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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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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Atlanta Temperature Today Will be 106!

We have a dearth of nectar, supposedly, in Atlanta and it's hot as H____.  The high today is supposed to be 106 and I think it must be close right now.  My dog Hannah, whose preference on summer days is to be outside in pursuit of squirrels, is camped out by the air conditioner duct.  (I know it's the return duct but for some reason, it's a very cool spot on the floor)

























I did worry about the bees, though, and checked my hives at home on Thursday.  After all, if the Top Bar absconded, could the others be far behind?  My goal was to see if they were eating up all their stored honey and if I might need to consider feeding them.

In every hive I found stored honey and uncapped nectar.  The bees have been working the porcelain berry really hard lately and maybe it is a nectar source.  I don't see them with pollen on those vines, but they are all over the flowers.  The bloom is almost over, though.



I found frames like the one above in every hive.  I also found boxes full of capped honey like the one below.



I even found some newly drawn wax....



By way of management, I removed one box from the hive below because it is a small hive and they were not using the space.  I am most worried about this hive.  They do have a queen who is laying, and they have some stored honey, but this is the weakest hive in my apiary.  This was a split off of Colony Square and has not done well - they've had two queens since the split that they made from frames of brood and eggs.  I should move some frames of brood and eggs into this hive to bring up the numbers, if nothing else.  This hive will never make it through the winter at this rate.



Other management tasks:  I put bottle caps under most of the top covers to help with ventilation in this heat.  Also if the bees were not using their newest box addition, I moved it to the top of the hive so its empty space could also help with ventilation.



The little kitten swarm is living still in nuc boxes (three of them).  I wondered how they were doing.  I looked and easily found the queen - she's in both photos below.  I was so relieved and she looks like the queen who ate the honey off of my fingertip, so I am going to believe that she is the actual queen of the hive.



If you don't see her right away, she's near the bottom of the frame just to the right of center.



So for now, I'm not worrying about the strength of my hives' stores - they all seem OK for the moment.
Although if the nectar is done for the year,  I'll probably feed going into September....it's funny because my general stance is that I want survivor bees and don't want to feed them if they can't manage on their own, but with this many hives, I feel a lot of responsibility not to lose my investment in addition to not wanting to lose the bees.

Temperature record set in Atlanta today at 106.8!
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4 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:14 PM

    just found your blog today and signed up via email.My husband and I are new bee keeps in Albuquerque.It's supposed to be 100 here.Swamp coolers do not work:} We're waiting for the monsoon rains.So far, nothing. I watched your how to harvest the honey video.It's great! Question:what did you order from Dadant? All I see on their website is something for creaming honey.It has the honey gate, large bucket etc. No mention of the 600 strainer. I will call them on Monday but would welcome your input. Thanks, stay cool, Camille and Bee (that's actually my husband's name!)

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  2. Sounds like the bees are doing better than your dog in the heat. I keep hearing about how hot it is in the rest of the country and here in the Northwest we have been colder than normal and getting rainy day after rainy day. Unfortunately many beekeepers around here have been feeding since spring hoping we get a break from the rain.

    - Jeff

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    Replies
    1. Linda,

      Supposed to be 105 today and yesterday here. My smallest hive has more bees on their porch than all the other 4 hives here together. I think it is because they do not have enough drawn comb, frame feeding them this week for a boost.

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  3. Those temps are unreal! And here I worry about the bees when we get into the 90s. I hope yours will be fine. WHen the humidex was over 100F here last week, I put the sprinkler on near the hives, in hopes that it would cool off the area and give them some water if needed.

    It's funny to think of you having a dearth of nectar when we're just at the start of our big flow! Hope things cool off soon.

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