Dearly beloved, it is with great sadness that I announce the death of my first hive. It was a very rainy year, with several cold nights and a few below zero here in Maryland. It looks like moisture killed them, as the cluster felt damp to the touch. The wood shavings were dry though.
I ordered another nuc from the Central Maryland Beekeepers Association in the hope I could start another colony, but it looks like I will be replacing this one instead. I may still get a second nuc and hive, finances depending.
RIP little bees.
Ack! Small hive beetles!!
Hello duckies! I know, it’s been forever since I’ve updated! Life has been busy, giving me little time to edit bee videos. But I did want to give a text update on my little hive.
I added Queen Elsa on a Sunday. I checked on Wednesday and the candy cork was not gone yet, so I checked again the next Sunday. Still not gone. I talked to the woman who sold me the queen, and she said to release her by taking the marshmallow out if she doesn’t come out on her own. So I checked again the next Wednesday and she was still in there. I was worried that this meant she was not going to be accepted, but she was! When I checked on the hive the next week, she was there, with her bright red dot, ruling over the hive!
I am a little worried though because I did not see any sign of brood, but here in Maryland we are in a dearth. From what I understand, it is not uncommon for queens to stop laying for a while when food supplies get low. Because of that, I put my sugar feeder back on top of the hive and they are lapping it up.
This weekend I am going to inspect for varroa mites and small hive beetles and plan to film it. Hopefully I can give y’all a video update soon!
I am still working under the guise that my hive is queenless. So I obtained another queen from someone in CMBA. Her name is Queen Elsa. Let’s hope she makes the cut!
I was finally able to get out there and do another inspection this weekend! It’s been so rainy here for the past month or so.
It seems that my hive is queenless at the moment. This means that the old queen died or was not doing well and was killed off. As you’ll see int he video, the colony is attempting to replace her. I need to do more research on whether I should let them do their thing naturally, or buy another queen to replace the lost one.
So, I know I have not been posting here a lot recently, but there has not been a lot going on. I have been doing regular inspections on my hive, the garden is growing and looking amazing, and my bees leveled up!
Movin’ on Up!
I did my first bee inspection yesterday! Everything looks good, except for a small bit of (what I hope is) misshapen comb, which I will keep an eye on. w00t!
Yesterday I successfully installed the bees in their hive! Before I did, though, I needed to do some work on the hive.
Wedge comes out, foundation goes in. Then wedge goes back in.
One of the things that I needed to do was assemble the frames. I got wedge frames, which meant that I needed to break off a piece of the frame, put the foundation in, and nail the piece of wood back on, sandwiching the foundation. While I was able to do this with no issues, it was a bit of a PITA because of how I had to hold the hammer to avoid damaging the foundation.
Yesterday was Bee-mass! I got my bees, but it was too cold to install them. Today was warmer, so I transferred them to their new home.