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Old 05-17-2017, 07:09 AM   #181
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Helmet cam needed!....and love the shirt tucked into the sweatpants, its a good look on you...Dumb question: Is the "honey-comb shape" already on the frames, or do the bees make that with such precision?
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:16 AM   #182
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Fashion is secondary to preventing bees flying up open shirts, pants, shorts, etc.

The frames I use are pre-printed with a very light raised honeycomb pattern & the bees build off that. Without it, they would still build out comb in the general shape, but it wouldn't be as tidy.

The comb from this earlier photo was built free-form and was not on a frame. You can see they still build it in the typical honeycomb shape.

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Old 05-17-2017, 07:34 AM   #183
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

For stills I have always found going frame by frame on a computer and doing screen caps works well.

I couldn't get within 50 yards of that box of death, I'd be gassing them like I was Assad on a Saturday night partying with my buddy the Grand General Khamenei Pooh Bah of Iran, not just spritzing them with a little smoke.

That being said a honey lemon BBQ sauce on ribs with honey right from the source does sound tantalizingly good.
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:11 AM   #184
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

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Fashion is secondary to preventing bees flying up open shirts, pants, shorts, etc.

The frames I use are pre-printed with a very light raised honeycomb pattern & the bees build off that. Without it, they would still build out comb in the general shape, but it wouldn't be as tidy.

The comb from this earlier photo was built free-form and was not on a frame. You can see they still build it in the typical honeycomb shape.

not sure why I find this so fascinating ...but I do...
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:49 AM   #185
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Still very cool Vin and thanks for keeping this updated! And your pup is cute. Have you tasted any honey out of the hive yet? I know I wouldn't be able to resist once I saw the honey production.

Does the dog bother the hive?
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:17 AM   #186
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

I won't be taking honey out of the hive until much later this summer, if at all this year. As this is a new hive, my number one priority is to make sure the hive is strong and healthy. Part of that is ensuring the bees have enough food stores (pollen & honey) to overwinter in snowy New England.

If I get lucky, there might be some surplus honey in the fall, and that would be completely awesome. Too early to tell yet, though.

The dog doesn't bother the hive. She's sniffed around a bit, and I am absolutely certain the bees will let her know if she's making a pest of herself. So far though, all is good. (Grace's sister has a lab mix puppy that found out first hand why you don't stick your snuffler in the hive. She didn't go near it again after that experience.)
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:38 AM   #187
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

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Second box creates a larger hive. A strong, healthy hive generally has two boxes of 10 frames each and approximately 50-60,000 honey bees. (All of which are programmed to swarm on July 15.)
Now we'll learn just how fast Tom can run.
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:44 AM   #188
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

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The dog doesn't bother the hive. She's sniffed around a bit, and I am absolutely certain the bees will let her know if she's making a pest of herself. So far though, all is good. (Grace's sister has a lab mix puppy that found out first hand why you don't stick your snuffler in the hive. She didn't go near it again after that experience.)
Hmmm...if only you'd learn likewise....just my 2 copper penny's worth...
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Old 05-17-2017, 05:39 PM   #189
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Wow
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:40 AM   #190
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

While setting up a sprinkler the other night, I inadvertently showered the hive for a few moments. Not the hugest of deals because it's covered, but I did witness something pretty interesting take place immediately afterwards. Once the water cut off, the bees instantly started scurrying about, drinking up the water and bringing it inside the hive for later use.

The video below is less than 10 seconds long, and you may have to loop through a few times, but you'll see a bee right near the bottom of the frame extend her tongue to suck up the water. On a relative basis, Gene Simmons has nothing on bees! The tongue rolls out of their mouth sorta' like a New Years Eve noisemaker.

(Sorry for the eye strain on the video - I really have to figure out how to get better at this)

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Old 05-19-2017, 02:04 PM   #191
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

I think that CA should take up a collection to install a "bee cam" at Vin's place so that we can check out the hive(s) any time.
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Old 05-20-2017, 09:08 AM   #192
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

I learned beekeeping as a kid on an orchard. My wife wanted to start a few hives until I pointed out how we don't even have enough time for all the chores we have already. Maybee when we retire, which is getting sooner.
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Old 05-21-2017, 11:41 AM   #193
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Hey Vin, bees from National Geographic!

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/...50415-ngm-bees
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Old 05-21-2017, 11:45 AM   #194
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Theif stole $1 million worth of hives.

https://www.usatoday.com/videos/news...ies/101816412/
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:23 AM   #195
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Still so cool to watch and read everything.
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Old 05-22-2017, 01:21 PM   #196
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Last Friday Grace & I did a hive inspection to gauge the girl's progress in building out the remaining frames in the brood box. They're doing great, and have filled 75%-80% of the frames with drawn comb, so it's time to add a second box.

The second box is identical to the first: 10 frames for them to build on. As they finish off their work on the first box, the bees will move up into the second and continue to build.

The whole point of this is to grow a strong, stable, healthy hive with ample space for both resources and brood. The queen will continue to lay eggs in the second box, and the bees will also produce honey & store pollen in there as well. And as I mentioned before, the honey in these boxes are for the bees to use to feed themselves and nourish the new larva. It's not for me to harvest. That'll come down the road only after they've successfully built out the second box to capacity.

Here's what the hive looks like now:





Wanted to document some of the more interesting finds during the inspection.

This is a frame of comb that has been nearly 100% built out.
  • If you look along the left side, you'll see some open "uncapped" comb with little crescent shaped larva in it. They’re the white-ish things in the comb that look a little like a slug.
  • Just to the right of the larva is capped brood comb. It’s the butter yellow comb in the left third of the frame. The brood comb has a slightly raised texture to it. After the larva reach a certain point, the worker bees cap their comb to allow them to pupate and grow into adult bees much like a caterpillar develops into a butterfly while in its chrysalis.
  • In the center of the frame, you can see the buttery yellow comb changes both in color and texture. The darker colored capped comb is stored honey. The capping has a slight indentation to it vs. the raised quality of the brood comb. Don’t know why this is, but it’s one of the ways of telling what kind of comb you’re looking at.
  • Along the very bottom edge of the frame, notice the puffed up individual combs that are somewhat bullet shaped. This is brood comb, but instead of worker bees, male drones are developing in there. Drones are larger than workers and need a larger space in which to develop. For the most part, drone brood comb is found at the edges of the frame and in much, much fewer numbers than worker brood.
  • The empty comb to the far right probably had honey in it, or it may have had brood. The darker color of the comb tells me it’s been used before. Bees “polish” the comb after each use, and this polishing turns the comb darker. What I don’t know & need to research is do the bees reuse comb cells strictly for the same purpose? For example, if it starts out as a brood comb, does it forever stay a brood comb, or do they change it up at times and put honey in a comb that once housed brood?



The photo below is a closer view of the brood comb (both open & capped) from a different frame in the hive.
  • You can see the bees have stored pollen in the comb cells along the right hand side of the photo. They pack the pollen down into the comb with their heads. Pollen is their protein source and a key component in honey production as well. In fact, they flavor and color of honey will be directly impacted by the type of pollen the bees bring back from their foraging flights each day.
  • The open comb cells in the middle of the capped brood are cells from which a new worker bee has recently emerged. Upon entering the world, the first thing a new bee does is clean and polish her cell so it’s ready to be reused as soon as needed.



This final pic shows capped honey in the upper two-thirds of frame. (The lower left corner of the photo looks to be brood.) You can get a sense for the dimpling inward texture of the capping on the honey cells. The hollowed out comb cells are empty, having been used as food for the hive.



Will check the hive in another couple weeks or so to see what kind of progress they're making on the new box. The pace should really start to ramp up now as new bees are emerging every day.
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Old 05-22-2017, 01:24 PM   #197
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Still loving this thread. Thanks, Vin!
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Old 05-22-2017, 01:40 PM   #198
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Awesome update, thanks Vin. If I need a favor from a good apiarist I know who to call
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Old 05-22-2017, 05:07 PM   #199
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Bees are so damn efficient. Thanks for the entertaining and enlightening updates!
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:46 PM   #200
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Hey Vin, I know you brought in a queen from the same "farm" as the stock of bees when you started this hive earlier in the spring, but have you seen any signs of any queen cells in the bottom box? I'd be interested to see if your first new generation of brood rejects the queen now that you put in the second box up top if she refuses to move to the new comb they make. As far as cell reuse, a lot of times if the "paper" of the cocoons that previously hatched are still in cells, they will only place eggs in there, while former storage cells (from pollen or honey) they'll reuse for anything.
Your hive is looking good and I'm glad to see such a lively hive with the crazy weather we have gotten over the past month.
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