Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Twitchy Bees

The non-standard weather continues. We went through some very hot weather, next it was a cooler spell followed by rain and now it has been in the 90's the last two days. It is hard enough for me to decide if it is long pants or short pants each day. I have no clue how the bees are handling things.

I have been doing some feeding with sugar water but with cooler weather I try to keep out of the hive and they are on their own. I have been surprised how much pollen I see them bringing it. It is from other sources because it is whiter, the bright yellow has been missing.

Then there is the heavy activity I have seen lately. A couple times, too early for the orientation flights (usually late afternoon), there has been very heavy activity at the front of the hive. The first time I did not know what it was but robbing came to mind so I added the entrance restriction board and it is still in place. Even with it there yesterday morning the same activity was going on. I had put a baggie with 3 cups sugar 3 water in before the rains came which needed replacing. It was definitely time to look inside.

The hive looked normal and the sugar water was gone. At this point the bees are very calm but as soon as I remove the old baggie and make that noise the twitchy bees show up.

At this point they are buzzing all over the place but I had my smoker out and made good use of it.

The first frame was empty but the next one has nice comb, much of this is very recent.

The third frame in and the first of the original five starter frames.

All of the other original frames looked just like this, covered with bees and brood. I do not recall seeing any drone cells with is probably normal this time of the year.

Two shots of Frame #8 which is progressing nicely

Frame #9, this will be fun to watch grow. #10 was empty.

All the frames back in place and new baggie with 3 cups each sugar & water. I put the cover back on and called it a day.. until later.

The ants have found a path up on the back side. There was some wind with the rain so some bit of debris is supplying them with a bridge. I am letting the bees settle down and then I will go out this afternoon and apply some Tanglefoot to solve that problem.

When I was inside I did look at the bottom board and it was clean. If there had been robbing there should have been some detritus on the floor from robber bees tearing open the cells. I guess it was not robbing. Just had a brain fart, maybe it was the girls chasing out the drones for the winter? I did not see the queen either but there are a lot of bees, she must be there. I can deal with the twitches for now but come Spring I may have to do the smush and see if we get a queen that makes calmer bees. But that will be another post and much later on.

In general the bees will make all the decisions but I am a little jealous of my niece who almost goes out and almost pets her bees with no problem. They came from a grower and mine are definitely feral. I prefer attitude in my terrier dogs, maybe I should develop that for the bees too.

No comments: