Thursday, May 28, 2009

TBH woes

Yesterday I did a little inspection and pulled any frames that were fully capped to extract and give them some more room. I think it's to late in the flow to add new boxes so I will just pull frames as they are finished.

The TBH I believe has a laying queen. Very little brood was spotted and it was all drone brood. I cut out two pieces of brood frame w/ eggs from the CSX swarm and Luna and put it in the TBH to see if they will raise a new queen.

The CSX hive has fully drawn out and filled the Deep they were put in, but isn't touching the medium I put on top a couple of weeks ago.

Luna is busting at the seems w/ two deeps full of brood and about 40% of the medium drawn out and filled w/ nectar.

Demeter is my strongest hive w/ two deeps full of brood and the medium on top 80% capped.

Edited: It just occurred to me while looking at these pictures that I didn't put the comb in w/ the the cells slanting up. Damn, I just can't get a colony to flourish is this hive

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

UGA honey bee program at Young Harris College

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to get to attend the annual Beekeeping Institute at Young Harris College. The college is located in the beautiful blue ridge mountains of North Georgia.

I believe my favorite topic was beekeeping in Brittan by Keith Fielder. He spoke with such enthusiasm about the rich traditions of beekeeping that have been passed down for generations. He showed us lots of wonderful slides of the vegetation, castle walls with skep holes, and the local corner markets that are common instead of the one stop shopping were used to. Here in the US it is said ask 10 beekeepers a question and get 11 answers. Apparently in Brittan if you don't follow protocol your shunned in the bee community.

I think the scariest thing I learned was in Gregg Hunt's lecture, Honey Bee Defense Behavior. He has spent the last 15 years in studying in Mexico the African bee that all of us are hoping to not encounter. The pictures were breath taking of the rolling green hills and ruins, but the pictures of gloves covered, and I do mean covered with stingers were enough to make you rethink beekeeping. They have been know to kill horses and other livestock as well as people. Atlanta is right on the boarder of where they think they will stop.

While I was at YH I took a written and practical test and passed so now I'm a certified beekeeper. Next year maybe I will try for the journeyman's level.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lots of building this week temp 77-60 cloudy

I noticed quite a bit of comb building finally happening this week.

The CSX swarm has drawn out about 90% of the deep. Larvae and worker brood were present. Added a medium with 5 starter strips, 4 popsicle sticks and one frame from Demeter that was mostly drawn out and had nectar in it. I find it really helps get them going in a new box to bait them. I'm feeding them, but they don't really seem very interested.

Luna is still only about 25% done drawing out the medium,on top of a single deep, so I will continue to watch for now. Worker brood spotted.

Demeter is almost done drawing out the medium on top of two deeps. So I know I will at least get some honey this year! I hope I will need to add another medium at the end of next week.

The TBH has drawn out the starter stip and extended downward with it about another 1.5inches but doesn't seen to want to start another row w/ the popsicle stick starters. I might have to put in another starter strip, but really think if she hasn't starter to lay yet they are doomed anyways. I hate to loose them but wanted to know what they could do w/o intervention. I do have sugar syrup out but they aren't taking it.