Friday, June 3, 2011

Bees in May and June

A swarm: bees reproducing at the colony level.

Brood - the bumpy ones are the drones (guys) and the flatter cells the workers (ladies)

100% natural comb. Pretty!

Starting to draw out foundation.

More brood, with honey at the top.

Here is a belated bee update of our two new, 2 month old hives, lovingly named A and B for now. Jason took a few photos of our last hive inspection. Also included, an image of a swarm of bees that alighted here in Wilkinsburg on Rebecca Street a few weeks ago and me grinning goofily beside them. I "helped" (as in mostly watched and moved the box to catch them) my bee mentor catch them. They were about 2 feet from the sidewalk in a front yard.

Our bees are doing well. In the second hive bodies we added, we interspersed foundation frames and foundationless frames. The foundationless frames have comb guides along the top bars as a starting point for the bees to build on, but they were building a bit crooked on them. Jason sanded down the comb guides in the foundationless frames so they came to a sharper point. These steps seem to lead to straighter comb building, making it easier for us to take the frames out to look at them with out damaging the bees' hard work.

We lost the queen in Hive A to some unknown fate, but the bees raised a new one and she was spotted two weeks ago, running around happily laying eggs. My mentor was able to mark her with a white dot so if I need to find her, it may be a touch easier.

The ladies are out flying today, sometimes crashlanding at the hive entrances with heavy loads of pollen on their back legs and nectar, storing up food for the winter. Til next time, we wish them luck!

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