Sunday, April 28, 2013
Sunday Reading - Still No Drones
Well today can be summed up in one little sentence.
At least it stopped raining.
By mid afternoon the sun still has not made an appearance though. The clouds do appear to be lifting a little bit so I have hopes of seeing the bright glowing ball at some point before the day is over.
By late morning I was able to navigate the yard by walking around on the high spots to avoid the dips and low areas filled with water and mud. It kinda reminded me of walking across mudflats on the Atlantic side of Key West when the tide was out.You quickly learned the color of the safe areas and avoided the ones that would suck you down and steal your water shoes off your feet.
The smell outside is one of wet rot and lingering mud right now. Mold and Mildew. Only the sun can remove that lingering dampness smell and stop the decay now.
The working girls were out flying after two days of being forced to stay inside the hive. They are still bringing in a metric butt ton of pollen, although the fiery red pollen is now gone there appears to be plenty of the pale yellow and now a bluish gray color. At the rate they are bringing it in they must be planning some serious egg hatching action but of course they should be with the depleted numbers they had left after this Winter.
There are still no drones flying that I have noticed however. We can't have swarms without drones. The queen can continue to lay all the worker eggs of course but without drones there won't be any newly bred queens ready so the old queens can make new colonies.
Even the hives that managed to stay fairly strong this Winter and are bursting with activity still show no signs of drones coming and going. I did notice some drone larva in the new garden hive when I cleaned it up a few weeks ago but I guess they are just not hatched and out yet.
When I start seeing drones I will begin looking for swarms to start. So far this year I have 10 swarm traps already in place and 2 more that I just finished painting and are looking for a home. By Tuesday I plan on giving my strongest and largest hive it's full Spring inspection and if it looks good I will possibly make a split off of it then.
All is ready for some serious bee expansion this year in hopes of replacing the Winter losses but ultimately that is still up to the bees. If they are not showing signs of "beeing" ready to multiply I really cannot push it. The hives need to be strong enough to handle splits or ready to swarm on their own before I will know they have built up enough.
The best outside indicator that the girls are ready is when they start letting the cabana boys hang out and entertain them all day. If I open the hive up and see a swarm cell that of course tells me they are ready as well but drones being around is a good sign without disturbing the colony.
I say let the swarms begin!!!
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!