Saturday, March 24, 2012

Found the queen!

This is from the far west hive (the remaining one besides the observation hive) and it's growing!  It had about 3 full frames of brood, lots of pollen and honey.  In the pictures below you can see the queen, drones, emerging drones.  The queen was a bit harder to find since her abdomen is dark.  The queen in the observation hive is light colored.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

bees, blooms and the weather

This week we've gotten about 2.5 inches of rain.  The pond is now only a couple feet low.  The pear and oaks are blooming and buzzing with bees.  Redbuds are blooming.  The remaining hives seem happy.  Spring is springing.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Good news:  The observation hive is booming.

Bad news: 3 of the 4 outside hives are dead.  Starved within inches of honey.  The neighbors bees have been cleaning out the remaining honey.   My current theory is that they didn't get a good round of broodrearing done in the fall (thanks to it being so hot and dry) so they didn't have a big enough cluster.  Then with the warm winter, they raised some brood and then starved with we had the cold spell.

The westernmost hive is still alive, but weak.  1.5 frames of brood.  I gave them extra honey from the dead-outs and reduced their entrances to the minimum.  Hope they can grow quickly.  Might end up making splits of the OH!

The above bees are dead!  But they look pretty healthy other than that. No deformed wings.

The observation hive doing great.  Drawing out new comb, queen laying in every cell possible.  Still expanding the broodnest which now covers the 2 middle frames nearly completely.

OH queen on new comb:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

sand plums blooming

Sand plums have just begun to bloom.  Henbit/deadnettle has been blooming forever. Must check bees again soon to see when will be the time to raise some queens.