Monday, October 5, 2009


All my girls are dead! There is not a drop of sugar syrup left in the entire hive! I thought we would lose the hive over the winter because the cluster would be very small. I didn't think we would loose them to robbers. There just wasn't enough of them to fight off the robbers.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Went by the hive to check on the syrup. The syrup is gone and there are bees everywhere. Dead honeybees and wax at the entrance! There are yellow jackets, hornets,wasps and what look like honeybees with black abdomens robbing the hive! This is not good! I decided not to put anymore syrup on. I'll wait till the weekend and see what happens.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Added frames

Called George and told him the situation. He kindly came by and trade some of our empty frames for some of his drawn out frames. He helped us add the new frames. We added the second brood box on with some empty frames and some with capped syrup. Found the queen. She is still in the hive. Put on 2 jars of sugar syrup. Now we'll continue to feed and hopefully the queen will begin laying again. We'll check on them next weekend if the weather is nice.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Keown orchards and honeybees!

Honeybees and more honeybees! Oh my!! Keown's orchard has 12 hives. Very strong and active. Maybe next year ours will do better. But after listening to the head bee man Ken (ma inspector) we realize that our brood box is honey bound (sugar syrup in our case). What does that mean, the bees have started to store all the sugar syrup we have been feeding them and now there is no place for the queen to lay more eggs. Our numbers are very low. I worry that the cluster will be too small to survive the winter. Ken is managing these hives and he is going to spin out some of the honey in some of these hives to give the queens more empty frames to lay in. Well what should we do? Because our frames don't have honey but sugar syrup we need to just replace some of the frames with empty drawn out frames. We know just who to call, George.

There is a lot of robbing going on. The goldenrod came early and is just about done. There is little to no pollen or nectar left anywhere for the bees to gather so they begin robbing other hives. Stealing honey from other hives. That's also why you'll notice many of us aren't wearing any protective clothing today. The day turn out beautiful. This was the last outdoor meeting for the season. Glad we were able to make it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Goldenrod & sedum

The goldenrod is almost done. But still very few honeybees in this area. The goldenrod and sedum that is still blooming is bumblebee heaven. Well we'll see plenty of honeybees on Sat at the last outdoor meeting.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009


This is this weeks smorgasbord for all kinds of nectar and pollen loving insects.

Honeybees, hornets, yellow jackets, flies, other bees and these blue/black guys were there too....

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Second brood box?

Nope.... it's been a couple weeks and still they haven't drawn out those empty frames. In fact it looks like all they are doing is storing all the sugar syrup I've been feeding them. We missed the last meeting about closing up the hive for the winter. We hope to make the last outdoor meeting of the season. I'll have to contact the head bee man and let him know where the girls are and see what he has to say about the situation.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

New home

When we arrived, the girls were flying. Seems the move hasn't bothered them too much. It's been awhile since we looked inside. I wanted to check to see how the girls were doing with the last of the empty frames. Still 3 empty frames. But they seem to be doing fine.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Moving day?....Night

It's been awhile since I posted...that's because we've been very busy moving. Moving is a big event to begin with BUT now we have a bee hive to move! How hard can it be. Wait till its dark and everyone is in and go. Well the morning of the move I use a large piece of screen between the inner cover and the outer cover. It tucked it all under the inner cover, blocking the hole on the top and in the edge of the cover. I then duct taped the inner cover to the hive and replaced the outer cover. After work of course now we have to wait for it to get dark. I kept going out to check what the girls were doing. Slowly the girls made their way into the hive. Finally around 8:30 I checked again. Still a few guards at the door. So I gently blew on them and....they moved in! I did it again and they move further in. Well, I kept doing it, they stay inside the opening and I put a piece of screen over the opening and taped it in place. I taped the sides of the hive to hold everything together. Ok... time to load the hive onto the truck. Thank goodness the hive is only 1 brood box. And were off. We arrived without incident. Unload the hive onto the new stand. At the new location we put the hive up on blocks, there tends to be more wildlife here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

a quick check

The frame here on the left is #2 from the left of the hive...what little they drew out, they decided to fill with sugar syrup, maybe some nectar too. The frame on the right is from the same position on the right side of the hive. This frame is more drawn out. Alot of syrup, some of it capped. And the queen has been here. There is some capped brood. A few cells with pollen. Everyone is VERY busy. Trusty assistant Jim went out to the hive late morning and just stood at a distance watching the entrance. Workers coming and going and what looked like another flying lesson. But, he said you could hear the buzzing. So for today we just checked these 4 outer frames. If these 2 had been full of syrup and brood we would have put on the second brood box. But they weren't and we didn't. The weather has finally been like summer. I'm still feeding them so hopefully they will continue building. Till next time....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

still feeding

Still feeding. I store the sugar syrup in a 3L jug. I have filled this jug three times and it's almost empty again! Have to make some more tomorrow night! The photo is some of the last of the milkweed in the area.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

flying lesson

When we got home sunday afternoon, the sun was shining on the hive and there were many girls flying. We could see them from our driveway. When I got closer to watch what was going on, I could see that many of them weren't flying away but hoovering then landing on the hive and that these test flyers were young bees. There were even a couple young ones practicing guard duty!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Lots of milkweed everywhere. One of the honeybee's favorite plants. But butterflies, ants, bumblebees and many more insects also love this sweet smelling flower. But alas it is short lived. Many of the blooms have gone by. The bee balm in Ann's garden ( my mom) is starting to bloom and then it will be the snow on the mountain. The queen is busy at work. Can you find her in the photos below? The baby girl on my hand was very curious and walked on my hand, my arm and back to my hand the entire time we were looking at the frames. The girls have been drawing out comb on the next to the outer frames, but only one side of them. Maybe next weekend we can add the second brood box... maybe. At least it's not raining. The sun is shining and it was 81 today. Fabulous!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

looking good....

Everything is looking good. They are storing syrup and pollen. We have many more bees. Plenty of larvae and capped brood. And a lot more eggs. We've had two bee-u-ti-ful sunny days. Saturday on my morning walk I came across a patch of milkweed teeming with honeybees! Finally! Honeybees somewhere besides the hive in my backyard. Now...are they my girls? Or do they belong down the street in the other direction? I believe both. As I watch them so leave heading towards home and some are heading in the opposite direction. So we got the smoker going and checked on the girls back at the hive. Everything is looking good. They are storing syrup and pollen. We have many more bees. Plenty of larvae and capped brood. And a lot more eggs. They are starting to build out the other frames and we saw our queen which always makes us very happy. But we still need to keep feeding sugar syrup. So we filled both jars and put the cover back on. I'll check the jars Monday night. Hopefully the weather will turn for the better and start staying warm and sunny.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

more syrup please...

The girls are loving the syrup! On Sunday I put on a pint jar of sugar syrup. Monday night I put on a pint and a 26oz jar. Tonight I check and they were both empty. So I filled both of them. Went back in the house and made some more. We'll see what tomorrow holds.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

making syrup

The head bee man Ken ( MA Bee Inspector) stopped by to check our hive. The hive is weak but growing. BUT with all this nasty weather and small number of bees, they have been eating what syrup and nectar they had stored. There is nothing left. No food for babies. No drawing out empty frames. So we have to start feeding sugar syrup immediately. I had a pint left from earlier this spring. So we put a jar on right away. I made more syrup and will have to keep a check on the jar. Ken said start feeding and they'll start drawing out that comb on those empty frames giving the queen more room to lay her eggs. So glad Ken stopped by,(thank you Ken) we never gave it a thought to start feeding again being inexperienced. Many other beekeepers have already started feeding their hives.