Welcome-Welcome. It has been a few weeks since our last post about our bees, so I wanted to jump on to give some very exciting updates.
First we installed some cylinder blocks and 4x4s in place to raise the hives off the ground. Taking an empty hive we placed them on the 4×4’s and prepared to transfer colony of bees from the nuc box we purchased them in, into their permanent hive. I don’t think there is a better place to keep the bee’s on the farm. It’s in the middle of our orchard, also surrounded by hay fields and our grapevines.
Now this is the first time I’ve handled the bee’s, so I was very excited to see them a little more up close. Being my first year accompanied with my medicore “know-how” and confidence in my beekeeping skills, I choose the full suit. Maybe i’ll eventually graduate to gloveless, and even just a vail, but until I figure this whole system out, i’ll continue with the full getup. From learning about this important process, we transferred the bees from the five frame nuc box to the 10 frame brood (lower) box. We put the nuc five frames in the center of the brood box, and then placed two empty frames on onside to the wall of the hive, and three frames on there other. During the transfer its advised that the frames are transferred in the same exact order into the hives for orientation purposes. During the process we used a smoker to calm the bee’s and that all went very well.
A week after the transfer
So this past weekend (a week after the transfer), we opened up the top inspection cover and replaced the feed we place in the boxes, which is a 1 to 1 mixture of sugar water, to just take a high overview inspection of what the bee’s have been up to. It appeared that they have expanded all the way to nearly the outer frames. It was suggested that after it appears 7 of the 10 frames are filled with bee’s you can add your next layer or box to the hive. What will happen if the hive becomes to crowded they threaten to leave the hive and swarm. We try to visit the bees daily. We don’t get all suited up for our visit in fact its quite surprising how close you can get and hang out and they don’t care one bit. One tip I learned this week was, during our daily visits we started to see a little bit of ant activity around the base of the hive, and we don’t want ants in our honey. I am very cautious with what we spray around our home and yard that may impact the bee’s. So someone online I found that works, is powdered cinnamon. I bought a few small containers from Target and dusted around the base of the hives and sure enough the next day, nearly ant free. Only downside is rainy days, you have to do it all over again. Not perfect but is the safest thing I could find for my bee friends.
Adding our Super
On Tuesday, we added another super to our hive. That is another larger box that will house 10 frames just like the brood box. One of the hives still seems to be a little more curious about what I am doing around them while the other has no worry in the world. Both to be growing a close rate to one another, and we are very excited to see them grow in to their new addition.
Well that is all we have to update on our bees. We hope you are enjoying these little updates on what we find and what we learn along the way. This has been truly an amazing journey so far, and we are having so much fun learning about this world of beekeeping. Until next time, give grace.