Moving A Hive
I finally opened the bees today. I can’t believe its already been two weeks since I last checked them. This summer is going by so quickly; August is already 2/3 of the way over!
The drone laying colony has very little food, but the bees are still bringing in pollen. Their numbers are dwindling, but they have managed to successfully cap a queen cell in the middle of one of their frames. I really have no idea how they’ve done that, but I’m just going to leave it. I squished all of the drone brood I saw, in the hopes that if there were any mites left (I didn’t see any) the eggs they may have laid would not survive. The bees were extremely agitated, and it was only after I had opened the hive that I remembered the rule that you shouldn’t open the bees in August.
I moved on to the hive with a queen, excited to see how they’ve progressed. They hadn’t moved up into the super like I hoped they would’ve, mostly due to the fact that they have almost no honey stores. They were even more agitated than the drone laying colony, and they had the numbers to be a nuisance. I moved as carefully as possible, but they still were fly aggressively at my hands in very large numbers whenever I reached down to lift up a frame. Eggs were laid in every available cell, and at least 6 frames were completely covered in brood. There was a nice blanket of bees on all of the frames with brood on them, but I still managed to find the queen. She looked healthy and plump! I really should name her. How about Samantha? That’s the name that’s just come to mind. huh. Samantha it is! It only took me how many months to name her?
My mom wants to completely clean out the bees area, because its full of grass and weeds and looks terrible. As a result I moved Samantha’s hive three feet forward, and turned it around so the entrance faces the hives old site. I also turned the drone laying colony to face away from Samantha’s hive, and I leaned Samantha’s hive stand up on the drone laying hive to create a clear barrier for the bees. I also put a log in front of the entrance of the drone laying colony; I’m hoping to deter drifting as much as possible. I think I’m just going to wait for the drone laying colony to die off. Buying a queen this late in the year, and with so little food available and with mites in the colony, is going to make saving them difficult.
Its been an extremely dry year. Our rhododendrons are wilting; even the large one thats under the cherry blossom tree and has shade almost all day. All of our native ferns have turned brown and are crispy. The peonies all have browned tips on their leaves and look burned. I can’t imagine there’s much in the way of flowers anywhere in the neighborhood. My neighbors have more flowers than we do at the moment, but that’s because they water constantly. Their water bill last month was $300.
Anyway. Samantha’s hive should be ok as long as flowers show up soon. I think I’m going to have to feed them. I hate doing that, but I’m tired of watching my colonies die.