Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Updating my Bee adventure. June 30

First please forgive the wrong date on the pictures. Added new batteries and forgot to reset.
On Friday (June 26) My Big Guy, being the sweet heart he is, agreed to drive me to Dundee, Ohio to pick up another nuc of bees. The directions I printed said it was about 7 hours, they It took us closer to 9 each way and it rained almost the whole time. Luckily Jason Bosler was very kind and even though we were late getting there he and his wife were a real pleasure to meet. The rain and the wait in the box had the bees very upset so I didn't get any pictures. Another 9 hours in a box, in the back of the truck, in the rain did not help their mood any so when we got home I just set them in the garden where I wanted to set them up and gave them the night to calm down. 

Sunday morning we went out and got them set up in their new home. They were still a bit wound up and ran my cameraman off so I will have to get more pictures later when they get settled. The frames were beautiful, covered with bees and heavy a hell. Very happy!

Checked on my first hive yesterday (June 30) This is the one I started on  May 15. I set it up wrong and had to relocate the comb that they decided to build on the inner lid. I cut them off and tied into empty frames. They seem to be doing well but have started building all wonky in the frames.

Some of the comb that had honey have been cleaned out completely. It's very interesting to see the structure of the comb like this 

On the other combs they have built off the sides and built some together. I would have gotten more pictures but when I pulled two apart they got upset with me and rather then stir them up worse with no particular goal, I just put it back together and left them alone.

After asking around in some of the Bee groups I now understand the importance of setting your hives very level. After someone explained it to me it made perfect sense. They will build with gravity regardless of what frame you suggest to them.

After reading through a lot of great suggestions for a fix and taking into account that these are so new and don't have the stores or the strength for me to risk damaging them, I have a plan.

They seem to be fine with the mess, and considering they naturally will build in trees and walls I'm going to just leave it bee. First thing I will get it level, then I'll move the two combs that they have cleaned out into a new super underneath this one. I have an idea for how to close off the rest of the super they are in with the intention of that pushing the queen to move down. Once I have found her in the lower one I can add a queen excluder between and keep her there. The brood in the top will hatch and they will back fill with honey which later won't be too big a problem to deal with. 

Since I am not expecting to take honey from them this year I am still feeding them. I have learned a lot about keeping your honey 'pure'. If you feed during a time you expect to get honey they could fill some cells with the sugar water and you don't want that! Also the supplements and anything else not natural will show up in the honey so I will have to continue studying on when I might actually get honey and work with that. It'll be a while so I have
If you are following or interested in what I have done so far here are my other posts from the start.