Hi ho, hi ho, off to work the bees go (May 2017 beekeeping log)

May 6

Bees from Happy Day Hive and Bitchy Bees Hive continue their foraging flights with vigor. Young bees now play hooky from their in-hive chores and come out for mini orientation flights at about 3:45 p.m. if the sun is on the hives. They swirl around for about ten minutes and then zip back inside! They won’t become forager bees for another 10 days or so.

Honeybees land on water hyacynths to drink water in bee pond, Beeco Bee Co.
Our Southern days have warmed up enough that honeybees are now constantly drinking the water in bee pond.


Bitchy Bees Hive get reprieve

  • “I can be bitchier than you!” I said to the Bitchy Bees Hive as my BeeFF Dan and I did a hive check. Confession: I was wearing a bee veil, a bee jacket, two long sleeve shirts, two pair of pants and leather boots. It worked but I need thicker gloves. I’ve changed my mind about evicting them – curious about how they are so different than the other hive. Plus,  today they were only 8.5 on a 10 bitchy scale.
  • They are only building on the side of the frame next to the original nuc and it is in weird streaks with drone cells and honey all mixed up. On the bright side, they are building nice orderly comb on the medium frames in the box above the deep. Bee mentor Greg says to let them fill out the medium box of frames and then put the deep brood box above it after scraping wonky comb off and rewaxing the deep frames they are refusing to build on.
  • They went through almost a quart of sugar water.
  • Installed Beetleblasters in medium box (forgot to put in deep box).
  • Experimenting with heavily waxed frame
    Experimenting with heavily waxed frame

    Since the Bitchy Bees Hive has a stronger, bigger population, I’m going to conduct a wax test on them. I installed a medium plastic frame that had a thin re-wax coat on one half and extra deep wax on the other half. I want to see if they will carve out the wax to make cells consistent or will they build on top of it or opt not to use that area all together.

Weird building pattern on frame, Beeco Bee Co.
Weird building pattern on Bitchy Bees Hive frame.

Happy Day Hive is needing some help

  • Saw less than 10 hive beetles. Was concerned that we saw two big beetles (bigger than one-inch each). Greg says don’t worry about them, but do put out boric acid to keep the sugar ants out of the hive that are still getting in.
  • The bees have gotten a little bitchier (about a 6 on a 10 scale) now that they have brood and honey to protect.
  • The bees have started building new comb in the medium box of frames with wax foundation.
  • Drank less than an inch in quart jar of sugar water.
  • Cleaned out/installed Beetleblasters in both brood boxes.
  • Replaced five unused deep frames with five deep frames that had been re-waxed and the foundation correctly installed (When I bought hives, some of the foundations were installed upside down and the pass thru holes were not punched out).
Building new comb on frame, Beeco Bee Co.
Building new comb on a frame.

Plant update
I have added eight more lavender plants along the driveway. My goal is to fill a 5 x 20-foot purple section along the auxiliary driveway. The chaste tree is about to bloom. So excited to see if the bees like it. The hummingbirds and butterflies definitely do. Alas, the bees show no interest in confederate jasmine. Some bees have found the oakleaf hydrangea, but it doesn’t bloom as vigorously now that the water oak is shading it so much now these days.

About Kristine K. Stevens

Book Cover200Kristine is the author of "If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You, It Isn't Big Enough: A Solo Journey Around the World." This nonfiction book tells the story of how she sold her house, quit her job and traveled around the world.

Kirkus Book Review: "... Stevens makes a friendly, relatable narrator ... plenty of colorful stories to make this an enjoyable, inspiring read... An often sweet memoir about finding oneself in many different places."

Next travel book to spotlight Iceland

25817249396_f6c787ef9f_z Kristine broke free from a desk job once again, and this time ended up volunteering in the far corners of Iceland!

Details about the release of this book will be posted on Facebook.