Monday, July 13, 2009

RIP Hive #1

Well - Hive #1 did not make it. I opened it up this weekend and it was filled with wax moths and no bees. No bee bodies, just no bees. What a mess to clean up. That was my last frame on deeps so, the good news is that now all of my hives will be on mediums - it makes it easier to swap boxes around. The sad news is that it was my first hive of bees :( As to why, I don't really know, it appeared that the queen was week or disapeared (perhaps I killed her) and they never recovered. I put a frame of eggs in the hive hoping they would produce a new queen but for whatever reason it did not seem to take. Perhaps I should have combined the bees with another hive earlier - but it is not clear how I would know the difference between this hive and hive #3 which appears to have recovered nicely. The uncertainty of beekeeping, at least for the neebee.

The good news!! is that I got another 14 frames of honey from the other hives. This time 4 frames from Hive #2 (lots of partially filled frames left) and 10 frames from Hive #4 (this was a real surprise). There are only 9 frames in the boxes in Hive #4 - I think this is the way I will go in all the hives in the future. First, it reduces the friction between the frames as they go in and out of the hive box and also it gives the bees more room to pull wax and put up honey! The results are that the frames that came out of Hive #4 are packed with honey and seem twice as heavy as those coming out of Hive #2.

I also checked Hive #3, it seems to be doing well, they have put up some honey and the boxes seem to be filled with bees, so I will leave them alone and try to get them through winter.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

94 Bears!

This post is actually two weeks old. On June 20-21 we went into the hives and pulled out 18 frames of honey! 14 of the frames came from hive #2 and 4 from hive #4. Hive #2 is still a monster, we did do some rearranging as they have been moving the brood up and on the left side of the hive. We moved it down and more boradly spaced it across the hive. I know the bees do what they want - but hey, I can try.
Hive 4 is looking good now, a solid hive, producing nice honey. If these guys had just started a little earlier they would have been a very strong hive. Hive #3 looks like it might make it, there were brood and honey, I just left it alone, we'll see how it it look next time. Hive # 1 is not looking good at all, two of the frames (it is only in one deep) had wax moths on them. I took these two frames out and replaced them with clean ones - but we'll see.