May 2013 - Fear NO Honey Bee

Busy bee activity

I wanted to be able to give you a view both external to the hive and later internal into the hive. Externally, I show bee’s bringing in pollen.  Pollen predominately seen here is yellow, although it really depends on the plant it’s self.  There can be a wide range of colors of red, blue, orange, green and brown depending on the flower or plant.  The bee’s use pollen to feed larvae, brood and young adults.  Pollen is the only source of protein, starch, fat, vitamins and minerals in a hive’s diet.  By weight, pollen has more protein than beef, and is used to feed larvae and brood as well as young bee’s.  They will place pollen in the individual cell’s and store it close to the larvae.  Nurse bee’s will feed larvae and brood up to 1000 times a day.  This is why it is stored close to them, so to make the nurse bee’s job easier. Different plants may provide nectar or pollen only at certain times of the day.  And the bee’s will learn this.  As a girl brings the pollen back to the hive, she will try to recruit other girls to go out and collect that pollen as well.  She will do the Waggle dance.  This dance is remarkable.  It will tell the other girls the direction of the pollen as it relates to the sun.  It also tells them the distance.  A 1 second dance is about 1000M (.6 mile) away.  If the recruits feel that this pollen is acceptable they also will smell it.  So now having a general direction and distance they...

Releasing the Queen Bee

It has been a busy couple of days.  Tuesday 5-14 we released the queen bee into each hive.  With the queen here, she is what is called a “California” cage.  There is not a candy plug in the end.  You can either put one in there (fondant or marshmallow), or you have to manually release the queen.  I chose to manually release her.   When you are manually releasing the queen, you want to tilt the cage.  Doing this the queen is at the back.  You can then pull the cork, and put your finger over it.  You then put the cage at the landing board. If you watch the video starting about 9:02, it is a very interesting view of inside the hive.  The bee’s seem to rush down toward the queen.  Releasing the Queen Bee in the Hive After seeing this activity, I was not sure if they really had accepted the queen.  Today we decided to check on things to make sure everything was ok.  It is one of those necessary evils.  You don’t want to disrupt the hive, as each time you do, they have to stop work and fix things that you mess up.  I noticed that for sure. Hive follow up inspection Things were fine.  We did find the queen in both hives.  Although hard to see, but there was stored pollen in the comb as well. I also got my first bee sting.  They had really started to put propolis on the top bars.  As such, I had propolis stuck on my fingers.  As I was putting the top bar (frame) back...

Resources

First off, I’m still learning about bee’s.  So I don’t know, what I don’t know.  But I utilize several resources from books, to internet to local bee clubs.  Here are some resources if you are interested.  I would also be willing to share my knowledge with you, if you ask. The local bee club, for Indy and northern surrounding cities of Carmel and Fishers:http://www.indyurbanbeekeeping.org They are a good group of folks, and there are several other Warre hive bee keepers (Thanks Scott and Bill) Then the world renown yahoo group:http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/warrebeekeeping/There are a lot of folks on here that are very helpful.  Including David Heaf.  David has a book “The Bee-friendly Beekeeper A sustainable approach” The Bee friendly Beekeeper A Sustainable Approach  He also has a new book, that is going through the final stages of publication.  I will be sure to get a copy as soon as available here in the US. David Heaf’s website Book wise, there is also Beekeeping for All by Abbe Warre Beekeeping for All  It is also available in PDF format http://www.users.callnetuk.com/~heaf/beekeeping_for_all.pdf or here Beekeping For All Pdf Where I got my bee’s from Wolf Creek ApiariesPhil Chandlers Forum site, and other key Warre experts Biobees If you don’t want to build your Warre Hive, you can buy it.  There are 2 places that I know of online in the US.BeethinkingThe Warre Store I’m sure I am missing some resources.  I will probably post more later as I remember or come across more....

What’s all the brown stuff?

Several had asked what is all the brown stuff around one of the hives?  Well it’s ground cinnamon.  Why you might ask?  Well here is why. Tuesday I set the hives out for anticipation of the bee’s arrival.  This was mainly to make sure that the Hives were “Out gassed”.  Mainly due to the glue and other solvents I used.  I did use Titebond III glue, which is FDA approved for “Adjacent food”.  I also used FDA approved 100% Silicone.  But to be sure, if you allow the materials to set out, they then become out gassed.  These had also been assembled for a couple of weeks, but regardless I wanted to make sure. Wednesday I was checking the hives, and there was some of the little tiny “feral ants” all inside the hive, in the roof and the quilt.  There was also a male bumble bee that had found the vacant hive and was trying to chew parts of the cedar.  I had heard that using ground Cinnamon will repel ants.  I started to sprinkle the can everywhere, to no avail.  So then I went overboard and put it all around the hive.  I then continued by killing and brushing off the ants.  That was the trick.  It does not kill the ants or make them scurry when they come into contact with it.  But it creates a barrier that they don’t like.  After doing this, the rest of and checking Thursday and Friday I had no more unwanted visitors.  Ant’s or the male bumble bee.  And the honey bee’s do not seem to mind....

My weather station

Some what related to the bee’s is weather.  This morning is rather unusually cool.   We were at 46F and at 7:15am there were a few bee’s taking flight.  They increased at 8:30 to about 10 bee’s taking flight.  Regardless you can always see what the weather is here at home KININDIA57 Home Weather Station...