Sunday, May 9, 2010

April Beekeeping Pictures

Here are a few of my pictures from various inspections in April. Explanations below each picture.

Frame from first split in March. Foundationless frame. Comb is broken due to end bar falling off the top bar.

Blurry picture of my oldest queen.

Wild hive on the corner of two busy streets (2 feet from sidewalks).
Will be taken down to put in a traffic circle. We're talking to the town to let us salvage the hive before they take it down.

Various beehives.

Plastic frame. They eventually drew these out poorly. Will be replacing with foundationless frames.

Same frame, other side. When I made a split from this hive, I had 12 queen cells on this frame and none on any of the others. Maybe these are useful for making queen cells? However, I damaged about a third of them when I tried to remove them and place them in some nucs.

Main hive.

Queen cell in one of my nucs.

Fellow Virginia Tech Beekeeping Club members.

Oldest queens laying pattern.

Other side.

Honey and some brood.

First nuc of the year.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Feel free to check out my other website for more beekeeping and oyster gardening info.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Price House Observation Hive

Today I filled an observation hive with a frame of brood and two queen cells. I took it over the the Price House (maintained by SEEDS). I will be adding another super and frame (with eggs) on Sunday or Monday just in case the queen cells were damaged in transport. Here's a picture of the hive on the windowsill:

Queen Rearing System

Here's my plan to make a graft free queen rearing system. I plan to fill the small boxes with new comb. Then I'll place those in the holders and make a screen to hold in the queen. I'll let her fill up the boxes with eggs, and then I plan to take those boxes and string them onto a frame (like a cell bar frame almost). Hopefully the bees will build queen cells in most of the boxes and then I can transfer those into nucs.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Help Oppose a New Coal Fired Power Plant on the Bay

Hey, if you are interested in heloping the Bay remain clean, check this out:

Signing up takes 1 minute, and then you have 3 votes (hopefully all for the Bay). Thanks so much for helping to protect the oysters.

Summer Preparations

Checked on the hives the other day. They all seem to be doing well. The main hive had some queen cells in it, so I put some in my deep and medium nuc. The medium nuc was shaken down from a deep nuc last week, and they've made a good amount of comb, but apparently they were queenless.


I'll soon be headed back to Richmond, and I plan on taking some of my bees with me. I plan on taking a deep hive body, and then placing divider boards in it, and then placing a frame of honey and one of brood for each of the 3 queens I'll have ( I have 2 now, one should be in the mail). I plan on taking a frame of eggs (from a fellow beekeeper) and one of brood to fill the last spot in the deep (of 4).

I'll bring another deep full of brood and bees home with me (to put in other equipment when I get home). My shallow split and main hive will be left here in Blacksburg under care of another beekeeper.

Also taking the medium nuc home that someone ordered. Picking up a nuc from Honey Rustlin' Farms sometime next week too.

These bees will be taken with me to my grandparents house on the Northern Neck for my summer internship.

Don't to forget to check out my other website.

Have a great week! I'll try to post an update before or after the move.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rainy Day

I was planning on checking my bees today, but it's raining off and on.

Here's some pictures of starter strips I'm going to use to make my semi-foundationless frames (for smaller/natural cells).

Deep frame:

Medium frame:

I found out that Walter t. Kelley sells comb guide frames. I will be ordering some of those and see how those work.

Hopefully my old nuc has their queen laying.

Limited amounts of naturally raised queens and nucs will be available starting in June. See my website for more details.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bee Update - Earth Day 2010

Check out my Beekeeping and Oyster website!

Got my first observation hive the other day. I put it together yesterday and borrowed a frame of bees from my nuc to put in it for the Earth Day Fair on the Drillfield. Didn't have any screening, so I used medium nuc ends to cover up the feed and entrance holes.

After the Fair, I went back to put the bees in the nuc. Saw that most of the queen cells had been destroyed, so I'm assuming a queen has hatched, but didn't see it. One queen cell was still intact and I removed it and the surrounding comb to put in a new nuc. The new nuc consisted of the queen cell, an empty frame, and four frames of brood and eggs from my main hive. The main hive is doing well; saw the queen again. She's still lyaing large circles of brood.

The shallow split above the hive (separated by a double-screen board) has about 3 frames of bees and 2 of honey. The queen must have mated recently, as there are eggs in almost every open cell in the brood nest.

I'm hoping the queen in the old nuc will have mated quicker than the shallow split (due to more and older drones). And hopefully the new nuc will be able to use the queen cell for their new queen, but they hopefully will create some new queen cells for further splits.

Hive Count (newest to oldest):

Main Hive - 6 frames brood and honey, 4 of either foundation or empty drawn comb
Shallow Split - 3 bees, 2 honey
Old Nuc - 3 bees, one empty, one foundation
New Nuc - 4 frames brood/eggs, one foundation

Queen lineage (click for larger view):