Thursday, September 15, 2011

Throwing out the trash

Well, fall is officially here as I saw the bees cleansing the hive of unwanted debris, Drones!!  What a sight, chasing them everywhere until they leave the hive,  Lots of noise too.  With the buildup of fall rations, they need less mouths to feed for the winter and what better than to get rid of the drones (males), as all they do is eat (often being fed) and go on the hunt for chicks.  What a life, but at a great cost, as if they do score they die, and if they don't, they die.  Sounds like being female is the way to go.  Wait a minute, all they do is work to death.  I guess it works for them.

In the hive I still have an occasional thief visit, but the bees seem to be holding their own.  They have slowed down on comb building, trying to save the honey for winter use as it takes 20lbs of honey to make one  pound of wax.  About a third of the second box is empty, but I think they will be fine. If they don't fill the box by  Oct. I'm going to fill the void with insulation to cut down the space they will need to keep warm.  Had I made the switch to my hive a couple weeks earlier when I first got them the hive would have been complete for the winter.  Not killing the Queen probably would have been better.  Still bringing in lots of pollen, from the goldenrod I suspect, lots of it around the perimeter of the nearby cemetery.  The top box is full of honey and pollen and they have begun to store in the new combs in the second box.  Looks like the hive is downsizing also, not as many new bees coming out.  Turned the hive 90 deg. for winter.

I have a multitude of sizes and coloring of bees in the hive and they are making two distinct sizes of cells, (along with the few drone cells).  Some of the bees are almost black while some are almost Italian looking.  Size doesn't vary with coloration either, as I have blacks in both large and small.  Most of the lighter colored ones are very small.  I thought they would be making smaller cells on new comb but except for one comb, the size has remained the same.  Maybe after a few generations they will small up.  No signs of any pests to date, although there was a few undeveloped pupae on the landing.  I opened up the upper vent and that ceased.  Not sure if I,m going to leave the screen bottom in for the winter or not.  I think that I,ll leave the upper vent open and let the bees deal with it themselves.  I think they will know what to do.

Got to pick up the boss. Later.

No comments:

Post a Comment