Monday, June 8, 2015

Into the Beehives

Last week Bug and I went into both of the hives. 

We wanted to make sure the new hive Chai was looking good after installing her. The queen is doing her job and laying eggs nicely. She is bringing in pollen and nectar.She is also slurping up a quart of sugar syrup a day!

We actually got Chai from the same person we got our second hive Bolt from last year. He catches swarms and does splits from his hive. I wanted to make sure I had at two hives just in case I don't do a successful split with Bol soon or lose her to swarming.
Little Man was up on the fort taking pictures!
He actually ventured closer. I am surprised that he did.
Bolt is looking real good and I saw the queen in the bottom brood box. Two weeks ago I had to do a reversal of the brood boxes to get her into the bottom of the hive. Bees prefer to go up instead down in a hive.

My mission this week was to look for supercedure cells or swarm cells which both of these are basically queen cells. Also to look for any other issues.

Supersedure cells is where the colony is trying to raise a new queen to replace the old one that is currently in charge of the colony. This could be due to her age or damage. There are a small number, usually 1-3 of these cells.

Swarm cells are built when the colony is preparing to swarm. They look similar to supersedure cells, but there are usually a lot more of them.
I don't want Bolt to swarm and hope to make her into two hives. Honestly, I still am a little nervous about timing and not seeing problems.

Bug joined me today in the hives. She has a hard time in the full bee-suit. They are hot and uncomfortable!
Looking at the honey super frames and the girls are doing a good job of filling up the cells with nectar and pollen.
Going into the brood box.Which I like to tell people this is were the nursery is and the queen's territory.
Little Man actually came closer when we were looking in the honey super frames. That changed fast though because when you open the brood box the bees get a bit more fussy.
His explanation of these pictures is that the bees started coming to quick for his liking. Smart boy!
 Little Man did head back over after they mellowed out a bit.
 We may get him to suit up in the future as he wanted to see a frame with bees on it. Maybe??
I found a few empty queen cell cups that they make just in case they need them and then one that looks like a supercedure cell as it's in the middle of the frame. They could be trying to replace Bolt. 

Honestly, I don't know so I think. The bees know what they are doing and I pray that they don't swarm on us. I'm not ready for Bug to deal with losing her bees. I will have to keep my eye on her.

Other than that she looks good and no one got stung. They sure did buzz me a few times that evening and the next morning when I was working in the garden. 

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