Thursday, May 21, 2015

No More Sugar Water!

I have pulled all of my feeders and replaced them with brood frames. This will give my queens more space for laying eggs. I don't want my bees to be lazy and avoid foraging for nectar. Anyone who feeds their bees sugar water after this point will have honey made from refined sugar rather than local nectars.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

First 30 Days of a Honeybee's Life

This is the first 30 days of a bee's life in a 60 second video! Thanks to Ginny Kinney for this!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Remove Outer Insulation/Queen Checking

My hives no longer look like tinfoil cubes! I have removed the outer insulation and stored it nearby Just in case the weather drops below freezing. I also did a thorough hive check on each colony. Unfortunately, one of my Italian queens was missing half of her middle, right leg. I could tell because I watched her for about five minutes and her gate was uneven as she wobbled across honeycomb. Two other indicators of my "queen problem" were several active queen cells in the larva stage and a brood pattern that wasn't as full as my other colonies. Because I had a Carniolan queen banked in this hive I smashed the Italian queen, after apologizing to her first, and performed a quick release on the Carniolan. This was done by removing the plug on the queen cage and placing it on top of the frames. Within a couple minutes, she crawled out of the cage and down inbetween the frames. If this queen had been new to the colony I would have hung it in the hive for s3-5 days before doing a slow release with a marshmallow. This would help the colony adjust to the pheromones of the new queen. I will check this colony in four to five days to see if any new eggs have been layed and how full the pattern of eggs is. If the new queen performs, within a couple months, this colony will be completely Carniolan.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Summer Camps 2015

Each camp is Monday through Friday. Students need to bring a sack lunch, rain gear and a light summer jacket.
Cost: $350 - All materials are included!

2nd-4th Grades:
June 1st – 5th, 2015: Botany, Bugs, and Birds (9 am-5pm)
(one space available)
Students will enjoy a full day of music, literature-based art, and explorations through math and science. Curiosity will abound as we bring the classroom into the outdoors.

5th - 6th Grades:
June 8th-12th, 2015: Backyard Science (9 am-5pm)
(four more spaces available)
Fifth and sixth graders will become expert junior scientists as they use the scientific method to explore and experiment with scientific phenomenon.

7th - 12th Grades:
June 15th – 19th, 2015: Creative Writing Photography (9 am-5pm)
(five more spaces available)
Junior High and High School Students will be inspired in creative writing and take photos to create art from their own photographs. This week will be full of creative writing, photography tips, and fine art.

2nd-4th Grades: 
June 22nd –26th, 2015: Botany, Bugs, and Birds (9 am-5pm)
(This camp is now full. Students registered after 11AM on 5/14/15 will be placed on a wait list)
Students will enjoy five full days of music, literature-based art, and explorations through math and science. Curiosity will abound as we bring the classroom into the outdoors.

Registration Form

Reduce Inner Insulation/Giving More Brood Space

This afternoon I will remove the inner insulation (follower boards) from my hives. I will leave the outer insulation on as temperatures are still a bit low. When I replace the follower boards with frames I spray bare foundation with sugar water to entice my bees to get to work building new honeycomb on them. Here's a couple sites to explore:

My entrance will be changed to the middle size (anywhere from one to several inches in width). I check the weather report daily to see if I need to switch back to the smallest entrance in the evening.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Time to add more space/Feeding/Ant problems

I am adding a second brood box to all my hives this weekend. I like to add the new box to the bottom since heat rises and I want the brood to stay warm. When it is warm enough the queen will drop down and begin laying in the bottom frames. After she lays in several frames in the bottom box and weather is more consistent, I switch the boxes putting the top box on the bottom and the bottom on the top. This divides the nest a bit which entices the bees to work harder at drawing out comb and getting the brood in both boxes connected into one large nest. Sugar water feeding is still needed until dandelions appear. If you happen to have ant problems get a kiddie pool and set up the hive in the middle of the pool. put water in the pool (not too deep as you don't want to drown your honeybees).