Saturday, April 30, 2016


I saw a swarm in the cherry bush above Brenda's Square Foot Gardens. I unwrapped it (it was surrounded by chickenwire) I shook the swarm into the empty Benedictium after ridding it of ants. This swarm was much bigger than last year's swarm in the mulberry tree. I wonder which hive it came from? I wonder if it wasn't from the Ambrosium; they haven't been bringing in much pollen lately.

The dandy lions are almost all seeding now, even up here. I should do a hive inspection tomorrow.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Dandelions are started to seed in the lowlands, and even one or two up here. The apples are in bloom and the dogwoods. The yard is vibrant in dandy lion yellow and ajuga violet. The bees are happy.

They drank the last of their syrup. Lucy and I painted foundation with bees wax (bought from Joe for $50) and put 10 frames of super on each hive.

While I had the hives open, I pulled a frame of capped honey from the upper body of the Ambrosium, and another from the lower body, reducing each body to 9 frames. I put the two frames into the attic for cleaning. I put the new super under the attic.

For the Josephium, I had already removed the 10th frame from each body last week. They were still in the attic, covered with bees. There's still a fair bit of honey in them. I removed the empty feeding pail from the attic and put the super under it.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Fresh feed for the Ambrosium

4 more pounds into the attic of the Ambrosium.

Lots of bees out today. 80 degrees. New drones with wet wings clinging to the side of the Josephium.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Spring hive inspection: Josephium

I got the smoker going well, and I got our my manipulation cloth: my first time to use it. The carnicae were much more gentle than the girls in the Ambrosium, although the smoke and cloth may have played a roll too. They had hardly touched their feed.

Brood were up in the top body. I removed a frame of drone brood and reduced the number of frames from 10 to 9 there. I pulled out an empty frame (just a bit of honey) from the other body. Then I swapped the bodies. I put the two removed frames into the attic with the feeder pail.

Lots of lavae, the hive looks healthy.

Spring hive inspection: Ambrosium

I went out to inspect the Ambrosium. The brood was split between the top and bottom bodies, so I did not swap the bodies. I was going to thin them out from 10 to 9 frames, but the bees were getting antsy, and my smoker went out.

They had drunk all their feed. I'll put another 4 pounds of sugar on tonight.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Warm spell

I put the feed buckets back on today. Low is in the high thirties the rest of the week, according to the forecast.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Another cold spell

It's a blustery stormy day today. There were white caps on the Allegheny River. The hawthorns and magnolias are in bloom.

The weather is going down to 27 degrees tonight, so I flipped the feeder pails over to keep them from dripping on the bees.