Jersey Cape Bee Keepers Association

Welcome to the clubs blog. Members can use it to post new topics or comment on topics entered by other members. Use it to share information about your bees or to ask questions of the group. Using the blog will allow us all to benifit from other members experience and knowledge.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23, 2010

I really dont have any answers about persons not having many bees...maybe ck for a queen or brood again when there is a good day. Perhaps some of the bees did not make it thru the winter, but these did? are there mites that could have reduced the population? I always have more questions than answers myself.

I lost a hive to mites last fall- I dont treat with pesticides and this year I will try cultural methods. I also lost a strong hive this winter. They were dead, all balled up between frames, plenty of honey in the hive. I have no idea what got them.

I have one hive left which seems to be going strong. I opened it up this weekend and "flipped the supers" - top one to bottom, bottom one to top. There were plenty of bees. I lightly smoked the hive, but I guess not enough, and was driven off, which happens to me a lot. Anyway, I did pull frames, saw brood, but never got through the whole thing before bees got inside my veil and, well, tried to make a pin cushion out of my face. I was lucky to get the whole hive back together!

At bee meeting they say it is best to have more than one hive so that you can compare how they are doing. Interesting that in my yard, 2 die of different causes, while one colony grew stronger...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Here are a few of the frames with honey.

Today I went into my hive with the intent of checking on how much food the bees had and whether or not I should consider feeding. Like Cathy in her post below, my deep super was loaded with honey. All the frames were loaded. There didn't seem to be anywhere for brood or to store any of the pollen the bees are bringing back. My impression was the queen and brood was still down in the brood box. They have to be storing all that pollen somewhere. This is my first year also and lack experience. I thought also that the number of bees flying and on the Super frames was reasonable this early in the season. I'm thinking now that I should have went down to the brood box and checked that out to see if there was brood and evidence of laying. I was afraid of disturbing the hive too early.

Hope someone has some ideas and advise
I opened my hive Friday 3/19 it was 70 degrees. top hive box had 9 out of 10 frames loaded with
honey. Very little bees, no eggs. I'm thinking no queen. What's a girl to do? I ordered a nuc
for my second hive but can I help this one? Carl said something about newspaper between hive boxes and a new queen. I need direction. This is my first hive.
Thanks, Cathy Bee

Friday, March 12, 2010

I had noticed that my entrance reducer was removed on several mornings. Noticing scratches on the wood, I determined that a raccoon or skunk was pulling the reducer away and scraping dead bees off the bottom board for a late nite snack. Today, I wrapped the hive with garden fencing I had left over from last year. It came in a roll, so I just unrolled it around the hive and secured it to itself. My hive is on a hive stand, so that should hold the fencing about 6 inches from the front of the hive. We'll see if this takes care of the problem.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hive was active again today. Bees coming and going. Lots of them coming back with pollen. Legs are packed with yellow colored material. Don't know what it is or where they are getting it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

My bees were very active today. It looked like one returning to the hive had some stuff in her pockets. I removed my mouse guard to give them easier passage in and out. Hope thats OK. I'm still gaining experience. I haven't bothered the hive oterwise. Think I'll leave them be for awhile till it gets warmer. Its good to know they are ok so far.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March 7, 2010

Today my bees were very active outside the hive. In the late morning it seemed they were trying out their wings within a few feet of the hive. As the day warmed, bees were out searching and many were out in my pastures. I saw a few bees with what could have been pollen on their legs entering the hive. They did not have much of this substance, but what they had was a tan dirty yellow. I did see some chickweed in bloom against the house, and though I do not have crocus, people tell theirs are out. Inside the hive the bees were making a buzzing sound that reminded me of an overloaded electrical circuit...I did not look in to see what the bees were doing so loudly, as I just felt it best not to bother them. Seems that they were doing pretty well by themselves!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Today I opened up the top cover for the first time and added raw sugar. They started investigating right away... I took photos and some short videos. They are here ---> Gary G. Schempp

March 6, 2010

The other day I lifted the top cover of my last remaining hive and bees were up and about on the inside cover. I fed them some raw sugar, putting it on the inside cover. Today I lifted the cover and bees flew out, and when I got the cover high enough to see inside, the inside cover was wallpapered with bees and they sounded like a train coming out of a tunnel!

I am not sure if I did right, but I added another super to the top of the hive with seven frames of honey that I had saved from the hives that had not survived. In the empty space left for the three missing frames, I dropped in fondant , which I had made yesterday - it was my first attempt, and I am not totally sure if what I made is what its supposed to be!

I hope that between feeding fondant,sugar, and the "relief" honey, that these bees will make it.

One of my other hives has starved - I fed it everyday since last spring, and even had been using a top feeder up until the cold weather. Still, it did not have enough stores to get it through the winter. Very frustrating.

Friday, March 5, 2010

moving day

I am going to try and move one of my hives tomorrow. Any suggestions?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fondant or raw sugar??? Let us know which the bees take first. Gary

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Checked my hive today to see if the bees were using the food left on the inner cover. Been trying different things during February to try to make sure they have enough of food. On the upper left is my first attempt at making fondant. I think it was too thick and had trouble fitting it under the cover. On the right is the same fondant after using a rolling pin to flatten it more, Lower left is granulated sugar that was recommended at the last meeting. Doesn't appear that they are much interested in any of this. Anyone Else have any experiences?
Today there were about 10 dead bees inside entrance behind the mouse guard. I guess that is normal life cycle attrition.
Hi Everyone. I just joined the blog. Looking forward to stimulating conversation.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thanks Ed, for taking care of the Jersey Cape Beekeepers Association blog... Gary

Thursday, February 25, 2010

In January, I put burlap barrier up on three sides of the hive. I left the front open. I also put on a mouse guard. I think the burlap really protected the hive during the snow storms that occured a few weeks ago. Although there were mountains of snow all around the hive, the area in the burlap and front were free of snow.

Before leaving on vacation the first two weeks in February, I made Fondant and placed it on the inner cover. On returning, it didn't look like the bees were using it. At the last meeting it was suggested that we add about a coffee can full of raw sugar on the inner cover which I did. Checked this afternoon, but it does not look as if they are using much of the supplies.
I did find however that my top cover apparently has a leak. There was water on the inner cover. I hope a lot did not run down into the hive. I had a spare cover and used it. I haven't seen too much evidence of activity, however the other day while passing the hive I saw a bee returning. From where I have no idea. So I guess there is hope that they are still holding on.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Winter Watch

Things are quiet when its cold although one day when it warmed up to about 50 degrees I had a swarm in front of the hive with bees coming and going. Even when its cold, I still see an occasional bee venture out and fly somewhere.
I just put on a entrance mouse guard to both keep out varmints and keep some wind out. Wondering if I should be putting out pollen for just in case food or not.