Sunday, February 27, 2011

Yea bees!

Subject: working bees
Today (Sun 2/27/11) I started cleaning my extra hive bodies and checked on and cleaned the frozen hive. I noticed the remaining hive was very active so I sat down to watch them. I didn't really believe it but I saw some bees bringing in pollen. I then started to really pay attention and saw that many bees were bringing in pollen and all the bees were busy. My first thought, after I was convinced, was "where in the heck are they getting pollen?'
I removed the entrance reducer without getting stung, but with a stern warning, and then the bees really started to get busy. Whenever I get really brave, I will remove the wrap I have around the hive.
Yea bees!
C C Cook

Saturday, February 12, 2011

It's alive, it's alive

Sometime just before noon I was out attempting to clear enough for the mail person to get our mail without her having to walk in the snow.  Then, as I was finishing the driveway somewhat later, I was at the back of my pickup near the end of the driveway. Sudden;y a small bee came and flew around me until; I made notice of her.
Then she flew away and I could not tell where.
later, after going in for a very late lunch, I saw bees coming and going at the hive. I thought I had lost everything but there must be enough left to keep that hive going.
SO! Back to plan 1. I shall start two new nucs, replace this queen or use the new queen to do another starter hive.  I think I would like to have three here again and then two over at the ranch. OR-- I could do the opposite. Either way will be good.
Now I must get some frames & hive bodies ready. I hope for a long nectar flow in the spring. I hope to enjoy spring honey.
Yea bees.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Well, DUH!

I must have the dumbest bees in the world. No, make that formerly had the dumbest. I went out today to fix their entrance where snow could not block it as I want them to be ale to continue to breathe. We are due for another storm which will drop eight to 14 inches of new snow.
Wellsir, there were five or six bee bodies in the snow. IN THE SNOW. One had made it almost six feet away, the others were much closer than that.
They looked around, crawled over a dead guard bee who had frozen in the doorway and then took off. Since one got about three feet or less and dropped, the others thought they would try it. It reminds me of the Red neck/Teenager joke about;"Hold my beer, watch this."
I am way ready for this cold weather to be over so my bees can go back to attacking me instead of committing hari kari in the sub-freezing weather.
Dumbass bees.

Monday, February 7, 2011

way too cold

Here in Oklamania we have the extreme temperatures. There are several reasons for it, so I am told, but I don't like it whatever the reason(s). Anyway, last week we had below -0- temps every night for a while and then it was only 5 or 6 F the other nights. I did wrap my bee hive but I don't know how any warm weather bug could survive -0- temps.

I went out last Tue. or Wed. because the sun had been out most all day. The temp was still only about 15 - 16 F and guess what. The stupid little creatures decided to go out and play. They did, however, forget their little fur coats so the ones who made it out the door froze. I counted eight bee bodies in the snow I could plainly see. There may have been other I couldn't see.

If this weather continues I will not have any bees. Next year, after I start all over, I may put all my bees in Styrofoam containers with a small light bulb for warmth. That couldn't be worse than losing two hives. Of course, that sort of thing is unheard of and the light would probably short out frying all of them. I do not think I could have fried bees for Sunday dinner.

For those not from Oklahoma, this is an unusual winter. Our temps seldom get to an actual -0-F and when the temp does get there, it does not stay long. Yes, I should be singing, "Oh Lucky Me, I get to learn the worst on my first  winter of my first year." (To be sung to the tune of Happy Days Are Here Again. Yes, it can be done, just squeeze some of the words together)

According to the experts, it is time to start feeding bees a formula to promote more broods. Wellsir, that will be hard to do as I have a great deal of difficulty getting to the hive and then if I raise the lid to put in a feeder, that will let in 12 F cold air and freeze all the bees that are left alive - if any.

I think I shall wait to start the brood formula as I can't afford little fur coats for all of them.

I have ordered two starter hives and a new queen for this hive. I want a queen from a gentle hive as she would produce more gentle bees, not like these smart alecks. You would think they were all Middle School girls all trying out for cheerleader.

You may recall that this is the aggressive bunch of bees. I can just say out loud, "Today is about the time I should check to see if the bees still have feed," or any other subject of that nature. That hive of bees knows when I get in a hurry and do not get completely suited up.

They quietly walk around the top bars and quietly whisper orders. They wait until I have the top cover off, have taken off the feeder and have my back turned to place the feeder on a stand and then...

"ATTACK" some beeness screams and here they come.

After I have replaced everything they continue to buzz me. I usually back as far away as I can but one or two continue to harass me.

Keep in mind that these are not Africanized bees, these are just naturally mean little buggers. The hive that froze (called the West hive) was the same bees; in fact, the aggressive bees came from that hive. I could work the West hive with very little or no protection. I would just be slow, gentle and careful.

This bunch, the pink hive, have been mad at me ever since I captured them in their first swarm. I really believe they thought they were going to start a new colony in some far away exotic place. "But NO!! That same old man got us and moved us about 30 feet away. Here we are in the same old place and there are absolutely NO wild flowers anywhere as we were promised by the Beeness who talked us into leaving the original hive."

I have it on good authority that confabulation took place. The rest of that story is that they have tried to wreak revenge ever since I recaptured them as they swarmed and put them in a new hive box in the same yard.

And I thought I was being so clever.