Saturday, July 11, 2009

Summertime

Finally our wet cool spring gave way to some beautiful, sunny, warm summer days. I have been in both hives a few times since I last wrote. For the most part, things are looking good - the rooftop hive is going really well. I just added the 4th medium super so the colony has grown nicely. I may be able to steal a frame or two of honey from them depending on how the rest of the summer goes - but I am not expecting much. The population of the hive has grown nicely.

Here is a look at a typical afternoon in front of the rooftop hive. A lot of the bees flying around the entrance are doing "orientation flights". These are bees that are just beginning to leave the hive to go forage - so they leave the hive and fly in circles around it to orient themselves to the hive's location. They orient to the sun and all of the structures around the hive.

video



The garden hive is going along slowly. The queen was released by the workers within 3-4 days of putting her in. I had to go in and retrieve the empty queen cage before the bees built comb all around it. About two weeks after releasing the queen, I put on a second medium super - it may have been a little early still but we'll see how it goes. I was at this hive today hoping to put on a 3rd super, but they are not ready for it. If you give them too much room, it is harder for them to manage the internal climate of the hive. This hive's late start could make things interesting later in the summer - I am not sure they will be strong enough to get through the winter. We shall see...

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