Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bee Vlog - May 26, 2012

Hive weigh-in
Queen Anne: 79.4 lbs (+4.4 lbs from last week)

The swarm I caught has been dying off very quickly. So quickly that the mortician bees can't keep up with it. The frame of brood I gave them last week has been hatching, but since their population is so small they can't even properly care for a full frame and some of it won't be hatching.

The queen is still in the hive, but I didn't see any eggs. Since she's not laying eggs and her wings are very torn up, I'm thinking she's just a really old queen and can't do her job anymore. If there were more bees in the hive and they weren't dying so fast I could give them some grafted queen cells, or even a frame with eggs so they could raise a new queen, but I think they're too far gone for even that. The only options left that I know of are either let them die or combine the hives.

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But in the other hive, Queen Anne has been doing very well. The hive is very strong and has been making really good progress in comb building and raising brood. I'm very happy with how well this hive is doing.

Video Link

The upper brood chamber is getting very heavy. I'm glad I chose to go with all medium boxes (or "westerns" as I hear many people call them). I don't think my back could take lifting a full deep.

Video Link

I finally decided that instead of just letting the weaker colony die off completely I would just go ahead and combine it with the stronger one. Of course, this involves adding a new box about a week earlier than I had really intended. I also had to capture the queen and kill her. I did NOT like doing this, but I really didn't see any other option. Unfortunately, the camera's memory filled up and I didn't get the whole thing on video.

One concern I have with the newspaper barrier is that the rain will damage it and make the introduction between the hives go too quickly. I'm going to take a quick peek on it tomorrow and see how things are going.

Video Link

1 comment:

  1. I don't like the idea of killing a queen either, but that colony looked pretty demoralized. I'll be waiting to see how the combine goes.