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Posts Tagged ‘beekeeping’

Indoor Bee Hive

Wow,  this seems like a very cool idea for educators and people who just want to get closer to their honeybees.   http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/observationhive.phtml

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Ooh… I can’t wait to visit the shop noted in this story!  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  Hurray for urban beekeepers!

bees san francisco

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Hurray for urban beekeepers!  “The New York City Beekeepers Association estimates there are now already 200 beekeepers in New York City since it became legal in April, with the majority in Brooklyn, and expect more soon – as the buzz spreads.”

http://wcbstv.com/local/nyc.legal.beekeeping.2.1760491.html

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The bees have filled up the first hive box with comb and brood, and so a second hive box has now been added.  No signs of foulbrood, varroa mites or other infestations.  We think the queen made a special flight appearance while we were checking the frames, as a large bee with a very unusual buzz appeared.  Hopefully all are settled back into their larger, expanded home and doing what bees do.

second hive box

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Despite the recent cold and rainy weather, the bee colony has been busy!  To this point, their food supply has been supplemented with sugar syrup, which helps maintain their nutrition while the spring blooms continue to appear.  Because flowers & trees bloomed earlier this year, there was ample pollen in the area, and we didn’t have to provide supplemental pollen patties, which is normal.  As soon as we approached the hive, we could see the bees were in a bit of a traffic jam, with the entrance reducer on the hive still set at it’s smallest opening.  As soon as we opened the entrance to its next largest setting, the bees didn’t hesitate to use it in greater numbers.  We carefully inspected the frames and found evidence of what appeared to be a healthy brood — many brood cells sealed and incubating larva, soon to be young bees!  The colony had not yet drawn comb on all of the frames, but the center ones were pretty covered in comb, and the yellow pollen color was apparent throughout.

May 23

We saw no evidence of foulbrood (identified by its foul odor) and no evidence of the varroa mite, two of the most common problems facing honeybees in Minnesota.  After the hive was closed and we took a lunch break, we returned for one last visit.  Sitting on the ground, just a few feet from the hive, I watched bees exit, hover in a circle just above the hive and then take off in a southwesterly direction.  I could also see others returning, and as they carefully landed and entered the hive, their rear legs were bulging yellow with pollen.  I couldn’t help but smile — what amazing little creatures!  I am in awe.

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Yesterday was my b-day, and today was a very happy bee day, indeed!  The colony has been left to their business for nearly a week, and we approached the hive with cautious optimism.  As soon as the hive cover was lifted, we could see evidence of honeycomb!  Workers were flying around the hive, heavy with pollen, and on examination of the frames, we were thrilled to see their progress with building comb, filling it with nectar & pollen… and, best of all, we spotted what appeared to be larva!  Great news, as this means the queen was accepted, and the colony is doing everything it should be doing.  I’ll let the photos tell the story; click to enlarge:

We leave them alone for another week.  🙂

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Electric Fence

Electric Fence

Sondra’s parents are letting us use a patch of their land in Isanti County, MN, on which to keep our bees.  Because black bears have been seen in the area within the last several years, we decided to play it safe and build a fence.  Hopefully it will fend off bears, skunks and any other critters that may wish to harm the bees.

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