Benjamin Franklin Quotes

Friday, April 30, 2010

Another newbe mistake

I decided to look at my bees today after work. A beautiful day sunny and 87. First hive was very active bees bringing in everything . So I got the jacket on and started the smoker I need to keep this thing lit this time, so I started with some shredded phone book and pine straw. Got her going and it staid lit for the first hive inspection. I was looking for the queen, any signs of SHB or mites, tried to find some larva our anything that looks like it. But that is not the best distance for my eye  site so I settled on finding the queen. Found her on the next to last end frame. I think I need  jewelers glasses to see those tiny little eggs. This hobby keeps sucking money from you everyday. but it sure is fun and relaxing. The other good thing about having bees is that if you need some time alone you just need to suite up light the smoker and go spend time with the girls.
Well back to the girls I did not see any SHB or Verroa that is a good thing. I did see capped broad, caped honey, and watched one of the bees bringing in pollen and other bees packing it in tight. this was on 6 of the 8 frames. Wish I had workers that worked like that. The two out side new frames had no activity other then bees walking all over them.Everything looked good to this rookie so I closed it up and went to the next hive . This is were all the fun started. I followed the same steps for this hive as I did for thefirst one. I smoked the entrance. Then I lifted the top and smoked it let it sit for a few minutes. Then opened up. I took of the top hive feeder I only had it half full of sugar water and HBH just in case. about half was taken in a weeks time. I went into the second supper no activity just a bunch of bees hanging out this was a new super only on for about 5 days. So I took that off and was into the main broad Super. Every frame had something going on bees everywhere doing something. Pollen, nectar, drones, workers, But did not see the queen. like I said before, my close up eye site is not that great but I still tried to find larva, or eggs with no luck. I did find a lot of caped broad so I took that as a good sign. Well the bees were getting a little aggravated and started to make a lot of noise so I did what I thought was smoke them but boy was I wrong, all that came out of the smoker was a 3 foot yellow flame, that got my heart pumping and also fried some bees about 12 or so. But that is not the worst part. As I continued to work the bees and try to find the queen I started to smell this ripe banana smell and buy this time the bees were really get riled so as it says in the books and what everyone tells me, I just stopped what I was doing and put the hive back together. I did open each entrance to full open. It looks to me that a super full of bees should be able to take care of that entrance. One other thing both my covers started to warp . Someone on Beesource told me to turn them up side down and they would fit. I did and it worked. So things look good in the hives except for one hive that I could not find the queen.I did not see any queen cells and all seemed to bee working . The last time I looked there was a queen with a blue dot. But as I said the bees cleaned some of that off. So may be she is there but I did not see her. I will check again Saturday. I hope this little blog helps some other rookies so they learn from my mistakes.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

First Check of the Bees

Today I took the written exam to get my certificate for a beginner beekeeper. Then I came home and we put up some white lattice just in front of the bee hives to help direct there flight away from the human hang out area. Looks like it worked.We had some clouds in the area ans I was told never to open the hive on cloudy days. I was not sure I should open the hives up and look at the bees. But of course being a new beekeeper I just had to open them up and at least find the queen. So I got all dressed up in the jacket. Got my smoker lite and this time it stayed lit and was still going an hour after I finished. So I started, smoked the first hive and opened the top. The girls ate half of the sugar water not bad for four days. Took the feeder of and there they were. Very calm and just a low buzz and they were going down in the hive, very few flying around. But for some reason I smoked them again and that stirred them up the buzz started to get loud and a lot came up to greet me and started flying, Lesson learned only smoke when you have to.... I started to look in the hive for the queen and found myself just starring in amazement at everything they were doing.Some just had there butts sticking out , others were bringing in pollen, some were even just flapping there wings. and still others looked like they were eating and some just like some of my workers just looked like they were walking around doing nothing . So after I woke up from the daze I moved on looking for the queen. On next to the last hive there she was with that blue dot on her head, Some of the color was missing I guess the girls like a clean queen. after I found her I put the hive back together and put on a second medium because to me this one looked full. Then went on to the next hive. Did the same thing this time the queen was with a bunch of her court so she was easy to find. The same thing the blue dot was half gone. I need to learn to find the queen with out the dot. after finding the queen I put  on the second medium 8 frame small cell and closed it up. They both looked good to me. Next time I will look for varroa mites and SHB hopefully I don't find ether one. I will not use any harsh Chemicals. My list of preventive items is small, powder sugar, HBH, some essential oils. and small cell, screen bottom board, bottom rack. It is amazing at how the bees can live and work in such a complex society with out speech. I wish some of my fellow workers could learn that lesson. LOL !! Have a great day and go out and get BUZZED!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Bees are in

I received the bees today on small cell medium frames. Decided to install them and that went great. Not sure I did everything properly but did not get stung and they are alive. I received two 6 frame nucs so I backed my truck up to the hives used it as a work area and got all the equipment together. Jacket, Hive tool, Smoker,Hammer you know those pesky ones need more then smoke sometimes, no it was to take the nails out of the nuc, spray bottle with sugar water and HBH, .  I read  that if you spray them with that mixture they tend to stay calm. It worked !! started the smoker, not very good at that. It just barely stayed lit for the two installs. The hives have been set up so I just had to open the nucs and put in the frames. The first nuc I opened the bees were black as the ace of spades, just what I ordered Russian / VSH . It had some frames of brood, honey but lite on bees, Did not really look for the queen just trying to get the job done.I smoked them when I opened the lid and sprayed them with the syrup mixture they calmed right down went together with little problems. The second have was a little different . It was a six frame also but had a lot of burr comb on top.So not knowing what to do I took the hive tool and separated the frames and cleaned the burr comb of before placing them in the hive.Once again this one was lite on bees.I also put all the frames in the hive and added two new frames to both outside area's. I filled up half of a top hive feeder with 2 X 1 syrup and HBH. Closed up both hives and went on my way. This Saturday I will do a check for the queen and see what is going on.I think I will all so put on a medium to each hive.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I thought my bees arrived

Well Saturday came and I get a call from the people that were delivering my bees and they said that I should have them by 6:00pm that evening.When they arrived we brought the bees to the area with the hives in the back yard. I live in a rural neighborhood with a 1/2 acre of land Pictures of yard will follow. We got the bees to the area and open the box there were bees everywhere. As soon as I looked at the first frame I knew there was something wrong, they sent the wrong size, Deeps instead of mediums.So all we could do was pack up what bees we could and send them back. The wright bees should show up Wednesday, I hope. Here is the oicture of what is left.
Check out the Stand the hive is on My son made them for me and they are sweet. I do have to say one thing for a person that knows nothing about bees I sure do look good in a bee jacket, as long as the hood is on. LOL!!!
I am not sure the ones that were left behind will make it but I did put in 8 medium frames with foundation and some sugar water in a top hive feeder to see if the will hang around. We will see.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Some questions I just do not understand

I just got a question the other day and I deleted it. I should of posted with an answer.The person would not even write who they were.
The person wrote me and asked why I am writing about beekeeping and you have never had any bees? Well that is an easy question. I am writing this as a new bee so other can maybe learn from what I do right or wrong. I am not telling people to do as I am because I know very little about taking care or bees. I know that I am going to do my best and write down honestly what happens during my first year.