Saturday, March 31, 2012

Queen marking

Two days ago(29th) I received my Mann lake order. I ordered 20lbs of Bee Pro(Pollen substitute), yellow marking pen(years ending with 2 and 7), white marking pen( 1 and 6), and a bee jacket. I also got a box of entrance disks(For my nucs) from Brushy Mountain. I guess I'll get to my inspection.
We opened up H4, and began searching the frames for the queen. I pulled out a frame of bees and began searching it when Mom spotted the queen on the other side. I quickly turned the frame around and sure enough, there was the queen, running around the frame like her abdomen was on fire. I handed the frame to Mom and began trying to grab the queen. She(the queen) was running as fast as her little six legs could carry her! I reached to grab her by the wings but she zoomed out of the way, leaving a worker in her place. My fingers brushed over the worker bee before I realized my original target was fleeing for her life!
After several more tries, the queen somehow found her way up my hand and began frantically running around, wondering where she was. I was praying she wouldn't fly off my hand and into the wild blue yonder. My hands were shaking as I reached for her; what if I smashed her by accident? At last I managed to grab her by the wings(or I might have only got one wing, not sure, either way she was pretty upset). I put my finger next to her and she grabbed onto it, trying to get enough traction to wrench herself free. I grabbed her legs between my pointer finger and my thumb, then let go of her wings and grabbed my marking pen(white because she's a 2011 queen). Somehow(not sure how, maybe Mom got it) I got the cap off of it and gently dabbed the white paint on her thorax(back). After finishing the work, I held her for a little longer before releasing her, I'm hoping I let the paint dry sufficiently before releasing her. If I didn't, the workers probably cleaned her off as soon as I let her her go(Note: Next time get a cage to put her in until the paint dries). After finishing my adventure with the queen we added a Mega bee patty to the hive and we closed it up.
After finishing up with H4 I moved onto H3.
When we opened up H3 we were greeted by a full hive body of bees! This hive is BOOMING; I think I'm going to split it this spring. Unfortunately I couldn't find the queen on it but I saw eggs so I guess it's okay. We added half a Mega Bee patty(because they had plenty of pollen) and a sheet of candy.
H2 was still kind of weak but it's growing. After searching the frames I found the queen. It wasn't quite as exciting as on H4(Because she wasn't running around) but it was still an experience. After marking and releasing the queen we closed it up and moved onto H1.
H1 was really strong(not quite as strong as H3). We searched the frames, hoping to find the queen but all we found was lots of bees. We added a Mega bee patty and closed it up.
All the hives are bringing in lots of pollen(some of it is from buffalo berries), some orange and some light yellow, almost white.
Overall, queen marking for the first time was terrifying, and awesome! It is really cool to hold your queen in your hand, but is terrifying as you chase her all over the frame, trying to catch her with that little voice in the back of your head saying, "You're gonna smash her!"


Thursday, March 22, 2012


A few weeks ago I found some nuc plans for nucs made out of plywood. If you want to look at the beesource thread I found them on click here. A few days ago dad cut some plywood for me so I could make four of these nucs. So far I've got all four built though I'm still working on the lids. For four nucs we use a 4' X 8' piece of half inch plywood. It's pretty cheep to make them which is nice. I just put mine together with our power nailer which makes it go pretty fast. Here are a couple of pictures of my nucs.


Monday, March 19, 2012

March Inspection

Yesterday was a really nice day so Mom and I inspected my four bee hives. We managed to get D.J. to take a few pictures too.
Hive 4 looked a lot stronger than when we first inspected it. It had eaten quiet a bit of its candy(not all of it) and almost all of its pollen patty. I inspected a few frames and saw eggs. We added half a sheet of candy and a pollen patty.
Hive 3 was booming, they'd eaten all of their candy and all of their pollen patty. I checked a couple of frames and saw eggs. We added a sheet of candy and a pollen patty.
By this time we were out of pollen patties and candy so we went back to the house, made some candy and thawed out some pollen patties before heading out to the hives.
Hive 2 was kind of weak, we added half a sheet of candy to it and half a pollen patty. I managed to spot the queen on it which was really neat. They also had capped brood, larvae, and eggs which surprised me because they must have been laying before I added the pollen patty.
Hive 1 was doing really well but strangely hadn't eaten much of its candy at all, we added some more candy and replaced the pollen patty they had eaten. I saw capped brood on it as well. Managed to spot the queen too. All four hives were very docile so next time I plan on inspecting them without gloves. :)
Here are a few pictures.

Us inspecting Hive 4.

A frame of bees.

Spot the queen! :) Tip: She's the darker colored bee with the longer abdomen and shiny thorax(back). Also click the image to enlarge it. If you're still having trouble click here.


Sunday, March 18, 2012


You're probably wondering about the title so I'll start from the BEEginning.
I was down-stairs on the computer and Mom yelled down saying my bees were bringing in pollen! I didn't believe her so I went out to the bee hives to see for myself. Sure enough! They were bringing in light yellow/cream colored pollen! It's still a mystery where they're getting it from though I'm suspicious they might be gathering it from the hay bales that dad is feeding the calves. Yesterday I took some pictures of them so I guess I'll post them.

The top entrance.

Happy bee(or it looks like it).

The entrance was pretty busy.

More bees.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bee Check

This morning Mom and I went out to feed the bees. We took four Mega-bee patties with us because we wanted to start feeding the bees some pollen substitute so the queen would start rearing brood. We started with the hive on the east, Hive 4. Their cluster of bees was small and they still had some candy left around the edges of the cluster so we pushed the candy closer to the center of the hive where they could get to it better and added half a Mega-bee patty to the bottom box.
After that we moved onto Hive 3(The one right beside it). Hive 3 is the one that made most of the honey last year. As soon as we cracked the lid we saw that bees were EVERYWHERE in the top hive body. VERY strong hive. It had eaten all of its candy so we added some more and added a Mega-Bee patty on the bottom brood box. When we lifted the top hive body off(It was very heavy so Mom had to lift it) there were lots of bees in the bottom too!
Hive 2 was probably the weakest of all of them, its cluster only covering around three frames and it hadn't eaten much of its candy so like H4(Hive four) we just pushed the chunks of candy closer to the middle and added half a mega-bee patty.
We then moved onto H1; it was just as strong as H3, maybe more! When I popped the lid up the bees were on all ten frames, TONS of them! It was awesome! I smoked them down and Mom added some candy since they had eaten all but a few chunks of it. Then we added a Mega-Bee patty to the bottom hive body. Like H3 there were bees in the bottom hive body as well. After doing that we closed it up. Overall I really liked what I saw in the hives, I would have preferred if H4 and H2 were stronger but I'm still happy that they all survived the hardest of the winter. Hopefully I can take some pictures of them next time.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Bee Candy

After dinner today we made some candy for my bees. I'm hoping to put it on them tomorrow along with some pollen patties.

A prepared mold. We use tinfoil to line the inside of the pan.

Heat the water until it starts boiling before pouring in the sugar.

One cup of water to every five cups of sugar. Or one pint of water for five pounds of sugar.

After adding the sugar stir continuously until it starts really bubbling/boiling. Heat to 234 degrees before pouring into molds.

After pouring into molds wait until the candy has cooled. If done properly it will harden and be ready to put into your bee hive.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Active Bee Hives

Yesterday it got up to 59 F and the bees were REALLY active. I took some pictures of them. I went a little overboard taking pictures so I'm just going to show a few of the pictures I took. Currently I'm working on making a nuc box out of a pallet. So far it's coming along quite well, I'll try to post some pictures of it sometime. Here are the pictures I took yesterday.

The bee hives.

Another picture.

Bees flying.

Bees coming in to the entrance.

The four bee hives.

Bee in flight. Not very clear but it's pretty hard to take a picture of a bee flying.

Take a guess.

Another bee fly picture.

More bees.


Thursday, March 1, 2012


Yesterday I was looking at my blog stats and thought that it would be interesting to share with my viewers where my audience was coming from. So here's what I've gotten for the past seven days. I find it interesting that I've gotten more view from Russia than Canada since Canada is the nearest country to us.

United States:
: 7
: 1
United Kingdom:
: 1