Friday, July 11, 2014
Bee Splits and the Cutting Crew
You know it is humid when you can see the water particles in the beams of sunlight though the trees. This is the Garden Apiary at the moment. It contains my one big hive I keep here permanently and for now the three growing hives that I have not given the final stamp of approval too yet.
This is pretty much how I try and handle the hives these days. Any small swarms, new splits or problem children get moved or installed at the Garden Apiary and if they survive the Winter I then relocate them in early Spring. Usually the smaller hives are the ones I am feeding syrup too as well so it saves me some gas overall.
The second hive from the left in the picture is Salem colony that started as a small swarm back in May and has been suffering from either a dead queen or they absconded. I added two frames from a strong hive Wednesday and today I added another frame of what I am almost certain was a mixed frame of two or so day old eggs and a little uncapped brood from Croatoan Colony.
My hopes are that Salem will raise a new queen from the eggs. I will check this hive every week or so until I see a new queen cell built over an existing egg cell. I couldn't find a good Northern queen to order in so I am trying this method. It may not work and if it doesn't or if the girls do not have time to build up enough before Winter they may die anyway but there is still time to try.
The other two hives to the right are in pretty good shape. One is a split I made back in March with a couple of swarm cells from the South Faulklands colony. So far they seem to be getting their groove on and taking off.
Here's a close up of it now named Port Royal Colony. If you click on the pic you can see the girls in an orientation flight getting ready to send out a new group of foragers. This hive has been showing some strong growth in numbers but isn't really building up comb inside like it should so I am still feeding it. Feeding sugar syrup seems to help promote comb growth or so I have read.
The cutting crew has chewed down the main section of their area pretty good finally and have turned their attention to the backside.
I kinda fenced off an area shaped like a J and this is the bottom tip part of it. Until now except for their morning ritual of stripping the weed trees of new limbs they have mostly been ignoring this area.
Here are two pics of the real problem children of the group. Sandwich above and Cadden below. Sandwich is the bottle baby who's mother died and then she got sick so she is the smallest ewe we got while Cadden is a mini-Chevoit whether.
As you can see it doesn't take much for them to duck their heads and go under that bottom strand of electric wire. So far though they have been staying in for over a month now so I hope I have that problem licked. Of course the rules will change once they have this all eaten down and they look across the fence at the lovely mowed grass on the other side.
Guess we will cross that bridge when we get to it.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!