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Bee Blog

Queen Release

I installed a package of bees seven days ago. Today I went to check the queens release. The hive has ten wired wax frames for foundation. I opened the hive up very carefully. The bees were only on the middle four frames. I removed the number 2 frame. Which had no bees on it. Then I slid the frames into the opening from the missing frame until I got to the frame with the queen on it. I checked the queen cage for her release. The cage was empty. I carefully slid the frames back into position and replace the frame I removed. I closed the hive up and I will check the hive in another week to see how the queens egg laying is going. I am also keeping the sugar syrup jar from emptying. I have filled it twice in the first week.

Springtime means Beetime

It has been a little cold this spring. This past week I have installed 56 packages and opened dozens of hives. Not all the packages were mine. I helped a handful of people out.  We have started feeding the bees the sugar syrup with Fumagilin B for nosima. I also have been cleaning out the dead outs. We lost close to 40% of hives over the winter. I have found many of the hives have 8 or more full frames of honey. Many beekeepers in the area are finding similar conditions.  I am taking all my extra honey frames and storing them until the fall. I will use the stored honey frames to help out the light hives that need more stores to survive the winter. Vin will go around this week and start to treat for varroa. He will also check for all the queen releases in our bee packages we had installed a week earlier. I will be driving a truck load of bees to MA. from GA. Hopefully when I return at the end of the week it will be warmer.

A package of bees

I installed a package of bees last Saturday. The bees were put  into a 10 frame box using wired wax foundation in the frames. I also put a boardman feeder with sugar water to feed the bees. Feeding the new package of bees is very important. You should feed your bees until all 20 frames are drawn out with comb. The jar was more than half empty after the first two days. I replaced the feeder  jar yesterday so not to run out of the syrup. I will check the queen release this Saturday. You should wait one full week. Let the package bees get used to the queen. Do not go in to soon or to often. Just monitor the sugar syrup for now.

Getting Ready For The Bees

Today I was preparing boxes for the packages of bees. We will be getting the bees sometime this Friday. I was removing and scraping all frames side bars and bottom of top bars. So the frame will slide along the frame rest easier. I replaced the cleaned frames into the ten frame boxes. I try to give each box one full honey frame. That will be a big help to any new package. I stacked the prepared boxes until I bring them to the apiaries for the package install. I also washed all my jars and boardman feeders. Vin made the sugar syrup for the bees. I also got new and repainted bottom boards ready to replace any in the field that are in rough shape. So any of you that need to paint boxes and build frames. Get busy. 

Winter feeding

There was finally a break in the weather so I could go check the bees. Yesterday was sunny and warm. I loaded a backpack with fondant and sent off to visit as many hives as I could. The apiaries all had bees flying. I opened all the hives inner  cover up quickly not to let to much heat escape. Then carefully placing the fondant the top of frames. I closed them up quickly and moved to the next hive. I did find my share of dead hives. It is part of beekeeping now a days. I leave the dead outs until spring to clean. Then hopped into the truck and onto the next apiary. Some of the locations are off the road quite a bit. So I would walk up to 300 yds to reach some hives. Since the snow is quite deep. It makes it a little more difficult to reach. Since we have had some cold weather coming our way again. I want to get some emergency feed to the bees before it arrived.  
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