Monday, July 12, 2010

The New Queen

We loved all the suggestions folks came up with for the queen's name. Finally it just clicked. My six-year old came up with the new queen's name.

Daughter of Rose will be...


Sunday, July 11, 2010

The good, the bad and the painful

First the bad.
We didn't find any young larvae in Joy's hive. We went in to give them some empty frames so she'd have room to lay eggs. We found plenty of capped brood, meaning the larvae are at least nine days old. We gave the hive a frame with young eggs (under three days) just in case. Just in case what you wonder... in case Joy is no more. They can make a new queen out of any old tiny egg. If she is there and doing well, then these eggs will be just a bit more brood - no harm done..

The good.
Sun's hive is rockin'! We took seven frames of people honey from her hive - yep you read right - PEOPLE HONEY. Whoo hoo. Sun had lots of brood and honey. We extracted honey from ten frames in total and got about three gallons. Yay!

The fabulous.
Rose's daughter is gorgeous! Yep, we actually got to see her in all her magnificence. She's a really nice size and the bees are quite plentiful in this hive despite swarming. (Which, we never did see.) I would have taken pictures, but I was too scared to remember! No name yet, but I am still taking suggestions.

The painful.
After coming in from extracting, I thought to myself that it has been over a year since I'd gotten stung. Ahhh the hubris. Sure enough, I went out to plant some basil I got at the Millbury MOMS Club Annual Banquet and a bee got caught in my hair. You can guess the rest of the story. Mike was amazing and got the stinger out super fast.

Let me know if you are interested in purchasing honey this year - we will be selling again in August! Yay bees.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Inspector's Report

We got a visit from the State Bee Inspector last week. Ken Warchol, our local inspector, must check our hives at least once per year. He checks for diseases, pests, honey, equipment, and how well you keep your bee yard.

This was a milestone year for us. We are no longer "New Beekeepers" on the inspection sheet.

He confirmed exactly what we found in Rose's (formerly Pink's) hive - they are going to swarm (if they haven't by now) and he found five capped swarm cells. This is great - there will be plenty of strong contenders for the throne.

Sun's hive is in lovely shape with lots of people honey and good stores of bee honey.

Joy's hive is getting honeybound AGAIN.

So, this was a good report. Ken kindly stopped by on his way home just to chat and have some lemonade. I learn so much from him about my hives and he is a generous teacher.

Yay bees!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The good, the great and the downright Joyful...

First the Joyful
Joy's hive is honeybound. We spent last weekend checking the bees, took out six of her 20 frames, spun out the honey and returned two of those, plus four "blanks" for the bees to make in to honeycomb. And less than a week later, they are filling those up with honey AGAIN! Hello Joy... make babies and put the honey in the people-honey boxes.

There is at least 25lbs of people honey in her hive. There just should be more.

The great!
Sun is AWESOME! She's makin' babies like crazy and filling up the people-honey boxes, or honey supers in bee keeper lingo. Her girls are always a bit jumpier that everyone else, but that seems to be the personality of the hive.

Then the good
Rose is clearly a good queen. The bees are super calm and there are LOTS of them. She might be be just too good of a queen. With all the bees in her hive, even with three honey supers, they are going to swarm. Yep, Rose is leaving and taking a bunch of bees with her. I expect the swarm to leave any day now. When we checked the hive, the very first frame I pulled and an uncapped queen cell and a lovely capped cell. Sigh.

I will keep my eye out for the swarm, but I am not really interested in a fourth hive right now. If I did find it and get it into a box (and that alone would be worth taping for the laugh factor!), I would have to get them going in their own hive. I could combine them with my weakest hive in the fall, but as it is right now, they are going well.

Rose does have a lot of honey on the hive. They have at least 25lbs of people honey ready to go, so I am confident that even with a new queen (who better be a slut and mate with a LOT of drones), we will still have plenty of bees for the winter.

Any name ideas for the daughter of Rose?