Checked on the hives this morning, last check was two weeks ago. Today I've lost two big hives as dead outs and one more is just hanging on. They had lots of food stores but with the weather being cold then warm then cold then warm its very hard on the bees. Its disappointing as things were going so well, however hopefully I will have more Nucs coming this spring. I made some mistakes over-wintering them that I wont repeat in the future, but mainly it was due to the weather. It takes a lot of time and money to bring a hive up to full strength and loosing just two is a big hit. I will try to post some pictures soon but the snow is a bit deep for me to get my tractor over to collect and clean out the dead hives.
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Stay tuned for another up date next week when I check the weaker hive.
I dont want to put too many of these videos that are not mine on here but this is a great documentary,
Here is a great video, it's about CCD (colony collapse disorder) in the US. Some are looking for a smoking gun to point towards what causes such as phenomena. Is it systemic pesticides , is it PPB (pretty poor beekeeping) or is it something more than that. Watch for yourself and another good video is " Vanishing of the bees" as well as " The last beekeeper". I enjoyed all of them, the last beekeeper is hard to find the full version but I believe Netflix has it.
Here is a picture of our new candle label, it needs a little adjusting but this is it. Its now time to start production of candles, hopefully we can create enough to supply the demand.
So today was a good day to make some splits. Meaning that each hive is generally two hive boxes (supers) high, however I had three on for a while now. I did this so I can make splits at a later time, so basically all I did was take one of the boxes off of two hives and combined them to make one hive. The bees will make their own queen from one of the eggs that are available on the comb. Each super has ten frames consisting of some honey, capped brood, larva and eggs. Along with nurse bees to look after them. I will post some pics and show you in more detail what I am talking about, today was a rainy day so no pictures were possible. Stay tuned
This is a picture of a vent hole that I made in the ventilation rim that I made. Phillip from mud songs is the owner of this invention ( or at least that is where I got the idea). The bees cannot enter as the #8 hardware cloth is covering the 1" hole
This is a couple of honey supers that a friend was getting rid of, he no longer wanted them so he offered them to me. At this stage I cannot refuse any supplies that are coming my way, all frames have drawn out comb and I placed them on a pallet in the bee yard. They will clean up any left overs then I will put them on some of the hives
Front of pollen trap, the eye bolt tightens and the board in front can slide up to activate the trap or slide down and the trap doesn't collect any pollen.
So as promised here are some pictures of the pollen traps, collection is going nicely. One hive is bringing in lots and I just moved the other trap to a new hive and its starting to produce now. It takes approx. a week for the bees to figure out the trap, above is the front view of the trap.