Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We Have Nectar!

This is just a quick update on the status of the hives. Back on May 13th we inspected the hives and put a medium honey super on top of each hive. The bees had plenty of room in the brood nest, but since dandelions and fruit trees were starting to bloom we thought we would give the bees room to store honey if they needed it. We have not had a lot of sunny calm days since then, but since today we are getting a break from the rain I decided to take a quick look in the supers to see if they had made any progress up there.

I first popped the top off Virginia and looked through a few frames. The super had quite a few bees up in it but was certainly not full of bee by any means. I looked at four frames and found a only five or six cells with nectar on each frame. I was not too surprised by this considering the relatively little time the bees have had to forage.

I then moved over to Georgia and found the super very full of bees. I looked at five frames and found significant nectar on three of them. Each of the three frams was about 1/4 full of nectar. These two photos show the nectar shining in the sunlight.Just think of what Georgia could have accomplished if we had had decent weather! I do hope that the weather dries out so the bees can take advantage of the fruit trees etc. before they finish blooming.

As for the fewer number of bees in Georgia- here are my thoughts (I could be wrong and probably
am): Back on May 13th we discovered 2 queens in Georgia's hive. They were just a couple of inches apart and one of them was missing a wing. I do not think they were in the middle of swarming or the existing queen would have swarmed before the new queen emerged from her queen cell. Since one of the queens was missing a wing I figure the she was the existing queen and the bees had superceded with a new queen. I have heard that the mother and daughter queens can live side by side for a while in this situation. If the existing queen either left or died there would be a period of time with no brood production before her daughter had time to mate and start laying eggs. That could explain the fewer numbers in Virginia's hive.

In any case, it looks like we are getting started with this years honey production. Can't wait!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...