queen either later this month or in august to replace the current one. I'll probably go with italian, which means I'll have to find a better way to name my hives.

Package Hive:

These bees are expanding just fine and I have stopped feeding them. The queen is a powerhouse of egg laying with 6 frames just about filled with eggs or other brood. They've expanded to about 7 frames and, are currently on their way to becoming a strong colony. These bees are also very nice but, at their small size I can't really make to strong an estimation of their threshold. They came from the same company that supplied the package for my first hive, and they came out just fine. My prediction is that, next year, I'll have at least 4 colonies producing honey, rather than the current 1.

TBH:

Here's where the photos come in. I walked up to the hive and saw that they've clearly done some expanding.

These bees have expanded to the point that they have fully drawn combs on bars 1-4, 5-7 are 3/4 to 1/2 drawn and the remaining 8-12 are less than 1/2 drawn. Basically, from the end it looks like this :

Compare this to the photos on May 14th and you'll see just how much they've expanded. It looks like my concern of them being africanized is unfounded given, I've yet to receive more than 2 stings when I go through the colony. I'll have to see how they do over the next year given, that will be the best guage of temper.
They currently have a few small patches of honey stored but, I don't think they'll have anything potentially harvestable untill September. This is probably the most fun hive in the beeyard, hense, why else would I always want to take photos. It's a novelty, even to other beekeepers. Unfortunately, most don't like them but, most don't wear gloves either. I'm the minority.

Here's the sixth comb:

On this photo you can see a definate line where the bees first drew out comb, those bees emerged and then, the bees felt they needed more space and drew out even more comb. That's why there's a transition from the darker comb to come that is more of a gentle yellow.

FINAL NOTES: 100th post...woohoo!

Next year, I could be producing over 40 gallons of honey...we'll see how that goes.

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