Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pre-June Tips

What a fantastic season we are having so far. This afternoon I removed all my entrance reducers. I no longer have any insulated inner boards or outer insulation. Sugar feeders are removed since we now have chokecherry and dandelion nectar to draw from. I put my bottom boxes on the top and tops on the bottom. June is the most likely month for swarming so I will keep watch for swarm cells by checking my hives every 10 days. I tend to remove queen cells unless I'm having a queen problem. I always make sure I have a water source nearby.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Haystack Mountain

We are heading out to our homestead officially for the summer!!! Yay!!! I will still be posting beekeeping info. about twice a week so stay tuned!! All of my Science-Based Art classes are full for this coming fall and I look forward to a fantastic summer.
Blessings to All,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What I've Done This Week for My Honeybees.

This week, I will remove the insulation from the inside and outside of my hives all except the outer cover. Also, I will remove the sugar water by June 1st. I purchased a kiddy pool at a garage sale for $1.00 to capture rain water but to keep the bees from drowning I will float sticks or a piece of plywood in the pool. Another thing I have already done is increase the size of my entrance reducer. Now, all that needs to be done is a thorough hive check every 10 days, looking for queen cells.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

June 1st seems to be the "magic day" to add your second box!

Keep feeding sugar water until June 1st as well. The birch pollen is great but there isn't very much nectar out yet and that is what the sugar syrup replaces.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Science-Based Art classes are almost full for Fall 2011! There is still one space available in Human Body two spaces available in Animal Kingdom and two spaces available in Intermediate Art for Junior and Senior High artists.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Is It Time to Add Another Hive Body?

When your foundation is all drawn out and the queen has filled most empty cells with eggs, larvae or pupa, you may need to add your second hive body. I like to put the additional hive body on the top. If you started with two boxes in the beginning of the season, you will want to swap positions (putting the bottom on the top and the top box on the bottom). I will probably add my second boxes in a week to 10 days.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cold Weather

It is still quite cold for our honeybees! I am continuing to feed mine sugar water and pollen patties since they cannot get out to forage on cold, windy days or nights. I won't consider adding another hive body until the weather warms up and the queen needs more space to lay in since a smaller space is easier for them to keep warm.

Monday, May 9, 2011


I only found a couple queen cells in three hives. This is a great sign of happy honeybees!! The three Aurora hives are doing very well. Pupa patterns are all in oval shapes, filling up the center of the frames. I found minimal drone cells, lots of eggs and larva. I will check for queen cells again in ten days. Sugar water will be less and less in demand but I will keep the feeders filled until I pull them in June. I'm thinking I will add a second hive body in 10-14 days to give ample space for the queen to lay in. If you don't have a water source nearby, now is a good time to find a method of providing water for your bees. A plastic kiddie pool works great because it captures rain and you don't have to fill it as often. Be sure to put wood, rocks or moss in the pool to help the bees get out of the water. They have a tendency to drown if there's nothing for them to climb onto.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Time to check for Queen Cells

Tomorrow I will be checking for queen cells. Gently lift each frame and look for large cells protruding downward. When at full size, the queen cell is about 3/4 to 1" long. Before removing queen cells, make sure your queen is laying well. She should have eggs, larva and pupa by now. Remember the pattern should be a circle that mostly fills the middle of your frame surrounded by pollen and sugar water. (later to be honey!) Be sure to check the bottom of each frame. This is a favorite place for the workers to build queen cells. If you have any concerns about your queen(s) give me a call. I still have six queens available which is a great sign! We got awesome bees this year with healthy queens, thanks to Steve Victors.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Keep Feeding Your Honeybees!!

I will be adding the final pollen patty tomorrow after it warms up a bit (50* or warmer). Filling up the sugar feeders every three days has been my schedule this spring. The two on the Chena River have been using 1 quart every day. Last Sunday one of my Carn girls stung me on the chin. It was one of those bad reactions that affected my neck and chest. After two days the pain and swelling started decreasing. My great friends gave me some homeopathics which helped tremendously. Thank You, Susan Yanish and D.A. McGilvary!! Keep feeding your honeybees!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Queen Fertilda

This afternoon I checked my two hives by the Chena River. They both had eggs but one was amazing! That queen I think I'll call Fertilda! I found three frames full of eggs and larva. "You Go Girl" is what I said when I saw how busy this queen has been.