Tag Archives: video

Just when you look away…

21 Aug

I got all freaked out over being queenless at the beginning of the season, and then just when I decided I was fine – my hive actually became queenless…I think.

There’s so much about having a warre hive that I totally love, and other parts that leave me a little wanting…

So the hive – I might have killed the queen on the day I tried to take the top half-box off or when I nadired the hive….or the hive might have swarmed on a day that I wasn’t around. I’m not totally sure. I just know that at the end of June there were a lot of bees but that only one (and the half) box were full and at the end of July there were not all that many bees that I could see. In fact, I declared my hive dead at the beginning of August. It seemed like there just weren’t that many bees around and then I watched three wasps walk right in unimpeded. 😦

So I blocked the entrance way down and then left them alone – all I could do really. I talked to the guy I got my bees from and he said that there’s nothing I can do but freeze the hive to kill any possible diseases and start over in the spring.

Then I went out today and there seem like there are a lot more bees around. I can’t tell if they’re mine or if they’re robbers. There wasn’t much pollen coming in, but there is capped brood that I can see through the window. I made a video of the entrance:

 

There are bees hovering a bit, which is a robbing sign, but I’m just not sure. There are also wasps around, but none going into the hive – which is an improvement.
I can’t go out again until Friday, but on Friday I’m planning to put some damp sugar in the feeder. If they’re rebounding, I want to give them the best chance that I can.

One of my ladies in a squash flower.

Squash ripening on the vine.

Pickles I made from garden cukes – my first canning project this year!

Do I have a laying worker and no queen? Part 1 – the Question.

21 Jun

I went out to look at my hive as soon as we got back from honeymoon expecting to see some building in the lower box on the hive.  It’s been nearly 3 months and there had been some action that looked like the beginnings of a bulge down there just before we left for the wedding:

The upper left is view into the bottom box that I thought was being worked on, the rest is upper box, some honey, some capped brood (although on second look, I think that’s all drone brood)….things looking really hopeful.  This was memorial day.

Three weeks later, still no action in the bottom box and combs that look almost…empty…in the upper box….no capped brood visible, no real major honey stores, and lots and lots of drones….or to my eye lots.  I took a video of the hive entrance – toward the middle you can start to see drones being pushed out or coming out, one after another after another.

You can also see one of the girls fanning her Nasanov glands.  I wonder that they should still be doing that after 3 months, but I don’t know enough to know.

If I have a laying worker – which all this could be a symptom of – the queen didn’t take after all and a hormonal gal just started filling in for her – unfortunately she’s only built to lay drone eggs, so lots of lazy dudes, no new industrious girls and a hive that’s doomed to failure unless I can appropriately intervene…..it’s a lot of pressure.

I contacted my teacher about my fears and he wants me to suit up, smoke ’em up, and open ’em up to see what I can see from the inside of the hive.  This will be my first time opening the hive, my first time lighting the smoker, and some real inexperience on the part of me in doing all this….so obviously, I’m going to try to make a video or at least take a bunch of pictures.   I’m not going to be able to get out there to do it until Saturday, so Part 2 will have to wait until then.

As far as I can tell, though, the best inervention method for this situation …if it is a situation… might mean getting a little creative.  I don’t have another hive from which I can “borrow” capped brood and some open eggs – which I’d need…and in a frameless hive, it’s not like I can stick in a lang frame with which to repair this – they won’t fit in my box – not so plug and play over here in warre land!  I think I’ll have to find someone willing to give or sell me some chunks of comb with brood on them and then attach them to the top bars in my warre box with a little creativity and some floral wire and hope that the bees accept them and then rear themselves a new queen.  If this sounds crazy to you….well…it is.

The one positive thing I can say from what I’ve observed is that they had a big Flight School day the other day -aka orientation flights.  I was out in the yard with the dogs and all of the sudden the hive got LOUD and when I looked up there were a TON of bees just flitting about around the hive.  Eventually they settled down and all went back in.  I thought they were swarming or worse! absconding! but I watched as they stayed quite close to the hive and did the characteristic circling motions and then seemed to all return to the hive – no dark beeline in the sky – just a happy little flying lesson.

Pollen = Brood!

10 Apr

It’s a little nerve wrackng not to be able to see into the box the girls are building into, but today there was a TON of pollen going in and pollen generally speaking means brood rearing, which is what I’m counting on!  Also almost all of the dead bees are off the bottom of the hive which is a good sign too.  I made a video of the activity around the hive this afternoon.  Lots of pollen going in and a few of their dead coming out.  Seems like a happy, healthy bunch….or at least I hope so!

I also baited my other hive with LGO today.  Fingers crossed on that one!

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.

Package Bee Install – Warre Hive

3 Apr

I got my bees today!  I went up to North East Bee Supply and picked up my girls from Rick.

Safety first!

I think they were pooping out the bars all over my car seat…weird.  They also got REALLY angry sounding and loud in the tunnel – I’ll bet the pressure threw them off- they calmed down again when we got beyond it.  I brought them home, took them out on the roof, grabbed my tools and then…

I installed them into the hive!  I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I’d be – in fact it was pretty exciting, and I’d love to do it again – unless it meant my bees were dead, then I wouldn’t like it.  I made a video with the help of my neighbor, Ashley.  It gets a little silly and motion-sick-y toward the end, but it’s 9 minutes of good, clean bee install.

I made one major mistake – I took the cork out of the wrong end of the queen cage – which either means she is dead right now or it’s fine.  They seemed to be really interested in her and had even started building comb on the outside of the queen cage near her – which to me means they’re strong and active and into it (I can’t find any reference online to bees building comb in the package anywhere!) – but I’m a newbie, so I could be wrong.  I emailed the guy I got them from (Rick) and my teacher (Mel) to see if they had any thoughts or advice – I’ll go out there tomorrow and see what I can see through the windows.

Also, another friend who was over today informed me that her mother wants us to call it Sweet Honey in the Rox (our neighborhood : Roxbury).  Popular opinion on this is yes…so maybe that’s what our jars will eventually say…and maybe I’ll change my blog title.

When I told everyone that we probably wouldn’t have honey until next Spring they were pretty dismayed and are all doing mondo nectar flow dances.  I told them if we had 4 full boxes, I’d take one off – meaning honey in September – but we’ll see.

The Vermont Sail Freight Project

A Sailing Cargo Initiative Connecting the Farms and Forests of Vermont with the Lower Hudson Valley

Borrowed Stilts

Let's not fail everything, shall we?

Sweet Honey in the Rox

Home in the City, Heart in Vermont - trying to find a wild medium.

mistress beek

Urban beekeeping

The Curious Quilter

Curiosity breeds creativity. What are you curious about?

New Urban Habitat

Simple. Healthy. Sustainable.

EverydayOrdinary

Afterthoughts...