Thursday, February 19, 2009

february updates!
















february 7th :well we finally had a brief lull in the weather two weeks ago so my brother came over to help me check my hives. i suspected the white hive had died out and it had! very sad, but i wasn't terribly surprized. the weather that had been to -45 degrees F windchill of earlier weeks was bound to be too much for any small hive cluster. luckily, the pink and yellow hive seemed quite strong. i took one of the hive bodies from the white dead out hive and just put it up for when my new bees i ordered arrived. i will give them some of the frames of honey to get them off to a strong start. this particular box was not where the dead bee cluster was, and also, was not the box the bees had been eating on, so i had 10 full frames of honey in it! my hubby thought we should harvest that honey for ourselves, i still might do a couple of frames for us, but the others will be for the new bees i ordered. the other hive body, the one the cluster was on, and the frames they had been feeding from, i just set them out for the other two hives to rob the honey from and clean off. in order to keep other critters out of them i put them into my husbands little pigeon coop he has for isolating any sickly ones, as it was empty at the time. also got rid of the top feeders. i just don't like them. when the weather warms any it causes the syrup to drip more and is messy and i still am scared the bees might get drowned by them. i made the bee candy that i posted about in january, and gave each hive some (in the same place the top feeder bucket was). actually, i probably shouldn't even have bothered as both hives have plenty of honey frames left. i was just so curious about making that candy i had to give it a try! the directions have to be followed closely for it to set up properly and so not to have the same problem you would have with just using the top feeding and syrup. probably going to just remove the candy the next warm day, if after a quick check there still seems to be plenty of honey for their use and save the candy for an emergency kind of thing, if their stores seem low. while we had the hives apart checking, i replace the wooden bottom boards with screened bottom boards with a piece of laminated poster board on top of the screen. it can easily be pulled out to keep clean, while still blocking any direct drafts into the hive. i had bought these screened boards late last fall and just hadn't had a chance to put them on yet. they are suppose to be very good for the hygiene of the hive and for mite control also. seems when the bees groom the mites off if you have a regular wood bottom board, the mites just crawl back up to get on a bee, whereas with a screened one, they can fall on through to the ground where they die. was worried about drafts though, as still freezing at nite and lots of stiff winds, so improvised with the laminated poster board, cut to size of screen. just hoping that when i next check them that the bees are doing well and that they weren't too cold with the new screens! sigh! i am such a worry wort but i feel such a responsibility for these poor creatures at my mercy of my inexperience! will keep you posted next time warm day we have!

8 comments:

Karen Creel said...

I am going to get the courage to go peep at the hive at my Dad's old place. I am going to arrange to have it brought to my home. Here in the south we have had 60 degree days, (low this am 24)My son saw them buzzing around the other day. My dad died in August, and this was the 2nd year for the hives. No honey was taken from the hives. What is my next step? Too early to take some honey out? Will it be too old?
Karen
www.gardenchick.com/garden-blog

comfrey cottages said...

sorry about your dad sweetie! my heart and love go out to you. well, the honey situation depends on whether your hive had a honey super still on it or not! do you have a pic of it you could share? if you just have the two hive bodies, well no, you won't be getting any honey from them right now. since you hive is alive and well you should arrange to move it soon. it sounds like spring flowers should be blooming in your area. some evening or very early in morning before the sun is out and your bees are active, you will have to block off all exits and strap the two bodies together and get some strong help to haul it to your yard. make sure and have the permanent spot you want them as you can't move them once placed very handily. (in the same yard, when moved, the workers bees will just return to the original spot!) i highly recommend getting the beekeeping for dummies book karen. it is most helpful for us beginners! you can see i just placed mine on cement blocks. your next step would be to buy some honey super boxes. i use dadant's catalogue and you can order over the internet and have them delivered to your door if you have no bee supply house close to you. then we get into things like you will need a queen excluder, to keep her from laying brood in your honey box!lol the book would help you hon. after it is home and set in its permanent spot, you will need to put on a queen excluder and the the honey super. will be glad to answer any other questions hon! just ask away and if i don't know i will find out for you! hugs

Karen Creel said...

My son said last week when it was warm, they were out in droves. I will go over today and take picture. It does have a super on it. We place it there last year. It originally just had the two boxes. Talk to you soon.

Karen Creel said...

leslie, I posted the two pictures of my beehive on my blog. www.gardenchick.com/garden-blog. And guess what! The extension service is starting a beginning beekeeping class next month. woo woo the bees were out and buzzing today, weather 58 degrees and sunny

comfrey cottages said...

karen that is such good news! i can tell you are getting bee fever hon!lol i posted on your bee blog. hugs

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

I am glad to hear that the two hives are still alive! I am looking forward to hearing about them Leslie! (((hugs)))

comfrey cottages said...

good to see you jennifer! i need to get your little pressie in the mail from my blog giveaway. will do that soon i promise!it is 42 degrees out today so if it gets a bit warmer this week the girls might fly and i will give you an update! big hugs to you too!

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

Hi Leslie! I'm looking forward to the present! :) I know what I am making you...I need to get it going I can get it in the mail. Yes, we technically have a year but who wants to wait that long? :) How's the hive doing? I haven't seen you around here much lately...I hope you are ok! (((hugs)))