Thursday, July 16, 2015

Queen outside the hive

Doing my routine walk around the hives this morning I noticed a couple bees sunning themselves on the outside of the entrance.  A closer look revealed that one was a queen, so I picked it up for a closer examination.  Finding nothing abnormal, I put it back and it then flew off.  My only thought is that I may have killed the original queen while doing my honey harvest, but the dates didn't coincide with her appearance, maybe they are just superseding.  Hope she finds a couple good mates this time of year.  Otherwise all is normal.  I did find some beetle larvae in the drop pan from the last hive I harvested Monday this week.  Not unusual for the beetles to try and get a hold while the hive is a little disrupted.  Finding them on the bottom means the bees are back in a cleaning mode again which is what I would expect.  The harvest yielded about 15 lbs on the outside bars (5) as there was still brood in the center so I left those in and replaced the box.  Later

Monday, July 13, 2015

Treatment for Nosema

Found several bees in the yard unable to fly so decided to treat the queen castle colony for Nosema using Oxalic acid fumes.  The hive has not increased in size for more than 2 months so will have to wait to see how it works.  All the other hives are doing well.  Will have to let it go this autumn if this doesn't work.

Pulled the top box off the last hive today and harvested honey.  There was still brood in the center comb so left them in place and cleaned and returned the empty bars back and replaced the box on the hive.  Got about 16#s of honey, should have been around 25#.  Because I was experimenting (bad idea) the lower box had no top bars so had another mishap with everything falling down but eventually got it straightened out.  Honey is super sweet with a light amber color.  I bottle for allergy sufferers so leave it murky with lots of pollen.  With such a wet spring and all my hives swarming at least twice I think it was not to bad.  Creating a hardy bee line is the important thing.  Later

Monday, July 6, 2015

Harvest day 2015

Saturday the 5th of July I opened both of the hives I had previously tried to harvest without much success and pulled off the top boxes of each.  I was a little upset when I found that neither hive had begun repairing or using for that mater, the combs which had been damaged.  I only got about 4# of honey from the worst one but the other yielded about 22 lbs.   Most of the center comb from the later was empty.  Not much of a harvest this year so far but at least these 2 hives are back to normal again and harvest will be much easier next year.  The last hive is full in the top box and I may take a few bars from the new swarm hive as they are putting honey in the second box already.

This spring has been wet again and the nectar has not flowed to well for me at this end of the island but as long as the bees can stock up for winter I'll be happy.  The three lesser swarm hives are slowly building up but I won't know for sure until Oct., whether to unite them or not.  Feeding is definitely on my to do list for those three this autumn, am saving honey just for that purpose  Later