Time for a second floor

We check our bees once a week and when we arrived we found one of our hives bearded up.

Bearded hive

Bearded hive

We initially thought the bees were just hot because we have been having record heat for late February.  It was 87°F (31°C)!  But after we opened up the hive to really see what was going on they were full and needed a second floor.  The bee population within a week literally exploded in this strong hive.

Full hive

Full hive

We will likely split this hive very soon to prevent the queen from swarming.

Yanni with his hive.

Yanni giving the all good thumbs up.

So before we said goodbye we added a second deep with both built and unbuilt frames to give our bees some more room.

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Drink Up

While outside preparing some honey to feed to one of our hives that had low stores, this girl landed on my sticky finger for a drink of honey.  You can even see she had been out collecting pollen as she had some yellow pollen in her pollen basket.  When she was done I watched as she flew right back to her hive.

Bee-on-my-finger-1

Bee-on-my-finger-2

Foraging Bee

It has been a mild December for us here is South Florida.  Our hives have been reduced down to one brood chamber, but the bees are active and foraging.  So far our average day time temperatures have been 77-80° F (25-27° C).  With our temperate climate there is always some type of flower in bloom year round.  Right now Florida Pusley (Richardia scabra), also commonly called Mexican Clover, is blooming everywhere. Many people consider it a weed, but its small white-purplish flowers are a good source of pollen and nectar for bees.

This worker bee was foraging in my backyard.

You can see the white fuzzy pollen all over her head and she already has some yellow pollen in her pollen basket.

You can see the white fuzzy pollen all over her head and she already has some yellow pollen in her pollen basket.

Taking flight.

Foraging Bee3

Here you can actually see the her wings are damaged, but she had no problem flying from flower to flower.

Here you can actually see that her wings are damaged, but she had no problem flying from flower to flower.

Off she goes again!

Off she goes again! Loaded with pollen.

Foraging Bee6

Foraging Bee7

What’s the Queen Doing There?

We recently moved our nucs into regular sized hives.  We opened up one hive and found the queen on top of the inner cover. What is the queen doing there?  Since it was a relatively new hive to her we assumed maybe she got a little confused, so we gently guided her back to the opening of the inner cover and back down into the hive.

Bee Eggs

For those of you wondering what bee eggs look like, here you go.  They look like super tiny grains of rice.  This is new comb our bees built and the queen laid eggs in it already.

After she lays her eggs, the worker bees will take care of the larvae and cap the cells.  That is then what we call capped brood.  Here is a nice example of newly capped brood.