Things have been fairly quiet for the last couple of weeks, other than an occasional check into the hives and refilling their feeders with sugar water at least every other day, if not daily. All of them seem to be doing well. We’re 4+ weeks and probably hatching more than a 1000 workers a day, so the hives are building nicely.
I walked out to get the paper around 7:30 this morning, and other than the birds and our neighbor’s peacocks, it was fairly quiet. But I heard a buzzing, much like the sound of a swarm. I finally found it was coming from a large bush (20’ tall’) that we have near the driveway. Don’t know what kind it is but it’s in full bloom and a BUNCH of bees were feeding heavily on it. It’s a difficult camera shot from the ground but if you look carefully, you can see a few flying in the upper left.
And here’s a close-up (telephoto) of one gathering nectar and pollen. There were literally hundreds if not a few thousand working this bush.
And around noon, I walked down to change the jar of sugar water and stopped at the garden. I saw this girl working the sunflower, went down to change the jar, back into the house to get the camera and change the lens and back out. She was still working the bottom half of the flower!
I can already tell the bees are very beneficial to the garden. Lots more veggies than normal this year. Lots of nicely developed cucumbers already on the vines.
Just checked today and we have a nicely capped group of frames with some larvae, pollen and egg cells. Our population will be increasing significantly in the next two weeks! In the lower left and top center you can see larvae growing in the cells.
I took this one holding the frame and the camera at the same time. It actually worked!
Again, just a few puffs of smoke and they really didn’t care that I was intruding on their space. No veil, no gloves. . .
And I saw the first honeybee in the yard / garden yesterday. They’ve been flying off somewhere else but I’m sure this is one of ours. These are some onion blooms in the garden boxes. There’s been honeysuckle 10 feet away from the hive but I haven’t seen any activity there. Something else is better!
More to come.
82 Degrees and partly sunny. The girls were flying well so I decided to check for the Queen’s release.
I put on my veil and gloves just to be safe, but quickly shed them in the heat. A few puffs of smoke at the entrance and a couple of puffs under the cover also kept the hive busy. Again, they were very docile.
Pulling the cover showed them working nicely on 4 or 5 of the frames and there was a big section of extra comb in the gap that I poorly left with the frames supporting the queen cage.
Pulling the queen cage – Success, it’s empty and clean as a whistle! I pulled a couple of frames for the camera and the extra comb fell off in the process. I inspected it for the queen and put it on the front porch. They’ll take that honey and move it back to the hive. It’ll be interesting if they take the beeswax . . if not, we’ll use it!
I didn’t find her but saw cells with honey, pollen and eggs so I knew she was busy laying eggs – her only task!
But as we uploaded the pictures, there she is! Top dead center with the white dot and long black body. Enlarging the photo, you can see cells with eggs, pollen and honey. So in 21 days or less we’ll have new workers! (not sure when the queen started laying but it takes 21 days for workers to hatch)
I put the 10th frame back in and quickly closed up the hive and left them to their work. Good job, girls!
After a couple of cool / overcast / rainy – light showers, it’s brightly sunny and already 79 degrees, headed for 89!
The bees are flying strongly. I refilled the feeder late yesterday. They had really drank on the cool Tuesday and overnight to Wednesday.
I think we’ll take a peak inside later this afternoon to check the queen status or release her.