Mar 02 2013

mini-check & girls be flyin’

It got up to 52 degrees out today about 2:30pm. It was not sunny, but gray and overcast. It wasn’t windy.  I could see the girls out flying so I decided to take a peek and see how they were doing – just a mini-check, not a hive inspection. It’s supposed to get colder tomorrow and then the whole next week below freezing at night again.

So I am leaving all the insulation, paper and coverings on the hive.

I went out and just put on HB’s big bee jacket with hat and some gloves. I put a little bit of burlap and newspaper in the smoker and got it going. The girls were happily flying and coming and going from both hives. There is a little bit of bee body detritus on the deck but certainly not a lot.

I saw lots of girls flying with little dead bodies up and over the bee deck fence – taking the winter dead off to bee Valhalla. So that’s good because they’re doing some spring cleaning while they can.

When you look at the bee video from today, you can see the girls were all pressed up against the inside of the screened front door guard. So I decided to remove the guards. They’re really there to keep from robbing during honey season and to keep mice and big varmints out of the warm hive in the winter and neither of those is a threat right now. So removing the guards will give the girls more room to clean out winter detritus and start coming and going as they please.

I puffed a couple puffs at the purple/Italian front door and then I started removing the push pins from the screened guard. There was quite a buzz around me but I got absolutely no aggressive thwacks. I had quite a few girls land on my hands and arms and just sit there like they were taking a break or a nap. A couple of them just kept riding on my hand the entire time and I had to gently push them with a finger out into the air to remove them.

I did the same for the orange/Carniolan hive. So both guards were removed and I put them in one of my 5 gallon bee supply buckets for next year with the push pins.

I then decided to just pop the tops and see how things are going.

Purple hive:

The top box is actually full of empty frames just because it was so very crowded going into the winter they needed room. I removed four frames and looked down into the next box which was still entirely full of frames of honey. There were about a dozen bees moving on the frames. So they’re still very good for food.

Orange hive:

The top box is still completely full of honey frames and about 3 bees on the frames. So they haven’t moved up yet either and have plenty of food.

Here is a pic of the front of the two hives with their bee guards on. And one of the girls just taking a rest on my gloved hand. The link to the video of the healthy little girls flying and moving about is below called “bee movie”.

Bee Movie


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