Honey Bee Keeping and other pollinators

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.
I keep a similar chart oof everything I have on my property so I know when the best time too have my solitary bees delivered.
I have to tell you, last year, we had bumblebees beneath the deck. We lived in harmony until canning season and one sting.
I know how wonderful all different bees do so much pollination. The more the better, just not taking over my preparation space!
The bees seemed to have made it through those two freezing nights. Today our friend with 2 hives out back put his bees in. The weather is getting warmer, so that's a good sign. The dandelions and pear blossoms are food for the bees right now.
Our weekly-or every 10 days, bee checks will start soon.
Mite treatment:
The feeders are close to full now but in 7-10 days they'll need to be filled again and the first dose of mite treatment will start. (I'm not sure which kind we'll use just yet.) They'll be 3 treatments this year, one before the honey flows, one immediately after, and one more. Three different formulas. (apivar, a burnable acid smoke, and I can't recall the name of the third one.)
After the first mite treatment, then the supers get put on top so the bees have somewhere to put nectar and honey.
Mite treatment was put in all the hives. They come out May 22nd. (supers go on the same day)
Tomorrow the sugar syrup feeders get filled with sugar syrup.
First Bee Check-May 5th, to examine the frames and brood.
Bee check #1 5/5/24
This is our first full examination of the frames in the hives. All the hives are doing great.

The bees in the 3 lb packages, say, 10,000 or maybe 8,000 bees, and one queen went into each hive 2 sunday's ago.
It took the queen a day or two or maybe as long as 5 days to get out of the cage and onto a frame to lay eggs. While she was in the cage the workers were creating the wax on the frame to hold the eggs.

Based on the pictures below, the most middle frames in each of the hives have capped brood (those hexagons that are full and covered in wax towards the middle). The queen lays eggs, then the eggs evolve into larva, then at 7 days the workers cap the brood to let them develop for 14 more days and they hatch. (our first local births could be as soon 10 days, depending on when the queen started to lay eggs)

Queens become full-grown adults within 16 days; drones develop in under 24 days and female workers require 21 days during larval and pupal development.

The population explosion begins from all of this. In 2 weeks, all those capped brood cells will birth workers. The queen may lay at a rate of 1500-2000 eggs / DAY, she is a boss. During all this time she continues to lay eggs, they get capped, they are born.

In anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 weeks or less, all the original bees in a box (the 3 lb package of bees) will have died off.
Thank you for your hard work and travel!

Queen honey bees live on average 1–2 years whereas workers live on average 15–38 days in the summer and 150–200 days in the winter.


Amazing, fascinating and few other words I can't think of at the moment. Thanks for the education I'm getting bliss!
Bee check #3 today 5/21.
Mite treatment strips removed (3 weeks).
Feeder frames removed, replaced with a waxed frame.
The bees seem happy!
One hive has a queen that was originally mated and she was laying brood but now she is only laying drones because she wasn't mated well enough. (outside the control of the beekeepers) She didn't go out and get mated again so she was killed to make room for a new queen.
We decided to get a queen with bees in a nuc 4-5 frames of brood and lots of bees. Mr bliss is picking them up tomorrow and he'll install them with a deep box on top of the bee barn.
We had a choice between an italian queen alone, or a carniolan queen with bees in a nuc, and we went with the second choice. All our queens are carniolan.
Our neighbor tended his two hives too, and we ended it with lemonade, mandarin oranges, and zucchini/pear/raisin bread at the picnic table. It was a nice chance to chit chat with him.

The super boxes go on the hives next week. Supers are boxes that are the same length and width. Their heights vary. A medium super is 6 5/8" deep. A shallow super is 5 11/16” deep. This is for honey storage for the bees and this is what is spun out for honey if there is surplus.
We'll also have 4 shallow supers for just the bees to be building honey comb, to cut, to sell or give away-the comb and honey. These have edible wax foundation instead of plastic foundation coated in wax.
Bee check #4 today 5/28/24

3 comb supers went on and 4 regular supers went on 7 hives. We didn't top the new nuc hive, they have work to do on populating brood in the main hive before we can add a super of any kind to it.

We prepared 3 comb super sets of frames today. A comb super is the most shallow box used in supers/hives. When they are full of comb they look like this: (not my picture)

Preparing the frames: There is a thin foundation wax that we cut into a 2-3 inch wide strip that fits in the frame horizontally at the top, in the groove. (the bees will build the remaining foundation themselves) We dripped beeswax at the junction of the frame groove and thin foundation edge, both sides, to hold it in place. We did this with a 1 lb electric wax melter to hold the wax, and a tjanting tool (used to batik). The tool has a cup that holds melted wax with a spout where it drips out.

The bees may or may not build beautiful comb in these supers. The reading on it say they must be a big hive and really needing to build honey stores. If they do a good job then we'll have cut honey and we'll put a regular super on top. The best chance of success is at the beginning of the flower flow. (now) If they aren't motivated to make comb for us to cut, then we'll mash it and spin out the honey and reclaim the wax so this isn't a risky thing to try.

we put up 4 bird houses. This is the style.

The west bank of beehives with supers.

The east bank of beehives with supers.

Right now 2 of the houses have wrens in them. There are 2 blue houses and 2 gray. Both gray houses are taken.
Why are the houses so deep?
Mr bliss built them from pallet wood and built them the way he wanted them. To me the size seems to be a cross between a big-small bird house and a small swarm trap. Watching whatever takes residence will be an adventure.
Our 8 hives, zach's 2 hives are doing well. Zach split one hive, so he added one hive making it 3. Tomorrow we have 2 overcrowded (might swarm) hives, splitting the brood comb between two hives and adding a queen ($40/each) on wednesday morning to the 2 new hives. We'll have 10 hives. Zach is going to concentrate on making mead when he gets honey, that will be an adventure.
The albino fawn that's been visiting the neighbor behind us (zach), visits at night so we haven't seen it but they see it with flashlights. I'd sure like to see it.
the new queens were put in the two splits, in a queen cage with candy in the entry. The worker's feed and water the queen while eating the candy plug and during that time the worker's get used to the queen's pheromones. It might take a day or two, she then gets released when the candy is gone. We'll have 10 hives, zach 3. It feels crowded to me.
I found out bees have 5 eyes, 2 regular eyes and 3 little ones on top of their heads. So do grasshoppers and dragonflies. They see more types of light than we do.
I knew bees and dragonflies did, although at one time I thought it was 8 that I had read somewhere. I did not know they were spit 2 and 3. Nor did I know grasshoppers did.
Do not most insects see more types of light than we do? Or are theirs specialized to their feeding regime.
Up until this last week I thought bees had just 2 eyes. I'm always learning something new. I've never seen the tiny eyes on top of their heads.
I couldn't answer your questions. I don't know about most insects, and I'm not as fond of other insects as I am of bees.
I know that bees see UV light and where ever there is nectar they see that as bright white like a landing strip for them to get what they want. They can't see red, but they do see blue and yellow.
Top Bottom