Sunday, May 31, 2009

Necar flow drawing to a close

The main nectar flow in my area is just about over for the year. I had a pretty good year, as I have at least 3 medium supers full of honey and I captured a swarm from one of my hives which is doing great. The second swarm that I captured appears to have absconded.

My Carniolans have done especially well this year. I have two full supers of honey from that hive and added a third super of foundation which they are drawing out. That hive is on a scale and I take daily weight measurements. One day they gained 17 pounds! That is quite a lot of nectar. They have had lots of other days in which they gained more than 10 pounds. During the month of May, they gained about 100 pounds (that 100 pounds is adjusted to account for the weight of stuff that I added like the super bodies, frames, etc., so it represents only the weight of what the bees have collected from flowers). They did not swarm and have worked hard all spring.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another swarm!

My Italians swarmed again. In fact, they threw off two swarms at the exact same time, and I was fortunate enough to witness the entire thing. In fact, I was able to capture one of the swarms, but the other was much too high up in a tree.

Below are some pics of me capturing one of the swarms. I am fresh out of spare hives to put any more bees in, although I do have an order from BetterBee for two more hive bodies and plastic frames that shipped the same day I got this swarm.

Hopefully this swarm will not get too restless in a cardboard nuc box, which is their home for now.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Swarm is queenright!

I inspected the swarm that I captured earlier this week, and I located the queen. She is not marked, which surprised me because I thought she would be this queen. She is laying lots of eggs already (some can be seen in the photo of the queen below), and I am sure this is going to be a great hive.

The swarm is not drawing out the plastic frames at all. However, these particular plastic frames are not coated with beeswax which makes a big difference in how well the bees will draw comb on them. The reason there is drawn comb in this photo is because I put some frames in with my swarm that were already drawn. Today, I added three wooden frames with beeswax foundation. I'll be curious to see how quickly those get drawn out.

Monday, May 11, 2009


As I was afraid of, my Italians swarmed today. The good news is that I was able to capture the swarm and hive it. I don't have any pictures of the swarm, which is kind of lame, but it was a large one. Since my hives are scales and I take note of the weights everyday, I do know that my Italians dropped 6 pounds since yesterday. Most or all of that was attributable to the swarm.

The swarm landed on the ground which kind of surprised me. I basically started scooping them up and putting them in the box. I had some drawn comb in the box which they seemed to like. I didn't see the queen, which I know is marked. I'll do an inspection this weekend and figure out what's up with the queen.