Monday, October 29, 2007

Honey Anyone?

I can’t wait till next year when I will hopefully have some answers to all of my beekeeping questions.

Questions like - When is the bee population going to start declining for winter? It is a little nerve racking to see so many bees, and then come to a conclusion that the hives peak populations are during springs and summers!!!!!!

My goal yesterday was to smoke the hive with more tobacco smoke, part two of my Varroa treatment. I also wanted to check the honey stores on the top medium super and take a look at the deep hive body.
This is the hive without the top. I rearranged again and removed another frame. This time I took out a plastic frame to give the bees even more room to draw out another wooden frame. By all estimates, there is enough honey to take the hive through two winters. The picture shows my current super configuration. The plastic frames are drawn out and capped from 60 to 80%. The inside wooden frames are drawn out and capped 100% percent. The outside ones are currently being worked on.

Then here is my deep body. I pulled just one frame out of it; by the time I worked my way down here the bees were working themselves into a wild frenzy. A frenzy created by all the spilled honey from frames pulled apart for inspection, and from spilled honey out of bur comb that I cleaned off. I cleaned bur comb like the one in the picture below. It also happens to be Frame 9 of the hive body with more capped honey.

After removing the medium super, I placed it on my frame storage container (trash can). My hope was to keep any honey from falling to the ground and attracting ants. A lot of honey did drip on the lid. I decided to leave it all for the bees to clean. At first the bees seemed to be glad the inspection was over. They were more interested in repairing my damage, salvaging the spilled honey,

and stepping out of the top entrance for some fresh air. Within 20 minutes it turned into a mad feeding frenzy. I need to take note of this when I have multiple hives. Open feeding by the hives is definitely not a good idea. The weakest hive is going to get robbed. Regardless, I couldn’t have done a better job cleaning the mess. Only thing left was the bur wax, which by the time the bees moved off the ants moved in. Darn things were trying to make off with my wax!!!!! I’m collecting all this bur wax for future uses such as coating the top bars in the Top Bar hive (TBH)
Good inspection and good picture day. The link will take you to my favorite pics from yesterday. I counted four Varroa mites in the trap. I last inspected for them on Wednesday, so I have a great average of 1/day. Florida threshold before chemical intervention is 60/day. The Small hive beetle count is down to about 10 per week, if you don't count big mama here. Look at the size of this so call Small Hive Beetle.
Next week is step three of the Varroa treatment. More tobacco smoke with out an inspection.


Anonymous said...

Good morning Bee Annonymous,

Please allow me to introduce myself - My name is Aida and I am posting this comment with the hopes that you when you receive this message you will contact me. I need your help and guidance to get in touch with a beekeeper in Central Florida that would allow my daughter and I to visit to observe the bees. My daughter is in middle school and has become interested in learning about bees. In fact, she has become so interested in bees that she choose them as the subject of an essay for her science class. One of the requirements to complete the essay is that she observe the bees in action. To that end, I have tried to find beekeepers in Central Florida that would allow us to visit to no avail when I came across your blog. Please reply to me by e-mail me to or at Any help that you would be willing to provide to us would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again for your help.

Bee Anonymous: said...

Hope the pointers on how to find a local beekeeper are helpfull. I know the person who's contact I provided would be more than happy to help. Good luck, let me know if I can be of any more help

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