Friday, June 25, 2010


The month of June has been nothing but HOT in NC.  There has only been one day that the temp did not reach 90 since June 10th and it was 88 that day. 

Bees have to work hard to keep the hive cool on hot days.  We refill our three bird baths twice daily to give them water.  We also have two fish ponds but they seem to prefer the bird baths. 

We will not open the hives during this hot spell as they are not happy and we do no want to add to their stress.

Hope for rain and a cool spell.  It isn't even July yet....ahhhh.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kodak moment

Hey Mom, can I go swimming now?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hive Inspection

We went into the hives today to check out their progress. Green hive first.
Beekeeper in training was first to inspect the frames.
This one shows some capped brood.

Green hive is the one where the first queen "disappeared/died/ran off with a rogue drone" and the colony had to rear another queen. This frame from the outer edge of the hive body does not have brood yet but good honey.

This queen is obviously laying. Cells in the middle have been capped and the brood will emerge in a few days. On the left of the picture is the top of the frame and the caps are white and not as neat, this is where they have stored their honey.

This is the green hive where there are two hive bodies. We added the one on top May 31 because the ten frames in the bottom hive box were well built out and it was beginning to get crowded. This hive probably has twice as many bees.

One check of the frames on tops and it shows they are building out wax. No action from the queen yet in the top hive body. But they are getting it ready for her.

This frame from the bottom hive box show capped brood and honey arch. They are a little over zealous in building comb at the bottom of the frame. We will remove this later.
Very good work girls.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Garden tour

I was looking for honey bees and did not see this wasp. All polinators are welcome.

I could not resist posting some pictures of the garden. this is the veggie bed in the back yard. Note the fence? No deer - so far.
Left to right pole beans, cucumber, sugar snap peas, and bush beans.

Picked this morning, bush beans, sugar snap peas and the second cucumber.

We planted blueberry bushes this spring.

Harry's hydrangeas, planted last year, and they came back. Imagine that.

Lots of day lillies.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Honey bee hive update

Update on the two hives.

This is a picture of the apiary with the two hives. The one on the right is the green hive and the taller one on the left is the yellow hive. We put a small water garden in between them to provide them with water. But they prefer the birdbaths.

The green hive has been our concern. We still have the reducer at the entrance because it reduces the entry way and the guard bees have less space to guard. Guard bees keep out intruders such as yellow jackets and robber bees from other colonies that steal their honey. Because the population has been low we did not want to overwork the guard bees.

A large number of bees have emerged. This is the most we have seen on the entrance to the green hive. A few days ago there would have only been two or three bees guarding and a few coming and going. We may have to open up the entrance soon.

By comparison, this is the yellow hive. This one has been going great guns. We removed the reducer so the entire entrance is open and you can see it is full of bees coming and going. This hive has two hive bodies and a total of twenty frames for the bees to raise brood, store honey and pollen.

There is always a crowd at the bird baths.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Spider update and Misc.

By popular demand here is a picture of the new hatchlings. Is that a correct term for newly hatched spiders?Tiny little spiders that almost look like lint. I thought Mom was missing and then found her in the pot.

I also have some volunteer plants. The one in the pot I found when cleaning up the vegetable garden. The root looked like a big carrot and I was curious so I put it in a pot. Now it is blooming. Does anyone know what this is?

This "free plant" is obvious and we enjoy them every year. The humming birds like them as well.

Watch where you step in my back yard. These baby "frogs" are everywhere.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hives Update

Sunday, May 30, 2010 We checked out the two hives. The green hive had four frames with brood, larvae and capped. This is good but it is still a weak hive. There were honey arches and pollen on most of the frames. The bees were busy but there are not as many bees as there should be at this time. We will leave it alone and see how it proceeds.

The yellow hive was buzzing with seven frames of brood, capped, and larvae, lots of honey arches and pollen. We added a second hive body with ten frames so they would have room to expand. If a hive gets too many bees and not enough fresh space to build in they may swarm. Adding a hive body gives them that space. With all the capped brood there will soon be even more bees to work.

Off the subject I found a plant in the green house that had the leaves at the top looking like they were stuck together. On further examination this is what I found. Mama spider has stuck the upper leaves together to make a shelter for her eggs. Mama spider will not leave the plant in spite of me moving it several times.