'There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance.' Henry David Thoreau
We are beekeepers -- new beekeepers. We started off as avid gardeners then moved to an acreage where we could grow our own food. Bees seemed like a natural progression.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Hello, Queenie Waheenie, Queen of the Moody Blues
We needed to give the hives some time to sort out and settle down after the splits, the moves and everything else in the last few weeks. The weather hasn't helped matters, with strong winds, unheard of hot temperatures and unbelievably dry conditions. There is not much in bloom, although some surrounding alfalfa fields are about to be ready again, so that should give our babees a bit of a boost.
The Gang Greens -- they have kept us on our toes. The fact that bees from the other hives were going to the Gang Green three to steal easy food was probably what caused the problems, to a large degree. It has been almost like a shell game with them, but finally we think they are sorted out. We knew two weeks ago that the red racer was not going to do well. It had no queen, it had a small population... so last week, we broke it down and the bees found a home in the neighboring Gang Green hive. The red racer was in the middle. Today, we broke down the blue racer as well, for the same reason. That leaves us with a Gang of one Green... but that one is doing pretty well, all things considered. They are filling out frames, creating pollen and creating a queen.
Pistachio is rocking! They are two high now, and are packing the top frame with honey. There were 7 frames already started. They have a good, healthy, large, active population, and new larvae. If we have any concerns about it, that concern would be about the noise -- it was much louder than normal which can mean they aren't happy. We're hoping that's just because of the heat and the smoke in the area.
The Dregs is also doing well, and we'll put a second box on it so they can move up. They are really full. Considering how that hive started, we couldn't be happier with the results so far. Moody Blues is also doing well. It is also in need of a second box, but we need to get more frames before we can do that. We'll be getting them this week. We also had the treat of seeing the queen in that hive... a first for us. The White Outs have been wonderfully busy, so we gave them their first honey super. Their frames are totally full and they are laying a lot of brood. Mellow Yellow got a second honey super, and looks good. We left them to do their thing undisturbed today, other than to add the new box.
Queenie Waheenie -- Ruler of the Moody Blues
Team Tangerine is still a concern. The honey super is untouched. Two of the frames in the second box do have brood though, so that was a very good sign. It's still hanging in, slowly building back up. We'll give it time, and hope for the best on it, but it should be fine once that new brood starts to hatch.