Mentoring Report - May 2022
Jennafer visited her hives that I am temporarily BEEby-sitting for her. Nucs were full of brood and bees. There was no shortage of honey and nectar, so the bees were doing well. Not a single hive beetle. Queens that were located still had their marks intact (but paint was chewed, but still there). Sunday, April 24, 2022
Visited Victoria today and we went through her 3 hives to see how they were doing after undergoing a few treatments for mites and beetle issues. Good news was no hive beetles and they colonies had bounced back nicely after the mite treatments. Recent blooms (including palmetto) has resulted in more comb building and queen eagerly laying on the comb as fast as it could be build. Expecting these bees to really start being productive. Added super to the third (and strongest) colony (Red Rose Colony). Monday, April 25, 2022.
Victoria uses foundationless frames and while it requires a little extra care handling the frames it is worth the rare risk of forgetting not to tip frames. Fun to watch the bees do things the way they want... plenty of communication and frame-to-frame travel...festooning to build new comb, plus natural cell size and so much more. April 25, 2022
Mentoring/Assisting new bee club member Peter Trepper. He had two colonies with lots of honey in super from a nectar flow of the past. Checked Brown box and while it had capped honey in super, the brood box was filled with a queenless roar of bees, nectar, pollen, but no brood, no queen. So I went into second double brood box hive and found 20 decent frames of brood, so took it down to one 10-frame with existing queen and took other 10 frames to make two queenless split-offs. Bonnie's Bees is supplying two Mite Mauler queens on Sunday for the two nucs. Friday, 4/29/22
Saturday, 4/30/22 went out to help Jerry Brown locate his two hard-to-see "unmarked" (gone feral, superseded) queens before we requeen tomorrow. One of his HOOVER hives (dipped-wax finish still looking nice after 2 or 3 years) was even being filled and capped with honey. He's holding one of the frames which they are filling as fast as they draw out the wax... and capping as they go. I located both queens and removed. NEXT DAY: I went out again the following afternoon with his two new queens from Bonnie of Bonnie's Bees. These Mite Maulers are the only queens Jerry has used since he started beekeeping a couple years ago. Cages are hung in two of his 3 hives and we will check to see how the release is going on Wednesday. Thanks Bonnie for supplying the two new queens!
Mentoring Report - April 2022
Visited with Victoria yesterday (3/18/22). Project today was take frames (brood and resources) from her other 3 hives to accomplish a nuc split which would remain queenless for 2 days prior to installing a newly purchased Martha Carpenter Mite Mauler queen from Bonnie's Bee's Victoria's apiary is looking great with her newly painted hives.
Today (Monday, 3/21/22) checked on Victoria's requeening progress. They had not chewed much candy in one day. We decided to transfer the 5 frames from plastic Pro-Nuc into a nicer wooden nuc box. I felt the heat from the sun on the plastic was a bit intense when compared to wooden nuc with wooden cover. I also poked a tiny hole (tunnel) through the candy to encourage the bees to release her. She purchased this yellow marked, caged queen from Bonnie's Bee's. The queen is from the queen line Martha Carpenter Mite Maulers. Thanks Bonnie Raye
Friday, March 25, 2022: Checked Victoria's 4 hives and specifically checked the newest colony with recently hand-released Mite Mauler queen from Bonnie's Bees. We found the released queen with barely any of her yellow paint left, but you could still see small amounts of the yellow, so the queen was there and there was plenty of larvae. One of her other colonies was exhibiting hygienic behavior by uncapping and removing pupae.
Friday, March 25, 2022: Checked Victoria's 4 hives and noticed workers which were uncapping and removing dead, parasitized, or diseased larvae and pupae from sealed brood cells is indicative of hygienic behavior. The more cells uncapped and pupae removed, the more hygienic the colony. The odor of the mite itself triggers or influences which cells the worker inspects. Because of noting this activity we decided to treat all colonies for mites using oxalic acid just to be on the safe side.
Friday, March 25, 2022: Checked Victoria's 4 hives Some cells the worker bees uncapped to take a peek, but they took no action unless they found the pupae to be dead and/or diseased. If they find DWV (Deformed Wing Virus) they will sometimes decapitate or cannibalize the pupae. Often they will recap the cell after taking a peek.
Victoria going through her 3 hives this morning (Friday, 4/1/22) assisted by Marc and Dennis. Routine follow-up check of hives being treated for mites. Bees looked good. Oxalic acid towel treatment repeated a week ago has produced results in the form of many mites detached and stuck in the Pam veggie spray coating on the bottom inspection tray/board.
Victoria going through her 3 hives this morning (Friday, 4/1/22) assisted by Marc and me (I don't usually get in photos, so had Victoria take one today for fun). Queen in this colony was easy to spot with bright orange paint that I marked her with because she was ordered "unmarked" from queen supplier.
Victoria checked her 3 hives this morning (Friday, 4/1/22). Her hives have the screened bottom board that I modified to have a white pull-out tray drawer to serve as sticky (Pam spray) trap and inspection board. The shop towels (oxalic acid) had done their thing by causing a huge mite fall over the last week.
Assisting Jocelyn with her 3 hives on Friday, 3/18/22. First two Langstroth hives had laying queens and an okay brood pattern; however, were in dire need of food. They had no honey left in supers, no honey or nectar in brood box. Completely dry and void. So she purchased some feeders and will be feeding 1:1 sugar water steady until conditions improve in her area. If you zoom in on photos you can see the dry, empty cells in upper corners of brood frames. Nothing to fuel them nor to stimulate them to build up.
Assisting Jocelyn with her 3 hives on Friday, 3/18/22. While first 2 Langstroth were totally light (no food reserves), the 3rd hive KTBH (Kenya Top Bar Hive) was totally the opposite... no food shortage and had plenty of capped honey and resources. Strange they must have found a good foraging area the other two hives failed to find.
Checked in on Jackie and her Flow Hive yesterday (Friday, 3/18/22) and discovered that like some others she was experiencing a light colony (all reserves were gone... no capped honey, no nectar), but colony was still strong. So we installed a can of sugar syrup 1:1 above top bars/inner cover and protected with super box to help reduce any robbing problems. Can will be replaces with more appropriate mason jar inverted feeder later. Her colony is currently queened with "orange" marked queen (a color I use when queens are purchased without supplier marking, so I know which ones were purchased unmarked... currently color would have been yellow).
Assisting Jerry Brown as he transfers 5-frame nuc from Bonnies Bees consisting of Martha Carpenter Mite Mauler bees (with their yellow-marked queen) into his new Hoover 10-frame Langstroth. This makes his third colony. Two previous colonies were also Mite Maulers and also in Hoover Hives. Sunday, April 10, 2022.
Bonnies Bees nucs were well populated and queen was laying well. You can easily see the eggs in this photo. This new nuc was calm and pleasant to install in their new hive. This is more than I can say for the other two colonies which no longer had marked queen and were quite testy. Sunday, April 10, 2022.
Brand new beekeeper Jim Lunsford installed 5-frame nuc from Bonnie's Bees into his own 10-frame hive box about 5 days ago. I went out today to see how the 5 frames were doing in their new hive box. They still looked great. We observed brood (open and capped including larvae in various stages of development). There was plenty of glistening nectar and also capped honey in corners and/or along tops of frames. Advised to leave them alone for a week to 10 days before checking on their progress. Friday, 4-15-22
Newbie Jim Lunsford and I checked on his first hive containing the 5 frames from Bonnie's bees. (Martha Carpenter Mite Maulers). We observed brood (open and capped including larvae in various stages of development). There was plenty of glistening nectar and also capped honey in corners and/or along tops of frames. Bees were calm and gently. Jim started with gloves, but quickly took them off to make the inspection go easier. Friday, 4-15-22