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!!