Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bee that as it may

As said today was the second day of operation "Bee home". We were going to move the bees at our place. Now there were some differences when compared to the operation yesterday. For one the bees were lighter and seemed smaller. Another one was that the bees turned out not to be as friendly as their dark hued cousins yesterday. Not overly aggressive, but quite a bit more defensive. Yet still easily within the limits of the acceptable and once we had done our thing at the hive, they very quickly calmed down and went back to business. A third difference was their numbers. This hive had much less occupants than the one before. In total maybe up to 60%, but that is a rough estimate. Three of the frames were unused and on one of these the bees had only just begun to build cells. On the other combs there was not all that much brood or pollen, but quite a bit of honey.
We also noticed that the bees had built 2 very large cells, which had hatched. A new queen?? There were also more places where the bees had gone wild building; large extensions on the combs, both in depth and around the frames. They had had too much room apparently.
Needless to say that today's operation went faster, both due to less work and knowing what and how to do it. We decided to feed this population the recommended 1:1 ratio sugar water just to give them a boost. Our hive now houses 7 top bars + 2 empty ones. I will keep a close look on their development, hoping they will bring in more pollen.
We had a good scare as well. When we were more than halfway through the frames we discovered a large dead bee at the bottom of the box... Oh dear, not the queen?? However on the next frame my wife, once again, spotted a very large bee and the dead bee turned out to be a drone, judging by the relatively short abdomen and the large eyes.... Other then that we pretty much followed the same routine as before. This time our oldest daughter had the camera, yet she didn't dare come near. We once again saw bees hatching and the wax in this population was much darker and tougher.
So we are keeping our fingers crossed.

As you can see, a lot less bees....
Yesterday's box was filled to the brim.

1 comment:

  1. I love your new venture. It seems you are doing very well with it indeed!