Honeychick Homestead

Homestead, Health, and Happiness

New Bees, More Fun!

3 Comments

Busy, busy busy, summer and it’s outdoor and social busyness has arrived! The fruit is ripening and preserving will soon be in full swing. I’d like to get some late summer veggies planted for my garden. Cute baby chicks are still on the to do list, but they likely won’t arrive until fall. My awesome husband has the coop built, so they have a home when I’m ready. I have more recipes to share, and I hope get them written soon. Oh, and I have those beautiful bees to keep an eye on 🙂

For now, you’re just going to have to “bee” happy with this post about my bees! I’ve decided to name my hives to help keep track of everything. The name for the first hive from the bee package will be Verbena, and the queen, “Lorde” lives there. The name for the second hive from the nuc will be Cosmos, and the queen “Beeyonce” lives there.

Here’s pictures of what happened the last couple weeks.

These photos were taken on June 15th, the day I picked up the nuc. Since it was Father’s Day I didn’t have time to do a complete hive check. My goal was to check Verbena to see if they’d eaten all their food, and open the nuc.

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First order of business, check on Verbena hive. Here I am opening the top.

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That’s an empty 2 quart mason jar, it was there for a week. Think those bees were hungry?!?

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My husband wanted to make Verbena’s hive stand more stable. We temporarily transferred the hive another stand, right next to their current stand. It’s not recommend to move a hive more than a few feet, otherwise the bees can have a difficult time locating it. Here’s what was under the hive. Lots of sugar crystals, and the yellow stuff is pollen.

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The bee in the lower, right corner has a full pollen basket on it’s hind leg. The other bees were busy cleaning up the pollen.

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More bees with pollen baskets. Click on the picture to get a better view.

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Here’s the nuc, ready to be opened. We let them settle for 30 minutes after pick up before attempting to open it.

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Here I am “unwrapping” the nuc, it was kind of like Christmas! Except my Christmas gifts don’t require I wear protective gear when opening them 🙂

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This piece of tape is covering the entrance, once opened I expected lots of bees to fly out.

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This is all that happened, fairly uneventful!

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I took time to check out the bee pond too, there was lots of activity.

Watching them drink, I was surprised at how much time they spent there. Here’s some interesting facts I found about bees and water collection.

  • Time for a bee to load up, one minute.
  • Normal time for the water run – three minutes or less (67%), 10 minutes or less (92%)
  • Rest period between trips – two to three minutes
  • Water trips per day – 50 (100 max)
  • One quart of water will take 800 bees working all day
  • Daily water use per colony – around ½ pint – 2½ pints

The next pictures are of the brief hive check of Cosmo hive that was started from the nuc. I unexpectedly had to transfer the frames from the nuc to the hive the day before. June 19th was an extremely hot day, and the nuc box doesn’t get much airflow. Around 2:00 there were a lot of bees hanging around near the entrance. I monitored things for a couple hours, and more bees started to pile up near the entrance and top. If a hive gets overheated, the bees will leave and swarm, and I didn’t want that to happen! At 4:00 I quickly got geared up, and did the transfer all by myself! My only goal was to get the nuc frames into the new hive, and leave them alone. Thankfully everything went well, I didn’t drop any of the heavy nuc frames, and by the evening all the bees had settled into their bigger home. Here’s pictures from the hive check I did the next day. My goal for this hive check was to correct the frame spacing, look for Beeyonce, and look at the brood.

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I’m trying to lift out this very heavy frame. These frame have more brood and bees that my other hive. The weight difference is HUGE!

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Here’s a full frame of capped brood. The patten is exactly what you want to see, it has very few uncapped cells.

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For comparison, here’s a frame from Verbena hive. Notice the difference in the amount of bees and brood ? There is less capped brood because they are waiting for the queen to lay eggs, then they cap it, and let the new bees develop.

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Another frame with nice looking capped brood.

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Here I am slowly replacing the frame. It was a completely new experience because it had so many more bees and brood. I had to move much slower when moving the frames, to avoid smashing bees.

Unfortunately, we didn’t see Beeyonce, and I’m not sure if she is marked like Lorde. During my next hive check I’ll look for her again. It’s a lot harder to spot the queen with that many bees on the frame! I’m now officially a keeper of two hives, WHOO HOO!


 

Author: Jen @ Honeychick Homestead

Honeychick Homestead is about more than urban homesteading. Here you'll find a mix of diverse topics, about health, real food, Lyme Disease, and my newest adventure, urban homesteading!

3 thoughts on “New Bees, More Fun!

  1. Great pictures……I love your hive names and the new Queen bee’s name!!

  2. Love the names! Yea!

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