I want all my queens as big as possible. I look for her abdomen to extend three segments past the tips of her wings. This queens wings have been clipped, but you can tell she’s plenty big.
I have put all the swarms I have caught so far into top bar hives. I have 5 of them going as of 5.28.14 although I did catch a few queenless swarms.
The flow is on. You can tell by that fresh white wax at the top of the frames. Time to add another super.
Its swarm season. I have been getting calls about swarms of bees for the past few weeks. I decided to put all my swarms in top bar hives this year. Every beekeeper has a story of the one that got away, sadly the swarm on the car drove away.
Queen cells are in the mating nucs and I just happened to see this queen emerge. All nucs have cells so I now have 51 colonies.
I just made up 25 nucleus colonies. I will let them sit queenless over night, then add queen cells tomorrow. I use all medium equipment so my nuc boxes hold 6 frames. I make them up with one frame of nectar, one frame of pollen, three frames of capped brood, and one empty comb. Wish my girls luck on their mating flights.
You never know what your going to find when your going through your stored equipment. Ants, a mouse, or in this case a yellow jacket nest.
I received this grant from the Philadelphia beekeepers guild to raise honey bee queens from locally adapted stock. Colonies that I raise daughter queens from have to be strong in the spring, survived a few winters, produce a surplus of honey, and be gentle. The money from this grant went towards equipment and package bees to increase the number of mating nucs i can make up. I came through winter with 16 hives and after picking up these packages I will have 26.
We are now in fruit bloom. Cherries, apricots, and plums are in full bloom. Maples started blooming last week and I’m anxiously awaiting dandelions. Here are a few pictures of early pollen sources.
Marsh Marigold and Skunk Cabbage
I’m pretty sure this is a cherry