Showing posts from 2019

Death of a Hive

Hives do die sometimes, even if you give them the best of care. As I have said in earlier posts, I had two hives one strong and aggressive and one docile and weak. The weak one did eventually die. It didn't happen all at once, it was more of a progression. I will detail that progression in this post. I first noticed that some of the bees in the weak hive had DWV, Deformed Wing Virus. As pictured here.    I treated both hives with Apivar strips and talked with others that said the hive should be ok. DWV is one of the main diseases that honey bees get from the varroa mites. If wide spread the hive will not be able to provide for and itself and die. I next noticed strange looking brood cells in the weak hive compared to my strong hive. See below the left is good brood the right is all droan brood. The worker bee brood is flat across the top and the droan brood is humped up. Droans are the males and are only needed for mating. They do no work in the hive like the female wo

Preparing for the Winter

Our bees are getting ready for the winter. Kicking out the drones and keeping the queen warm.  I reduced the size of the opening and put a bottom board on.  During the winter the bees will cluster around the queen and on the brood keeping keeping them warm through the winter. They will keep the temp around 90 to 95 degrees. I have left a super (6 5/8" box) with honey in it for the bees to eat during the winter. My goal is to keep them alive and healthy through the winter.

Coming in for a landing

Coming in for a landing!! I have continued to notice the aggressive bees bunching up on the outside of the hive trying to get in to deposit their pollen and nectar.  Everything that the bees collect they collect for their own consumption. We actually steal from them.  The pollen is their protein source and the nectar, which they turn into honey is their carbohydrate source. They need lots of carbs since they must visit about 2 million flowers to produce 1 pound of honey.

Hives are building up

Hives are building up on this beautiful Spring Sunday! From day one when I installed my packages I noticed that the two packages had very different personalities. One package was very docile and lethargic, while the other was very aggressive. I have noticed that the aggressive hive was producing more brood that the more docile one. The aggressive hive also stung me once for no reason, I was just standing near them. What I have learned is that bees take on the personality of their queen. 

Successful Package Installations

Successful Package Installations Two new packages installed for the 2019 season. Hope these girls do well. I am new to bee keeping and was planning on starting with just one hive, but was encouraged by veterans of bee keeping to have two so that I can compare. I started by reading some books on bee keeping like "Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees" and "First Lessons in Beekeeping". I then signed up for a bee keeping class at a local bee supply store near my home, "The Carolina Bee Co.". This class gave me valuable information and connected me to other bee enthusiast, as well as giving me a discount on my bee packages. Speaking of bee packages there are two ways to get bees. Either a package   that comes in a box shown below with bees, a can with sugar water for them to eat on the way and a queen in her little box inside the big one. The queen bx contains some workers to aid her her and a cork with a candy stopper at one end. To introduce th