Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Combining two hives to make one

A big dark cloud came up so I had to start my project inside....Our pee-wee hive (the last swarm we rescued) lost their queen a few weeks back and started another queen but when I went into them last Saturday she was gone as well....I really would like to know what's happening with our queens.....We decided with Fall coming on it will be wise to combine pee-wee with one of our strong that is what I did today along with investigating hive #1 (which by the way is doing well);O).*sigh* *of relief* I had a thought today while I was in hive # 1......I do a lot of talking and conversing with the girls;O)....It's part of my therapy;O) anyway, it accured to me that beekeeping is very very hard work! Not to mention that's it's HOT AND HUMID!!!! But on the bright side I do get free time with thousands of therapists....a trip to the spa....sauna and a exercise! all at the same time;O) I also came up with an idea for homeschoolers.....
If any of you out there are reading this maybe take me up on goes, it would be such a learning experience for those of you that don't live on a farm or maybe even perhaps you do, but if you could get in touch with someone that has something of an interest to you or your child(ren) if they would let you and the children come for a day and help out with whatever the interest may be. Example a day with the bees......a day with the milk cows.....a day with the goats/sheep/pigs/horses....the list could go on and on...maybe even an animal shelter....The reason I came to this is there are sooo many people that are just soooo unaware of what life is all about and where our food comes from...that's one reason why I feel we are losing America, our rights, our freedoms......Okay this post is about the bees so this subject will have to post on my "nature" blog...jump over sometime.... you can link over to it through "my profile" section....
First of all you need to place (the book calls for newspaper but I didn't have any so I used packing paper) a thin sheet of paper over the bottom of a hive body box. I had this brilliant idea that I would get a jump on this by using a box that we have extra, it's a brood box, it holds large frames. I thought that was the type I would need but it ended up being that I needed a honey super box. It holds small frames. Naturally I found this out after the big dark thunder cloud passed by and I went outside to get started......only to find I had to start all over! The thing is to place the paper over the bottom of the correct box and tape it. I didn't follow the book really at all because to me everyone has their own way of doing things suited on the project or occasion;O) But I did get the concept/idea.
Next poke holes into the paper...this allows air flow and the odors of each hive to pass through so they can get used to each other and hopefully acceptance will take place:O)
This is our pee-wee hive....notice there is little to no activity coming or going from the entrance...notice also the extra box....that's so we can feed them and keep out robbers at the same time.....(robbers are other insects that will kill a colony to get their honey or food) it can happen so easily to a small hive.
See how few of them there is??? In their defense though most of the girls are out foraging plants and flowers for nectar and pollen.
I only put one frame into the papered box because there's just not enough of them to bother with putting all of the frames in just to take them back out in a few days...
I took the top hive feeder off of the stronger hive that will be their new home and put it on top BEFORE I took them over because I didn't want a scene! A battle! They would have killed each other on the spot....or should I say the stronger hive would've rushed in to take pee-wee's honey and killed them in the process. You see honey bees can also fall into the category of robbers :O(
Here is their new home....see the little raised lip of wood on top??? We were squishing to many bees (one is way to many for me) when we put the top hive feeder on because it sets right on the top of the frames....look at where a good portion of the bees are!!! Well, not really......but you get the idea...That's a lot of bees to squash! So I asked my husband (he'll do anything to help out):;O) to make me a spacer, so he did...we now have one for every hive and it makes me so happy NOT to hear a crunch when I put them back together!
Almost finished... it's supposed to start raining tomorrow so I trimmed the paper away from the outside of the box so it wouldn't soak through
Every thing is calm and it's getting time for the foragers to make their way back home before dark.....these poor girls never take a break I don't believe.......I have gone outside before dawn and there is always a group on the porch cleaning...waiting for day break...time to take off in flight to gather pollen or nectar......from the time they start chewing their way out of their cell they are working.....the minute they crawl out of the cell they are fed by a "nurse" bee, then they turn around and go head first into their cell to clean it out spic and span! After that is done she becomes a "nurse" bee and takes care of and feeds the others that are hatching out....after a few days to weeks they start their solo flights....I love to watch these flights....they will hover off of the porch then up a little way trying out their new found skill...wings.....flight..,..during this time they are making note of what their hive looks like and where it's located. In the early morning and evening it looks like a super HoneyBee highway in our yard! It gives me such a refreshing and calming spirit.....Nature at it's best....;O)
Some foragers coming home to a hive that's moved:O( I took them over to where their new home will be so hopefully....I have read where most bees will except foraging bees into their hive "as long as they are bringing in food and not taking it away" sounds like a good deal....:O)
Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. Great job, Julie!!! You put a lot of work into this!!! I hit the "follow" button... '-))) Gary

    PS... what is the best thing to use in the pull down menu for Comment as: ??? Maybe that is why my last comment did not post???