Sunday, July 24, 2011

More bee blogging

As there seems to be a dearth of nectar at the moment, I decided to feed the colonies.  The 1st year colony I call Venice looks like it slowed down a bit. right after I added the 2nd super.  I admit, I am a bit worried Milano will get into that capped honey in the super I am taking.  Conflict: If they take it -  it means they need it and I probably shouldn't take it....  I figure I'll take it and feed the rest of the season.

My pride and joy - the colony I call Sicily - is doing well despite my many mistakes.  I moved two frames of brood with queen cells into a new hive.  It was VERY, VERY slow going.  With only nurse bees and no foragers as well as un-emerged queens, it took a long time for this to get going - but it's going fine now.  I fed them pollen patties and sugar water.  Being weak as long as it was created my first ever look at hive beetles.  Yuck!  I dispatched a few and cleaned out my top feeder and fed them  They are now 5 full frames plus two other half frames - and, finally, show a defense when I inspect (I used to be able to inspect them without any gear).  If they winter, I am going to try to get them in place to harvest the peach orchard nectar and fill a Ross Rounds super.  Specialty comb honey!  Can't wait.

Monday, July 4, 2011

I need a bee blog

This was a catch-all blog but lately it seems like it's jut s a bee blog.  I'm excited to report my first ever split finally seems to be showing progress.  They are too weak to defend  against Milano or Venice so I haven't been feeding (I don't want Milano storing sugar with the honey since I will harvest from there soon - they are filling out the last 3 top super frames.  The first five are already full and capped).  Good thing I checked on [what did I name this hive?] - they are out of food.  They are drawing comb and the population is way up!  It looks like a new package install after about a week now.  They have brood and at least four full frames of packed workers (I only moved over two!).  Lots of pollen bearing workers are entering and there's good traffic flow.  Wow!  I really didn't expect this to make it.  I will feed them the rest to the summer to see if I can get them to a density to winter.

My new vented, gabled copper roof came for Venice.  So now I have a bottom board and a top.  All I need is a hive body and a top cover and I have a hive ready for the next split.  I think I'll order that, some more medium supers (standardizing on mediums now), two or three hive stands and another slated bottom for [what did I name that new hive?] - they will need all the help they can get.