Saturday, April 23, 2016

Easiest swarm yet!

Sometimes it pays to be lazy! I didn't get around to setting this swarm trap out and the bees didn't wait for me, & just moved in yesterday.
(Yes PP. That's a practice bomb behing the trap)

Just took a few minutes to move the frame of comb & shake the rest of the bees off the top bars & into the new hive. 99% are inside now. Not a real big swarm, maybe a small football's worth, but they have plenty of time to grow. It was a cool day & they were previously all getting ready to build comb, so not much outside action.. I gave them a frame of honey, a 1/2 a pollen patty, & mostly drawn comb. Forage isn't that great right now, but should improve soon with the blackberry season being early..

Guard bees! :-)

One drawn frame against one side  & 5 top bars. They seem to like that arraignment.

The trap reset in another bay.

Monday, April 18, 2016

First swarm of the season hived

A day late though, they had already moved into the old hive in the barn. Saturday. Sunday I cut them out. This gives me a chance to clean the old comb & wax moth cocoons & webs out. I'll close it back up as there is it always seems to have bees. A few screws and it will be easy to uncover next time. I sure wish I'd seen them before they moved in, but then again, I needed to clean the feral barn hive up.
I added a queen excluder on the entrance & screened the inner cover vent hole to keep the queen in. I had a newly hived swarm leave last year. I'll see if this helps. It's just a piece cut off of a full excluder & set into grooves cut into the three piece frame.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

The feral house hive has swarmed

It was a pretty good sized swarm & by the time I got my camera all but a few were inside already.

Look at all those fat little tails up in the air. 


As you may recall from a recent post, the hive had grown considerably.  I was mowing the lawn today and was under the largest apple tree  and I looked up. I was in the middle of a swarm. I was expecting it, but never saw them come out or settle anywhere, but now I bet they were in the tree all along. In any case, I turned the mower off & walked with the swarm towards the barn expecting them to ball up in one of the fruit trees. It seems they already had, and were headed to the old feral hive in the corner of the barn. Sure enough, they moved in.  This should be an easy cut out if I do it right away. I wish I had more time, I'm already way behind on everything.

Although I didn't see them come out of the house, the heat signature from the hive is now much smaller. Still a good size hive though, they may swarm again.

before

after



I wish they had gone into one of the empty hives I didn't get around to setting up. :-)

Monday, April 11, 2016

trespassing thieving poachers

I can kiss $250-300 away on this. Camera, large sd card, and box.



The SOB trespassing thieving poacher that walked into my property and did this is lower than bear s&#%! & I'm pretty sure I know who did it.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

An interesting little spider!

About 1.5cm long, legs included.

Metellina (sp)
                                          One of the Long-jawed Orb Weavers (Tetragnathidae) 
Possibly species:  curtisi

I found it outside stretched out on my screen door this morning where it stayed for this photo..

The two pedipalps indicate it's sex

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The feral house hive has grown

This has grown a lot in the last couple of weeks!  It may be time to keep an eye out for when it swarms. That or cut it out & hive it. More will move in as usual.
This was in Feb.with the Flir one looking at the outside wall.
I'm able to take different heat/color patterns.

Taken Feb. 11th

                             The night shots don't have the outlines from the regular camera.



This was taken Feb.15th

The next shots were taken today. April 7th
The comb is over six feet long now.






I can cut the drywall from inside in a small closet, but it will be a little cramped and the house will probably have a lot of bees flying around for a while which won't bother me, but the wife & dog may complain. :-).