Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CSX at the DHS

I checked out the hive today. Just went into the top box and it was just as I remembered. All the comb is filled out and full of nectar, but only about 30% is capped. I did fill the feeder, but think either I will hold off on feeding for a couple of weeks or add another box. I also put some quarters under the inner cover till we can get a cover with some holes on it.

They were so nice, I went though every top frame and didn't even use sugar water to keep them happy. Not one sting

Friday, July 24, 2009

DHS garden bees cont...

My plan for the DHS garden hive was to split a hive that I got this year as a nuc. When I checked two weeks ago the hive was strong enough to split and I wanted to re-queen it as well since the bees weren't the most enjoyable to work. Things didn't go as planed at all.

First, Wednesday, when John and I went through the hive it wasn't as full as it had been, but we proceeded. This was mistake number one. We looked and looked for the queen. We just couldn't find her and didn't see eggs, but did find larvae, capped brood and plenty of pollen and honey. We took the split over to the DHS garden and waited for the queens to arrive on Thursday.

When the package got here Thursday one of the queens didn't make it. Bummer. I went though the hive here again to see if I could find the old queen and just couldn't see her or really much in the way of larvae or brood. Now it was time to make a decision. The hive here couldn't survive like we left it. We should have gone deeper into the hive to make sure they had plenty of brood, but since they are so aggressive we didn't look all the way like we should have. That was mistake number two.

My husband and I went and picked up the split and put it back with the other bees from the original hive and then took the CSX swarm to the garden. I really like this hive and hope they will be happy at their new home. I didn't want to chance that we missed the queen and that she was at the garden. Lots of non bee people will come into contact with them and gentle is what is needed.

Today I went back through the hive looking for the old queen. I really want to replace her. I looked and looked over the frames that had brood. No queen was to be found. No eggs were to be found. A queen was present at least with in the last week from the size of the small larvae, but I also found lots of emergency cells and a few incomplete swarm cells. The queen that did make it needed a home. So after a hour of looking and looking I put her in the hive. Hopefully if the old queen is still present the new queen will win the fight. If not I just spent $70.00 for nothing. My bee confidence has been shaken.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

DHS garden

A senior at Decatur High School had the idea to start a community garden on a unused corner of land that the school owned at the corner of Commerce and E Howard. Here is a nice article about this inspiring young lady.

My friend John and I are partnering to put in and maintain a hive at the garden. We also hope to have a chance to do some educational sessions about bees, pollination and honey.

John has already put in the hive stand, work table and water station.

I have ordered two queens from purvis brothers and we are going to do a split from a hive of mine (Luna) that started as a nuc this year. This hive has done well, but the bees are hotter (aggressive) then I would like, especially for the garden, so I will take 1/2 the brood and bees with one of the new queens and put it at the garden. I'm also going to find the queen that is in the hive now and replace her with a new queen. Honey production is important, but enjoyable beekeeping is just as important.