Adding a Super

We added a super to the hive today. The bees were ready for the new addition. Besides getting bees in the first place, I’m considering this my next big milestone.

Went with another deep box, let’s call that “daisy” box (which is the same size as what we will now call our first box – “sunflower” box) so that we could put a couple frames from sunflower into daisy. There are a lot of conflicting views out there on whether to move frames up or not, and so we just decided to go for it. (When it comes to beekeeping, it seems there is a lot of personal trial and error.)

Now, since we were going for it, moving a couple frames up that is, my preference was to take two frames (one from each far side of sunflower) and move them up into daisy. However, my husband seemed to think it was a better idea to take two frames from stage-right since the bees hadn’t begun any comb on the other sides’ last frame. Also, he thought that would be a good thing because they would have the same pattern sitting next to each other up in the middle of daisy. We’ll see how it goes!

While we were at it, we switched our entrance reducer to the wider setting. It took quite a bit of prying with the hive tool to get that little block of wood unstuck from the super. With all the stuff we were doing to the hive, I kind of half-expected the bees to get a little annoyed with us. At first with the switching of the entrance, it seemed like there was a little confusion for them and one did buzz my hat, but all went back to normal once we got the reducer back in place. As for their behavior when we added the daisy super, they didn’t seem curious, annoyed, or anything. Another successful interaction, still never been stung!

I also scraped off the comb that I had noticed on my birthday which they had spilling over onto the tops of the sunflower bars. I just want to keep the tops clean as I’ve noticed it sticking to my top covers as well. This time there was no honey in those little pieces, but I was pleased to see they had been hard at work to cap the frames of honey they had produced recently. Although I won’t be able to give some of my co-workers a little taste until a few months from now, I know it’s a good sign that the bees are capping their reserves. How exciting!

On a side note, earlier this morning, before all of this fun activity, I went out to the hive to watch them come and go and there were a handful of dead drones just outside the entrance again. I even observed one returning to the hive and he got quite the buzz by a couple workers as he went in through the entrance. I also found one alive in the grass near the hive and so I picked him up to look at him (keep in mind that drones don’t have stingers) as it appeared he was having a hard time in the grass – he had just repeatedly been crawling up a blade of grass and falling off again and again. As I held him in my hand and looked at him I could tell there were some white scratches on one of his eyes. Other than that it didn’t appear to be anything the matter with him, although it seemed like his balance was off. He peed a little in my hand too – bee pee! Actually, bees don’t pee because they need to conserve water, so the waste he eliminated onto my hand must have been uric acid. I placed him back in the grass to let nature take its course with him.

Honey Bee Hive

Here’s the completed hive! Hopefully the flowers I  painted on the supers won’t confuse the honey bees – not that the flowers are so realistic looking, but only because I heard they like geometric shapes and bright colors. I wanted to take the opportunity to make each box different AND I wanted to use lots of color because…well, why not? It was a lot of fun to personalize it!

Bee pick-up day is probably now going to be on Saturday. There are a few showers in the forecast which will help keep the bees calm for transporting; however, I know you’re not supposed to open a hive or nuc if the weather is at all chilly or windy, and especially rainy, which might make putting them in their new hive a little challenging. So far Sunday looks promising to move the frames from the nuc to the hive even if it’s the day after I get them home.

We got our equipment!

Well, here we go on our fabulous bee adventure!

Last Friday was a huge bee day for us. Our bee mentor invited us over to take a look at his hive and show us some things. He was so kind in taking time for us and super helpful in answering the millions of questions I had. I’m feeling more and more prepared for the end of this week when I pick up my bees.

We also went and picked up our equipment from Keith Lazar out in Farmington Hills – he’s  definitely going to be my go-to guy for all things supplies-wise. The hive came unassembled, in about a hundred different pieces, but once we started putting it together it was really straight forward. Andrew surprised me today with most of it put together already. I’m going to wait until tomorrow to prime the outside of the hive to give the wood glue a chance to dry for 24 hours, plus with how crazy the wind was today I’m probably better off anyways – we actually lost power for a little while!

Tonight I’m going to start drawing out some thumbnails for what I want to paint on the hive. This is going to be such an opportunity to go wild and crazy with the look of it. I don’t know why I can’t find my prismas, though; I guess that’s a sign that it’s been too long since last I doodled something.