Queen Siste Sjanse
A day late because, again with the computer – don’t get me started.
It was very sunny, 62 degrees, about noon when I decided to inspect the two hives previous to getting my new bee package Saturday.
I needed to see if they were already getting laid up too quickly and ready to swarm.
I took out 2 empty boxes for sorting, 2 boxes with drawn out frames in case they needed extra room, suited up, filled the bee waterer, started my smoker and go to business.
There were 6 frames full of capped honey, 3 of them new honey and newly capped. 6 frames full of nectar and 2 frames of pollen. There were 6 1/2 frames of capped brood and 2 frames of uncapped brood with tiny larvae and fresh eggs.
I spied Queen Håper in the 2nd box up from the bottom, right in the middle, on one of the frames with uncapped larvae and fresh eggs. Here’s a video of her moving about in her hive. The spooky music in the background of the video is my cell phone ringing away in my unreachable pocket. She’s a black carniolan with a green dot, so she’s one I purchased.
I saw a mite on the back of one of the bees. If I’m seeing a mite, they’re in the hive, so I decided not to subject them to an alcohol wash. I didn’t see any other mites (but then I didn’t look at each bee) and I didn’t see any deformed wings (but it’s kind of early).
I moved the Queen and all the uncapped brood and most of the capped brood down to the bottom box, with food on each side.
So when I was done, the Queen, brood and food was in the bottom; 2nd box up was 2 frames of brood and food; 3rd box was all food; and 4th/top box was some food and some empty drawn out frames.
The girls are making plenty of food, the Queen is healthy, moving and laying. The girls were friendly and active. And I should treat for mites before I have to leave next week for 9 days.
There were 6 frames full of nectar and 1 frame full of capped honey, 3 frames of pollen. There were 5 frames of capped brood and 4 frames of uncapped larvae with fresh eggs.
I spied Queen Siste Sjanse moving about up in the 3rd box on the frame up there that had very fresh eggs. Here’s a video of her. She’s a beautiful, fat Italian that the girls made themselves.I did not see any mites on the backs of bees, but I decided to prophylacticly treat after I heard the news on these at the bee meeting.
I moved the Queen, all the uncapped brood and food down to the bottom box. The 2nd box has capped brood and food, the 3rd box has empty drawn out frames and the 4th/top box is full of food.
The girls are making good food, the Queen is healthy, moving and laying. The girls were friendly and active. I’ll treat for mites when I treat the orange hive.
Since this was the bee meeting the day before “bee package day”, a lot of the newbie beekeepers were there. There were about 123 in attendance, standing room only.
One of the things they reported was that this was one of the earliest springs for beekeeping most of the OF’s had ever seen. The girls were about a month ahead on laying, some were even getting ready to swarm in early April, instead of late May. They also said they were hearing reports from all over the state (west, central and east) that because the winter was so mild the mite counts so far this spring were at a record level. The OF’s were shocked at the amount of mites already in the hives.
This is what prompted me to decide to go ahead and treat for mites early, to keep the girls healthy, especially since I actually saw a mite on the back of a bee.
I heard one of the OF’s talking to a fairly new beekeeper about the new “flow hive” from Australia that I’ve been interested in on Indigogo. I was a little skeptical. I saw a video and how it worked, it’s kind of pricy to invest, it would mean no wax retrieval at all, and would be a slower process of extraction. But I had decided – what the heck – and invested in one system of just the guts of the extraction system. I might as well see how it works.
The OF was saying don’t get it, it’s a rip off, they’ll just take the money and run, you’ll never see your system, he heard the honey extracted was “dirty” because it’s picking up all the bee parts and wax and pollen and putting it in your jar and you have no idea if the bees have laid up brood.
However, when I looked at the system, the cells are already partially created and they look to deep for regular brood cells, and yet not big enough in diameter for drone cells. So I’m thinking this will encourage them to only put honey in there. As for “clean”, just stick a filter on top of the jar as it drains, like you do when you drain the honey out of your extractor into a big 5 gallon bucket.
5 years ago I was hearing the OF’s poo-poo top bar hives and now they’re entering them in the fair. So I figure any new step forward, let’s try it out and see. If it doesn’t work, it’ll shake out in the end and might lead to another good idea.