Sunday, May 19, 2013

Inspection 05-19-2013

It was decent weather for a change on the 19th so I took the opportunity to check on the hives in the backyard.

Green Hive

I had been feeding this hive because it didn't have the population that the Brown Hive had. When I opened up the outer cover, I found a visitor:

If you look carefully, you'll find that a spider had taken up residence in the box. There was even a bee in the web. I introduced Mrs. Spider to Mr. Hive Tool - guess who won? :-)

The bees were nice, and during the inspection I spotted the queen:

I always like taking pictures of the queen when I see her!

She was doing a great job. Here's a frame where you can see a really good pattern:

I took the empty feed jars off - there was plenty of food in the hive.

Brown Hive

Opening up the outer cover, I could see lots of bees through the hole in the inner cover:

The queen was doing a decent job - there were lots of frames with good brood coverage:

One thing I did notice is that the bees of this hive were quite mean. They were buzzing me and butting me more than I preferred. This is the second time that this hive was mean to me. It could be because the weather was so crappy recently. I'll give her one more chance, and if the bees are still mean, I'll have to replace here. I hate to, as she made it through the winter. But I don't want to put up with nasty bees.

One of the other things I did was finish the hive stand. While I had the hives torn down, I moved the cinder blocks to the new area and set up the hive stand. The left column is a little tilted - I straightened it up after I took this picture:

I am pleased with how it turned out. There is room in the center for a 3rd hive, and space on the ends for one nuc each.


  1. On replacing the queen mother of the mean bees: how do you know they don't get the meanness from the drones with whom she mated? Would you get a virgin queen, and possibly end up with the same problem if there are mean-gened drones flying around your neighborhood (maybe even your current queen's sons)?

  2. If I get a queen from another beekeeper who bred her from gentle bees (and her offspring are gentle), then she will probably calm the hive.

    I wouldn't get a virgin queen because not many people sell virgin queens - it's easier to mate her and sell her for more.

    But you are right, the meanness can come from the male side of the equation. It's a gamble. But usually it works.

    I may make a queen from my green hive and see how that goes...


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