Thursday, June 30, 2016

Our first hive is queenless and what we are doing about it.

The Queen bee in a hive is shaped different than the female worker and Drones. She doesn't like light so if the hive opens she will go down into the hive. Queen bees are marked to help beekeepers identify them. If you have to purchase a queen bee for your hive she runs around $30.00 . Many beekeepers like to sell queen bees for profit. A hive will only have one queen. We purchased a nuc ( like a mini hive ) to get started in our beekeeping we were really disappointed to find out we are queenless and our hive is suffering as a result. We had what is called a queen cell but it was empty. Fortunately for us we located someone in our area who will sell us another nuc and a queen which should be ready this week. Those of you that are beekeepers know the seriousness of the situation of this situation as bees die off rapidly and new ones come in as the queen lays eggs. So guess what will happen to our hive if we don't get  a queen? Bees can only live a few weeks so our hive is about a month old so we are in panic mold but the good news is we are very close to a new nuc and a new queen which may be here in time and will lay more eggs and help us rescue the dying hive. Being in Upstate New York we had to travel about a hour or so to Canandaigua through beautiful windy roads in the  countryside to get our first hive. To get our next hive we will be traveling to the Syracuse area to get that 2nd hive and a queen.  There are not a lot of beekeepers here in New York. When we got our actual hives we had to travel too and found a beautiful couple that sold us a nice hive it was so nice we went back and got a second one! They too, will be hopefully selling bees  next year. It is good to make lots of contacts if you are doing bees so that if you need help you will have some friends to help you out so you can grow your hives. Our primary purpose for our bees is for training and to help others and not to be in the business of bees but rather to preserve the bees and to help to keep them alive and well in the USA . 

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

No queen in our new hive

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Bee Sting?

When working with your hive if you get stung 

here is a little trick. Right away spray spray 

some smoke on it and spray

the other bees with smoke so you don't

get stung again as a sting produces 

a pheromone and tells the other bees

there is danger. 


Another tip is bees are attracted to the 

smell of bananas so don't eat them 

prior to working with your bees. 

Treating for mites

  winter green


     Mineral oil

Many natural beekeepers use a combination of mineral oil and either peppermint or wintergreen oil to keep mites away.  If you have a issue with your bee hive it would be wise to do some research on this to see if it is right for your hive. We'd love to hear your results! Please tweet with at


    Swarming is the only way that bees have of preserving themselves. Beekeepers have to keep up on their hives so they don't swarm and they can keep the bees in the hives making honey. 

Some beekeepers feel that keeping a queen bee over one year and to donate the old queen to observation bee colonies. 

Older queens are more likely to swarm. 

Life cycle of your beehive

We never received a queen with our first nuc and we found ourselves in a situation as we didn't have any contacts in the bee industry so what do we do? 
Image result for queen bee
Some feel that it is throwing good money after bad to purchase a new queen in hopes that our bees will accept a new queen. 

    A queen bee can lay up to 2000 eggs a day.

A starter queen in a package can lay about 3000 bees a day - as things calm down - in 21 days you have a new bunch of bees. Bees live about 6 weeks. At 6 weeks the colony is stressed again as the population is replenished and things are moving forward and ever changing. The tention will still be there as the adult population is taking care of the new babies some dying off - new being born and on and on it goes - and on and on they are forging collecting pollen, taking care of babies. At 6 weeks they are almost at the same point as they were at day one - Building wax, forge, and taking care of babies and the queen is laying like mad - The population of a package will decrease before it increases it is a stressful time for the colony as well as the beekeeper - Make sure they are all being feed well during this whole process.

These 3 all live in harmony

Bees can lay up to 2000 eggs a day !

note the different looks of the bees in a colony.

To feed or not to feed?

Do you stop feeding your bees after they start producing nector?

Bees  have to bring in 40 lbs of nector to make 1 lb of wax.

There is lots of energy and resources put into bees just to get them to the point to survive winter.

Most people get their first hive by a package and most have taken a class or have a mentor. Your colony of bees need a excellent start to make a productive hive.

      Can you see the eggs in your hive? Clay is good at spotting them I am a bit slower. Did you know that there are always a few workers that lay eggs as well.

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Welcome to the Bee Blog :)

Like most of the projects Clay and I get into somehow it just seems to be there and we never seem to know exactly or what caused us to get into it, but keeping bees has certainly changed how we look at life. There is so much more to these little insects than I ever imagined and it's kind of like being in a family - to really understand you have to immerse yourself in it. We spend hours reading books, looking up websites, watching youtubes and talking with others who are enjoying this hobby. To be honest the hobby was a little more expensive than I thought but the rewards including financial can be wonderful. 

Most honey bees won't bother you unless you get near their hives. Only about 9 bees produce honey and there are approx 20,000 species. The Bumble bee 

Image result for IMAGES bumble beehe also produces honey but compared to a honey bee we are talking ounces compared to pounds.