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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sorry...I forgot about you.

For the last few weeks I've been doing my inspections like usuall but, actually forgot about this blog. I had forgotten my cammera on all of them except today's so, I'll explain them.

Last week:

The daughter of the people who's land my hives are on was here from the Washington D.C. area and wanted to see the hives. I had brought along an extra veil so, I didn't see why not. She did take some photos and, hopefully, she'll e-mail some of them to me. She was, though, probably one of the bravest non-beekeeper's who has seen my hives given, in one sentance, I convinced her to hold a bar from the KTBH for a photo. Gloveless non the less!

Russian hive: This hive is about were I'd expect it to be given they swarmed not to long ago. I'm probably going to requeen them in the fall given they swarmed and I don't exactly trust the genetics in this area. I really haven't liked this hive at all but, like anything, don't knock it, 'till you try it. And I tried it...but won't again. I'll probably requeen with Italian, given I've liked those quite a bit in my other hives.

Package Hive: This is where I need to do some updating. I installed the package as usuall on June 17 and came back the next week. They've had plenty of sugar water and, the queen was released safe and sound. They have a good brood cluster and have expanded out to 7-8 frames.

TBH: They're on bars 1-12 with 1-5 fully drawn and those after it anywhere from 3/4 to 1/8. These have got to be some of the nicest bees I have and, even my guest in the feild was willing to hold a bar. They've had a very good brood nest orientation and, are begining to store up honey and pollen. With any luck, I may get a comb or two of harvest in September or October.


Italian hive: This hive has a good 2 supers full of honey like this and, is begining to draw out a super I added earlier. This is a sure sign of a honeyflow.

This is honeycomb perfect for extraction. I have a full 2 supers that look like this. With any luck I'll get another super on the current flow. I think that are common summer rains are probably the cause of this honeyflow. Unfortunately, I have no idea what exactly is blooming. Today, I had a friend of mine, Adam, come out and see the bees. At the end he said, "I have a newfound respect for what you do." Complementing me on my "Kahoneys". Anyways...back to the hive. I got down to the brood chamber and the frames on each end are COMPLETELY filled with honey. Working inwards, there are no queen cells (indicating no plans to swarm or supercead their queen) and every stage of brood present from eggs to emerging adults. This hive is doing just fine and clearly doesn't need to be requeened. Unfortunately, not all was well with Adam, given I forgot to warn him that the bees, if they sting, will go for areas of contrast. His black wristband became a bee-sting-belt, given a few stung the band, and one stung the neighboring flesh. All's fine, however, he was surprised that the sting hurt so much less than those of the paper wasps, which are so numerous and so often confused with a bee in this area.
Also, as a final note, after I harvest I'll have to treat for Varroa mites with the Apiguard.

Captured Hive: These bees still haven't outgrown their nuc, but, they're on their way. So far, they have completely drawn 4 frames and half way drawn 1. I'll probably need to move them into a full deep next month or so. They do have a good brood patern on the frames which they do cover. The frames are just mediums so, I'll have to swap them with deeps one by one. Here's a little example of how the brood is looking.

Earlier, they had what's known as "shotgun brood" where every other cell seems to be missing a larva. This could be a sign of a mechanical resistance to varroa via removal of the infected pupae and the varroa mite itself.



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