Saturday, April 21, 2018

Round 3

bought two nucs from Ian Coulson today. He and Marja delivered them to the house. I have decided to give Langstroth hives a chance. I paid $300 for the bees. Gave both hives sugar water to get going, and crossed my fingers.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sugar Roll Mite Check

Went into Gibson's Hive this afternoon. Did a sugar roll test with 1/2 cup bees. Did not see any mites. Also used a capper to destroy about 30+ drone cells. Also found no mites.

Hive had 2 bars of drone brood and 7 bars of capped worker brood. Docile to work with.

Happy with their status.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Went into the hives this afternoon and everything looks good.

All three hives have lots of capped brood. Larva present as well. Each hive had one bar of drone brood.

I didn’t see eggs, but I think I just cant see them without reading glasses on, and that won’t work under the veil!

Didn’t see queens, but I think everyone is home and working hard.

It felt good to be back in the hive. None of them were aggressive, and I enjoyed it.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Dead out

It's a sad day in the apiary. I lost Lone Star.

I was worried about them last time I visited. They just weren't thriving. Not enough honey, not enough bees. Yesterday, there was LOTS of activity. Bad sign. Today I looked in and no bees.  The combs were all chewed up and the bottom filled with wax cappings and dead bees.

I went into Raven as well, and they were not nearly as aggressive as they were last time I went in. They have lots of honey, lots of pollen, and a fair amount of larva. Didn't see the queen or any eggs, but they look well set for winter.

I'll go in tomorrow and clean out the cappings, take the combs and put them in the freezer a few at a time to get rid of any pests. Then hang them up in the workshop to keep them safe til next spring. We shall fly again!

I took the opportunity to put hooks in both hives so I can weigh them to learn how they are doing without going in and bothering them.

Lone Star, with no honey and no bees, weighed 10 pounds.

Raven, with lots of honey and pollen and brood, weighed 18 pounds. Sigh. And Raven is the hive that I have the most difficulty with. Oddly enough, today they were not aggressive at all.

Somebody stung the hell out of the back of my knee today. I don't think it was a bee, but maybe it was. It is very big and red. But doesn't hurt. I dunno if it was the bees or if a spider somehow got in up there. Puzzled. 

Monday, June 06, 2016


This lovely big fat black and yellow bumble bee was working our California poppies hard yesterday!

Maybe a bombus californicus!

5/23/16 Inspection

Things are looking very good! Lots of activity.  Foragers headed into both hives loaded with pollen!

Raven: Went all the way through and found good amount of capped worker brood, a few drone cells, and larva. I saw, for the first time, a baby bee emerging from her cell! Triumph!! I think they are queen right!

There were a few empty bars, so I moved them on the other side of the follower board to reduce the size of the hive.

Lone Star: Also looking good with lots of capped brood, larva, and a few drone cells. I saw my second baby bee emerging!!

Hooray for the bees!!

4/18/16 Lots of action

Went into both hives and did an oxalic acid dribble. Took one bar of larva from Lone Star and put it in Raven just to increase their chances of raising a new queen and having enough worker bes.

Took a couple of pounds of honey by mistake. I didn't have a follower board on the end of Raven, and they had built comb along the wall, I removed it. I also set some bars on the truck gate, and one melted and fell over. So I brought it in too. I saved the good stuff and put the rest out for the bees to clean up.

4/15 Hive Inspection

Tom came to help me and we went though Raven. Lots of honey, lots of drones, no worker brood, no larva. It looks like the queen is gone. Damn. We did find a queen cell, empty on the end so it looked like she successfully emerged. So maybe they raised a new queen. She'll need a couple of weeks for her nuptial flight and to start laying and for those eggs to hatch and emerge. So I'll check in a couple of weeks on the 29th or after we get back from Gibson's birth.

We also did a mite check. Way too high. No ants.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Checking on Lone Star

Went half way through Lone Star today and everything looks good. I started with 27 bars, and added one more before I closed her up.

Lots of capped honey, lots of drone cells, and lots of worker brood. Also saw larva in several bars. There was one small empty queen cell. I went through 15 bars before I got stung and decided they didn't want to be bothered any more. It was about 62 degrees. They were out foraging vigorously, but I think it was too chilly for them.

There were a lot lot lot of bees.

Unfortunately, there were also ants. I'm not sure what to do. Maybe a borax ant trap on top of the bars...

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Raven Hive Inspection

Went almost all the way through Raven today. I had 24 bars, with one on the opposite side of the follower board where the feeder was. It had a small comb on it that I was saving. There were bees all over it, so I added it back into the hive as we went along.

There was lots of honey, lots of brood, lots of larvae, lots of nectar. I think they are doing great. I was surprised at how many drone brood cells there were and a good number of drones moving about. I don't know if this means anything other than they are proceeding into summer. I didn't go into the last five or six bars because the bees were tired of me. Didn't see the queen, but saw her excellent work.