Sunday, August 23, 2009

No honey this year...

We went out yesterday to check the hive, just about 1 week after having removed the queen excluder. Still no work in the super. There were certainly more bees than before, but no work we could see of drawing out comb. I guess it's just too late in the season.

So, we won't be harvesting any honey but we do feel like we have a good hive going and look forward to getting them through the winter. In the spring they should be all set to work on those supers and do some heavy pollinating of the nearby fruit trees. When we installed the hive this spring most of the fruit trees had already bloomed so I'm not sure how much of an effect the bees had on pollination. Next year....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Queen Excluder, Be Gone!

On Friday night we checked the hive again to see if there had been any action in the super. Nope. Still the same, a few bees up there but no action drawing thing out at all. So, we decided to pull out the queen excluder. The only problem was that we had driven the 20 minute out to our hive and realized that we had left all of our bee gear in the garage!

We were determined so I lifted the super while my wife pulled the queen excluder. I was nervous, especially when I felt something land on my bare leg, but neither of us got stung and now we can see what happens. I just hope the queen does NOT move up into the super. We'd really like to keep brood out.

We also saw a SNAKE in the grass by the hive!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Where's the honey?

We've now had a super in place above two hive bodies for over 4 weeks. Last night when we checked the super we saw NO evidence of drawing out comb. None. Zip. We did see a few bees in the super hanging out but that is it. We are using a queen excluder and it seems to be keeping out more than the queen. I suppose we could take it out, but we really don't want brood in with our honey when it comes time to harvest. Could we have damaged or killed the queen when we took out the comb they were building in the empty frame slot?

We're gonna let them go a bit longer and see what happens. It's been hot so we tilted the lid up last night too and perhaps that will give some of them another entry point. I'd really like to get at least a little honey this year out of our hive. But, at least we have two good bodies now full of drawn out comb with brood and honey stores. If we can get them to over winter well they should have a much better start than they did this year with a new hive.