Wassup’ With The Bees Page Archive

04/14/09  Waiting for spring is tough. I miss seeing my bees and always wonder if they made it through winter.When I first checked them last month, the former cam hive was not in good shape. Somewhere down this list I mentioned that the bee inspector last year couldnt find the queen during his inspection in the fall.  That was a red flag. A few weeks ago that hive showed activity, but none of it was organized. Botton line.  Some bees, no queen and no brood. Last week I combined those bees with the allpe tree hive, and ordered some new package bees and a queen to restart that colony. Today I re-started the hive right next to the appletree hive. 2 apple trees, and two hives. I won't check in on them for several days so they can get comfortable in their now home. AS you mauy know, Queens come in their own cage, plugged in by sugar candy. The bees have to dig her out. This gives them time to get used to her. That will be the first thing I check for next week. As May gets closer I will then medicate with formic acid pads to start them off healthy. Stay tuned.

10/23/08  Well. A good thing has happened. I ran out of honey jars with 2 medium supers still loaed with honey.  The driveway hive brought in 60 lbs of honey! It's the darkest honey I have ever seen, but tastes incredible. Very low moisture. I can't quite figure out why it's so dark, buy wherever they got the necter, I hope they find the same plants next year. Meantime both hives are medicated and will soon be wrapped for the season to keep them warm. Cam is down for the winter. I promise next spring I will buy a good infrared camera with all the $ from honey sales!

10/05/08  Finally got the supers in, and the bees medicated for the season with a formic acid treatment. I have 4 medium supers packed with honey waiting for me to jar them. Great honey year!!! Once all that is done, I will post some pix of the process on the web site. Stay tuned.

9/18/08  First frost tonight. You could see that it was getting colder because the bees in tyhe cam pictures have moved "upstairs", which is why there are very few showing now. I will harvest honey and medicate the hives next week, weather permitting - then move the camera so viewers can see the bees at one of the upper entrance holes.

7/31/08  The bees on the driveway hive were bearding alot more than I expected, so I had to pop the hive open to see if there was some sort of problem. There was. A really good problem. It was so crammed with honey, that they built comb on the cover, which of course started dripping honey as soon as I opened it. I like problems like that. Really!! So I quickly inverted that cover and after adding another box to the hive,and saved that honey comb. As soon as I harvest the honey this fall, I will pack out jars of honey with comb in each jar. Yum! .

7/13/08 Some good news. The state bee inspector just gave me my annual inspection report... or should I say left it in my mailbox. Summary: some verroa (but under control). lots of bees and honey. Driveway hive seems to have swarmed recently (I didn't see that coming at all) and there is no brood. Likely the new queen hasn't started laying yet. Stay tuned for more information.  I added supers on both hives,  and will now leave them alone until harvest time..... hopefully. BTW.... nosemia was not reported, so I guess that thankfully cleared up with the menthol treatments.

6/23/08 There has been a recent increase in walking bees in front of the Apple Tree hive. Walking bees and deformed wings are classic symptoms of trachial mites, which is usually a disease of early spring. No matter ... three days of hot weather with menthol crystals dumped on the bottom boards did the trick. On the one hand, the menthol can affect the honey flavor. On the other hand, I didn't want the mites to kill off the colony. I choose the middle path, and will heavily medicate after the honey flow. I might have to spot treat the hive again, but let see by watching the bees.

4/10/08 Beginning of Season. Lost one of three hives. Upon opening the dead hive, there was plenty of honey, but it was very clear that the cluster broke up over the winter, and they froze to death. The two remaining hives are strong. I took out all the frames from the sead hive, and gave half to each of the other two. They are enjoying their energy boost, and the honey will hopefully stimulate them. No meds yet, too early, as night time temperatures are still below freezing. See the photo of the apple tree hive with the frames available for snacking.

9/18/07 End of Season. It's been a bad one. For the first time in forever I will take no honey. I suppose in retrospect, I will (hopefully) have three strong hives going into next year. The caught swarm colony stayed and right now is very strong. Dry weather - no necter??? Not sure what the rpoblem was, but at leadst they are alive. I will medicate as usual, and take the empty super boxes off at the same time so they can have a cosy cluster for the winter. There is always next year. Yes, I know that the camera is all fuzzy. I will clean it, and likely replace it, when I medicate.

5/30/07 SWARM SWARM!! They did it again. Same good hive, same time. I think I will start calling this hive "Old Faithful". Well, this time I caught them(again), andf put them in the "missing bee" colony mentioned in previous posts. I MAY have hurt the queen during this capture, but will not open the hive for 10 days, then check to see what is going on. Stay Tuned.

4/06/07 Cold weather has returned for a while. That happens sometimes. The biggest problem is tyhat I lost my best colony. Carniolans are gone. No visible disaease on remaining hive. Lots of food. No dead bees. No bees period with the exception of a few remaining. This is a great mystery know as unorganized hive syndrome. They all just disappeared. It is happening all over the country with no explination. Why me????? 

03/31/07 I did it. Finally. After (3) years, I had to remove the camera, clean oput all the natural comb frames, AND replace them. The camera was moved to the new box, but isn't in focus, as I have to open the lens more, but not today. Bees will look sharp when they are close to the camera, but now that the cam is in a large area, I have to figure where I want to focus the lens. Also rotated all the hive boxes, as should be done every spring.

Meantime, I also medicated all the hives with Fumidol (for Nosemia), Menthol (tracheia mites). added pollen substitute for them to feed on, and lots of sugar water to get them stimulated. Next week, I will treat for Varroa, using Formic Acid in all the hives. Stay Tuned.

03/11/07 Spring is Here. Sub-zero temperatures seemed to have left the bees, and a record cold snap here in the East is over. All hive insulation was removed today, and all the bees in the three hives were out for a cleansing flight today. That.... is a very good sign, after a very strange winter.

02/16/07 Winter is Here. Sub-zero temperatures, snow and ice. The bees are in Cluster, so cam activity, if any will be very brief. I hope they survive this one, as this is really really cold for around here.

11/17/06 Site Changes. Cleaned up the site: removed the rss and went back to a "Diary" format, fixed the problem with the QT movie, now it runs fine in all browsers (still takes a bit to load, maybe 70 seconds), cleaned up the cam button link with new window opening.

11/03/06 Page Info Updates. Now that the cam seems to be working, I have updated the configuration information on the "about" page.This is the third major change since the came went up. Sponsors appreciated if there are any of you out there! As for what you see, well it now is temperature dependent. We had our first hard freeze here, so they have formed a cluster deep in the hive away from the cam.I'm sure, however that at least for the next several weeks, during the daytime, they will be a bit further out in the hive, so activity may be seen. Oh. By the way. Bee Butt syndrome is back - they do like to warm their butts on the IR lights if they are in that section of the hive.You willk see a lot of bee butts. And yes, when you do see a bee, it is mega magnified and bee parts as they appear on the cam, are in incredible detail.I have a streaming monitor in our house, and they look like sci-fi monsters!

10/31/06 UPDATE:... found a beta version of software that will do the conversion perfectly, it still has a bug or two according to the Developer, but will be out shortly... see the pix below. Now I will be looking for cam software so the pix can go back on the web page in a live feed.... stay tuned....

10/24/06 The cam is Back. Still tweaking it a bit, so you will only see "still" photos occasionally until I have all the new mac stuff configured right.And, since I put all this time and effort into it, I am adding shameless keywords again, as I really would like someone to see it.

10/16/06 Cam Down Indefinitely. The thing about OSX and Macs in general is that they are just wonderful, and fun. Yes, work is fun on a Mac. The flip side, is that the duo core processor is so new that very little non-mac analog digital converts work on it. I bought some new software that said it would work with my configuration, but it froze up and crashed. For now, only Apple cams seem to work on the mac, as I cant get my IR analog to work on it. So for now, and the near future, the cam will be down until I can afford to get a Mac digitalizer and related software. I thought about putting a basic QuickCam webcam or similar cam in the hive, but none come with IR lights, so viewing would be close to nill. Stay tuned. Meantime, we finally packed out what little honey we had this year. It was totally different in color and taste than in previous years. The sweetness was up, and the strong Loosestrife flavor and color was not present. The taste was a bit minty, and quite good! Thank you bees!!!!.

10/03/06 Cam Down. Sorry to say, my should have been retired server is now toast. I will be replacing it this week with a Mac, as I am tired of Windows and Windows baced PC's. Look for the cam up and running within a week or so.

09/18/06 Fall Harvest. Well, we finally got to bring in honey this past weekend, as the first part of getting the hives medicated, and ready to winter over. Sadly, this was the worst year for honey I have seen in a very long time. I'm not really surprised since we had a late, wet spring, and wet summer, not to mention the 2 swarms in the spring. I had only one box of honey this year. Usually there are 2 or three. The one box was from the Carniolans, as usual. The plus to this, if any, is that both the Buckfast hives started to at least draw comb. This is a good hint that their numbers are recovered after the swarms. More notes will be put in this month as I check for mites and medicate. There is always next year..... sigh.

07/27/06 Honey!! The Carniolans filled a medium super in a matter of a few weeks, and are close to filling the second super with incredibly delicious honey! Although the Buckfasts are not hammering the nectar as well as the Carniolans, they are finally building cimb in the supers, and should contribute to the Honey harvest during the Fall flow.

06/01/06 Swarm Follow-up. There was this delightful beekeeper in our beekeeping association who heard about the bee swarm, and carefully boxed the bees and gave them a good brand new home in Harvard, MA. Well... three hours after they were introduced into their new home, the bees checked out for places unknown. Methinks these bees are destined to roam forever, and anyone who caputres them again, will likely be creating a hive wtih incredibly strong inclinations to swarm every year.

05/25/06 Supers... I have started adding supers on the three hives, although now that the apple tree hive swarmed I have doubts of how much it will produce this year, if any. The swarm bees, by the way still havent found a home yet. They went to a really low branch on the tree and are still, pardon the pun, hanging around. 4 plus pounds purebred Buckfast bees. Come take them... they need a good home. I just don't want another hive this year. -me-

05/22/06 Forgot to Mention. Over the weekend I made the photo links (hopefully) much easier to use. I cleaned out all that java crap, and found a simple cross platform script to use, making them much easier and faster to open. Also, I kinda' think I ma typing all this for myself because the number of rss readers is kind of low. For that reason, and that reason only, I am including some non-bee key words here as a shameless attempt to get more viewers: jlow president Bush war sex floods church temple mosque 24 final episode Survivor Iraq Iran Israel immigration border

05/22/06 Swarm Again ! Question. What happens to a bee hive after a cold spell and 10 non stop days of rain and wind? Well, they get one perfect sunny day, and they decide to Swarm. On the one hand, this means the hive is well and strong and happy and all that good stuff. On the other hand, most of my hard working bees followed their old leader and left the hive.

The hive that swarmed, was from the same colony that was a captured swarm last year (Apple Tree hive). SO, this is a classic example of beedom where a good queen with swarm characteristics builds a colony of bees that like to swarm. That, after all, is why bees survive. Oh well. Lost of pictures of the swarm as it happened on the web site so check it out. Oh. So I am out there barefoot and in shorts and t-shirt in the middle of the activity, snapping pictures of the swarming. Someone walking by froze in fright, and asked why I wasn't flipping out and running from the bees (estimated 20,000 or so). I guess to a non beekeeper, I was the show, not the bees. Hey, my bees love me. They aren't going to hammer me, so long as I don't bother them while they are in a great meeting of the minds about organizing their new family. Why are people afraid of honey bees????

05/03/06 Bigger and Better Cam Coming !! The computer that I used for a server is dying, so I am moving the cam to a new XP machine, and replacing the hardware with a digital (current one is analog) color IR cam with higher resolution that the older one. The cam will also be relocated in a hive closer to the CPU to assure no loss of signal from line extensions. Project completion time will be the first week of June. Stay tuned... Meantime, the bees are doing great, and hammering pollen. Lots of Baby Bees are emerging and everything inside looks great.

04/27/06 Cam Down - RCN Cable Sucks. The server that is home to the Yup-Beecam is down for the next few days, and will likely be restarted on Monday 5/1/2006. The ISP, RCN.com has several outages in our neighborhood, and are taking way too much time to fix it. What ever happened to Customer Service???

03/06/06 Spring Time Start Up. Well. The longer days, and a few warm days in a row has activated the hives. All three were out and about Sunday, so I decided to start medication and feeding. Fumidol (for Nosema). Expensive medicine which was developed only for beekeepers. If you want good hives, you need to use this product every spring. Wintering over in clusters prevents bees from cleaning and cleansing themselves, and Nosema is a disease that thrives in those cramped conditions. So, three hives, three feeders filled with sugar water and bee meds. Its Bee Season !!!! In two weeks, I will start Varroa treatments. Last fall I used Apistan, so to prevent an imunity issue, this spring I will use Formic Acid. Bring on the pollen and flowers!!!

02/27/06 Still Winter. Well, Winter came back with a vengance. The bees are tightly balled up again, deep in the hive. I didn't feed yet, and won't start to stimulate them until the weather indicates that Spring is here. We are having the coldest temperatures of the season right now.

02/16/06 Decisions Decisions To feed or not to feed. That is the question. There was no winter so far this winter. If I feed now, and it gets cold, and we have a late spring, I may overstimulate the bees, and they will polish off their stored honey. That translates into a small honey harvest. If the weather stays good, and I feed and medicate now, that translates into a wonderful honey harvest. I will have to decide this week, so stay tuned.... Published: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 13:36:14 GMT

01/04/06 Queen Cells in View Whatever activity there was over the past few days is over, and viewers can see in the pictures (2) swarm cells. I'm not sure if that is some sort of debris or not, and whii check it when conditions allow, but that looks really strange to me, but would explain the unusual activity over the past few days.

01/03/06 Buzz Buzz Buzzzzzzzzzz I wonder if the bees are up to something....... Published: Tue, 03 Jan 2006 16:49:47 GMT

12/21/05 I just reversed this Diary, so those of you who are rss inclined can read the updates easier. We had one warm day last week, after several weeks of cold and snow. All the bees came out to celebrate, and actively … um… relieve themselves. I love the sight of bee poop on an otherwise white hive. Smells like Honey! (paraphrase from a famous movie)


11/13/05All Hives are winterized and medicated with Apistan. Weatherm is still good, so there have been several cleansing flights between the rain and the cold days. The bees are all being fed regularly with sugar syrup, and this will continue until mid December at the latest.


10/09/05Honey harvest !!!!!! The Carniolans gave us (2) filled supers of very distinctive Honey. We scraped them down and have aprox. 70 lbs from that hive. Awesome - especially considering how weak that colony was in the Spring, or should I say the springless spring. We will harvest the other hives this week. Sarah was a very good helper considering she has never worked with bees before.


07/27/05State Bee Inspector left me his annual "State of the Hives" report. No mites, no diseases, and lots and lots of happy bees. Suggested that I add a super to the Apple Tree hive. They had completely filled the other box I added only a month ago!


06/27/05Super Super Super! The weather the bees like has arrived!! After work today I checked all three hives. Apple Tree hive, which just started 5 weeks ago was crammed with bees, brood and honey. I made the decision to add one more hive body to that hive so the colony can continue to build. Oncwe that box is filled, if there is time left in the season, I will add a Queen Excluder, and a small super, and reward myself with whatever they make in that box for me The Carniolans were completely crammed in their Winter Over hive bodies, so I added (2) supers for them. THEY.... will produce great Yup-Bee honey through September!


06/19/05Just finished the second treatment of the Carniolan bee hive with formic acid. Hard stuff to work with, but very effective against varroa, and bees cannot develop a resistance to it. Added a honey super to the Buckfast hive.


05/19/05 Did I say "Both" Hives".. well now there are three. I got home tonight and looked out my fromt door, and saw this dead brown bent limb on the bushes. Ok. How did I miss that dead brown limb when I was cleaning up a few days ago. Then I noticed the dead and brown part was moving 'kinda like jello. Then I relaized those were bees. Yup. Swarm!!! One year and one week after the last one the Buckfasts decided to leave with a new Queen. Well, being in a rush tonight, I grabbed my last Hive Body and frames, made a temporary bottom board, and cut the branch and dumped them in. Queenie looked really young and grand. I must be getting better at this, as I didn't even waste time getting my bee suit and related bee gear on. Just pruning sheers. Swarm capture took less than 5 minutes, and they seem to be taking to the new home. Oh ya. it seems just after they swarmed, there was a massive thunder storm, so that swarm was a tightly formed ball of bees protecting the Queen. Real easy capture. I think they appreciated it. Problem is, to save mee time, I put the house right at the site of the swarm limb. Now there it will have to stay, inches from my Northland apple trees. This hive will now be called the apple tree hive.


05/02/05 Well, it's rained more than anything else this past 3 weeks, but even when there is just a few hours of sun, the Buckfasts are busy as a bee bringing in the pollen, and making more bees. There is something really cute about baby bees testing out their wings at the hive entrance facing the hive in groups and just flying stationary. Really neat. The second hive is still weak, but there seems to be activity again. I am getting hopes up that this colony will strengthen. Both hives are being treated for mites right now.


04/10/05 Decided I HAD to risk the Buckfast cam hive in order to save it. Those natural combs they made lasy year were all hanging from the inner cover, making it impossible for me to spring clean and rotate the hive boxes. So, I gently cut them loose, and hopefully they didnt hurt the Queen if she was in there.If she was, letsa hope that the bees will make a new one from the brood which does exist. Then the boxes were rotated, and now that the cam is on a lower level, I can add honey supers this Spring, hopefully.

03/03/05 After several feet more of snow and some record cold temperatures, Spring has not Sprung yet. March is the most important month for a beekeeper in this climate. Decisions to feed or not to feed, medicate now or later, requeen or not requeen will determine the hive health and survival for the upcoming season. These bees need food stores at this point. Too much, the queen gets stimulated to start laying eggs. If Spring is late, this scenario creates lots of hungry bees, in a ever more crowded hive who can’t get outside. That could be a disaster.

Well, based only on experience and luck, both hives got cocktails today. I made some sugar syrup, but not "extreme". To that I added a pollen substitute (they need protein by now if their stored pollen is gone). Added to that was Fumidal (a medication for Nosemia, which only happens when bees are confined). And, to that I added Terramycin, an antibiotic which helps them in the Spring with other ailments. The "cam" hive bees came right up and started drinking up. The came was moved to it's Summer window. The driveway hive had no visible activity. Not a good sign.


02/06/05 After several feet of snow and some record cold temperatures, we had a good thaw this weekend .The cam hive bees were out in full force for cleansing flights, and the other hive showed signs of organization and activity, but they weren’t out in force. At least they made it through the winter so far. Both hives got some granulated sugar dumped on the tops of the frames. emergency They liked that. Sugar is a good treat in winter under some conditions. I suspect a long winter, so that is why I added to their food stores. Moisture in the hive collects on it, and turns it into an easily eaten paste form.


03/30/05 The more experience I get the more questions.... my super strong aggressive megaCarniolan honey producer last fall is just hanging on. Just a few feet away is the camera hive with docile Buckfast that gave me little honey last fall (but great pictures). The Buckfasts wintered incredibly well, and are out in strong force hammering pollen, visible eggs and bee like organization. Both got the same meds, feeding and Urban care. I even talked to them the same way for the same amount of time all winter. Isn't it wonderful to have different breeds for hobby hives:-) It's great to see what each breed excels at. I am, however still looking for a docile yet aggressive mega honey producer that is mite resistant and winters well in cold climates. That's not asking for much is it :-)


11/11/04 Well Winter and the first hard frost arrived this week. The bees have now clustered in a ball protecting till death, their beloved Queen. Next warm day the camera will be moved to a position closer to the center of the hive.


10/15/04 What are you seeing ...... well as winter starts in New England something unexpected is happening. The camera uses infrared lighting which the bees cant see. Now that it's getting colder, the bees are using that light like a tanning salon. They are warming their butts on the infrared! So you may see bunches of unfocused bee butts blocking the larger view, but now and again you will be able to focus on life in the hive.


10/15/04 Harvest is finished. Most folks use Honey Extractors to get the honey- they spin the honey out 2 or 4 frames at a time. For my (2) hives, I don’t even bother… we scrape all the honey into a mega pot with a spigot, heat it up minimally to get the honey on the bottom and wax and bee debris on top, then just open the spigot and fill the jars. ‘Been doing it this way for 10 years now. Cam hive had no surplus honey. This was expected due to the gentle breed, and the free form hive building. Carniolans did awesome. 60 plus pounds that filled two medium supers. As a first year colony, this is great, and next year, if they do well through the winter, that one should produce considerably more. More pix to follow…. I have insulated the hives, and medicvated the bees with Apistan to help treat for mites. Those mite strips will be removed in 6 weeks, then that’s it for the winter. Oh. All the dregs, and the entire uncleaned honey pot were given back to the bees. They cleaned it all up, no problem!!! And the utensils. And the newspaper that was used for drips in the Kitchen.



9/21/04 Added a “save” feature to the Active X view. Now visitors can download the images, but remember its real time @ 2 frames/second. Heed the warning : Know what you are doing, and only keep the “save” checked for a very very short period of time!!!! Honey will be harvested within the next week or so…. Then details on how to prepare the hives for winter ( medications, insulation , etc). Stay tuned……




7/27/04 Added a SECOND honey super to the  Carniolans hive. The first super was completely filled with finger licking good honey, and the bees were crowded (they were staring to hang out in the front of the hive like a “beard”).  I checked for  Swarm Cell  activity, but there was none.  A swarm cell is a cell made by the bees to raise another Queen.  Once new Queen hatches, she leaves with usually more than half the old hive’s workers. Adding the super gave them more room so they don’t try to swarm, and gives me more finger licking good honey by the Fall J


7/11/04 The cam box is completely full, and I added a super on top of it. The bees were doing some serious clustering on the front of the hive, which means that their home is getting full. By adding the Honey Super and a Queen Excluder, they now have more room to do what they do best. A queen Excluder is a wire frame which allows worker bees to get into the new super, but is too tight for the Queen to fit through. This allows the beekeeper to harvest frames full of honey without any brood, or eggs. If the fall nectar flow is good, there will be surplus honey for me this year. They now have stores of honey to get them through the winter. Anything made now is a really sweet treat for the beekeepers efforts!


6/11/04  Perfect day – bees are a bit more protective of the hive as the population grows. Adjusted the cam with new filter, results are good. Added 2 new color pix to the named links on the homepage.


6/6/04  Raining (again) Made major adjustments to the cam set up. Well let me digress… I got the new cam, but it didn’t run perfectly, and I’m in high gear trying to work on the quality of the picture problem. Meantime I covered the IR bulbs with a darkened transparent plastic, and that worked to help resolve the hot spot issue. Then I created the java window to keep the cam in a new window, ridding the index of the annoying refreshing. Then I searched around a bit, and found Webcam 1-2-3 and set it up on an “unregistered” basis to see how it works out. Had to set up a new server for the live streaming. Now I have no spare Computers. Oh well.  Now we actual streaming video!!!! Still fuzzy… ya, I know, but it’s getting a bit complex to do what I want to do, and no other beecam has done it yet. Real close…. and on the right track.  Meantime, you have live bees in live time.



5/28/04  Raining (again) Lots of great activity in the camera hive. Big difference apparent in the two hives already. The Buckfasts let me open the hive and take all those color pix whenever I want to. They will even pose for me (kidding). The Carniolans won’t let me get near the hive, let alone open it. They are also out in force with much more activity coming and going than the Buckfasts. I mentioned before, Buckfasts are a very gentle bee, but that non aggressive behavior shows up in their hive building progress too


05/21/04  Raining (again) Lots of great activity in the camera hive. The Original window is now used for “observation” since the camera was put inside. Now, you should ask… where’s the new camera. Well… it’s (hopefully) happening soon. Small, High-Res low light with a macro lens. Possibly, just possibly mind you, being sponsored by a local famous security company, with  a prominent link to their web site. No Richard, I’m not guilt tripping you, if you are reading this, I’m sure you will find me the right set up, and charge me a very reasonable price which I will be more than happy to pay. Yes, you would still get a link too. Almost as prominent too J  .  Picked up  a 5 frame nuc ** this morning and started my second hive. When possible,  urban beekeepers try to have 2 hives so comparisons cam be made of the health of the hives. This hive started with just introduced  Carniolan bees. Every bee breed has different characteristics. Comparing how they build the colony size, how well they winter over, disease resistance,  how much honey they produce etc., is the real fun of beekeeping, I will do updated on “gamma” hive here. No cam though. Not this year anyway. Why “Alpha” hive and “Gamma”? There used to be a “Beta” hive but I went down to two when “Beta” died. The names stayed, because my equipment was ID’d.


** Bees come in three ways:


1)      Catching a swarm and starting a colony that way (rare and difficult)


2)       “Package Bees” – buying a 3 lb package of bees locally or shipped by mail, and a “Queen” to go.


3)      Nuc” bees – 3 or 5 frames of bees fully developed with a good queen, brood, lots of workers etc.


All the different ways of starting hives have their upsides and their downsides. Swarms cost nothing, but are difficult to capture, and likely have parasitic mites which require chemical strips to control, but never “cure”. Package bees give you the best value in $ and it total number of bees, but the colony starts with nothing. Complete startup, and the bees have to draw all the comb for the queen to start laying eggs. Nuc’s have fewer bees than a package, but they are already rock’in and roll’in with brood, comb etc.


05/18/04 Moved the camera (still the old one) inside. Two great sections of comb being constructed. But I realize that any cam I buy has to be directly wired inside, and low lux but not 0 lux. Those IR bulbs are way too bright. I blocked 3 of 6 and still get that spot. Will try a dark film over them to dull them down w/o killing the light totally in the mean time. That is, when it stops raining, again.



05/12/04  Well.. you probably cant tell, but the bees have for sure started using the upper escape hole to get in and out. Especially so, since I plugged up a few holes on the bottom of level 3 which they were using as a shortcut. Lot’s of pollen coming in, and no signs of revolt or discontent. So… if the weather keeps getting hot, and Queenie is doing her thing, then we should see some bee activity up in the Penthouse in (relatively) short time. No… being a well seasoned beekeeper, I have absolutely no intention of doing an open hive inspection for a couple of weeks, to make sure she is laying eggs and there is good brood. Sooo… stay tuned. When I do the first hive inspection there will be color digital posted on this site with the others.



05/07/04  Swarm!!!!!!!!!!!!  Damn. Don’t you just hate when you give bees a great new home, full of honey and comb, then they insult you by leaving???? Well they did. Luckily Queenie was painted and clipped. They carried her about 5' from the hive before .... embarrassed bees, they dropped Her Highness. I found her, put her back in, and everyone filed back in one at a time. I actually captured the Return of the Bees on video. It’s a 11 meg file, and anyone who wants it, well if they have a big FTP directory, I will get it to them, then you can change the password. See capture photos on the about page.




Fixed the countdown on the refresh so it’s actually 120 seconds and not 30. As for the bees, they are coming and going and bringing in some pollen, and carrying out their dead comrades who didn’t make the journey from Texas. This all is a good thing. It means they are cleaning up their new home, and getting down to what bees do best. Bidding on a new color CCD camera on eBay. This one might go into the second hive, or at the hive entrance once the new camera is in.




The Bees arrived....now... you have to understand. They have (2) full hive body boxes below them, filled with comb and honey. When the previous inhabitants, um... departed this earthly world, the did so due to cold, and they left quite a bit of food. Queenie is down in there, and they all followed. It's rather cold outside so the (3) lb package bees are no doubt clustering around her. And remember that (3) lbs of bees isn’t a hill of beans in that large a living space, so they won't be up in their penthouse for a few weeks.Oh. I am looking into higher resolution cameras, with adjustable lenses. That way, when they start to bee up there, they won't bee fuzzy, even though they are..



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