Monday, June 30, 2008


Here a paper towel w/ mineral oil and thyme oil.

I don't see much in the way of drone cells and I'm not sure what to make of my findings on my board so I treated just in case.

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Hive pictures from today

Here is a picture of my cattle dog Tang. He likes to snap at the bees to defend me, so he must wait outside of the apiary fence while I do inspections.

I caught a bee coming out of her cell in this picture.

This comb has some issues so I'm working it to the side of the hive in the hopes I will be able to pull it out and do crushed honey with this frame.

Nice frame of capped honey and brood. Not a lot of frames with brood, but it seems to be a good solid pattern.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mite check and sea salt

I have been needing to do a mites check so today I purchased a corrugated plastic sign from Ace hardware and cut it to size and sprayed it w/ pam cooking spray on one side. I only had garlic pam, I hope the bees don't mind. You can see the white board sticking out from under my screen board. I'm hoping this will upset the black widow as well and that she will leave. I think a piece of screen is needed to keep further yucky things out after her eviction.

Tomorrow I will remove it and see what has fallen in a 24 hour period.

Also I put a piece of 250 million year old sea salt on the landing board yesterday. I did this because my good friend, chiropractor and mentor of sorts, she doesn't keep bees though, said she thought they would like some salt. It rained yesterday so some of the salt crystal leached onto the landing board. They seem to like it. The top picture is of my landing board w/ a crystal and the pink 250 million year old salt.

The second and third picture are of the bees sucking up some of the salt the leached on to the landing board.

The last picture is of two bees bringing in pollen. If you look closely you will see the bee entering the hive has a light grayish yellow pollen and the bee flying in has a brighter yellow pollen. I wish I knew more about what was in bloom here now.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Black widow spider under screened bottom board YIKES

I don't really like spiders, but can mostly ignore them. I'm afraid that a black widow isn't one of them. I have lots of kids that play in my yard and she had two large egg sacks as well. My daughter is my apprentice and I'm just not comfortable w/ the black widow hanging out around my hive.

I think I will have to get a coat hanger and have my husband help squish her when she come out and break the egg sacks.

I know that she is probably eating a lot of insects that I don't want in my hive, but the advantage just isn't there in my mind.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lemon grass oil in TBH

I put about 20 drops of lemon grass oil in the TBH hoping to attract a scout from the black bees that are hanging around.

After doing this I remembered a recipe from Linda T's bee blog for olive oil beeswax and lemon grass oil paste that would keep the smell longer. So I made up a batch and put some of that on the hive as well.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Feeder pictures and thoughts

The communal feeder is still going through a liter of inverted syrup and honey b healthy with in hours of being put out. I have seen some small bright yellow w/ small black strips and some almost completely black bees at the feeder.

Not sure if this is going to invite robbing. I can't keep the feeder full and not sure I want to put out 5 gal at a time to keep it available. Saw two of the black bees try to enter the hive, but they were escorted out quickly.

Need to do a powder sugar mite treatment and count.

Wondering if I put lemon oil in the TBH is a swarm, maybe the black bees, would move in.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Long live the queen

John come over today and we looked in the hive to see what exactly needs to happen. We spotted brood, larvae and EGGS! Not sure why I didn't see any before, but there they were.

It was so helpful to have a extra set of hands and eyes today. John brought over a extra frame holder today and it was so nice to use that he sold it to me.

They are drinking about a litter a day and producing drawn out comb on the second brood chamber.

I would really like another colony for the TBH. The pitched roof is now fixed and its ready to go.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

One frame had larvae but no eggs were seen. They are eating 2 pints of the inverted water. Finally some drawing of comb on the top brood chamber, very slow going though.
Still totally confused by the queen situation.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hive helpers from my friend John

My beekeeping friend, John, is a zealous bee landlord and has been giving me suggestions and ideas to help me build up my colony and keep it healthy.

One of the things he sent me was this link on inverted sugar water. John brought over a communal feeder and several mason jars of inverted sugar water with honey b healthy added. I can't seem to get any interest in the communal feeder so far, but they sucked down a pint of inverted sugar water w/ the honey b healthy yesterday from the interior feeder. Before the regular sugar syrup was lasting 4 or 5 days.

John also suggest a pollen substitute to help things along. I put some loose next to the interior feeder, but no interest so far in it. I made a pollen patty w/ the inverted syrup I think I will put in today when I add a new feeder jar.

John also was kind enough to share his thyme oil with me to do a mite treatment. As soon as I can find some thing to put under the hive to do mite check I will be doing a treatment.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Today I checked on and I'm not overly happy with my findings. First I only saw one frame that had some brood and eggs. They seem to be eating the pollen stores

I put a frame of pollen and uncapped honey in the second brood chamber to lure them up, but still so far they haven't started to draw any comb out on the top box.

Also they haven't really drawn the last of the foundation in the first box. What the heck is going on?

Ordered some honey b healthy to help them build up.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

It worked

The bees seem to have gotten the hint and moved up to the second box. They are also feeding out of the board man feeder I put on top of the inner cover. Lots of activity.