Tag Archives: nasonov fanning

Bees Loose in my Car! (and a bunch of other little updates)

28 May

The weather has been pretty cold and rainy this week again, but since JuJuBee and the newly named Cleopatra have observation windows, I was able to peek in anyway.

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That’s the full panorama of JuJu Bee’s workings.  On closer inspection, there’s definitely honey being stored away!

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Also, out on the front porch, there’s the definite posture of Nasanov fanning going on.

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Over on Scratch Farm, Cleopatra has a lot of work going on as well.   Her girls had 7 bars built out on Friday and so I popped another one in for good measure.

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Even though there was intermittent drizzle happening, the entrances were hopping. Now that they’re pretty set up, I’ve opened two of the front three holes and have popped off the Winter bottom board (well, I took the picture first and then took the bottom board off).

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On a neighboring farm, the farmer has asked me to keep a few hives for her as well.  Finding bees after package season is a bit of a pain, but I found a nuc in New Haven, CT and dashed over there to grab them on Friday afternoon.

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There’s a whole lot going on in there!  Because Betty was a close 2nd in the naming poll, I’ve decided that this is Queen Betty.  And, unbeknownst to me, I got a pic of her little butt as I was grabbing the shot of the frame.

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On the far left side about a third of the way down the frame is Betty Bee’s Beeeeeehind.  Doing her job!

On the hour and a half drive between New Haven and Cranston, I had the nervewracking experience of having bees loose in my car.  One got out pretty quickly and soon several more followed.  It was a bit of a nail biter to be sure, but they hung out on the ceiling, for the most part, and didn’t come see what I was doing….which was definitely for the best.

 

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This is their temporary hive in their new home – woods, and farm fields, oh my!

IMG_5767Coming out to explore a little…

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And this is a few hours’ progress on their new home!  I’m working on it in the wood shop in the studio where I teach.  I’ve got the followers and about 5 bars made (although with no comb guides) and the body.  Before I head home tonight, I’ll make a bunch more bars and figure out some kind of comb guide and then I’ll probably put together another set of followers so I can make a second hive body tomorrow (I have the bits for it).  I also need to figure out roofing and legs.  I have some legs-material at home, but not enough I don’t think.  I’m hoping to have at least one complete hive for Friday…and if I have two, then I have two and that will be exciting!

Spring is bursting into summer and I’ve got a lot going on!  I’m hoping to find another nuc or  two if anyone knows of one in New England!

Bee Roller Coaster – with 100% more Nasonov Fanning

4 Apr

I’ve been pretty nervous about whether the girls had accepted their queen or not.  Stupid human error and poof.  Yesterday, I peered into the windows, and unfortunately I think they’re building in the spacer 1/2 box that I put in under the feeder, so I can’t see anything.  More newbie issues.  I took some pictures to share:

That third pic is up inside the window on the top box looking up toward the spacer box that I think they’re all in.  Harrumph.

They’ve been doing a lot of sanitation – bringing dead bees out – which I took to be a good sign.  At first, they were just booting them out the entrance, but now they’re flying them a few feet from the hive, although there seem to be a few very energetic worker bees that are flying their dead sisters out over the yard and dropping them there.

This morning, I decided to sweep up the roof – a bunch of dead bees from install combined with what they’ve brought out and it was getting a little depressing looking out there.  As I was sweeping I found a really big bee in the dust pan and got all mournful.  They killed the queen!  They dragged her outside!  I failed at install!

Spoiler Alert : not a queen bee.

I called up to my bee place and explained the situation asking what I could do – they asked me if I’d seen the queen marking on her back – I said no, that I thought I had gotten an unmarked queen.  They checked the list and apparently, I’d gotten a marked queen – no paint = not my queen!

Relief!  Then I checked my book, and that looks a heck of a lot like a drone bee.  Phew!  Not the queen.

I went back up to finish sweeping and then sat down to watch them for a bit and I took a video thinking that I’d like to watch it more closely inside.

It’s hard to see – it turns out that youtube likes it better when I video sideways.  I’ll probably make another video soon, but the key part about this one is that on watching it, I noticed that one of the girls (center left and she doesn’t really go anywhere, so you can sort of see it) is Nasonov fanning!  Head down, ass up – fanning her wings like mad!

Super blurry, very cropped video still - the posture is unmistakable.

This is exciting news!  I’m pretty sure this means that they’re queenright!  Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m choosing to be excited about this.

Now if they will please start building into the correct box and not onto the bottom of the dang feeder, so I can really see what’s going on, that would be great.

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