Everybody was extra fiesty today, I think I came just as they were getting going for the day.
The winter hive, normally my most docile, was a little cranky with me, perhaps because they have all but filled their first hive body and haven’t really moved into the second yet. I expect to see them building comb next week in the wired frames.
The spring hive has nearly all of the top halves of the wire frames full of comb, but they made them a little tricky to pull up because the combs don’t all line up perfectly. I think they will be ready for a honey super in a couple weeks!
The summer hive was busy working, and will be ready for a second hive body soon.
The fall hive was very stirred up, I think there may have been some attempted robberies because they were very defensive of their honey, but they looked strong.
I think I will plan for two weeks to add additional bodies to summer and fall, and a honey super for spring.
In the meantime, all of the prairie flowers are in bloom and the meadows are buzzing, its bee heaven. :)
Week Twelve - I sort of dropped the ball on posting these pictures..
Firstly, where did week eleven go? It was my birthday and I was busy soaking up the love on the shores of lake Michigan with my husband. The girls enjoyed their time alone, I could tell by the signs of progress that I found in each hive when I returned for week twelve.
The spring hive, the strongest, were finally starting to draw comb in the wired frames in the second hive body, and there was honey already being stored.
The winter girls hadn’t yet been venturing into the new hive body to build, but there were bees inspecting the area when I opened it.
There were drone cells and evidence of laying queens in the summer and fall hives, which was incredibly reassuring.
It was a very rewarding visit, the best I’ve had in a while.
My religion is nature. That’s what arouses those feelings of wonder and mysticism and gratitude in me.
Everything looks good, the hives are thriving as all of the prairie flowers are in bloom. I spent a good amount of time walking around checking cone flowers and butterfly weed and black eyed susans for my girls, they seem to be all about the butterfly weed.
The fall hive is the only one that gives me pause, I can’t find any evidence of a queen laying brood, so if there isn’t something by next week I will be taking steps to replace a queen and borrow brood from the winter and spring hives, which are full of brood.
The spring hive is starting to drift up into the new frames, but they haven’t yet built comb. However, I did have to clean a good amount of empty brood and honey comb out from underneath the new frames, where it just gets in the way, so they weren’t very happy with me.
Winter was, as always, my favorite box to visit, and everything looked good.
Summer is breeding drones for their new queen, so they are definitly on the rebound.
I still haven’t been stung since my very first day!
Life is good, bees are better :)
I will make this one day soon.
Bee Hotels for Solitary Bees
You may be wondering what bees need a hotel for, when they make their own hives. The truth is that many species of bees are solitary – the do not live in hives but instead construct their own nest. The main reason for this is because in these species every female is fertile and this would not make for comfortable communal living in a hive.
Hello! Week Nine!
I went to visit the hives twice this week, once on Saturday to add the next hive body pieces to winter and spring, and then again today for my regular visit.
It was like the Jurassic period outside today, especially in the native plant nursery. It felt spooky and primordial, and I was on guard for snakes instead of the awful deer flies, so I got chewed up pretty good. The bees were not thrilled with me, and I do believe that this was my shortest visit yet.
The winter box was great, but they hadn’t yet drifted up into their new hive body.
The spring hive is doing the best overall, they were crowded around the outside of the box before I added more space, and they seem to be loving the new frames, which I strung with wire rather than use the comb foundation sheets.
Summer has successfully bred a new queen and looks very active, which was very reassuring.
Fall is a bit aggressive towards my meddling, and very defensive of its honey stores, but it seems better with each new visit.
I love my bees.
I lost my camera for a couple of days (put it in a bag with my latest project,) so I am a bit behind with this post.
The winter and spring boxes were nearly full, and my visit with them was wonderful.
The summer box had a supersedure cell again, so a new queen is on the way.
The fall box had weaker numbers than I was hoping to see, and I may have to order a queen because I didn’t see any brood. I think I will pull a frame of brood from the spring box to bolster numbers until a queen is once again breeding.
My order came a few days late, so I took work off on Saturday and am going to be visiting the girls again to make a few adjustments and add the next hive body to the spring and winter boxes, which are very ready for the room.
Hello there! Week Seven is here, but I didn’t visit the hives. My plans have changed so that next week I will be adding the next deep body with frames to each hive to provide more room and ventilation. It was my intention for today, but with the unmerciful heat here I think that the girls are probably working overtime to regulate the temperature inside the hive so I don’t want to make it any harder on them by opening it up and stressing them. I know that they are beyond ready for more room, so I hope they will be patient with me and not try to seek out greener pastures.
In the meantime, when I let the puppy out today she wouldn’t leave my shadow, so I took her and my other dog to the bark park to play on the dog docks. I am definitely missing my bees, but a few hours at a park surrounded by tons of happy dogs playing in the water was like heaven for us all.