Day by day blog: aka exterior inspections - Page 5
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  1. #81
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    Default Days 62, 63: finally got stung!

    Days 62, 63

    Thursday, Friday
    May 18, 19, 2017

    I did visit the hive on Thursday, but nothing new to say about that.

    I decided to see what the girls were up to in the morning, at sunrise.

    http://moonpathblog.org/bees/morningbee.MP4

    I did see a bee returning with pollen, so they get started pretty early.

    You can see that the bees are bearding in the gap between the lid and the top bars. This is happening due to the combination of my entrances being at the top of the hive and that potential space under the lid. I like this unintended feature because it would protect any bearding bees from the elements and predators.

    Later, after work, I inspected the hive. This time I brought both cameras. I look forward to reviewing the footage and will post an edit as soon as I can.

    I worked from the back forwards. I would say compared to last week, I could probably harvest a bar of honey, it is ready enough, but I will wait a bit.

    The biggest development was on B, which had quite a buildup compared to just a few days ago. Go Bees!

    Where I got in trouble and finally got stung was I dropped some burr comb in the back of the hive. I could have been more gentle about that, but I wasn't. That probably riled one of them up enough to come sting me.

    It was on my pinky! It's safe to say I am not having an anaphylactic reaction. In fact, it doesn't even hurt anymore. Just two tiny bumps next to the dot of a sting mark.

    I'm glad to finally get it over with but I do feel sorry for the worker. What a waste of some life spirit!

    The biggest problem I had with the inspection was definitely burr comb. The worst was on bar I, which was a mistake. I had mistakenly put a wide bar there when the bees were no more than a festooning clump! Oh those were the days.... I couldn't really get I separate from the next two for fear of some serious comb drop.

    I did see a worm crawling along the top of the a bar. I squished it, I think, but who knows? Maybe a wax worm?

    More later.
    Last edited by Yunzow; 05-19-2017 at 04:33 PM.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

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  3. #82
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    Mar 2017
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    Lilburn, GA, USA
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    Default Days 64, 65, 66 - rainy days

    Days 64, 65, 66

    Saturday, Sunday, Monday
    May 20, 21, 22

    It's been raining a lot for the past couple of days and will continue raining the next few. So not much bee activity or inspection going on. I have been visiting the hive, including in the middle of a downpour, because I was curious to see how water-tight the hive was. It looked pretty good, though the bars were definitely getting moist and had expanded.

    Tonight, there was some night bearding.

    I still have a lot of video to review from my inspection on Friday, hopefully more on that later!
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  4. #83
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    Default Day 67 - break from the rain

    Day 67
    Tuesday, May 23, 2017
    Re: Days 64, 65, 66 - rainy days
    It was raining all day, but it stopped as I was driving home from work. I went to look at the hive, the sun just peeking out from behind clouds. They were sluggish at first but seemed to get more active while I was watching. The bearding bees are festooning from the elevated lid, dunno if that means anything.

    I saw one drone returning and a couple of others popping out. Some bees coming back with pollen!
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  5. #84
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    Default Day 63: video of hive inspection

    Day 63: video of hive inspection

    Friday, May 19, 2017

    So I finally got to look at the video I shot on Friday. It turns out the goPro let me down, there is a big gap in the middle where it shut off, so it recorded the first few bars I inspected (the far end of the hive).

    http://moonpathblog.org/bees/hiveinspectionmay19.mpeg

    The first two bars are honey bars. The next two are the tail end of brood. I'm not super experienced with what I am seeing but it appears to me that the brood pattern is not that tight, but maybe because it is at the end of the brood cluster?

    Sorry this video is about 500 megabytes, will take a while to download!
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  6. #85
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    Default Day 68 - the flow

    Day 68

    Wednesday, May 24, 2017

    Everything I'm hearing from everyone, it seems the flow is done here.

    Of course, being a newbie, this makes me a nervous Nellie, what happens now???

    It is hard for me to gauge the hive activity because of the almost constant rain this week. The ladies do seem subdued. I did see some drone activity, I assume this means the hive is doing well.
    Last edited by Yunzow; 05-26-2017 at 06:14 AM.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  7. #86
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    Default Days 69, 70

    Days 69, 70

    Thursday, Friday, May 25, 26

    Thursday: observed the hive in the afternoon, some girls returning with pollen, a couple of drones coming and going, definitely not as active as I had seen in the afternoon before.

    Friday morning, sunrise: it being 54 degrees all of the sudden, no observable bearding and little activity.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  8. #87
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    Default Day 71 - partial hive inspection

    Day 71 - partial hive inspection

    Saturday, May 27, 2017

    The goal for the inspection this morning was just to look at the combs at the far end of the hive and at the entrance of the hive, just to measure any progress. Also, I'm still working on my photo technique. The goPro is very easy to use but the pictures aren't the best, so I tried to use my digital SLR.

    The bees haven't made much new comb compared to the last inspection a week ago. On the other hand, the levels of honey / nectar seem about the same, as the furthest comb has nectar on the far side.

    I really don't enjoy at all opening up the hive at the front entrance. They really notice it when I remove the "roof" I have over the entrance. A bunch come out and start bumping up against me.

    Didn't really get any good pictures of brood. Here some of the honeycombs.
    nectarincomb.jpg
    This is the last comb with nectar on the far side.

    nexttolastcomb.jpg
    I believe this would be the third comb from the end the far side.

    Later in the morning I bought some honey from the Fat Bee Man's son, because my friend wants to make some mead and needs about fifteen pounds of honey. I ladled some honey into jars to give to our neighbor and to a nurse I work with. What to do with the honey-covered ladle and measuring cup?? Put it in the back of the hive and let the ladies clean them up!
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  9. #88
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    Default Day 72 - Beavers

    Day 72 - Beavers

    Sunday, May 28, 2017

    I went to the hive in the early evening, an hour or so before sunset, to remove the ladle, etc, that I had put in the hive for the girls to clean off. Sure enough they did a good job. Then I saw a guy waving at me down the dam a bit. Technically, my neighbor and I share the dam as far as property lines go. There are some folks in the neighborhood that maintain the dam, fixing the overflow drain, etc. I guess right now there are beavers digging holes in the dam and he's been fixing it.

    I had been nervous about my hive on the dam because I knew they were doing work on it. Bob said he was leery of the bees at first, but he hasn't got stung. I was nervous because I was thinking he might say he didn't want the hive there. I mean, he probably doesn't want the hive there, but what is he going to say, not technically his property.

    I didn't know but I guess a beaver could really hurt you if it felt threatened. They are large and have claws powerful enough to claw through the trunk of a tree.

    Best not to have to talk to your neighbors about your beehive. He did ask me how many more I was going to put on the hive. I said it depended on neighbors. He said he didn't mind the hives. We'll see! Because I would like at least one more hive!

    Later, after it was dark, I went back to see the hive. I saw much more night-bearding than I had seen before, but not as much as I have seen in typical "bee beard" pictures. They were bearding out of all three entrances and formed a mass connecting the center and left entrance. I am going to assume this is because the population is continuing to climb.
    Last edited by Yunzow; 05-28-2017 at 09:05 PM.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  10. #89
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    Default Day 73 Memorial Day 2017

    Day 73

    Monday, Memorial Day, 2017

    Nothing much to report, I was helping my mom out most of today.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  11. #90
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    Default Day 74 - rainy day

    Day 74 rainy day

    Tuesday, May 30, 2017

    We've had quite a few rainy days. When I went to look at the hive in the afternoon after work, it was overcast and drizzling. The activity was definitely subdued, but there was a bee bringing back some pollen!
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  12. #91
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    Default Day 75 -entrance reducer

    Day 75

    Wednesday May 31

    Today I decided to remove the entrance reducer. I figured the girls were expending extra energy at night trying to cool off, and having a larger entrance would speed up comings and goings. I do notice some bumbling around when foragers are returning and it looks like it take some time for the foragers to get out of the entrance hole. Our climate in Georgia, overheating in the summer is more concerning than cold during the winter. It has been unseasonably mild lately, which for us is the mid 80s, lol. Also, I had concluded that the population was large enough to defend a larger entrance size.

    After I removed the reducer, I checked it later at night. The girls are still bearding, haha, perhaps more than before, but all the bees are on top of the first bars. I have a top entrance, which is just a slot gap between the first bar and the hive body. The lid of the hive is set above the bars by a 2x4 spacer, so they are sheltered from the elements. The bees completely filled even the larger entrance hole.

    More later!
    Last edited by Yunzow; 06-01-2017 at 11:50 AM.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  13. #92
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    Default Day 76, 77, 78 - more night "bearding"

    Days 76, 77, 78

    Thursday, Friday, Saturday
    June 1, 2, 3

    I did visit the hive each of these days but not a lot to report except for Saturday night (or early Sunday morning).

    Around midnight, I went to visit the hive. There were many bees gathered outside the hive, on top of the first couple of bars, and even hanging from the lid over the bars (there is a 2x4 spacer between bars and the lid). So many more than I had seen before. It was one of the hottest days we have had so far. Not a proper beard, but if they were hanging on the side like I have seen in other pictures, it would have been a large beard.

    Much of the ventilation was occurring on the right side of the "beard".

    More later!
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  14. #93
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    Default Day 79 - video: partial hive inspection

    Day 79

    Sunday, June 4, 2017

    I attempted a hive inspection today, but got cut short by rain, when I was four bars short of done.

    While they are not out of nectar, they are digging into their capped honey.

    All the combs that I handled were noticeably lighter. No obvious signs of disease, nor swarming.

    This first video is several bars from the front, bar F or G.http://moonpathblog.org/bees/Bar1.mpeg

    This second video is bar M, near the far end of the hive.http://moonpathblog.org/bees/inspectionbarM.mpeg

    Any comments would be appreciated. I made smaller clips this time, in slow mo.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  15. #94
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    Default Day 80, more night bearding

    Day 80

    Monday, June 6, 2017

    I visited the hive at night. It was cloudy all day, with a couple of thunderstorms. As per usual, night bearding, more than I have ever seen.

    As I mentioned yesterday, I didn't seen any evidence of swarm preparation during inspection, so I take this as normal behavior for the conditions: warm day, cloudy day, not much nectar available.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  16. #95
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    Drexel, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: Day 80, more night bearding

    Thanks for the continued updates! I'm really enjoying following along with your journey.

  17. #96
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    Default Re: Day 80, more night bearding

    Hi, r2t2,

    thanks for the feedback, I'm hoping this is helpful for people! It definitely helps me keep engaged.

    Quote Originally Posted by r2t2 View Post
    Thanks for the continued updates! I'm really enjoying following along with your journey.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  18. #97
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    Question Days 81, 82 - videos - the cure for insomnia

    Days 81, 82

    Tuesday June 6, 2017 and Wednesday June 7, 2017

    I have some video from my night inspection on Tuesday. I like night inspections because I can see the bees (not combs obviously) up very close when they are bearding. Who the heck knows what these bees are doing? Or some of them are doing obvious things like festooning and ventilating, but the others, who knows!

    http://moonpathblog.org/bees/nightbeard1.MP4
    http://moonpathblog.org/bees/nightbeard2.MP4
    http://moonpathblog.org/bees/nightbeard3.MP4
    http://moonpathblog.org/bees/nightbeard4.MP4

    I wish I could change the name of this thread, because it really should be "night by night blog, with occasional day inspections"!

    I didn't visit the hive yesterday at all, after several nights of insomnia and associated meltdowns I had to work on making things right with my queen bee Sharon.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  19. #98
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    Default Days 83, 84 - friendly bees

    Days 83, 84

    June 8, 9, 2017
    Thursday, Friday

    Didn't get to see the hive yesterday due to lots of mom business and a dental procedure.

    I went out this morning and hope to see them this afternoon.
    It was just at sunrise. The woods are to the east, so no direct sun on the hive until later, on the other hand the afternoon sun is very long because of the lake to the west.
    The bees appear to be festooning just under the lid.

    Three friendly bees landed on my (uncovered) hands and head. They're just being curious, but I walked away in a huff!

    At work, I took a break and noticed honeybees working a couple of short flowering trees. I work in Decatur, so far from my bees, but it is heartening to see there is some forage for them still, even here in the middle of a big city.

    After work, I went to visit the bees I think it was around 6 p.m. They have put propolis between the lid space and the first couple of bars and are busy being busy in that space. I did see a couple of drones returning from flights, so the hive is probably not starving!
    Last edited by Yunzow; 06-09-2017 at 05:03 PM.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  20. #99
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    Default Day 85 - noob tip - make sure your hive is closed!

    Day 85 full hive inspection
    Saturday morning, June 10th, 2017

    I just want to mention, from last weeks inspection, when I came back the next day, I saw that there was a gap created in the middle of the hive, where one end of a top bar was not all the way down, there was a tiny gap and a few bees were going in and out there.

    Today, at the end of the inspection, I had to put a different size spacer at the end, and in my double check I saw there was a small gap underneath the piece of wood I used so I had to do that over.

    The girls had propolized the lid, or rather lid spacer (2x4), to the top bar, so when I tried to lift the lid, the whole hive started to come up!

    They have eaten all the stored honey, but there is nectar in about every comb, a little bit. So I'm sure they are not starving.

    They are building a little bit more on comb B, the second from the entrance and some significant festooning going on with bars B and C. This would suggest to me that nectar storage is being prioritized towards the front of the hive.

    No swarm cells, no supercedure cells. No drone cells either though I did see at least one drone loafing on a wall.

    The girls were quite agitated by the goPro! No paparazzi!!!
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  21. #100
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    Default Day 86 - not quite machine gun...

    Day 86
    Sunday, June 11, 2017

    After 6 p.m., we still have a couple of hours left of sunlight here. I can see the bees shooting out about a rate of one bee a second somewhat urgently, so I think that means they have somewhere to go! Prolly not as fast as "machine gun" described elsewhere, but I think they are doing okay.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

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