H2D15 - Bees Come And Go

May 20th, 2011

H2D14 - Queenright!

May 19th, 2011

Today is the feast of Saint Peter Celestine who was Pope Celestine V.

Why the sudden interest in the calendar?  Today is a very happy day for the nervous beekeeper.  Art was right.  There’s sealed brood, larvae curled up, capped honey, nectar, pollen… and somewhere there’s a queen!  This image is linked to the original on which you may see much more detail.

Here’s a view from the back of the undisturbed hive:

Here’s a look at the combs:

Magnificent!

Remember those combs that I knocked off last time?

Here they are:

The bees have attached them to the side of the hive, but have pretty well drained the comb.  Maybe this is a good way to get wax?

Waiting

May 19th, 2011

I am nervous about hive 2. I last opened it up 5 days ago and did see no brood. I also knocked off some comb, so I’m worried about the strength of the combs. Art says everything will be fine and I’m waiting. Here are pictures from the 14th.

I hope to make some time today to go into the hive and look about again today.

I’ll be looking for brood or some other sign of laying.

Shawn’s Hive

May 12th, 2011

Shawn’s got a package and TBH also.  He’s using a baggie feeder.  Here are shots from his hive this evening:

After this quick look, we pulled out the bars and checked the queen cage.  The queen was in the cage and the way out was blocked by a dead bee.  The bees seemed to be on friendly terms with the queen and we let her out.  She walked right up onto the comb.  Good news!

H2D7 More Video

May 12th, 2011

This is the cluster from the back:

H2D7 - with Video

May 12th, 2011

Based on some advice from Art and Shawn’s experience, I went out this morning and took a look. As Art said, the bees were working that perpendicular comb that I pulled off, so I moved it outside the hive.

I also took out the can of syrup and put it in front of the hive.

I noticed a bit of comb being built on bars without wax wedges, so I’m feeling more compelled to make some more wedges.

I used the ZR-90 with SD card to take some low-res video and made my first YouTube video.

The comb that you see at the bottom of the hive starting about 4:25 is the one that was on the bottom of the queen cage perpendicular to the bars. I think that it’s the cause of the bulge in one comb and the split in another. I took it out:

Come moved to top of hive

Comb moved to top of hive.

I hope that the bees will recover the wax and nectar and build it into the hanging comb.

My good camera ran out of electricity after only a few shots.  I’ve charged it up and extracted the pictures.  The resolution is good enough that the pollen bags can be seen:

Here’s a picture of the hive:

Here’s the feeder in the back of the hive:

It’s still quite far from the bees.  My first impression of the top bar hive (TBH) is that it’s easier to work than a Langstroth hive.

H2D6

May 11th, 2011

Checked the hive this morning.

I removed the empty queen cage.

There were two large combs on some bars in the middle, but it was joined together where the perpendicular comb off the queen cage had been a few days ago. I bent the comb back straight, separating it from the other comb. These combs are full of nectar/syrup. I did not examine closely enough to tell whether there was pollen or brood.

Bees returning to the hive were packed with a light colored pollen.

The back feeder is about half empty. They’re not using it heavily.

So far I find the bars very easy to manipulate compared to frames.

Hive #2 - Day 4

May 9th, 2011

After work today I put the suit on and took some video in the hive.

I noticed some comb on the syrup can.

The feeder is about half empty.

There’s a nice cluster in a wedge shape. I can make out comb in it.

Bees are coming and going nicely.

Video to come when I have a moment.

Hive #2 – Top Bar Hive

May 9th, 2011

We drove out to get our packages last Thursday. After a few sessions in the garage with some wood, a table saw, nails, glue, paint and pot of hot beeswax, we put together three top bar hives.

Thursday night when I got home with my package, I took off the wooden door, took out the syrup can and queen cage and put them in the hive. I nailed the strapping on the queen cage to a bar and let it hang. There was a feeder in the back end of the hive, the queen in the middle, then the syrup can and finally the package box in the front. I pulled the front bar back just enough to let bees get in and out.

Friday morning I drove to Connecticut for a First Holy Communion.

Sunday night when I got back, there was enough light to check the hive.

The queen cage was perpendicular to the bars and the bees built a nice piece of comb, maybe 5 inches in diameter, with nectar (syrup?) and pollen cells, off the bottom of the queen cage. I took the queen cage out and as I hadn’t pulled the cork, I popped out the cork and then stapled the cage back on the top bar, but aligned along the bar so that the resulting comb will be along a bar.

There were two or three other combs already taking shape on the waxed bars.

No bees were left in the package cage, so I removed it.

Here are the bees flying in and out on Monday:

A New Hope

February 5th, 2011

I have a package of Italians reserved at the Dadant Chatham branch for pickup around April 11th.

I’m leaning toward building a top bar hive.