9/1/19- Two hives left
Hive 1 - most beautiful hive I've seen. Overflowing with brood and honey (none in super but everywhere else) - I have 2 full hive body boxes on this one with a medium in the middle. I think putting that medium in the middle made all the difference when this hive was growing strong
Hive 2 - sad little hive. They didn't seem to do anything with the mite treatment so I didn't open all the frames yet, but will call Hudson Bee Supply on Tuesday for their advice. Not much of anything going on with this hive and I have little hope for them for the winter.
8/10/19- August Mite Treatment
Dad's birthday - Dad you would be proud of me trying to save the bees!..and the world...
Hive 1 - dead and overrun with ants - horrible like a scene from Alien - need to see if hardware is reusable
Hive 2 - strong hive - activity everywhere - 2 hive bodies - 1 med body - 1 shallow super - did spot 2 mites in supers -
treated for mites
Hive 3 - still hanging in there - honey storage in upper hive -
treated for mites
6/22/19- Check In
Its been raining on and off for most of June - not ideal weather for the little guys
Hive #1 - dead - ants in top
Hive #2 - filled to top with bees - good brood - did not see Queen
Hive #3 - brood not wide and broad - more spotted - found Queen and found Queen cell -
here's where i wasn't sure what to do - so this is what i did:
Hive #1 - I took Queen cell frame with bees and another frame fro #3 and put them in dead hive.
Hive #2 - added medium frame box in middle of two brood boxes and a super on top
Hive #3 - nothing other than taking Queen cell out - either they are getting ready to swam - which I don't think they are or they are not happy with current Queen,in which case they will build another Queen cell.
Sprinkled diatomaceous earth around the base of all the cinderblocks holding the hives to get rid of the ants.
5/4/19- Spring Update
Hive #1 -The overwinter hive seems to have swarmed leaving behind a very small group of bees and what looks like a new queen - no brood yet so she may not have made her mating flight. Fed them today - will check in next week.
Hive #2 - Very active. Beautiful humming sound like a distant freeway of very busy bees. Queen still in her cage. Released her (very carefully I might add) and removed cage. Feeding them as well.
Hive #3 - Queen was released by bees. Hive active. Feeding them.
Will check back next week to see how hive #1 is making out and looking for laying cells from the Queens.
6/22/18- Bees Worst Enemy, Humans
Let me just start with OMG -
I worked very hard this year getting my bees going. This weekend I did an inspection, added a super - they looked great.
Then my former mentor and his apprentice show up - I've asked them a dozen times not to just show up and not to go into my hives without me - and here is the issue with mentors - they sometimes think they own the bees instead of you.
Luckily, I was home.
They wanted to look at the brood and I agreed (again this is where I needed to be firmer and tell them to leave the hive alone) but I didn't. Somewhere between taking the hive box off and a frame from it out, the Queen fell to the ground. And then flew away.
To say I was devastated would be an understatement. My husband found me bawling in the driveway.
Off went these two to find me a new queen, which they are installing today.
I spent two hours searching the grass for the old queen, giving birth to the understanding of "finding a needle in a haystack".
I hope my bees accept the new queen. I feel awful about the old Queen, doing nothing but her job when her whole world was sent upside down.
Lesson here: Be firm with your mentors when you feel it's time for you and them to part ways
As for me - As soon as the new queen is in I am making it PERFECTLY clear they are not to touch my hives again.
I'll admit I'm a somewhat new beekeeper (6 years) but really--how much worse could I do?
5/26/18- New Year, New Bees
My bees didn't make it over the winter - many hives did not - cold temperatures, mites, moths, who knows.... very frustrating. One of my neighbors called it quits after years of losing her hives - I'm not quite ready yet. It took me years not to be afraid to go into the hive and even longer to remotely figure out what I'm doing (or what they are doing)
New bees came in April - today, May 26th, I added 2nd hive boxes. I was lucky as I probably should have been in there a week ago - frames 90% full - which is always a danger for swarms. For anyone new to bees reading this - it's like a crowded house - if there is no more room the queen and half the hive leave, which is not good for the beekeeper. I once saw a swam - it looks something like the tornado from The Wizard of Oz.
One hive looked good - brood solid pattern, pollen, nectar, honey. Other hive looked good and busy but hardly any brood. Time to call my friends at Hudson Valley Bee to see what suggestions they might have. By the way, if you are in NY they are a great resource with wonderful people and the only place where I have found they will build supers and hive boxes with wax foundation frames already assembled.
Even though we have lots in bloom right now, I'm going to feed the bees. Trying some things different this year. I am also going to treat for mites in July (July 21st preferably) with formicPro - I really hate having to use chemicals in any process of my homesteading but I also hate to see each year my hives die off. I usually only treated in the fall, but that is clearly not working so this year I am trying July and fall.