Sunday, February 24, 2008

Holy Cow __________ !!!!!!!

Holy Cow - look at all the bees, Holy cow - I got stung …..Again!!! Holy Cow - the brood expanded into the medium supper, Holy Cow - here comes the drones, Holy Cow - is that a queen cell????? Holy Cow I think the hives look better painted yellow. Fill in the blank for the title; I couldn’t make up my mind on which one to use.

Let’s begin with the hive’s progress. I think it’s looking awesome for late February. I can not believe how many bees there are. The only frames not drawn out as of today are each of the outside ones on the supper but they are being worked on. Here is a picture of how the deep body looked after I pulled the medium off.
Well, it had been a while since I’d been stung. Looks like I’m building quite the nice immunity to it, or I removed the stinger out of my forearm before I got a good dose of poison. The area is a little sore but there is hardly any swelling. I’m just one more sting away from double digits.

The bees have expanded the brood into the medium supper. I am now the proud keeper of a 1.5 Beehive. This was an intentional move on my part (One deep body and one medium body). The following picture is a beautiful brood pattern (dark Yellow) below capped honey (white), all one of the medium frames. (click to enlarge, and roll mouse over picture for tags)
Now here is a great pattern on a deep frame.
The medium from now on will no longer be a supper; it is now part of the body. I would had preferred to have the medium on the bottom, but I can rotate them next winter when there are less bees to worry about. The pro of a 1.5 hive is a larger work force. The con is that it’s harder to find the queen. So what now??? I’m going to put on the queen excluder and another supper, and then feed one more gallon to help them draw it out. The new supper will be mine to harvest. I built eight wooden medium frames with starter strips. I will place it on as soon as I get home tomorrow from work. It will ease the overcrowding in the hive and give the idle work force something to do. Picture of Idle force below. Here is one of those wedge wooden frames with a starter strip. There are drone cells every where. Drone cells are usually described by everyone as tips of a 22 caliber bullet. According to Michael Bush’s math, the drones will be ready for matting flights in about 2 weeks (if they were to all emerge from their cells tomorrow). My new queen will be here in 3 weeks. Here is something that freaked me out a little. Is a picture of mostly drone cells but notice the larger cell? At 1st I though it may be a new queen cell, meaning the hive could be getting ready to swarm.
After posting the picture on Beesource, all worries were put to rest. One very important thing was pointed out. Queen cells are built vertical, not horizontal. I know that too. Then there was an observation made about how the adjacent cells have not been capped yet, in turn making that lone one look bigger. I should have seen that in my own picture. The Beekeeping forum community is a great asset.

I found my can of yellow paint. I can’t believe I still have 2/3 of paint left; and I can’t believe I actually think everything looks better painted yellow. The TBH looks like it belongs here now.

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