Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bee Log 54: February 24, 2011

So here we are loading up our pick-up with new bee gear. We have ordered 10 packages of bees and parts for 8 new hives. Some of the bees will be for beehives that are dead and some to increase the number of our hives from 19 to about 26. Some of the hives will go at the Urban Horticulture Center at the University of Washington and some will go on some new sites at private homes. We are still looking for at least one more bee placement site.

February has been too cold for the bees to get much flying time. Last year must have been a bit warmer because I remember them flying a bit. We put a little granulated sugar under the lid on top of the inner cover hoping to give the bees a bit of nutrition in case they are running out of food.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bee Log 53: February 13, 2011

Take a look at the photo above. It shows the entrance to a beehive that is in our backyard in Seattle. The place where the bees land as they come into the hive is covered in a damp dirty substance. It is probably a mixture of dirt and mildew. This hive is dead. I don't know what it died of but then lots of beehives die in the winter since the verroa mite came into the area. Compare the landing board above to the landing board of the very much alive hive pictured below. The bees somehow keep the landing area clean. I don't know if they clean it or if in and out traffic keeps it clear. (Picture a matronly bee on her bee's knees with a brush and a pail of water!) The difference in the appearance of the the landing board has for me become a pretty good indicator of which hives have died over the winter.

If the hive is alive, the bee landing board at the front of the hive is clear and clean.