Monday, March 30, 2009

First 2009 Inspection - Almost

Date: March 28, 2009
Time: Afternoon
Weather: clearing, windy, 70s, behind cool front w/ lots of rain

The bees survived the winter and are looking good, only no honey in the combs I inspected. There was eggs, larvae, and capped brood. There was pollen, but no honey. I observed a few hive beetles on the combs. There was a good population of bees. They were for the most part calm considering they had nothing to eat. My son took a couple stings and a worker or two got after my wife, so, since it was a rather windy day, I decided to close her up about 1/2 way through. I did not see the queen, but the hive looked healthy.

I took some sugar candy and put it in the hive behind the last combs. I may check it today and replace with just 2:1 sugar water. I also need to take care of those hive beetles. As always, I've got to keep a close check for ants. Lots of pollen coming in, but apparently not much nectar, yet.

Here's my 2009 to-buy list:
  • Smoker - borrowed one for Saturday's inspection
  • Veil - my homemade one is a little hard to see through
  • Hive tool - not absolutely necessary, but handy to have
Plans for this season (not necessarily in order of preference):
  • Possibly make a split
  • Catch a swarm or two
  • Harvest my first honey
  • Look into joining our local beekeeper's club
  • Learn, learn, learn
I may post a link to a little bit of video of this inspection also. It will somewhat demonstrate how to detach comb that is attached to the sloped sides of the tbh. I used a long carving knife and, so far, it has worked well. You may also have noted a little torn piece of comb in one of the corners. Any cross-comb usually gets trimmed or straightened if possible and the bees just keep on building.

Monday, March 23, 2009

TBH Update

The bees in the one remaining TBH survived the winter! It's time to do my first inspection before the spring buildup starts. Bees are already bringing in pollen, so I am hopeful for this hive. On my last inspection last year on this hive, I found good honey stores and good signs of queen activity. I hope this will be a healthy hive.
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