honey!

 
 
I can’t quite believe it. I collected honey from my own hives! It’s a cool feeling. Yesterday I opened my white hive, the healthier of my two. it has two deep boxes and one super. I checked the deeps and they are full, with the exception of the far half of one outside frame. I didn’t pull out frames, just checked from the top. They are also full of lots of bees. It seems the bees have settled down – much less aggressive than they were in the heat of…
 

inspected!

 
 
I called the Middlesex bee inspector last week and told him I was a new beekeeper in the area. He was very quick to come by and inspect my hives. And it was exciting for me to have an expert take a look. The bottom line: I passed! Yeah. He said my hives look super. We started first at the far side of the yard, looking over at the hives. He said they are in a good location with lots of morning sun, maybe a bit shady in the afternoon.…
 

who’s laying – hive-produced queen or workers???

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I spent some time inspecting my green hive yesterday. I took a bunch of pictures. Wish I could say I figured out the answer. But I didn’t. I am tending to  think that things look OK – like a queen is laying and not workers. But I could use advice (help!). Review: 4.5 weeks ago, my brood pattern looked fine, but capped queen cells made it look like a supercedure was in progress.Then, at my next inspection, 10 days ago, there were no larvae and no capped brood. I looked…
 

queen check – someone’s already laying ….

 
 
Today I checked on the queen I installed 5 days ago. Oops! I was surprised to find the frames full of larvae and capped brood. Since it takes at least 9 days to develop capped brood, it couldn’t have been the new queen that I introduced who laid these eggs. Two options, I suppose. Maybe one of the queens that the hive made (I saw many capped queen cells several weeks ago – evidentially a supercedure) mated and returned to lay. Or, maybe workers laid the eggs. I don’t know…
 

the new queen is installed

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I was worried about working with my bees today but ended up having fun. I just have trouble with that darned smoker. Need to learn how to get it going for more than a minute. I worked with it 15 minutes before I went down to the hive. Still, at the hive it would go for a minute then go out. But as long as I moved away from the hive, tended the smoker when it went out, the bees were good. No rushing, just keep at it, sweat dripping.…
 

i’ve reserved a new queen

 
 
I’ll drive up to Tyngsboro to New England Bees this afternoon and pick her up. In July, they have native queens bred from their survivor stock. I’ll get some advice on installing her and keeping the hive healthy, too.
 

no queen!

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I checked my hives today. 3 weeks since I last looked inside. I didn’t do a complete check because its 95F and 12 noon. I think not the best time to check. Both hives were incredibly active.   White hive: LOTS of bees. OMG! I didn’t open the boxes, just looked at the honey super. It has four nice frames on honey. I need to look up when to put on the second super.   Green hive: These bees were really vicious. I checked 2 frames in each box. No…
 

my first bee sting

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I got stung by one of my bees last Saturday. Ouch. It really hurt. It made me hurry to finish the hive inspection. The bee stung me on my ankle through a thin sock. I tuck my pants into my socks because I once had bees trying to climb up my leg. (That was when I installed my packages on a cold rainy day this spring. The bees were all over me then, but not up to stinging – fortunately for me.) My ankle hurt quite bad for a day,…
 

honey bee flowers

 
 
Today my sister helped me fill and plant flowers in four big “honey bee pots” in my vegetable garden. These fit at the end of the rows between my raised beds. I want to attract my bees to my garden to pollinate the vegetables. So I selected flowers at the nursery that had honey bees on them. I enjoyed walking through the nursery and noticing how different flowers attract different bees. The honey bee pots I ended up with are not a mix of flowers I would have selected otherwise.…
 

watching the bees after a rainy day

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It rained all day yesterday. My garden gauge registered just over an inch. I suppose the bees hung out in their crowded hives all day as well as the nights. And today, it was sort of cloudy and still seemed damp. I’ve read that a sunny day after rain is when bees will swarm, so I was watching as I worked in the garden. But they are still all at home. No swarms. My sister is visiting and she asked me how can you stop bees from out growing a…
 
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