January 6, 2013
A new year has begun for the beeyard. All is quiet under the snow. It's been quite cold, down to 3 degrees at night. The deer have been keeping a watch on the hives and when the weather cooperates a quick check will be made through the snow drifts. So far all are alive...winter bears on.
September 11, 2012
I apologize for my recent absence but it was unavoidable. I believe things are returning to 'normal'. I would like to thank Peggy for checking on the yard while I was taking care of some items.
I stopped to feed the girls tonight and perform a general check up.
First, the equipment we have by the tree was scattered about as if someone had kicked them thinking bees would emerge. I suppose it could have been done by the recent storms but my spider senses are tingling so I'm not sure. The girls were busy coming and going.
Our Styrofoam hive was out of feed so I topped that off. The Styrofoam girls are working on the frames in the top hive body and still have room. As a matter of fact, all still have some room and not all foundation is pulled. I checked the SHB traps, emptied and reloaded. I counted 10 beetles in our Styrofoam Hive, 13 in Langstroth Two and 8 in Langstroth One. The Top Bar Hive now has 13 combs but the last two are partials, not yet attached to the glass. I did find another Yellow Jacket in the Top Bar Hive and removed it. The girls seem to be building slowly. I assume it is the heat and no real flow to work on. Hopefully they will be able to make a little headway with the recent rain and cooler weather.
Stopped to feed the girls and scared a young buck, well, scared both of us. Added two more jars of syrup at 2-1 ratio with oak bark oil added. All seem well and content. The bee garden looks rough.
August 20, 2012
Stopped in to feed the girls. The two Langstroth feeders were empty and the Top Bar had about a tenth remaining so all we filled. The Top Bar hive is still the challenging have. Tonight I had seven bees wanting me to go away...NOW. I will need to start smoking them when I work them. The other hives seem to be much better behaved. All hives are busy and full of bees.
August 17, 2012
Stopped in and feed the Langstroth One and our Green Styrofoam Hives. The Top Bar hive still had feed remaining but topped it off. Bees were quiet and busy. There were still only eleven combs built in the Top Bar hive. There is still room and there was a surprising amount of bees in the area of the feeder, but still feed remained. Curious.
August 14, 2012
Stopped to feed. The Top Bar Hive was still three quarters full from the last fill up. I replenished Langstroth Hive One and the Styrofoam Hive. The girls seemed a bit slow today. Maybe its the chillier weather. They were almost lethargic and did not seem to even care I removed the cover. Just, sort of stood looking at me as if to say, "Hey, you're letting the light in!". There were bees coming and going from the entrance but three of the hives just didn't seem concerned. The Top Bar is a little different. They aren't as happy when I go inside to check their feed supply. The bees have not created any more wax comb in the Top Bar for a while now and there is still room available.
August 11, 2012
Stopped in to refresh their feed. All were empty except the Top Bar Hive. There was about 25% remaining so it was topped off too. One additional interesting note: When I pulled the jar out of the Top Bar Hive, two SHB were also feeding from the jar (Okay, so I did not see them drinking but they were on the lid so my assumption is they were drinking or just hanging out). I dispatched those two rascals straight away. I have noticed the Top Bar Hive girls are a little more protective than the other hives. Filled up the feeder on Langstroth One and the Styrofoam Hive. At least some cooler weather is coming in and a some more rain. Boy, do we need it. Its been hot and dry.
August 6, 2012
Stopped in to check the girls. It is still hot. The cloth over the Top Bar hive was almost off so I think the storm that rolled through Sunday had a hand in that. I refilled Lanstroth Hive One and the Styrofoam Hive. Both were dry again. Also check the beetle traps in both Langstroth Hives and the Styrofoam. The Styrofoam Hive had none, zero nada but the Langstroths did. Langstroth Hive One had two beetles and Langstroth Hive Two had four beetles in their respective traps. Other than that, none at this time needed any frames. All is good except it is really hot.
August 3, 2012
Stopped and check the girls. It is Hot. The girls were bearding trying to find a little relief. All of the hive were out of feed. Refilled all, the Top Bar hive was a little agitated today, I think it was the heat. Peggy finished filling out the top hive body on the green Styrofoam hive with frames. All is good. More heat coming next week.
July 27, 2012
Stopped in to check the girls and their feed. All is good. Peggy beat me there. She is quick. Peggy added frames to the Styrofoam hive so the girls have more room to work. Provided more feed to the hives that needed it. The Top Bar is coming along. I counted eleven rows and they are feverishly working hard filling the cavity. I have noticed the Top Bar hive bees are not consuming as much feed as the the bees in the Langstroth hive or Styrofoam hive. I'm not sure if this is due to the position of the feeder or not, or what the difference may be. I had expected all to keep pace with each other.
July 24, 2012
Provided more 1:1 for Langstroth One and the Styrofoam hive. The Top Bar still had feed. I installed a beetle trap in Langstroth One and Two along with theStyrofoam Hive. The traps did not fit the Top Bar so I'll do a little more research. This weekend I will blow sugar into the hives since research seems to indicate it helps move mites out. Not a cure of course, just seems to help. All in all the girls are doing good. We will need to and some frames on Styrofoam Hive soon. The still have a little room remaining but not a lot. Langstroth One will need a medium before we know it. Until Friday...
Also, I would like to comment again on just how nice these bees are... When I go into these hives and as long as I'm mindful of proper hive etiquette, these girls are a pleasure to work around. They do not get excited and they just go about their jobs. A real pleasure.
July 20, 2012
Dropped by the beeyard to check the girls. Three needed feed so I topped them off (two jars were empty, top bar had one third remaining). The girls were working on the pollen patties and all seemed very content.
July 19, 2012
Also, an update on the beeyard visit on the 16th...
I forgot to mention Kim opened a few drone cells looking for Varroa mites in Langstroth Hive Two. He was able to locate one, maybe two mites. Rascals are hard to see. We will continue to monitor for mites and treat appropriately.
July 17, 2012
Peggy Garnes graciously stopped by the yard to add pollen patties and re-filled the three jars (Top Bar, Langstroth One, Langstroth Two and the Styrofoam).
July 16, 2012
Well it was a warm one in the MCBA yard today. There was a gathering of beginners this evening where class was provided by Kim Flottum. Kim showed the group how to perform an "Alcohol Roll" method to check the number of varroa mites. The process takes only a minute or two by either brushing or shaking approximately 150 to 300 worker bees from near the middle of the hive into the wide-mouth Mason jar. This really got the yard buzzing. Place the lid on the jar of bees and pour 'some' alcohol into the jar and close the container. When fabricating your jar remember not to use a queen excluder as the lid since the bees can walk right through it. See, they really do not like being in the jar and want to go home. After a minute, gently roll the jar to coat all of the bees with the alcohol. Then, pour the jar contents into a container lined with a paper towel or two and if varroa mites are present, you will be able to easily count them. There should be not more than 5 or 6. Tonight, there was zero, none, nada. Great job you gorgeous group of girls (These are some very well behaved bees provided by Peggy Garnes)!!!
We also dove into the top bar hive. Kim moved a few top bars around to assist the girls in building straight combs.
We did find that a couple queens seemed to be shut down or shutting down on brood production. We found no pollen. Not much available for the girls right now. We will add pollen patties to assist making through to the next flow and keep a close eye on the girls. Three (Top Bar Hive, Langstroth One and Styrofoam) will receive more 1:1 in the morning (Thanks Peggy).
July 14, 2012
Refilled 1:1 (without Honey-B-Healthy) feeder jars on the Styrofoam, Langstroth Hive One and the Top Bar Hive.
Bees were coming and going. Temperature was nicer this morning than recent days but very humid. A deer was looking over the hives and checking out the forage. She decided to leave when I pulled up. All in all, everything in good shape.
July 13, 2012
The following are pictures taken of the MCBA beeyard (click photo to enlarge).
The bee yard is back! We have a topbar hive that is doing very nicely, two wood hives (one white and one natural color) and we have a styrofoam hive. So far all are coming along well but the push still is to have two deeps drawn out and enough stores for winter.
We have also added a bee garden behind the row of hives. This garden features bee plants that can grown in our area, most are self-seeding and will return next year.
2009 Feb 04
The club's bee yard is on West Smith Road across from the offices of the Medina County Fairgrounds.
Lat/Long: 41°08'12" N 81°52'32" W
We went into the winter with 5 colonies.
2009 Feb 16
Buzz and I checked the beeyard at the end of last week. We have 4 healthy colonies left, one dead and one stack of equipment. We should have enough equipment to use to make splits into from the existing colonies. We were able to swap honey from one dead colony...it appeared to have starved due to the long cold stretch we've had...to one of the existing colonies that was running short on food. We will probably be able to use one of the splits for the observation hive at the library. Favorable weather early will help make early splits and get the obs hive up and running in 5 or 6 weeks, maybe even less.