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):