Sunday, June 8, 2014

Added two more hives to my apiary

This spring I added 2 more hives.  One was from a 3 lb package of bees from Mann Lake.  The other was from a divide of one of the hives I over wintered.  When a hive survives the winter the population in the hive grows quickly once the weather gets better.  Right about the time the apple blossoms bloom you want to divide the hive into two hives.  We checked for at lest 10 frames of brood in the overwintered hive and then figured out where  queen was.  We took half the frames and put them in a new hive and left the other frames and the queen in the old hive.  Then I left them for a day.  The foraging bees fly out of the new hive and go back to their original hive.  This is good because those are the bees that might not like a new queen and might kill her.  After waiting the day I added a new marked queen that my dad picked up from Nature's Nectar in Stillwater.  After 5 days we came back to see if they had released her and they did.  We waited another week to check for eggs and there were eggs and small larvae and that is how you know she was accepted.

Now that I have 4 hives it is getting hard to tell what hive is what.  I decided to number the hives from 1 to 4. Hive 1 is the hive closest to the house and is my first hive.  Hive 2 is the next closest, then hive 3, and hive 4.

Hive 2 over-wintered ok.  That was my best hive last year.  When I checked the hive later this spring, it wasn't doing very good.  The queen was still there but the brood pattern was spotty.  I think the queen is failing.  There are only about 2 frames of bees in this hive and I don't think it will be enough for them to make it.  If they die off maybe I can catch a swarm.

The package of bees is doing well.  Here is a link to a YouTube video of the package of bees when I picked them up: http://youtu.be/1oePN8l9RTw