Sunday, May 24, 2015

Josephium inspection

I tried to inspect the Josephium today. I saw right away that both bodies were completely drawn out and brimming with honey. On the easternmost frame of the upper body I saw a large slash across the uncapped honeycomb. Was this sliming due to the small hive beetle, or was this damage incurred during the pulling of the frame? On the next to easternmost frame in the upper body there was plenty of capped drone brood, surrounded by capped and uncapped honey.

Unfortunately, this is as far as I got. The smoker, which had been going great, went out suddenly. At the same time, both of my gloves ripped. The bees got quite agitated; their buzzing went into gear, and the sentry bees started buzzing me and showing a great deal of interest in my now exposed right index finger.

So I closed up. Since there was so much honey, I removed the feeder pail and put on a honey super. A few hours later, I went out and put a mix of empty frames and frames with foundation into the super. In those hours, the Jospehianae had really moved in. I hope I didn't squash too many inserting the frames.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


"Daddy, there is a bunch of bees in the Mulberry tree!"

That is what my worried apiariella ran to tell me as I was firing up the smoker to inspect the Josephium.  And there they were. The swarm was smaller than I was expecting, about the same size as a package of bees, maybe a bit smaller. They were hanging onto a low hanging branch; they were about seven feet off the ground, while the tip of the branch came down to three feet.  The apiariella, apiariulus, and I observed some very vigorous dancing on the part of some of the scouts lobbying hard for their favored locations. So energetically were they dancing, that they danced some of their sisters right off the bivouac. I fetched our new hive and positioned it under them. Brenda came out to reposition the hive as needed as I pulled the branch lower. When the bivouac was about four feet off the ground, and right in my face, I gave them one hard jerk, and off they came, right into the hive. The apiariulus caught the whole thing on camera, we hope.

We closed up the hive and let them settle in. After twenty minutes or so they were mostly in the hive, so we definitely got their queen. A few hours later, I went out and added six frames, a feeder pail, and an attic. When I first lifted the inner cover, most of the bees were stuck to it. For some reason, I was not expecting that. I tried holding it with one hand while gently positioning frames with the other, and I wound up dropping it. Yikes! Fortunately, the queen seems to have survived, since the bees went back into the hive in the minutes that followed.

We now have our third hive, dedicated to Saint Ambrose.

Friday, May 22, 2015

No split

So I thought I would split the Benedictium today, but the bees had other plans.

Eric and Joachim came over to watch and help. We inspected the Benedictium, and we found plenty of honey, these gals are full up, but we found little pollen, less brood, and no eggs. I suppose they are quite ready to swarm. Nothing to split with here! So we closed up. Maybe we'll split the Josephium instead.

When I closed up, I went ahead an put on a super with 10 frames, about half empty, half with foundation.

I put some comb in the new hive, and maybe it will catch a swarm.

I'll inspect the Josephium tomorrow. Maybe we have some eggs in there.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Four more pounds for the Josephium

I went to put some a fresh pail of syrup into the Josephium yesterday, but there were so many bees in the attic, that I retreated and fired up the smoker and suited up.

After putting in the pail, I decided to spit the Benedictium, since I was all fitted up with the gear. I opened it up and saw that it was chock full of honey. I pulled out one frame, all honey, when I realized it was too cold to be pulling out brood, so I closed it back up and called it a day.

It should be warmer tomorrow. I'll try then if it's not raining.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Four more pounds for the Benedictium

I put four more pounds of sugar into the feeder pail for the Benedictium today. $2.00.