Sunday, May 28, 2017

Consistent Hive Checks

  • All seven of my colonies are building population as well as honeycomb to make room for storing brood, pollen, and nectar, which will become honey by late July and into September. 
  • I am hoping Jack Frost has left town for good until late October. 
  • Entrances are all set at the medium size until the first week of June, weather permitting. 
  • By then I expect to remove my entrance reducers altogether until fall. 
  • Hive checks will take place every ten days and I am careful to ensure my queens are in the hive by either actually seeing them or seeing all four stages of brood (eggs, larva, pupa, and adult). 
  • After seeing the queen or evidence of the queen, I am removing all queen cups and cells. 
  • I am also removing any wax built outside of the frame area. 
  • Most to all hives in the Fairbanks area should have two brood boxes on the hive by now. 

  • Next weekend I will swap my brood boxes by putting the top box on the bottom board and the bottom box on the top. This entices the bees to build brood into one large nest. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May 14th Complete Hive Checks, Summer Course, and Addressing Ant Problems

Dan and I checked all seven colonies today. We found incredible amounts of pollen stores, sealed sugar water on at least 3-4 frames, and very prolific brood patterns.
  • Complete hive checks are performed every 10 -12 days to discourage bees from swarming.
  • The weather has been such that all inner insulation has been removed. 
  • Hives with ample sugar syrup stores should have inner insulation removed and the feeders replaced with frames because we want the bees to use up the sugar water stores prior to the nectar flow. (Who wants sugar honey when we can get honey from the nectar of plants?) 
  • Now we have 10 frames in each brood box. We did discover small black ants in three of our hives. 
  • To remedy this naturally, I sprinkled cinnamon around the perimeter of the foundation blocks. 
  • All of my hive entrances are at the medium door setting. My lid entrances are on the bottom of the inner lid now that cold nights seem to be behind us. 
  • It is vital for honeybees to have a water source near the hive. While they can fly several miles for water, it is strongly encouraged to provide a water source near hives. Putting twigs and/or rocks into a bucket of water helps the bees leave the bucket with a full load without drowning.
  • Now is a great time to add a second brood box (UNDERNEATH the first brood box).
  • My summer students can shadow me on the following tentative schedule (based on weather - Please RSVP by text 907460-6050 or email at (arrive at my townhouse at 65 Betty Street): 

June 23rd - 11:00 AM 
June 30th - 11:00 AM
July 10th - 5:00 PM
July 19th - 5:00 PM
July 29th - 6:00PM
Honey Extraction - Friday, August 4th 7-9PM

August 9th - 5:00 PM
August 19th - 5:00 PM