Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Swarm goes into nuc

Late Sunday afternoon I looked into the bee yard and saw the sky full of bees. They were gathering on the fence just behind the hives. I went out and took some photos and video and thought I would let them stay till the next day since it was late and already getting dark.

It has been too hot to go into the hives and pull queen cells. When you don't pull the queen cells out this is what happens. But with 110 heat index the thought of putting on a bee suit is too much for me to endure.

The next day I got a nuc, (a small five frame hive) with four empty frames and a frame of honey. I started scooping from the fence. I would put mu hands onto the frames and the bees would just crawl off my gloves into the hive. I had scooped about half the swarm into the nuc, looking for the queen with every handful. I never saw her... but all of a sudden I heard a loud buzzing and all the bees took flight. The ones on the fence left and the bees in the nuc started pouring out as well. I was sad to see them go but I wished the love and light. I took a few photos of them in the top of the pecan tree.

I had an appointment and when I returned home they had left the tree. I took the nuc and put it on the the feeding table I have in my bee yard. I saw some bees but I thought it must bee the other hives robbing the frame of honey. I did not put the top on the hive because I wanted them to have easy access to the honey. Several days passed before I looked at the hive. I thought the robbers should have had time to clean the frame. When I looked into the hive to my amazement they bees were building cone on the empty frames. My girls had not flown the coop but had gone into the nuc. I was so excited... but also I am not sure what I need to do to move the bees to a new location. They can not stay on my feeding table.

I am going to my bee meeting tonight and I will ask several of the more experienced bee keepers what they would do.

The bees are amazing little creatures. I am so happy they did not leave Sasserfrass Hill but decided to stay. We bee happy.!!!

Ms Deb

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weather has been cooler and wetter

Last week we had two days of only 90 degrees, which was almost cool, com paired to the 110 degree heat index we had the week before. I worked in my yards. I planted some plants friends had given me. I cut my grass and my elderly neighbors grass. It was actually pleasant working outside.

I found a very small swarm of bees on my umbrella very late last Sunday evening. Experts say if it is a small swarm and you remove the queen, the worker bees will go back to the hive they came out of. I did find the queen and put her in a bug box along with several attendants. I have a friend that needs a queen. I think she will be a welcome addition to her hive. I hope she will be happy and live a very productive life across town.

My queen and her attendants have been in the bug box for a week now. I hope she will survive until my friend returns on Tuesday. Until then she is getting honey and water. I have never kept a queen for so long in a bug box. I am not sure how long you can keep a queen in a cage... We will see...

Good luck my tiny queen.

Ms Deb

Friday, July 8, 2011

We have had lots of rain

Today is July 8th and we have had more rain in the last few weeks than we have had all year. We were in a nine inch deficit until a few weeks ago. Afternoon showers has turned the grass green and the flowers are blooming again. We are very grateful.

Jennifer Berry from the University of Georgia Bee Lab, came down and spoke to our Clark Hill Bee Club. She said the forecast was for cooler and wetter July and August. At the time it had not rained in weeks and it was 101 degrees... I thought... from your lips to God's ears...I think he heard, because it has been raining since her predictions.

The bees have been festooning on the hives in the evenings. Which is equivalent to us sitting out on the porch trying to stay cool.

We are getting the old four frame, hand cranked extractor out and we will be extracting honey from some of our hives next week. The Augusta Chronicle Newspaper reported Luke Thompson called and want to bring a photographer out and do a story on extracting honey. It will be exciting and I am looking forward to seeing how much honey the girls on Sasserfrass Hill have produced so far this year. The girls work hard for the honey ... and I am sure it will be impressive to see the beautiful liquid gold pouring from the extractor.

We made a big batch of Lip Balm last week. We gave out over twenty samples. Everyone said they really liked them and think they are the best recipe so far. We also have to make a big batch of lotion bars and fill several orders. Hopefully we will be making lotion bars next week.

Things are buzzzy on Sasserfrass Hill so I will sign off and get to work.

Bee Well,

Ms Deb