Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sunken Dreams But Happy Endings

Those of you that follow my blog will remember that we rescued a hive living in a hollow tree that was scheduled to be cut down. It was a dream of mine, to one day, be able to "drum" the bees out and into a hive where we could "watch" over them, (so to speak). Drumming is a technique used many years ago to get honeybees out of tree logs and into man-made hives. I've seen this done on videos but I can't seem to find them again :/
From the pictures I've taken at the entrance of the log hive, the girls seem to be doing fine, with the exception of the varrora mite I see on one of them in the photo above :/ (on the left) can you see it?
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were inspecting some of our yard hives and decided to take a peek in the log hive to see how they were doing.....

Anticipation was mounting for us both! But we were a bit suprised they didn't boil out from the opening.........
Nothing! Just a few bees meandering around! What could be wrong? When we sealed them up last summer this hive was overflowing with bees!

This is so disappointing! I knew at this point there would be no drumming at all for this log hive! :( Pesky wax moths!
I started taking out the comb to see how many bees were still here and hopefully *bee* able to save the ones that are left.

The farther inside I went the more bees I saw, but it was a good way inside :/
My husband cut away the log so I could get farther inside. The more comb I pulled out and the closer into the bees I got, I started vacuuming them up with the bee vac. Notice I had to remove my veil, it was in my way, but I did cover my head and hair ;)

It was nice to start getting brood, eggs and a little pollen and honey. This will go into frames in their new home.
I noticed the bees seemed to be going into a different part of the log, but I couldn't figure out where......then I remembered! Duh, they were going to the very end of the trunk! My husband helped me move the vac to the other end and I finished vacuuming the rest of the girls up, hoping and praying I had gotten the queen and she was alright!

Back into my veil/hat (it's dark and I didn't want them crawling on me)I brushed the girls from the vac into their new home. They were closed up til the next morning when I'll check to see if I got the queen.

And I am SO thankful, I did! She is healthy and BeeUtiful!!!!
Can you see her? Isn't she lovely??? Honeybee Queens are the sweetest things ever!!!! ;)I hope you enjoy your beekeeping experiences as much as we do!

Until Next Time!
Julie ;)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Swarm Season......It's Here!

Late yesterday afternoon we were called for a swarm. When we got there we were told that they had been here for two days and that it had originally covered from the corner to the end of the top of that door below. A couple of people said they flew off and someone else said, "someone sprayed them with WD-40". The poor girls on the outside suffered and died :( I do wish people would have some compassion on living things! I'm guilty of not educating myself on things and being critical of things I don't know about or understand. I'm working on that and I hope others will join me :)
PLEASE....PLEASE don't spray honeybees with ANYTHING, (unless you are trying to catch them, then spray them with warm honey or sugar water). Have a heart people! This pic below broke mine! These bees were doing nothing but stopping over to rest before moving on to a new home. They harmed no one and never intended too.
While the bee vac was being set up for me (the electric outlet was a mile away) ;) I had the bright idea that maybe if I sprayed some sugar water on the frames and up inside the box that maybe...just maybe they would march in eazy peazy style for me ;) I even tried laying down a white sheet for them (so they wouldn't go underneath the box really) ;) But the wind was so bad and boy was it getting cold!

WOW! I was getting really excited by now!

But, it didn't work....the other girls couldn't hear because of all the wind ;) Anyway......the vac came up and on, so I started vacuuming those sweet babies up. The suction is so low it took forever to get them through the hose. It sure would've been so much easier on them if they had've marched on into the box, but they wouldn't listen to me ;)

Boy! They were packed in there!
More vacuuming
And finally my co-workers ;) said it was time to shut the vac off and head home. We left the box hoping they would go inside before dark then we could seal them up before daybreak and join them with the ones we took home. (I hope that made sense)Well, this morning once I got the stragglers home, I joined them with the rest of the girls and figured while I had them open I would take a quick peek to see if I could find the little queen. Can you see her?
She's a young queen and from the looks of her (to me) this will be her first colony. I feel (and this is just my opinion) that the hive they came from, split once already....she doesn't look like the mother queen to me....what do you think????
She is bee-u-ti-ful in every way!

Until next time.....

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Log Hive

I suppose a woodpecker is responsible for this, after all, what other explanation could there *bee*? ;/ I wonder what happened when it kept on knocking? Did the bees come out to defend their home?
We'll have to coax them out and into a new home soon........

Here below is the entrance to the hive......
Bizzy girls!

Bringing in pollen......

My husband got a package today and Honeybee decided she liked the way the box fit.....after all there's a bee suit inside ;)
Until Next Time....

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Update On Hive Split

I checked in on the Nuc that me and my husband split five days ago. The girls have pulled out queen cells galore! Some of them are already sealed. They have been *bizzy* ;)

They are in a super/nuc. This is one my Niece Hannah painted two years ago! My goodness! Time has flown!

The girls are in a wonderful area! Some of the trees have already bloomed and sprouting out with seeds! There's still a lot more waiting to bloom!
We were hoping that we'd be able to get more splits, but things don't always happen the way we want them to. Some of our hives, we had to put back into nucs from their larger boxes due to decreased size of the hive.
It's good to keep the girls tight so they can fight off the hive beetles, wax moths, wasps, etc. Poor girls, they have so much to do and worry about!

Until Next Time.......