Archive for October, 2009

Quick Peek 2009-10-29

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

I heard from Naomi that Noah heard from Gabriel that Art’s bees are gone.  Noah was worried about our bees.  I was worried about our bees.  We both checked to see that they were coming and going nicely.

In the afternoon I put on the bee jacket and gloves and took a quick look at the hive.  I didn’t use smoke.

I saw, and squished, two beetles that were a bit like roaches in that they were flat and light brown.

Half the sugar jar has been consumed.

The bees seem to be smaller, but as the camera is in the car, I have no pictures and can’t compare.

I pulled frames 1, 4, 5 and 8 today.  Frame 1 is unused as before.  Frame 4 inside has a lump of capped honey about the size of a grapefruit in the middle of the frame.  Frame 5 was really, really heavy which I take as a good sign.  The bees don’t seem to be doing anything with frame 8 as in the past.

More Sugar

Friday, October 16th, 2009

It’s been about 10 days since I fed the bees.  I figured the syrup would last about 6 days and after 10 it was pretty clear that it was long gone.

After I took out the old jar, one bee came out through the inner cover, into the feeder, roamed around a bit then went back down into the hive.  I guess she was just checking to see whether the syrup was back.

Inspection 2009-10-08

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

I did a quick inspection with no smoke this morning.

I had been worried about robbing, but I didn’t see any capping flakes on the bottom of the hive.

Frames 1,2,3 unchanged.

I scraped propolis off the spacers of all frames before closing up.

Frame 4 is showing a bit more comb on the outside.  I can’t tell, but I think there might be a bit of liquid in the cells.  The inside has yet more bees than than last time and possibly a little more comb drawn.

Frame 5 (outside): I’d guess there are about twice as many bees, but they’re all in the middle of the frame.  They seem lighter in color.  The sealed brood is lower on the frame.  There is now some capped honey at the top of the frame.  I see a few larvae, but not as many as before.  The bees are pretty thick, though.

Frame 5 (inside): There’s a little more capped honey on this side, but not much.  Many more bees, but clustered in the middle of the frame. It looks to me that the pollen stores are being consumed.  They’re deeper in the cells and look darker.  Even thought the bees are thick, there’s clearly more sealed brood.

It does appear that I reversed frame 6 last time.  I did not reverse again.

Frame 6 (inside): The queen is on this frame.  The honey is capped much farther down the left and right sides of the frame.  There are many more bees and as on other frames, they’re in the center of the frame now.  I didn’t see any pollen this time. but there appears to be sealed brood where there were larvae last time.  I don’t see any larvae this time.

Frame 6 (outside): As on the other frames, there are many more bees here this time.  There’s a bit more honey and perhaps some pollen, though it’s too thick to see through the bees.

Frame 7 (inside): More capped honey and more pollen.  Many more bees.

Frame 7 (outside): Fewer bees.  The liquid seems to have been drawn down.

Frames 8, 9, 10 unchanged.

I’ve seen a whole lot more pollen coming in to the hive recently.  I don’t know where it’s going.

Pictures here:

A Batch of Sugar

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

I got just over 3 jars of syrup out of a 10 lb bag of sugar a few days ago.  Today I checked on the jar I put out.  They’ve eaten about 1/2 of the syrup in 3 days.  Let’s assume that 10 lbs of sugar went into 3 jars, that’s 3 1/3 lbs of sugar per jar.  They appear to be eating about 9 oz of sugar per day.  At $4.50/ 10 lb bag, the bees are consuming about $.25 a day in sugar.  If they ate all year round at this rate, they’d consume the dollar equivalent of 23 lbs of honey in a year.  This is a worst case for my hive at current consumption rates.

I’m feeding the bees just to get them through the winter.

I do not want Domino sugar honey in the supers (there are no supers on now).