Friday, July 1, 2016

Hive Inspection June 29

It was a nice cool 80ish degrees out and the bees were super calm.

There was a ton of honey in the middle super, we left the bottom on alone again.

They are still all over the top medium super but not building anything.  Maybe the nectar flow is a little low right now and they are just not ready to start filling the top.  The queen is still laying tons of brood so, we'll see when there are more bees.


Friday, June 17, 2016

Hive Inspection 15 June 2016

I had been pacing the floor waiting for bee day since Monday.  I couldn't wait to see what they have done with the medium super that I added to the hive last week.

It was soooo humid, by the time I had gotten my gear on I was already sweating balls.
We opened the hive and started pulling frames to inspect on the top deep.  Every frame was at least 95% full.  Heavy capped and uncapped honey on one side and half honey half brood on the other for the most part.  Awesome!  Bees everywhere!

so many bees and no comb
We replaced all of the frames and pulled that super off to get at the week old medium super.  Pulled out the first three frames to inspect.  I good amount of bees running around on each frame.  No wax, no brood, no honey nada.  When we got to the 9th frame there was about a silver dollar sized area of wax.  I was so disappointed, as fast as they had been moving on the previous addition I just new I was going to have at least a few frames of honey.

We proceeded on to the bottom deep which contains the 5 frames that came with the nuc and they are all covered completely with capped and uncapped brood and capped and uncapped honey and pollen and just saturated with bees.

Hopefully they will get to the medium this week. I have high hopes because there seems to be a huge amount of brood on the deep frames, more so than there was last week.

I did notice a small patch of what I assume to be drone comb, the cells are a bit larger than usual but open, not like the queen cells that have been popping up on one of two frames and then disappearing.


big ugly comb from second deep
We moved the new medium to the top and I guess we'll see what happens this week.

Go be you, unless you can be a beekeeper, then definitely be a beekeeper.

Sherry

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Recovery Week

This year I have come to terms with who I am a little bit.  After years of failing to finish the Beach Body programs that I so dearly love; I've come to the realization that it's not just the physical part of me saying I don't want to do it to day.  It's my brain as well.  I get a little bored, then I end up taking two weeks off because I'm currently tired of a program, but I haven't finished it so I feel I can't start anything else until I finish it.  OCD becomes an excuse.

The solution?  Two programs at a time.  No, not a hybrid although those are coming.  Nope I run two concurrent programs.  I work program one for 3 weeks, then I do a recovery week of program two.  This helps me to restore from the neck down by working out in a different way, and restore from the neck up by alleviating boredom before it gives me and excuse to stop.

Currently, I am halfway through a 60 day run of Zumba on the Wii (don't laugh, it works) and two weeks into PiYo.  I beat up my joints and burn fat and sweat it out on Zumba for 3 weeks then restore and work on flexibility and strength for a week with PiYo.  When I finish day 60 of Zumba, then PiYo will become my program one and I'll work it for 3 weeks at a time and ChaLean Extreme will be my brain recovery as I spend a week building some muscle.

It sounds convoluted but it's making more consistent and making my physical activity a bit better rounded.

I suppose only time will tell.  But I am feeling quite a bit better the last couple of weeks and I don't talk myself out of my workouts quite as often.

So, there's the non-bee related fitness catch up.

Go be you, who else is gonna do it?

Sherry




Monday, June 13, 2016

June 8th Inspection My Girls have leveled up

I waited a week to put on the extra super, so they gave
 me a little warning cell. LOL
Weekly inspection time, I get a little behind on my record keeping.
The girls had only partially filled in about 5 frames on their second deep last week so I left them as they were.  This week they have, again, surpassed my expectations.
I really have to stop right here and give a shout out to Kelley Bees for selling me just a fantastic nuc.  These girls have been mild tempered and productive from day one.  Yeah, I've been stung 3 times so far, but each one has been through my own error or lack of attention.  
My girls tend to make some wavy comb at times, but it's a nice creamy delicious color and they fill it out and up with a quickness.

I only found two of these empty queen cells, I've read that sometimes they make these for practice and they don't actually attempt to grow a new queen in them.  I'm hoping that's true.  Time will tell I suppose.  I'm new at this so I'm learning as I go.

You really must pardon me, but last week I didn't take many pictures and I find that going through a whole week without new pictures of my hive to ponder makes me sad and lonely.  LOL

Everything going as planned, capped brood and some larvae on the inside, honey around the outside.























This frame looks a bit spotty, but most of the uncapped chambers have larvae in them, so I'm not worried, my queen was only about 4 weeks old when I got the nuc.  

I love this picture.  When I'm all suited up with nothing by my phone for record keeping, I don't get many detailed picture.  Hopefully I'll get better as I go.

The girls have officially leveled up.  Their first medium frame (yellow) has been added.  I put it in the middle instead of on top because that seems to be the best way to get them working a super fast.  I'm a newbee, we shall see on Wednesday how that works out.  If it worked I'll move that super to the top Wednesday and add either a queen excluder or another medium depending on how industrious they have been the following week.
Seriously though, go be you, unless you can be a beekeeper, then definitely go be a beekeeper.

Sherry

Sunday, June 12, 2016

June 1st Inspection

didn't take many pictures this time around, but I like this one
The bees keep tromping on.
The girls have filled 5 out of the ten frames on their new deep super.  So from April 23rd they have multiplied and filled a deep and a half.  I can't believe how strong this nuc is.  Totally, digging my first hive.

I did however learn a very important lesson.  If you drop your cell phone on your bees, the vengeance is swift and violent.  So, don't do that.  Got tagged on the finger and the left leg.  So my sting score is up to 3 in my firs two months as a beekeeper.  What doesn't kill ya, right?

But still....


Go be you, unless you can be a beekeeper, then definitely go be a beekeeper.

Sherry


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bee Wednesday (last week's inspection)

Got out to the hive last Wednesday and for once it wasn't raining or blistering hot.

The ladies are multiplying their little hearts out.  
 This is what it looked like when we took the top off for inspection.
We had a few cells that could be swarm or supercedure cells, but from what I've read there is hopefully no reason to sweat that just yet.

new super
They have started working on the seventh frame out of the ten in the box, so I have added another super.  Hopefully, nobody at the property will second guess me and take it off, cause that will piss me off.

...And yes I was humming the theme from the Jeffersons when I put the new super on.

Until next time,
Go be you, unless you can be a beekeeper, then definitely go be a beekeeper.

Sherry


Friday, May 13, 2016

Bee Day and I think I may have found my queen

Out for another inspection on Wednesday.  For once it wasn't raining and chilly.  In fact I was sweating buckets.  Going to have to find one of those 70's style sweat bands for under my bee helmet.
My colony is still multiplying like crazy, in fact if they keep going at present speed I'll have to put on another super in another 2 or 3 weeks.

I still haven't spotted my queen, but there are new eggs and larvae every week so I'm not worried.

I'm really bad at taking pictures while I'm all bee geared up, but here's a look down inside between the frames. 



This is a look at the comb that I didn't scrape off the bottom of the frame last week because it was so chilly and I wanted to get them closed up.  This can be real problem if you let it go for several weeks.  They'll start building comb everywhere and sticking every thing together.  Clean that stuff off the outside of the frames as often as possible.
holy crap, after writing this entry, I just realized that my queen is in the bottom left corner of this picture.
Girls are finally starting to build on the new foundation instead of just on their original nuc frames.  This was a happy moment for me to find this.  I wasn't sure how long they were going to continue avoiding the new foundation.  This makes frame number six that they are working on, once they fill in the seventh I'll add another deep super for them to continue building up their numbers.   
So far, I think I purchased a really great nuc and they are thriving nicely, I'm seeing more honey around the edges, which means they are foraging and feeding themselves and their new members.  I also noticed a distinct absence of hive beetles this week, I saw two last week but because of the weather didn't have a chance to get rid of them.  I think my girls took care of that on their own.  \

Until next week, go be you, unless you can be a beekeeper, then definitely go be a beekeeper.

Sherry
Zach feels that I should be working on his blanket, so I'll be back later.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Wednesday is Bee Day

The only time we have to get out to the hive is Wednesday evenings, so of course the weather was off and on crappy.

Got a quick peek and then closed them up because it was getting chilly.  I think they have doubled again in population.  Still haven't seen the queen but she is obviously working her little elongated butt off.

Lot's of capped brood, caught a glimpse of some larvae which was pretty cool.  They are actually starting to put out some honey as well, which I did not notice last time.  Pretty darn awesome.

We neglected to get pictures this time because the weather was getting chilly.  Hopefully next Wednesday will be a little better.

Go be you, unless you can be a beekeeper, then definitely be a beekeeper

Sherry

Friday, April 29, 2016

1st Hive inspection

Yesterday was my first Wednesday evening hive inspection.

I am absolutely thrilled with my hives progress.  There are close to twice as many bees in that hive as there were Saturday.  They are furiously populating.

They have gone from filling 2 and a half of the frames that came in the nuc to almost filling all five.  They've even starting paying a little attention to the new frames in the hive.

I didn't do much on the inspection because we were dodging rain showers all day and I didn't want to have them open while it was raining.

I scraped off some extra wax that they were putting in places I didn't want and I didn't know what to do with it, so I stuck it to some of the outside frames to encourage them to go to those.  I don't know if that's right, but I figure, why not.  I dropped a piece in the bottom of the hive and a bee tried to drag it away, so I figure they are attached to it.

I don't know what I'm looking at yet, but there were know beetles, I didn't see any mites and there was a thick coating of bees and capped brood on 4 solid frames.  All that in 4 days, I'm pretty pleased.

I did get stung and of course I came home to an empty box of benadryl.  It was going to happen sooner or later, might as well get it over with.  She got me right through my jeans.  Poor thing got herself caught between my jacket and my pants.  Itches, but even if it is an allergic reaction, it seems to be a mild one.

April 27th  so many more bees, and they've grown it seems

 Go be you, unless you can be a beekeeper, then definitely go be a beekkeeper,
Sherry

PS:
sometimes they like to pretend they're still strays living out of a box.
 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I am officially a beekeeper

So we got up at 6AM, yeah 6AM...fine I got up at 6:10...whatever, to down to Kelley Bees and pick up my nuc.  I was a little bummed when we picked up our egg an cheese biscuits at the gas station on the way out of town that the bourbon cream doughnuts were already sold out, but OK fine, first world problems.

We arrived around 7:15 Leitchfield time (no idea how to spell that) and had a quick walk through the store.  Yes, I got a tee-shirt.  There was no way I wasn't getting a t-shirt.  I'm a first time beekeeper, nobody calls the new mom out when her 2 month old has more selfies than a Kardashian, and I've got about 20,000 new babies.

Not gonna lie.  Got a little giddy when we rolled up in the parking lot.


mini beehive, in my car



 So, it was suggested that we get the little net sack to put over the nuc since we have an enclosed car and not a truck.  We'll save it for next year, but not one escaped the nuc on the way.
nuc frames installed in their new super
 The instructions said to let them fly around for a day and calm down before we let put them in the hive, but I had to get to work and wouldn't be off until 9, then there was a half hour drive back over there during Thunder Over Louisville, so yeah, we may have jumped the gun a little.
this is me (the Beekeeper) inspecting one fairly impressively filled frame

 
 Yeah, I claimed I wasn't looking for the queen, but I was kind of hoping.  All in all I'm really pleased with this nuc.  After watching a few videos last night I was preparing myself for disappointment, but I love my girls.  They are sweet and docile and with the exception of one pissy little drone they are all calm as pie.  

Couldn't have asked for a better day to drop them.  Slightly overcast and not too chilly and very little wind.  

The man whose property they are on has been giving me reports about every 3 hours on how they are doing.  He's pretty much as excited as we are.

We also have a resident OG (Old Guy) who has been a beekeeper for about a half a century, he took a look at them while I was at work and found my Queen.  He says she's about 4 weeks old and he was pretty impressed with the nuc as well, so I'm feeling good about my humble beekeeping beginning.

Go be you, unless you can be a beekeeper, then definitely be a beekeeper.

Sherry

PS: can't leave without a gratuitous Zach picture.
gratuitous Zach picture