Sunday, February 3, 2013

Bee Vlog - February 2, 2013

It looks like the Varroa mites did their damage. Not enough winter bees in the hive and they couldn't keep warm enough. Queen Anne is dead. Lots of mold and condensation in the hive. Does anybody have advice on what to do with moldy frames? Or even worse...moldy wax?

On the other hand, Queen Beatrice is doing great. They were bringing in lots of pollen. The population looks strong and they still have plenty of honey. I'm really happy with how well they're doing.

After looking over the remains of Queen Anne, I'm thinking I want to give quilt boxes a try next winter. I think that will really aid in maintaining hive temperature and reducing moisture. Queen Beatrice has been fine without one, but I think it will at least give a weakened hive a better fighting chance of survival.

Video Link

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bee Vlog - January 27, 2013

It's too cold to open the hives (41°F) so I just take a weight and listen in to try to hear if the bees are alive. Queen Beatrice seems to be doing fine. I actually got to see a couple bees moving about. They are steadily eating their honey (observed by weight-loss), and I can hear a good humming sound inside the hive. However, I am concerned for Queen Anne. They have lost very little weight, and I can barely hear anything (if I'm hearing bees and not just background noise). But I won't open any of the hives until it's warm enough. If Queen Anne is alive I don't want to be the cause of death by opening the hive in cold weather and chilling them too much.

Video Link

Hive weight graph