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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!
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Downfall of Devorah - Beekeeper Error

Yesterday I opened the "bees who found me" nuc to see what was going on. I saw the queen who had a worn yellow spot on her back. This observation told me that the downfall of Devorah was all my fault.

I looked into Devorah right before Labor Day to find that there was no evidence of a queen - there was absolutely no brood, no laying or growing bee babies, nothing. I didn't see a queen upon what I thought was careful inspection and ordered a new queen from Rossman. The new queen arrived right before Labor Day, sporting a bright red spot on her back.

My theory is that I put that queen into a hive that actually had a queen who had stopped laying because of the dearth and the drought in Georgia.

Immediately the hive was disturbed - here's a new queen and they have an old one, so the new queen had to be done away with and they did so. This of course disturbed the hive. Then with the disturbance and whatever battle went on in the process, the hive was weakened and then robbed out by my other hives.

The original queen with the yellow spot absconded with some workers and they landed in my neighbor's yard. As you know from previous posts, they ended up in my yard, ensconced in this nuc.

The nuc has had its share of troubles. Because I was feeding with a Boardman, the the Boardman was robbed out yesterday. The bees remain however, and I saw the queen, so they are still trucking along. The interior of the hive does not appear to have been robbed - no jagged wax edges, etc.

I have changed their feeding to a ziploc baggie and have posted on Beemaster to see if I need to get some pollen substitute for them as well. We don't have terrribly cold winters in Atlanta, so I'm hoping this little group can make it through the winter if I keep feeding them. I also wonder if I should add a frame of workers from my strongest hive to this nuc.



In the photo below, although it looks like a spotty pattern, in fact the uncapped cells all have eggs or larvae in them.

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18 comments:

  1. wow.thumbs up.what an interesting job to do.=)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous2:24 PM

    Awwww poor bees.....

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  3. I love bees so cute!

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  4. Linda,

    Back in my youth, my father experimented with bee hives.

    I remember one early Spring morning when there was still snow on the ground and our bees needed/wanted to take their first flight after a long cold winter. I was young and unafraid, so would walk around picking up the bees and blow hot air on them in the palm of my hand. They would come back to life and walk around my hand for a bit, then fly back to their hive.

    It was a wonderful discovery for me as a small child.

    Good Luck, and I look forward to reading more from your blog!

    Jynja

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  5. You are a lot braver than me. I don't think I could handle being that close to that many bee's. I get freaked out if one comes near me.

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    ReplyDelete
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  8. Anonymous5:44 AM

    Great blog,

    Will return to see more of your blog

    Cheers,
    UmNome

    www.umnome.com
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    ReplyDelete
  9. wow, BEES! I hope you don't hurt them like "Bee Movie"! but as long as they don't sue us it'll be ok! cool job, keep it up!

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  10. I never really gave much thought to bee keeping, other than I'm allergic to bees so could never do it. Reading your post I've found that it's actually quite interesting. Great Blog!

    Deboe

    www.deboesrant.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is excellent to know about beekeeping...

    ReplyDelete
  12. BeeXXXStalker10:43 PM

    mmmmm....love mah honey. Keep up the good work Linda...Such a fan XOXO.

    Love,
    BeeXXXStalker

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  13. Your bees are hawt, babez.

    Anyone here want a laugh, written by a 13 year old?

    lol
    =D
    xxx

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  14. I like this site.. nice one..
    I love honeys too..

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  15. I would like to know do you harvest their honey when they produce it and why couldnt you tell if their was a queen bee in the nest,and have do you know many bees have been born form the new larvae, and what kind of bees are you taking care of.

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  16. I'm thinking they'll get through the winter just fine on sugar syrup. I've seen colonies in the frozen north do this, and I'll bet Atlanta has some sort of pollen bearing flowers coming along in mid February. Here in the north, it's very obvious that the bees go after the first flowers -- pussy willow, crocus, even the catkins of hawthorn, for the pollen.

    ReplyDelete

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