A second swarm of bees for 2015 and this one for the farm on the high plains of Colorado. A random great happenstance, I went to buy an old scythe and he also happened to have a wild swarm in the box so I left with bees and a scythe. The scythe works great for knocking out tall weeds, much better than the machete I’ve been using. I happened to have some sugar at the farm so I mixed up some sugar water for them. I used it to try to calm them down a bit as I transferred them to their wooden hive. Since it is getting late in the summer so they are going to get sugar water, plus maybe that will encourage them to stay.
It has been a really wet year with fresh rain in the past day or two and lots of flower of all kinds so I hope the bees will have plenty.
After losing all 5 of the California packages of bees this year we are trying swarms from this area hoping they can handle the weather much better than bees from another climate who were stressed by being transported here.
If you buy package bees and there is cold weather coming you should look at heating the bees to keep from losing them. Maybe using a seed heating map that will add up to 20 degrees of temperature.
The temperature was in the 60s this morning and by 10:30 it was freezing. After getting the hay stacked and the cows situated I headed home and remembered I wanted to wrap the bee hive in foam to keep them a bit warmer. I walked out with the foam and a knife to fun the hive in pieces spread out 100 yards. It is snowing at this point and I’m scooping up bees that I hope are still alive. I then found a clump of bees that were definitely alive an hopefully have the queen. I have a frame or two of honey in a super that they built up earlier this year. So I put the clump and other bees that might be alive in a box with some of the stripped frames and the super inside a room attached to our house that doesn’t get so cold. I hope I have the queen and can get them enough honey to rebuild.
I meant to already be growing some buckwheat indoors so now I definitely will plant some for the bees. Now I know why electric fences are around hives.
Yesterday the 10th of August I added a honey super to the bee hive. The honey super is used to collect honey. It should only have honey placed inside of it because the queen been can not get to it since I added a queen excluder between the honey super and the hive.
I only put five frames inside the honey super instead of all ten. Was this a mistake? Would the bees like it better if it was all filled in with 10 frames instead of 5? I’m not sure.
I added the honey super after seeing that the bees had filled most all of the 2nd hive box I added a few weeks ago. I was told that the bees fill the outside frames last so I pulled one of those out to make sure they had filled it. It looked filled to me!
This morning I headed downstairs to get the camera I used to film the adding of the honey super and I found a bee on top of the bee hive separator piece I removed. Then I moved my bee veil thinking I’d put it on and take the bee back to the hive when I discovered another bee. I’m not sure how to tell how old a bee is but one looked rather small and neither of them flew. I’m assuming they were young. So I took them out side on top of the veil. By this time they had made contact with each other. I sat them by the hive. When I came back several minutes later I realized they were still there so I placed them inside the honey super so as they are back in the hive.
Here is a great BBC special on bees. I learned a lot like how bees have different jobs as they age with gathering nectar and pollen being their last job.
The bees are now on a stand. Seeing ants in the hive was the driving force for getting the stand. I have the legs in cartons so I can put oil in them to keep the ants out. The ants definitely discovered the sugar water and maybe the honey.
I also read about sprinkling ground cinnamon on the ground around the hive so I did that ad well.
I need to upload the video because I caught my first sting on video. I returned with more layers and done smoke. The bees were a bit upset when I separated the hive. Hopefully they are happier now with a raised hive and new sugar water.
I was told that I can put a honey box on top once the two boxes are full. So I have one but the new top box is not yet full. Reasoning is the bees can only maintain two boxes during the winter and I’ll have to provide some supplemental heat as well.
When I add the honey box I’ll be adding a queen excluder to keep her out of there.