Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Bees Have a New Neighbor

This is Jack. He lives in a hole he found next to the bee hive. Jack lost an eye in what we think was a fox attack.

This is Oliver and his cat Otter (usually an indoor cat-he doesn't know how to hunt) patiently waiting for Jack to come out of his hole.

This is Oliver watching Jack walk back to his hole, his cheeks full of food.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I took this video when we were just sitting with the bees enjoying the unusual warm weather we had this January. I changed the video to be in slow motion for fun.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Second Inspection

I made a brief inspection of the hive today to see how much of the grease patty was consumed by the bees. They had eaten 1/3 of the patty in one week. We will see if it will take three weeks to completely consume it.

The hive is expanding to more than four frames. Last week the bees were only on three frames. I also noticed that there are capped comb. We did not disturb the central frames where the queen is located due to the chill in the air. We did pull out one of the outer frames.

This is the frame that has new construction on it. You can see the capped honey on the top (white). The middle is completed comb (but empty). At the bottom is comb under construction.

Jessica took this picture of the inner frame when I took out the other frame. It is wall to wall bees with a lot of capped storage for brood and honey.

This is Oliver being very cute! He will be the bees best friend.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Pollen Baskets!

After spending an hour watching the bees today and looking for different pollen colors in their baskets, I began to wonder, “What is a pollen basket?” I imagined a small net attached to the hind leg of the bee. I googled pollen basket and found out.
The hind leg has a “comb” which is made up of tiny hairs that help the bee to collect pollen. She then moistens the pollen with flower nectar and puts this mixture into her basket, a collection of slightly larger hairs above the comb. Who knows what happens to it when the bee gets into the hive?! That's for another day.

Here are some pictures displaying a few of the different colors of pollen we observed in the baskets.


Light Yellow

Dark Yellow~Jess

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Warm Winter Day

Oliver decided he wanted to play the piano for the bees.

The weather was beautiful and the bees enjoyed every minute of it. We noticed that their pollen baskets were brimming with pollen as they went into the hive.

Friday, January 16, 2009

First sting!

Who: Glenn
When: 4:59 PM (1/16/09)
Where: Left cheek (I'll let you guess)
Lesson learned: Never blow on a pack of bees.

First inspection of our beginner hive!

1/09/09 Jess and I met a very nice man named Steve from King Honey in Atascadero. We were purchasing some beeswax for our lip balm. We started talking about bees and if he had any in his yard. To our surprise he did, they were in cardboard boxes. He is a swarm collector for SLO County. Steve was talking about how he needed to find homes for them soon or they would parish in the cold. With that said we purchase one and started our beekeeping adventure a few months early.

1/10/09 At 5:30pm we drove the truck to King Honey and picked up our new bees. I put on my protective gear and watched the bees go into their new home. Oliver and Jess walk around looking at the full moon and snapping pictures of the transfer. We found out our bees were a swarm rescued from the airport.

1/16/09 We opened our new hive today, six days after they were introduced to their new home. Everything looks great, three frames are completely developed with honey combs. No capped brood yet but there are open ones. Queen looks health and very large compared to the rest of the hive. Did not see any visible mites but did not look to closely this time being it was my first ever inspection (very thrilling). Started mite treatment with a wintergreen mineral patty. ~Glenn