Sunday, April 6, 2014

Newbees and Olbees

Last year we bought two boxes of bees. Both hives did really well, but if you remember, the bees in Langstroth hive were as mean as striped snakes.  I didn't want attack bees for myself, but I certainly couldn't have that with my wee folk about, so we had to requeen that hive.  Though the Top Bar hive was content and lovely to work with, they clearly found the grass greener on the other side and swarmed with all the honey in early September.
I waited a few weeks to see if the few bees that remained were raising another queen. Apparently not, so I put them in the Langstroth and closed up the Top Bar and brought in all the combs so moths and beetles wouldn't destroy them.
Well, the bees with the new queen survived very well in the Langstroth hive and today are hauling in pollen as fast as those tiny wings can go.
 We have yellow, red, nude and gold pollen.

Handy Man picked up our new bee box for the Top Bar hive today.  Since neither of the boxes last year were satisfactory- a hive that swarmed and a mean queen that needed beheading, we decided to go with a different breeder and bought ones bred for good hygiene, which should help keep down the varroa mite population.
This little box contains Queenie Bee, but the cork was already cattywhampus.  Usually there is a piece of candy in there. It gives the hive time to get used to her scent. So, I stuck a marshmallow hunk in there.

 This box was like a different critter from last year. I don't think there was one dead bee and you see lots of new little fuzzy girls, which means they aren't very old.
 See them going after that queen. You can see a piece of the marshmallow  peeking through.
I tell you, I can't say enough about this bee jacket.  You see they are all over me, but it doesn't phase me.  Since I've learned to pull a puffy pair of sweat pants over my jeans, or whatever, there is no problem at all.  
I'll check back in a couple of days to see if they have her out.  Man there were a ton of bees in that box.  Since all of their comb is already built, I'm expecting big things from these littlest bits.


  1. That is a lot of bees! I was curious how they would survive your harsh winter but it looks like they did! Hope they like their new Queen! Amazing pictures -- you look so calm, too!

  2. I get the willies just thinking about being that close to so many bees...