Sunday, April 13, 2014

Why do we steal

To get sweet stuff, Honey!

I pulled these honey frames out of my hives yesterday. Then crushed and strained them.
I'll bottle the honey once it has had a chance to separate from the wax. There is about a gallon of honey here.
I'm also trying to split my hives so that I can move a couple of hives to another location. When split into a new hive without a queen, the worker bees will select a young larvae and feed it royal jelly. 21 days later out pops a queen. There are plenty of drones, male bees, in my hives so I'm sure its time. Here is a photo of my new hive.

I dumped a bunch of bees from the other two hives into this one, its really stuffed full of bees, I'd say 4-5 lbs of bees. Some of the bees were returning to their old hives, but I'm sure there will still be plenty inside. There is also honey, pollen and freshly laid worker bee eggs.
While looking in the other hives I found the queen laying eggs on one of the combs, so I moved her to another frame and took the frame with the new eggs. I've been getting really good at spotting the queen. Last year I had some difficulty locating the queens in each of my hives (1 per hive), but this year it seems pretty easy.
While looking through the strong hive I saw a swarm cell. Swarm cells are built by the worker bees during the spring, usually. They are larger cells, generally located at the edges or bottom of the comb(s). This is where they typically raise another queen. Once the existing queen lays an egg into the queen cell. She (old queen) will depart with half of the worker bees to start a new bee colony somewhere else. Obviously I don't want to loose half a hive. So I will keep an eye on this cell and make another split if it looks like they are getting ready to depart.

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