Beekeeping, Gardening and Quilting in Eastern Wake County, North Carolina

Monday, April 26, 2010

Nuc #3 in a Big House

Today I put Nuc #3 in a regular sized 10-frame hive (brood box). The bees were unconcerned about being moved - it was easy and simple to do. They have two short frames and then the others are regular (brood box) size. I put two empty frames on the left side and three on the right and then the five frames in the exact order as they were in the nuc box in between.

There was lots of brood and bees bringing in pollen. I did put an entrance reducer on the front of this hive since they're still small and I wanted to lessen the possibility of robbing. I'll check them the first of next week to make sure they're doing okay.

This nuc came from Swarm '09 hive and not Hive #4 as I said in my previous post. I checked my notes and I'll tell you I just can't remember from one day to the next what's happening. I've got a serious case of CRS - thank goodness I keep a notebook.

It took me much longer to get all this put together than it took to move the bees (about 10 min or so). Yesterday I primed and painted some of my boxes - they were in desperate need of being painted. Then I had to nail and glue the inner cover, caulk around the inside of the top cover and put duct tape over the top. I did have everything but I need to do some serious cleaning and repairing on my equipment.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day and A Queen Bee

Yesterday Mr. Ellis and I opened my hives. In the new Nuc #3, we saw the queen. There's been activity (bees going in and out of the hive bringing in pollen) so I felt good about the nuc but to actually see the queen - well, it was great. So next week, I'll put this nuc in a brood box. They are doing great. This nuc was made on 4/7/10 with a frame with queen cells from Hive #4.

Added another super to Hive #4 - will definitely have lots of honey from this hive. No change to Nuc #1 and Nuc #2. On Swarm '09 Hive, we moved the brood box down one and turned the top two supers around - they were working on one side and had room on the other, so a little switch to get them to fill up the empty side. No rhyme or reason as to why they're doing this but they look fine and have lots and lots of bees.

Mr. Ellis said if bees are bringing in pollen, you have a queen. So I should have a queen in each hive - all the hives have bees bringing in pollen.

This is Nuc #3 and Hive #4. Hive #4 now has two brood boxes and four supers. I'll have to take some honey from this hive before any more supers are put on.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April Swarm

This is the first swarm for this year - yesterday around lunch. I was in the garden and noticed all this activity - lots and lots of bees flying. Well, they were swarming. They didn't go far - just far up! They settled in one of the pines about 10' up which make it a little hard for me to catch this swarm.

I called around - not everybody wants to get a swarm that high in a tree. So I finally found someone to come and take them - Tim, a Wake County beekeeper that doesn't live to far from my house.

Tim made it look easy - a big step ladder, clippers and a steady hand, and viola - the bees are in their new home ready to be moved.

This was a really large swarm. I'm sure they came out of the Swarm '09 Hive. This is the hive we took 3 frames with queen cells from just 10 days ago and Mr. Ellis and I made nucs. We also added an empty brood box - I need to check this hive again ASAP.
I didn't want to give this swarm away but in reality, I just don't need another hive - I have 4 hives and a nuc but if I have another swarm, it's gonna stay with me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Inside the Hive Body

I'm always fascinated when you take a frame out of the super or brood box. Looking down in the hive - well, it's just amazing - all those bees just working and working. Totally unconcerned about us poking around.

And there were lots and lots of bees. We did see a lot of drones (those fat old boys) which is always what you want in the spring.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Swarm Hive '09

The last time this hive was checked, we took off the brood box. The bees had moved up to the super and there was absolutely nothing in the brood box. That left 3 supers on the hive. Wednesday when we opened the hive, there were so many bees they had started making foundation in the top of the hive. This hive was full of bees, brood and lots of queen cells. They were and might still be on the way to swarming.

We only took out a couple of frames in the top super - Mr. Ellis does not like to move frames when there's brood on the frames. So we took out 3 frames from the top super and I made Nuc #3 and Mr. Ellis took one frame home that had two or three unopened queen cells.

So then we just put the empty brood box on top. We'll check in a couple of weeks and if everything is going okay, we'll put the brood box on the bottom.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Checking the Hives 040710

Mr. Ellis came over on Wednesday and we went thru all the hives. I started with 4 hives last fall and I have 4 really good hives now (plus a Nuc). I have ants in two of the hives but did not see any hive beetles, no wax moths and no sign of varroa mites.

Hive #4 was full of bees and brood - an empty super was added - they were busting at the seams and everything was full of honey and brood.

Nuc #1 was okay so nothing was changed - they still have plenty of room - I'll check in a couple of weeks.

Nuc #2 - switched the brood boxes - bottom to top and top to bottom with the super left on top.

Swarm '09 was so full of bees - I'll post tomorrow about this hive - so much going on!
And after saying (many times) I did not need or want another hive, I made a Nuc from the Swarm '09 hive. When you have so many queen cells and so many bees - well, it just makes sense to make a nuc.

Hopefully, I'll have another good hive. I like the bees I have. They have a good tempermant, they're productive and for right now, I don't have any disease problems. I have bought queens and I just don't seem to have much luck so I like for my bees to make their own queen.
So we didn't see the queen in any of the hives but saw the results of her work so we know I have a queen in each hive.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Beeyard - April

The Beeyard April - 2010

Nuc #3

Hive #4

Nuc #1

Nuc #2

Swarm '09

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bee Facts - April


Honeybee colonies must maintain their hive temperature around 90-93 degrees in the winter. Young bees developing in the brood hive need to be kept at the right temperature and humidity. If the hive temperature was allowed to rise without control. wax combs would melt and the colony would be reduced to chaos. Honeybees collect water to keep the colony cool: water is brought into the hive and evaporative cooling keeps temperatures down.
Water is also needed for feeding developing bees. The brood food they receive is secreted by worker bees and contains 70% water. To produce this brood food, worker bees need to have honey, pollen and water. When bees feed on honey, sugar syrup or nectar supplies (containing more than 50% sugar) water is needed for dilution.

Some honeybees' main task in life is carting water. Each bee may make typically 50 trips a day, each time collecting about 25 mg of water. When the colony is very short of water other foragers will divert from collecting nectar and pollen to join in the effort.
In a very hot climate one colony will need several quarts of water every day.

This is the pond I made last summer in the garden. These photos were taken when we had a warm spell. Not only were they bringing in pollen but they needed water too.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My Quilting Companions

The "kids" like to hang around when I'm quilting or reading blogs on the computer. In the chair - Missy, beside my chair on the floor - Lily, and on the sewing machine - Roxie - they need to be close some times.
Hope the Easter Bunny came by your house!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Quilt for Linda

One of our quilting bee members has breast cancer. We made a quilt for her using a house block pattern - the roof to be brown, the house to be light and dark pinks, and sign their name on the block. The backing for this quilt is flamingos - bright and happy flamingos (Linda is a flamingo fan).
We all shared in the process - I put it together, Pat B. did the quilting, Terry did the binding and lots of members made blocks.
Linda was surprised and happy with her quilt. My thanks to all who contributed and helped put this together.

This was a free block pattern.