Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Honey Bees like the fall weather.

Angie and I checked on the hives this morning, and the girls were happy.  They seem to be enjoying the sunny skies, and the cooler weather.  Many foragers are bringing back loads of pollen, to be stored for the winter, and to feed the baby bees that are hatching.  Several different colors of pollen are being brought in to the hive:  A pale, almost white pollen, a bright yellow pollen, and a bright orange pollen.  Ragweed is blooming in spots, as is Goldenrod and Queen Anne's Lace.  Once the Goldenrod and Ragweed flow is going full blast, the bees will be very busy.  With the forecast of much needed rain later in the week, I look for a boom of Goldenrod and Ragweed starting next week.  This is a major fall flow time, and the bees will really go to work.

Below is a picture of one frame from a Honey Super on Hive #2.  The bees are busy drawing out the comb, and you can see some of the fully drawn cells now contain nectar.

Here is another shot of a different frame from the Honey Super on Hive #2.  The bees are really working hard on getting this comb drawn out.  We hope the nice weather holds out, and we have a good, productive fall pollen and nectar flow.  It is important that the bees build up their winter reserves this time of year.  So far, so good!

Here is a shot of a "Queen Excluder".  Basically, this screen type device is placed on top of the upper brood box.  The wire spacing is such that this device prevents the Queen of the colony from moving up into the Honey Supers and laying eggs.  The brood, which ensures the survival and growth of the colony, is raised in 2 deep, 10 frame boxes, which are located at the bottom of the hive stack.  The worker bees, which are smaller than the queen and drone bees, are able to freely move through the excluder, and work the top boxes, drawing comb and storing nectar, which is then processed into honey by the worker bees.

Today, we did remove the queen excluder screen and check the status of the brood boxes.  We saw many eggs, lots of larvae, and bunches of capped brood, waiting to hatch and go to work.  We did get lucky while inspecting one of the frames, and Angie spotted the Queen.  She looks great, and was working away laying eggs and checking things out.  The bees in both hive were very docile today, and they were very easy to work with.  It makes things so much more enjoyable when the girls cooperate!

We will be checking the hives again once the Goldenrod and Ragweed bloom is going full force.  I look forward to seeing the progress the bees make during this fall flow.  Thanks for stopping by...........we'll have another update in a week or 2!