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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Live Hive

The frame of honey below is one of four frames of honey left in the dead hive's medium brood box. The Beemaster folks said I should move those frames to the Bermuda hive and let the bees there use it for stores. I haven't done it yet, but will.

Here are the bees in Bermuda - not a particularly thriving bunch - but they are alive and are beginning to raise brood. We've had strange weather in Atlanta. In February we've had a week of 30s at night and high 60s in the day, followed by a week of 20s at night followed by 40 - 50 degree days. The last two weeks have been in the 30s above freezing at night and in the high 60s/low 70s in the day. I think the bees have had a hard time because of the confusing weather
The bees in Bermuda are making brood. The pattern below is a little spotty, but there are larvae (see the cells with white shiny C shapes in them?) and they are bringing in pollen. Look at the red pollen cell directly below the brood circle. So action is starting for spring in this hive. I also looked really hard at the bees. I saw mostly healthy looking bees. I was disturbed to see one bee with ragged wings, meaning she probably has deformed wing syndrome, brought about by Varroa mites. Michael Bush on the Beemaster forum suggested that I do a sugar shake and a Varroa count on this hive, so that will be what I do on Friday.
(Note: If you click on the image below to enlarge it, you can see bee eggs in the empty cells. The eggs look like grains of rice - the good news is the presence of those eggs means the queen is alive and laying - HOORAY!)

There's lots of activity in this hive, so I put a Boardman feeder out to help them build up for spring. I don't want to be guilty of starving another hive. I also called the local beekeeper from whom I had already ordered a nuc for this year so I could have a third hive and ordered another nuc to replace my dead hive.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like this hive is doing well. By the way, while the ragged wing appearance is known as "Deformed Wing Syndrome", it is caused by the "Deformed Wing Virus" (DWV) carried by varroa mites. As long as your temperatures are peaking above 60 degrees, why not try ApiGuard? Sugar dusting can only do so much to reduce populations of Varroa, the thymol treatment serves to kill them quite effectively. Just a suggestion. I use it, and have been quite satisfied with it.

    Oh, and do you have any feeders other than the boardman? I REALLY don't like those. Seems every time I use them, I get a problem with ants, robbing bees, or the bees want to sting when I go to replace it.

    I'm sure they'll be fine, whichever you go with. The year is still early and, there's plenty of time to split and grow them back up in the summer.

    -Apis629 (from beemaster)

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