Library Observation Hive

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Feb 2017

Added more honey...queen is laying eggs. Hope spring comes soon!

Jan 20 2017

The Library Hive is still doing well. Added more capped honey and saw the marked queen. There are eggs - so spring is not far behind?

Nov 22 2016

Library Hive is still thriving! (Click to Enlarge)
Library Hive is still thriving!

The Library Observation hive is alive and thriving. Jim Aylsworth and Peggy Garnes have done a wonderful job caring for the bees. They repeatedly added frames of honey, cleaned the hive, and reintroduced new bees after the hive mysteriously absconded.

Not once but twice!!!

The library hive has never survived this late into the year. Use of a homemade blanket/cover may help them regulate the temperature this winter.

Jim added extra frames of honey to help them through the winter as well.

The hope is that they will have enough honey to make it through the winter, as opening the hive in the cold is difficult with an observation hive.

We will keep you posted on their progress!

Jan 2016

It's the end of the month and the hive is leaving for maintance and restocking. Jim - great job this past year caring for the library hive and it's inhabitants. Looking forward to your work with the next cluster of bees coming in!


The bees are still hanging in there…smaller cluster now going into winter. These bees are going to live longer since they don't have young to feed.

Nov 10

The girls are still at the library... consuming a lot of honey and sugar syrup but holding their own. The marked queen is still there and laying a tiny brood patch. Jim will keep an eye on them and see what they need. Their new snuggy has proven to extend their Library presence. Noce Job Jim!

Oct 31

Another month under our belt! The bees are still holding their own and consuming the capped honey Jim put in. Brood production has slowed down and the bees are warm and snuggly under their new wrap.

Sept 22

The Library hive is doing well, maybe the best yet for this time of year. Last week Jim and Peggy removed two frames of foundation and replaced them with two frames of capped honey. They were on the honey immediately. Jim made an insulated "blanket" out of foam insulation board to provide extra warmth at night. Jim reports the hive looks more active, perhaps due to being warmer at the start of the day.

July 18

Bee Festival at the Library. Live Bee Demos and lots of tables of information and Bee Hive Products. Over 300 visitors per hour! Maybe a new record.....

July 14

The hive received a face lift today with the Help of Jim and Paul! Population was reduced to prevent swarming and new frames/foundation was added to give the girls something to work on. See you at the Bee Festival this Saturday, July 18th! Live bee demo in the tent outside the library.

July 2

The hive is growing! Looks like they have filled out all their frames and are ready for some more!

We are in great shape for the Bee Festival on the 18th of July.

Come help out the club members talk about honey bees, demonstrate the equipment we use and handle live bees outside in the tent.

June 9

The Bees are buzzing along! Come check out the blue dotted queen and her entourage. The hive has settled in nicely and the library posted their pic on their Read page and recd almost 3 million hits!

Thank you Jim Alysworth for keeping an eye on the girls!

2015 May

The Bees Are Back! Come visit the girls in the children's department of the Medina County Library. Watch them working and drawing wax comb and the queen laying eggs! This year our queen is marked in cobalt blue for royalty. Ms. Shirley was on hand for the installation process and Jim Alysworth will be monitoring the hive.

2014 November =

Looks like it's vacation time for the bees! They are off to Disney World for their winter vacation and will return in the spring. Thanks to the great staff at the library the bees had a good time with the children. See you in the spring!

2014 July

Observation hive at the library

The bees are back! and just in time for the Bee Festival at the Library. Stop by and find the queen. She is marked with a yellow dot of paint.

2013 Nov 2013

The library bees have headed off to Disney in Florida for the winter and will return in early spring! Thanks to the wonderful staff at the library for making their stay over the summer so enjoyable! See you soon!

2013 Oct 28

The library hive is still doing somewhat well. We would like to leave them in the library as long as we can this year for the public. The staff has been great and have started feeding sugar syrup and some dry pollen has been added to the bottom of the feed box for the bees to haul in for storage. The queen is still laying eggs in cells. Children huddle around the hive watching for the queen...hoping to see her one more time before she moves to Florida for the winter!

2013 July 24

The library hive is alive and doing well. There was quite a delay as the door warped over the winter and had to be repaired. Kudos to Chuck Garnes for a nice job. Best part of this hive is that nearly every time you visit the library there is a crowd of kids surrounding the hive. And the adults continue to be as interested as the kids. Pretty rewarding. It may be a little hard on the bees, but perhaps educating kids and introducing them to bees will help save many more bees in the future.

2013 May 24

The bees are back from Florida and almost ready to get back in their Observation Hive...will keep your posted. Rumor has it they will be in the Library before June 1st.

2013 Jan. 6

A new year and some housekeeping to be done. Will try to post a new picture soon.

2012 July 14

Bee Festival Day is here and the bees are buzzing along. They are taking in alot of sugar syrup since it is so hot and dry. A new jar is being added every 2-3 days.

2011 Dec

Today is December 20th, and I believe this means we have made it longer than ever before without having any issues with our observation hive. We have started to cover the hive at night when the library is closed. The hive still looks good, movement is slow but they are continuing to go through a jar of sugar syrup every 12-14 days. We are hoping to keep them all winter!

2011 Nov

As November rolls around, the activity in the hive has slowed down. There is still movement within the hive but we are not seeing much outside activity. We continue to supplement the bees with sugar syrup. They currently are going through a jar about every 6-7 days. At the end of summer they were going through a jar every 3-4 days.

We love having the bees in our library!

2011 Oct

Well, no beeyard report but the folks at the Library sent us several recent pictures of the hive. The smaller box to the side is a feeder for the bees. Note the burr comb that they are drawing on the glass.

Double-click any of the pictures below for a closer view.

2011 May 12

Installed the observation hive today. Kim managed a hive from package bees this spring and installed the bees in the hive earlier to give them time to get accustomed to the hive and use of an entrance tube. The hive looks good, with several frames of brood. The library helps maintain the hive, especially by feeding sugar syrup during setup and times of dearth.

The observation hive is a HUGE success with the library, and is very popular. We received an ovation when the staff realized we were there! Nice to think they are nurturing future beekeepers.

We will post a picture with the next entry.

2009 Feb 04

MCBA hosts the observation hive set up in the Medina County Library. Kim Flottum speaks at the Medina County Library most Tuesday nights. He answers questions and talks about bees, bee biology, honey collection blooming plants and anything else under the sun.

Unfortunately, the bees in the observation hive died this winter. While disappointing, it is not totally unexpected. Some colonies just don't survive and bees in an observation hive tend to be under even more stress than regular colonies.

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