Monday, May 31, 2010

a look into the beehives

its been quite a few weeks since i hived up a few swarms and have given the bees a chance to settle in. if you poke into a hive - particularly a newly hived swarm - you run the risk of the bees just leaving. ask keith, he knows....

i have been keeping the sugar water pretty steady and wanted to see how the wax was being drawn out and check the brood patterns, to see if the queens are laying well.

i am seeing good numbers of bees everyday doing their orientation flights; by all accounts the hives are doing well.

hive #1 - first swarm i picked up in serrano. i was unable to find the queen, but the egg pattern looks fine.

hive #2 - second swarm, i picked up in folsom, is still the better populated hive, found the queen, all looks good. (first picture - red oval)

hive #3 - third swarm, also picked up in serrano. found the queen and had a good brood pattern also. (second picture - red circle)

both queens i found are italian's - by virtue of their yellow coloring. all of the swarm queens will be replaced in late june with new world carniolan queens, i will buy from strachan apiaries in yuba city. nwc's are typically more docile than italians and also tend to over winter better.

most of the hives had 7 out of the 10 frames drawn out, so i added a second super with frames, so the bees wont feel crowded and be of the mind to swarm. the bees are taking about 1/2 gallon sugar water about every 3 days; sugar water will be continued until all frames are drawn out.

one thing i did note, there was very little stored honey in the first super of both hives, something i will have to keep an eye on going forward - as no stored honey will mean a dead hive next winter.

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