Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New additions

I installed my first hive from a package of bees on June 1st, 2006. Since then it has been a very uneventful 7 weeks. The temperatures have been in the high 90's and we are in somewhat of a nectar dearth. The bees are very slow to draw out new wax on the Rite-Cell foundation I have installed in the frames. Because I'm a beginning beek, I have to use brand new wooden ware, foundation, etc... I don't have the benefit of drawn comb from last year. Also, the queen in this colony is "suspect". She has a spotty brood pattern and I have found supersedure cells on several frames. I've decided to let nature take its course and replace her! This should get me through the Summer and into Fall, when I plan on replacing her with a top quality instrumentally inseminated queen.

I did some "horse trading" with Mike Sorensen for 3 complete hives. As I've mentioned previously I travel for work, a lot! In doing so, I've accumulated quite a few frequent flier miles and traded Mike a couple of plane tickets for 3 hives. My small Urban apiary has now been expanded to a total of 4 hives. Once things settle down a bit I'm going to take 1 frame of brood from each of the 3 new colonies and put them into my weakest one. I hope this will give the hive a "kickstart" and get them in good shape headed in to the Winter. I'm worried they won't have enough Winter stores to make it to Spring.

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