June 2013 - Fear NO Honey Bee

Abnormal to Humans, bee comb building

I typically let the bee’s do their own thing.  One thing that drives me crazy though, is when they build comb at odd angle’s.  It is how they want to build it.  It’s really not an issue, unless you want to do inspections, and then there will be no easy way to do it, without making a huge mess.  You will have to cut the comb/frame out, or do a whole box inspection/harvest.  Both hives built their first box, nearly perfect (for me) running cold frame.  The second box though, they had their own agenda as shown below. This first picture was when I first noticed the issue.  You see the frame on the left, was at about 45.  The next frame was at a 90.  The other 2 were fine.  As I saw this developing, I decided to put in top bars that had “Popsicle” sticks running down the middle.  When I did it to this hive, it set them back about a week.  They had to figure out what was going on, and start rebuilding the comb.  This picture is to show comb that was on my flat top bar’s.  The far right frame is straight.  But the next frames were not so much, and ended up being a nearly 90 across the top bars.   It makes it easy to see inside the individual cell’s and whats going on, but will be an issue for inspections.  Hopefully I won’t need to, and can harvest this box all at the same time....

Uncapped brood, fresh eggs and development

I decided to amend this  entry and create a separate one, as I was able to get good video of some freshly layed egg’s and a few day old larvae. Here is the cycle about the bee’s: A worker bee is fed royal jelly until about 3 1/2 days old.  From day 3 1/2 until it is capped it is called open brood.  It is not capped until about day 8 (small cell).  From the day it is capped until it emerges is is called capped brood.  It emerges about day 18 – 19. After emergence for the first 2 days the worker will clean cells of hatched brood and generate heat for the brood next.  The next 3-5 days it will spend it’s life as a nurse bee, feeding the older larvae (open brood).  The next 6-10 days it will feed the young larvae.  Days 1-10 old it is considered a Nurse bee.  From day 11-18 the worker will make honey (not gathering) but ripen nectar and take it from the foraging bee’s and will build comb.  From days 19-21 the worker will be house bee.  Providing ventilation for the hive, guard bee, janitor and undertaker.  Day 22 until the end of their life, they become foragers.  Workers typically live about 6 weeks, working themselves to death until their wings become too shredded to fly anymore, or the hazard of foraging take’s their life.  But there is always bee’s being born (1000 – 3000) a day, and the cycle continues. We see some that are older, as the larvae are larger.  But we were also to see some...

Hive Happenings

Things have been busy around and in the hive lately.  For the most part I have been monitoring the hive from the outside and letting the bee’s do their thing.  The weather has been very mixed.  It has been rain off and on for the last 3 weeks, but this doesn’t seem to slow the girls down.  I notice they out and about during the rain and immediately out when the rain stops. First to show the various colors of the pollen they bring in: Various Pollen coming in When the bee’s find something pollen, nectar, propolis or new home they communicate by what we call “Waggle Dance”.  The dance gives the following information:1) Distance2) Direction3) Value of the find How this is communicated is by the following.  Distance is communicated by the duration of the dance.  1 Second is about 1000M.  Direction is communicated by the angle from the hive relative to the sun.  Value is communicated by how vigorous (or not) of what they found.  The other bee will observe all of this, and will repeat it back.  She will also get a smell.  Now she knows about how far and the direction of travel she needs to make, and will go find this source. Waggle Dance The girls finished building out the top box with comb Thursday.  This was 1 day shy of 3 weeks.  As they were finishing up, I saw them doing their festoon chain’s in the bottom box.  Shortly thereafter I saw comb being built on the top bars in the bottom box. Festooning and build of comb I think the build of...