Saturday, June 16, 2012


In a last minute effort, I opened the hives this morning with the hope of harvesting more honey.  There was plenty of honey in the hives, as there was earlier in the week, and while the workers have made progress capping the honey cells, there were too many cells still open, so the honey harvest will have to wait until August.

Daughter and driving companion Rebecca came out for a look and I carried some frames to her so she wouldn't have to be too close to the hives. I handed her some drones to hold (they have no stingers) and they buzzed delightfully in her hands. She got to see capped brood, capped honey, queen cells, drone cells, and larvae--pretty much everything there is to see in a healthy hive.  

Since she was smart enough to be carrying her phone, she took this photo.  Just to the left of center is an emerging bee.  She's almost out of her cell. Close to the top, just to the left of middle is another emerging bee just beginning to carve her way out of the cell. The bumpier capped cells are developing drones. The flatter capped cells are incubating workers. The white stuff tucked down deep in some of the cells are plump larvae. Mostly, we see empty cells where bees developed and have already emerged. The workers will clean out those cells and the queen will come back to lay more eggs. Yes, they are busy bees. The bees in this photograph are nurse bees, the most recently emerged workers, who take care of cleaning the cells and feeding the eggs and larvae.

We heard from friends who live about a mile away.  JC is quite the gardener and when she went out to check on her blooming lavender she saw lots of honeybees. It is NOT true that they were wearing little t-shirts with Insight Bank logos, but there is a strong possibility they are A's Bees.  The lavender is well within foraging range for my bees. Mmm, lavender honey.

Since I will be away from my bees until August, I added supers to three of the hives. I want them to have plenty of room for brood, honey and their ever increasing population. I continue to be concerned about Hives 2 and 3. They are not as strongly populated as I would like (remember, they missed at least three weeks of 1,000 laid eggs per day while they were queenless). I am seeing way too many drones in Hive 3 and scarcely any larvae in Hive 2.  Fellow beekeepers Susan G. and Susan V-C will keep an eye on things, but mostly, I will leave it up to the bees.

2012  4
2011  13

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