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Farmette1769's Blog

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: traditional honey bee hive

The first shot is of the front of our honey bee hive. The next is of the back. The back is where you want to check on the hive – since the worker bee guards focus on the front entrance.

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I need to add some sugar water to the mason jars. At this point in the game, the hive is stable, but I still like to give them a food supplement boost, especially when it is raining. But, as you will see the first video, they are out and about on this cool-ish, misty morning.

The following pic shows what happens to invaders of the hive. That big bee is stone cold dead. I saw them wrangle a black carpenter ant down into the depths of the hive, but I didn’t get my video going in time to catch that epic battle. There are big red ants scurrying about, taking advantage of the sugar water drinker. The bees seemingly ignore them. I wonder if it is due to the coloring being somewhat like that of a honey bee?

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I added an internal feeder to help encourage the bees to come up into the super. I’m not sure if this is a normal tactic. I really want them up there building comb and storing honey without brood, so that we can sneak some honey out late summer/early fall. I’m thinking I should read up on this a bit. Ours is not a conventional hive setup, so getting the correct information may take a bit of digging.

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It took a lot of back and forth from the hive to get the video footage from today. It was me jogging off when a guard started buzzing near my face or hands, and then meandering back to try again. In the following video, I actually dropped my phone into the honey super. If you stay with it, you’ll get a pretty close view of the bees at a horizontal angle as I flip the phone up. It ends with my grab and retrieve action.

And lastly, a clip of what is going on in that top super. Not too much is actually happening, but hopefully I will figure out how to make more happen in there.

 

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It has been raining here on the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina for days and days and days and… Our honey bees had been taking advantage of the wildflowers we let grown in the front and back most fields. And, there had been a significant slowdown on feeder provision usage. But, since the onslaught of wet weather has come upon us all here @farmette1769, the bees have been sucking up lots of sugar water.

The following three photographs are of the somewhat quiet hive on this rainy Friday night.

  1. Sunset – This shows the standard/traditional beekeepers hive. It was converted and uses top bars instead of frames. The long-style top bar hive (unused ATT) is currently a stand for the in-use standard hive.
  2. Darker – Entrance to the hive during wet weather.
  3. Dusk – Extra sugar water mason jar holders to feed the hungry masses.

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There are still not many honey bees in the added super. It doesn’t seem to be quite as overflowing in the main section as it was. Yet, the original box is still pretty packed. If any of the bees swarmed and left, it could not have been half the population. But then again, a queen bee can lay 1500 eggs per day…

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The last three photographs show the Honey Super that was added to the hive in a rush last night. The plastic mesh you see is called Queen Excluder. It allows the Worker Bees (all females) to go up to build comb and store honey, without the Queen, who would lay brood aka future honey bees, included. I had been converting the “Loading the Honey Bee Package/Box into the Hive” Super into a Honey Super, when I realized that the hive population had experienced an extra big surge.

The following photos are from yesterday evening’s checkup on the hive.

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Yes, I got daring, again.

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This pic shows the only space left in the entire honey bee hive.

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This is a closer look at that quaint little tubular hole.

I wrote to the gentleman who distributed the bee packages from the man who raises them (That source beekeeper refers to himself as the Fat Bee Guy). It never occurred to me that the hive would grow this much and this fast. It was two months to the day, Thursday the 17th of May, 2018, when I took these photographs.

The email asked if the Super should or should not have the Queen Excluder at this point in the game. I’m not sure if it is too early for a Honey Super, or if I should have a Regular Super, and then an additional Honey-Only Super with Queen Exclusion on top of that.

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The last two pics were taken this evening.

Believe it or not, the front entrance to the hive is not as crazy looking as it was last night. The honey bee workers come up to just inside the box, but at least they can get in and out in what seems to be a comfortably organized manner.

I do not want the honeybees to overheat or swarm/leave to find a larger space. Hopefully, I will hear back soon. If not, I will have to scour the internet and/or just go ahead and build another super/bars to prepare for the inevitable mega overflow of this very prolific honey bee hive.

This bee video, from yesterday, shows the level of madness going on in our front yard.

Happy Friday Night Bees!

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So I got daring, with no mask or gloves or anything. It is cumbersome to take photos and videos with all of that on. No stings! Our honey bees are pretty docile. I had my iPhone 5-6 inches away from the honey bees for this first photograph.

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Unluckily, the pic of the fullness of the hive came out blurry. I did not realize this until after I had closed it back up. But, the hive is about 85% full and packed with comb and a gazillion bees. The magenta line represents where the comb(s) has grown to. We started off with about 9,000 honey bees from the packaged box we loaded in. I’m thinking that there may be around 35,000 in there right now.

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Front view with cover on the ground in front.

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Up close upside down top cover with a few of our honey bees lingering.

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Open view of top bars in traditional, squarish, beekeepers hive – from above.
Note: This is a combo design.

And here is this week’s video!

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Non-sequitur – Our chickens out for their nightly free ranging.

 

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