Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lost more hives and pollen

It was 60 degrees yesterday and I was able to go into all of my hives to check them. I have lost 2 more. All of the hives had queens from strachan and were carniolians. They all absconded or underperformed and froze. I had heard nothing but good about them. Oh well.

A bunch of the hives had already worked through their honey reserves and I had to put candy boards that had a pollen party embedded for this spring. By the time they eat through the sugar block, they will be needing the pollen for buildup. I will have to post a picture later of what they look like.

I also noticed 2 different types of pollen they were bringing in. I can't figure out what is blooming for tem to use. It is gray and dull yellow.

Friday, December 23, 2011

losing bees left and right

I had an extraction call in an apartment complex.... Turned out to be yellow jackets. I was not too thrilled to find them in the attic space above the heated apartment. I informed them they needed to call a pest control company.

I still have 12 hives. It is wierd as some of them are only half way through their rations and some are onto the sugar I put on top (to make sure they didnt starve over the winter). We are having a really warm winter and I think a few hives have not figured it out......

Either way, I will be concentrating on recouperating my losses and making honey to sell instead of selling nucs. I will probably end up selling 2 or 3 extras anyway. But, this year I am planning on honey and removing old comb and replacing it with new comb.

I replace 20% of my hives comb every year. That equates to about 1/2 a brood chamber. It takes a lot of sugar or honey to replace that. I am hoping that we will have a good honey flow and I can get them to replace it fast.