Ok got call from a commercial hydraulic mechanic shop down the street from me (probably my bees). Said there were some bees underneath an excavator. Well when I got there, it was more like IN the excavator. The bees followed the hydraulic lines inside the bottom structure of the excavator and it’s a pretty big opening. They were not in a good mood either… probably since a major thunderstorm had just passed through. Wish I had my telephoto lense to get a better picture of the opening but you might be able to see the size of the opening. There are ALOT of bees.. the picture doesn’t do it justice. I had probably several hundred flying about me while I was underneath this rig.
Obviously this will be a trap-out if they agree to the time frame that it’s going to take.
Went out this am to check the bird baths to make sure there was ample water for the bees and I saw this:
Click to make larger.
And another view:
Not sure what to make of this… only 72°F this am. Could be that I added a super yesterday after harvesting the honey from another hive so they had lots of new food since the frames were dripping with honey. Maybe this is a celebration stance…
BTW, in the last two days (between thunderstorms) I harvested about 180 lbs of honey off 3 hives. One had 3 supers and the other two had 2 each. Basically the 1st super in each hive the queen had been laying so I didn’t harvest any of those frames. I guess my late spring management was alittle lacking and she needed more room. I’ll be making some splits soon out of these colonies so that should take care of that issue.
You can see that the hives are sitting on some Rohn 20G tower sections. Typically they are used to mount an antenna on (TV, Amateur Radio etc) but since I only use 25G I put them to good use!
Received a call from a friend of mine (who needs bees) about a swarm. The word was that the swarm was in a small tree for several days and I didn’t think they would still be there yesterday morning… but they were still hanging out. Very small and my pictures were not really great this time. I was using my phone camera this time around and even managed to photograph my shadow. Duh!
Yesterday afternoon in the 90°F heat (in the shade), I decided to try my new Brushy Mountain frame jig. I decided to put together 50 frames and here is what I did. Click the pictures for a bigger view if you like.
The jig can either use the medium frame or full deep frames. The jig is actually in two pieces, full size for deep frames, unlatch the sides (see the side view below for the latch) to pull the top have off for medium super size.
I was putting super frames together to swap out new for old in my supers since those are more than 4 years old at this point. All you do is put the end bars in the slot (front and back), put dab of glue where the top bar will make contact then attach the top bar to each pair of end bars, then staple (1 1/4″ is what I use). No fuss, no muss. I did 10 frames in less than 9 minutes. Compare with doing this by hand!!!
Top bars glued and stapled:
Flip the box over and do the same thing:
On the bottom bars I did two things different. One I put two small dabs of glue on the sides of the end bar (inside the “u”) so it can drip down the sides where the bottom bar attaches. Reason being that “top” of the bottom bar (that makes contact with the end bar) does not make flush contact with the end bar except on the two sides the bottom bar sits between because of the grove in the bottom bar. This way the glue is attaching to the sides of the bottom bar and adheres better that just a dab of glue at the bottom of the “U” shape of the end bar. I’ll take a picture of this later that will help my horrible explanation make more sense. Check back.
Also, I only put in 1 staple (1 1/4″) for the end bars compared to two staples for the top bar.
My next project (probably today) is put together my foundationless frames from Walter T Kelly. I think they are the only ones that I have found that offer foundationless (the bees make their oun foundation (comb)). Good quality product.
The jig in my opinion is worth the money if you have ever spent hours putting frames together using an air gun. Time factor alone will save you $$$!
Add an additional 5 minutes to pop the foundation in after you remove the frames from the jig. I guess you could put the foundation in before putting in the bottom bar to save some time, which I didn’t think about at the time. I’ll have totry that next!
Several suppliers sell the jig, all within a few dollars of each other. It’s worth it to check it out!!!
This morning it was 68°F so I was surprised that this Nuc was bearding like it was. Looks like I need to take a peak inside just to make sure this is just bearding and not a lack of space issue. I split this Nuc 2 ways several weeks ago since there were swarm cells on 3 frames. This Nuc was an overwintered one, split from one of my other hives. I ordered some queens from Rossmans for several of these nucs and this latest batch are the most gentle Italians that I have encountered. I don’t even smoke this Nuc or the other 2 that I split from this one. It’s nice to be able to do that! I have another colony that I’ll get popped just walking close by! So next week I’m going to dispatch that queen and try the OTS notch method with a frame from this nuc and hopefully that colony will raise a nice, gentle queen.
In case you are wondering, that white object is a playing card that I attached to the nucs since they were all painted the same color and are positioned close together. I figured that it might help with orientation.
The second picture shows the nuc and another colony sitting on a 10 foot section of Rohn 20 (radio tower). Finally found a good use for them!
Got a call yesterday around lunchtime from my friend James at the department that I work at. Seems he came home for lunch and his hive swarmed on him. Nice that it landed next door in a shrub/tree. Just the perfect swarm to capture! I left work at 4pm and they were still there waiting to be captured and put in a box. Have to say this was the most fast and easiest capture yet. We had them boxed up in an hour. They were gentle the entire time and we didn’t have to suit up or use smoke. Only thing that occurred was that I got stung on the hand by some crushed, dying bees that I accidently smushed as I slid the box over the screen bottom board. James took one sting as he bungied the box together to move it next door back to his house.
On yeah… you have to watch out for those 3 inch thorns on the branches. I did get several slices from those.
Watch out for those thorns! Just found out this is a Lemon tree!