This has been a long time coming!
My last update on June 2nd we were baffled. We have good news, yay! We have one strong hive we are hoping to over winter! I also figured out how to take photos and still protect my allergic self from any stings. Wearing a disposable glove you would find in your drs office gives you traction on the touch screen to take a photo or video.
We inspected on June 7th and this time I took pictures. (Thank god!) The nectar and honey were dark, we couldn’t see anything with our naked eye. I sent this photo to a beekeeper friend and he must have laughed at us. He asked if we zoomed in on the photo. There are so many eggs in the cells! Yay! In the photo below; the blue square you can see all the eggs and the red circle is the queen cup our new queen hatched from.
At this point it is reasonable to assume our hive swarmed. I suspect Oprah’s hive didn’t had enough bee-space. (Meaning enough frames drawn out for everyone to live in. The number is empty frames are irrelevant if not drawn out.) Ellen’s hive died very quickly.l, most bees weren’t mated to a queen yet. I think a lot of bees jumped over to Oprah’s hive and with a laying queen there has to be some over crowding.
On June 23rd there was a new beekeeper in town. Eric has enjoyed learning the ropes but still a little nervous!
If you look closely in the frame above you will see the eggs from June 7th are now in the larvae stage.
July 14th we had tons of bees flying around the hive! Taking a closer look you will see bees around the hive with pollen bags on the sides of them.
We have treated for mites with oxalic acid a few times. A couple of of inspections I didn’t get any pictures. We hope the mite load is very low (non existent probably isn’t realistic) going into winter.
August 30th the bees are still happily flying. The Saskatraz bees are so gentle. Except when doing yard work. Poor Eric has been victim a few times while mowing and cleaning up the sugar bush. I have made it so far with one sting on my scalp while filming this video.
Friday September 6th Eric and I were getting ready to inspect the bees and heard an eerie sound by the trees to the left of the potting shed. Below is the little fella causing the noise. I still can’t believe I got that close to a black bear!
We were very happy with what we saw this inspection. Golden Rod is at an all time high here in Vermont. Allergies have been insane for us for the last three weeks. I the golden rod is why the bees wax is so yellow.
Today we started feeding the bees 2:1 sugar syrup. The bees may or may not take it. The goal is to back fill the hive with food stores to get though winter. We had one twin down and out today so Mama Bear did lots of research on winterizing. We are definitely taking a different approach this year. Stay tuned for the update!
Happy almost Fall Y’all! 🐝