Friday, July 27, 2007


Well, my normally gentle bees have become much more aggressive since the nectar flow has ended. I inspected the hive last Saturday and I got stung twice. Unlike the first time I was stung, these two times hurt. In defense of my bees, I had let the feeder jar run out a few days prior to the inspection, so it makes sense that they would have been a bit more defensive of their honey stores. Also, there are so many bees that it is difficult to move your hands without disturbing at least a few of them.

Other than the defensive behavior, all is well. There is plenty of eggs, larvae, brood and honey. I would love to post some pics, but my official bee photographer has been slow in transferring the pics from her computer to mine (hint).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Home is where the honey is...

From the Examiner:

LILLY, Pa. - Matthew Danchanko has squatters in his new home. And they won't leave without a fight. They're honeybees - tens of thousands of them. They buzz through the four-bedroom house, creating a low hum and an estimated 100 pounds of honey.

Danchanko recently bought the house northeast of Johnstown, Pa. He planned to fix it up and move in. But shortly after he began renovating, the long-time residents of the house made it abundantly clear they had no intention of leaving.

Danchanko won't exterminate the unwanted guests because the honeybee population has significantly deteriorated this summer. Instead, he has found a local beekeeper who will remove the buzzing brood.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hot Summer Nights…

You know the dog days of summer are here when the bees are bearding on the front porch of the hive in droves. Look at that beard!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Leggo my eggo

Saturday was inspection day, and I went through both the upper and lower brood chamber. The bees are really doing well. The frames closest to the walls of the hive are heavy with honey, and the remaining frames are filled with more honey, eggs, larvae, capped brood and pollen. I removed the drone frame and replaced it with a new undrawn drone frame. I am happy to report that no mites were found in the capped drone cells, but I am saddened that all those capped drones are now in my freezer. I think my sugar dusting have been so successful in preventing the mites that there are not many even in the drone cells. Lesson learned: from now on, I’ll uncap a sample of 30 or so drone cells before I decide to freeze the frame. If I don’t find any mites, the frame goes back in the hive, not the freezer. I can’t believe how gentle these bees are. I was shaking them wildly off the drone frame when I removed it, and I did not get stung at all.

My favorite pic from the inspection is below. The little white things at the bottom of the cells (they look like grains of rice standing on end) are eggs. How they become chickens I’ll never know. Oh, wait a minute…

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Let me out!

Here is a video of some drones hatching from the cells of the green drone frame. Ordinarily, there would be hundreds or thousands of worker bees covering this frame, but this shot was taken after I shook off the worker bees that were tending to the drone brood on the frame. The empty cells are from drones that already hatched. Luckily, I did not find any mites in any of the drone cells. I guess that means my powdered sugar treatments are working to prevent the mites.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

I have noticed that for the past couple of days, my bees have been bringing in bright yellow pollen like there is no tomorrow. I have racking my brain trying to find the source, and I happened to look at some blooming pumpkins in the garden. The bees were on the pumpkin blooms like white on rice.

To the right of the below pic you can see a working hauling in some pumpkin pollen:

Here are some bees on a pumpkin bloom:

They like cucumbers too:

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Advice from Beekeepers

I don’t even know what to say about this. So I won’t even try.