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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

First Look at the Blue Heron Hive in 2011

I bought a new veil for this year. It's a clear view all the way around with only a seam in the very back. It's so comfortable - nothing fell into my eyes, the hat didn't slip all over - I love it. I saw Jennifer Berry in one when we went last year to get our nucs and I couldn't wait to get one of my own. It seemed ideal to me not to have my veil be as much of an encumbrance as the ones I had.  Jennifer works the bees in a work shirt, a round clear veil like this, and cotton garden gloves.

My work shirt is one from back when my youngest daughter was a freshman at CU so it has a buffalo above the pocket and, I discovered today, is missing a button in a crucial place in the center of the button row. A work shirt is something that I can throw on over my other shirt and it is made of good, sturdy cotton material.  I wanted to wear something and didn't want my bee jacket since it has a veil attached.  I liked the way the work shirt and the veil felt and worked today so I'll try this combo again.

I really loved the veil.

Our purpose in opening the hive was to reassure ourselves that it was a hive that was up and running. We therefore didn't look deep into the hive. It's only February and we are likely to have another cold snap before spring has really sprung.  The bees need the protection of propolis to seal the hive against cold weather.  I did not need to break their seals just to see if the queen is laying.

I might have gone deeper into the hive if it were not the only surviving hive at Blue Heron.  I didn't want to risk anything today.  I am sure the bees have the space below the feeding super just the way they like it and I can wait to see how the queen is doing.

Julia took this wonderful picture of a bee returning to the hive with full to the brim pollen baskets. Must be from maple and maybe something else.

Inside we found that the baggie feeder I had left in December was still full and that the two pint jars were only half empty. Noah's theory was that the sugar syrup had crystallized over the holes and kept the bees from having access.

In the photo you can see the crystallized sugar over the entire lid. I scraped it off with my hive tool and returned the jar to the hive.

This is a hive that I don't plan to feed with the coming spring, but will let them finish this if they want to or can get access.

When we opened the holes in the feeder jar the bees gathered around the drippings.

It would have been hard to check anything with the feeder super so loaded up still.  I guess we could have lifted the box below up without looking into it but likely the bees are currently living in the box just under the baggie.

My plan this year is to get rid of the deep box and that will be easy to do if the bees have moved up into the box below the food.

Peter, who was there inspecting his dead hive, commented as we put my hive back together.  "Those bees are so organized, they must have a queen!"

While that doesn't matter in the least - they can be quite organized without a queen - it still felt good that they were alive and working together.

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  1. Where did you get your veil at ? All of my hives have brood now, about half capped rest are almost ready to be capped. It's so nice in this warmer GA weather to see my girls flying and bringing pollen in.

  2. congratulations on wintering your hive successfully!

  3. My veil came from Brushy Mountain. I ordered it last summer but it was back ordered and didn't arrive until the end of November so I didn't use it last season. It's wonderful and I like the way the hat sits on my head. We'll see when bee season really gets going if I'm still fine without a jacket.

  4. Anonymous11:20 AM

    Very BECOMING indeed!

  5. Hey! Great veil. It's cute, and looks like you'll get more ventilation too! Looks like your bees are doing great and will be all ready for the year!


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