Monday, July 12, 2010


here's a picture of the blondies.... some bee providers are trying to BREED this trait and offer them for sale. it's just a recessive color trait - they're ITALIANS at heart. i haven't seen this queen yet...but supposedly that's one ADVANTAGE of this bee...the queen has a big yellow abdomen and she's EASY to spot!

i'm really happy with the resulting COMBINATION of this swarm with the queenless hive. i checked them this weekend and ALL IS WELL.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Build a Bee Vac

aren't you just WISHING you had a Bee Vac? #1 on your Christmas list this year? when you're browsing the internet next for: BEE VAC

there are some INGENIOUS plans out there for do-it-yourselfers! sounds like a great winter project. i see some real creativity...home-made boxes, coleman coolers, styrofoam coolers....

here's a link to wet your whistle.

some of our friend-bloggers on the sidebar are showing-off their versions and it looks like they're having GREAT FUN - SUCKING BEES OUT OF UNIQUE PLACES!


what are the bees TELLING YOU - before you even crack open the box?

superscedure - the replacement of your queen - without the SWARM/splitting....i think i just ran across an article in one of the bee periodicals regarding such. it seemed to indicate that hives that supersceded queens in the late-summer/fall - had better overwintering survivability.

saturday - i checked all 8 hives. beyond the other "issues" going on in the hive stood out....

IN ATTITUDE! i quietly pulled off the top cover....and as soon as i made the SLIGHTEST little "cracking" sound of the inner cover....BUTTS UP AND STINGERS OUT! without flying in my face...they're body language was telling me to GO AWAY! i asked them - "what are you so defensive about?" my guess was that they're cooking-up a new queen....

i was just asked this question,,,

question: I didn't think that bees would hang around if there was no queen. Guess i was wrong. What happened to your queens?

my answer and thoughts...

i think if it's a NEW hive (like a newly installed package or swarm - say in the case of a new package - the queen arrives dead and it takes too long to get a new one)...they'll move on - maybe get "absorbed" into other hives? but seemingly when they go queenless mid-summer like this - there's not much they can do but STORE in-excess. as a beekeeper - i can't really BUY a queen at this late stage (nor would they have time for population buildup for winter anyway)

as to what happened?...they probably went queenless in the "swarming". when a hive SWARMS - it's splitting the population aka "go forth and multiply". the swarm leaves with the OLD QUEEN (old reliable) ...meanwhile the hive has VIRGIN QUEENS either hatched or about to hatch. that VIRGIN QUEEN still needs to be MATED to lay eggs.....and it's precarious - she may fly out and not make it back for some reason (eaten by a bird, taken out by machinery or car)....or she might make it back and accidentally go into the wrong hive which would mean her death.

as a beekeeper i've tried (in the past) to give a mid-summer queenless hive a couple frames of EGGS from another hive (they have to have a 3 day or less old egg to MAKE THEIR OWN QUEEN) and? they JUST DON''s almost like they've forgetten how....(maybe they sense the lack of time?) sometimes this lack of a queen can "stimulate" a WORKER to lay eggs...which of course are INFERTILE....leading the hive to become full of DRONE (male bees - layed from infertile eggs)

- the best thing to do is to probably combine remaining populations with another hive for winter.....