Sunday, May 15, 2011

and i planted tomatoes a week ago


on may 15. who du thunk it.

my tomatoes are covered by black plastic pots, so i am not overly concerned, but, darn - this is supposed to be may - you know, warm, shorts weather. we'll see of this stunts the tomatoes too much.

thankfully the pots covering the tomatoes will provide good protection from the hail, marginal from frost.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

#13 and the last one? well maybe....

i'm off the bee store swarm list, but various folks from past year swarm pickups still have my number. after i pick up a swarm, i always mention to keep my number in case they or a friend get re-swarmed and i will come out and pick it up.

today, i got just such a call.

so off i go. it was a pretty easy swarm. i cut the branch off with the swarm ball intact, placed it in the hive and came home.

this should be the last one for 2011. it'll be combined with one of my existing hives that is having some issues with eggs and brood.

Monday, May 9, 2011

the 2011 tomato team hit the dirt this weekend

and the day after, we had cold weather and snow 15 miles up the road. :0 21 of those babies in the ground. lets hope for a very tomatoey 2011.

trouble in the apiary :(

did the bee inspection about a week ago. i have seen numerous swarms come from my hives and i needed to see whats up in the hives.

it didnt start off too well.

hive #1 - found zero - nada - not one egg or capped brood in the hive. saw a lot of drones and quite a bit of workers. i couldnt find the queen. not good. so as i go frame by frame and getting realizing i may be witnessing a dying hive, i decide to move a recent captured swarm into the hive.

the plan goes like this. i strip the hive, right down to the bottom board. i inserted the 'russ brett' swarm and proceed to shake out all of the bees, frame by frame, down in the garden - so the bees can fly back to their hive and integrate themselves to their new queen. about 4 frames into the shaking process - and i find the queen.


so - what to do. i'm not going to pull out the recently inserted nuc. so - off with her head. live and learn, well i know that hive will make it, but i wish i would have seen the queen earlier in the process.

hive #2 - its the same - deja vu all over again - no eggs, no brood, just a bunch of drones and workers. learning from the first hive, i looked and looked and actually found the queen. i put the hive back together and moved on to #3.

hive #3 - dude, whats up with these hives. same thing. no eggs, etc. i did find the queen. closed the hive up and moved on to the others.

all the other hives, i saw eggs and brood.

so here's the game plan next weekend will be 2 weeks since the inspection. should be plenty of time for the queen to establish herself. if there are no eggs, then the hive will be integrated with one of the extra swarms, i gathered for just in case of an emergency. these swarms have laying queens and good egg/brood patterns, so i'm hoping this saturday goes well and makes it easy on me.

what was the cause of this mess? unknown , but my attempt at hive super reversal earlier this spring, may have been less than successful. next year, super reversal is not in the game plan. i will look at splitting the hives.

stay tuned.