It was a beautiful day for a beehive inspection class. I even got a little sunburn. We learned what too look for while inspecting. I saw for the first time bee eggs, larva,pupa and actual fuzzy baby bees hatch! I didn’t succeed at taking photos of these, but thanks to Encyclopedia Britannica we have a good explanation of a bees start of life.
The baby bees are born polite and clean their cells right out. You will see their bums in the air while cleaning. Check out this Nat Geo time-lapse of a bee egg to adult
We also learned how to differentiate capped brood (closed cell for the pupa stage), nectar & honey. Look at the honey 🍯 photo I got at class below.
In my last blog I talked about being able too see the bees carrying pollen in their pollen baskets. I was able to get a decent picture of this at class.
In class no one wore bee protection. The bees were so calm and gentle. I got stung once but that’s because a bee flew into my pony tail and panicked. (Ouch)
When my father in law and I got home we were overly confident and didn’t wear protection while inspecting the hives. BEE-once’s hive was calm and all went well. We got some pictures of all the bees work.
Do you see the honey? Yay! This honey isn’t for us but for the bees! The second hive It’s Britany BEE-ch didn’t go as well. They were quite angry. I got stung in the face, my father in law on the arm and another bee got stuck in my hair and stung me. Her hive was put back together very quick and we will inspect another day. We planted a rhubarb plant and some tyme (both great for bee health). Then called it a day.
My bee sting count is up to 4 for the year. We made two rookie mistakes today. Suit up and don’t inspect the hives too late in the day. Always learning!
We hope you had a great weekend!
It was another busy weekend and finished painting the medium supers & assembled the rest of the deep hive frames.
The hives were also very busy this weekend.
Today when I removed the entrance reducers (if you look where all the bees are toward the bottom there is a piece of wood with a small cut out. Those are entrance reducers. ) I could actually see the pollen baskets some bees were carrying in. It was so neat. I tried to get a photo later in the day but didn’t have any luck. Luckily we have google and below is a snap shot from a quick photo search of what they looked like.
We added the second deep hive body and got some video of what’s going on in he hives. Busy busy bees 🐝
The NUC installs went extremely smooth! In the video below the sound you hear is what happy bees sound like.
I am so relieved we didn’t have any Mariah caBEE moments this afternoon!! We were able to spot BEEonce the Queen bee in the right hive. She was about 2.5 times the size of all of the other bees. We didn’t spot It’s Britany BEEch but we know she is there since the bees are working. There is no standard NUC bee count size but everything on the internet estimates there are approx 9k-10.4k bees in a NUC. In roughly one month time they should each increase to over 18k bees. That’s a lot of bees friends!
The bees started building comb in the open spaces of the NUCS. How cool is that?🐝
Have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!
***5:20pm update*** They are slowly still filtering into their hives and happy.
This bee experience has been full of weird drama. The NUC’s came in cardboard closed boxes. The key word here is closed…
When I got home and opened the back of my car one NUC top was propped slightly open. (Only in my life right?!?) There were a good amount of bees outside having a party. The crazy thing is only two bees joined me upfront on my ride home. These bees are a family, they stick together.
I decided the safest bet was to suit up to bring them to the bee-yard. It is important that you know where the front and the back of the NUC is. This helps the bees orientate to their new surroundings. The boxes are closed now (Phewf!!) but tomorrow the frames will be installed in the same direction and same order. Here is a video of them buzzing inside the NUC’s and the bee-yard in the dark. 🐝
Stay tuned for the update tomorrow afternoon!!
We hope you had a less dramatic evening!,
Another exiting day! We pick up two NUC’s. These are established mini hives. Since our old queens absconded we will call them Fleeonce and It’s not Britany BEEch. Bring on the real queens!
Wonder what a Nuc is? It is short for nucleus colony. Check out Wikipedia! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuc-Tiffany
Yay! I will be getting two NUCS (Nucleus colonies) next week. My mentor Sheri at VT Beekeeping is on if the kindest souls I’ve ever met. It’s to late in the season to get a bee package (they need the most time in their hive since they are starting from scratch). They are also sold out everywhere. A NUC is a mini established colony that already has an egg laying queen. If you are interested in learning more about the differences this blog explains it very well: http://montanahomesteader.com/buying-nuc-vs-package-bees/
Can’t wait to give this another try! 🐝🐝
Friday was so exciting with the arrival of our bee packages. Saturdays install went awesome. Phewf! We did it right for first timers. When a package is installed the Queen is in a box with candy that the attendant bees eat to release her. One queen was released really quick. (It should take 2-3 days not one.) When I checked the hives on Sunday one hive was really busy the other no activity. Peaked inside and there were absolutely no bees in there! (How did I misplace 10k bees?!)
We left them alone yesterday. My father in law and I took a walk up this morning. It’s raining so no bee activity and no buzzing when I listened to the hives. Sadly they both were empty. This is called absconding in the bee world. https://honeybeesuite.com/why-did-your-bees-leave/
I had a small pity party and ate my feelings in guacamole. I spoke with my mentor and she recommended I walk around the property to see if I could find them any where. I didn’t find them. My mentor said this is bee error not beekeeper error. Bee packages are tricky. I’m going to give it a try with a NUC (mini bee colony) the beginning of next month. This isn’t the first time I’ve given it my all and experienced great failure. It certainly isn’t my last…
Hoping my next bee update is more cheery 🐝🐝