Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 27 Inspection

Nectar Tubes (proboscis)
I caught these two sister bees cleaning up some of the spilled honey during our inspection today. If you look at the larger image, you can see the complex mouth parts and the nectar tubes (proboscis).

Minnesota Queen
We caught a glimpse of the new Minnesota queen today. She seemed to be getting settled into the new hive and apparently everything went well with her release from the marshmallow plugged cage. We didn't see any eggs today, as hard as we looked, but she was moving around the hive with a busy determination.

Baby-Bee #1
While looking at the hive that overwintered, we caught this new baby bee just emerging from the cell. Most of the cells on this frame had already opened, but a few more were just starting.

Baby-Bee #2
This is the baby bee just as she fully emerged from the cell. This frame was from the middle box, which had been switched with the lower box previously.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Minnesota Hygienics

It was a great spring day and perfect for installing new bees. Becky picked up her new Minnesota Hygienics yesterday and after they spent the night in the sunroom, she installed them today.

The camera battery gave out on me before I finished filming the entire process, but the portion the video shows is the processing of the new Queen. Here are a few more pictures showing the new bees and a close-up of the package that contains about 10,000 bees and the small queen-cage. The hive shot shows this hive was installed in the original hive, using one deep frame.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

April 13th Inspection

It was a warm sunny spring day today in the mid-60s, so I did another inspection to see how my bees were doing. Even with what seems like a late and terribly dry spring, we now have dandelions and daffodils blooming and a few hyacinths remain. There are a few wild flowers also blooming and we've seen the forsythia blooming nearby. No tulips yet and no fruit blossoms yet.

The pollen patty that's been out there for six weeks now has hardly been touched. After conferring with Becky on this, we decided to remove it, apparently they now have enough pollen. The upper box still was quite heavy with stored honey. There were about 8 frames like this one mostly capped, but showing signs of consumption.

The bee population seemed strong, but not crowded. The middle brood box had several frames like this one with capped and uncapped brood. We didn't see the queen today, but it looks like she's been doing her job. There were also a few frames that were starting to fill with pollen and several bees legs full of pollen could be seen returning from the fields today.

We did our spring rotation today, moving the bottom brood chamber up and moving the middle one down. We left the honey stores on the top. We also removed two empty frames (from the north side) of the middle box and replaced them with two frames partly filled with nectar and honey that had been stored in the freezer since last fall.

Becky's new bees will be arriving on Friday or Saturday, so if the weather is cooperative, she should be installing them next weekend. Hopefully some of the fruit trees will be blooming just in time to greet them.