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I have a bunch of questions for Queen Annie….like, where are you? Remember, I placed a super on her two pretty good sized brood boxes. Just trying to give her some room and she ignores me! Once again, there was an empty bottle of sugar water. No eggs or honey in the new super.  That made me think, maybe she left me! I started looking for signs like queen cells. Somebody told me if a hive has a weak or dead queen, they would start making queen cells. These cells are bigger and usually at the bottom. Well, I see this:

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I’m just a Freshman when it comes to Beekeeping but my first guess is this is a queen exiting a queen cell. If anyone knows this for sure, let me know. In the meantime, Queen Latifa just keeps on doing her thing! (See latest video under the Video tab)

I have been doing more reading about entrance feeders for my hives. External feeders are something you use to feed sugar water to bees. There are several ways to do this. The easiest way is with entrance feeders or ‘Boardman’ feeders.

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There are pros and cons to everything with this new hobby. With the Boardman feeders you just fill up the mason type jar with the liquid and place it upside down on the feeder. It’s a little messy because some of the sugar water leaks out and attracts bees, creating a ‘robbing’ situation, where other bees come in and steal the sugar water. I guess this is a big problem because you don’t know how much your bees are eating. Besides, where do the little robber bees get their little robber masks to yell “This is a stick up! NoBEEdy move!” (I couldn’t help it)

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I was replacing the sugar water about every 4 days with Queen Latifa’s family eating more and always running dry by the time I replaced it. Queen Annie was close behind but never running dry within that time frame. Since I moved the feeders, it’s too early to tell if this is an improvement. I know it has cut down on robbing unless these bandit bees are dressing up in disguises to pass off as my bees to travel through the entire hive for the free treat. They might as well fly down the road and get their own! I do have an ant problem now that I didn’t notice before. There’s a ton of them in Queen Latifa’s hive and none in Queen Annie’s. Heck, who knows? The ants could be eating all the sugar water and I’m blaming it on Queen Latifa. Too early to judge.

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New location for my external feeder; Inside the hive

 

Can you believe it has been 56 days since I started this new event? As my Niece would say, apparently, it’s cool to raise bees! I’m finally with the cool crowd! So, I placed a super on my first brood box. A super is just another level for the bees to expand. They should continue to fill this super with more eggs, larvae, pollen and nectar. I still plan to let the bees be bees and allow them to do what they want. If they want to swarm and leave, let them swarm and leave. If they want to stay and just party and have babies, so be it! I’m just happy they are still living!

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Got stung the other day. Right on the arm. My fault. I went to change out the external feeders and got one caught under my arm. Sting the arm that feeds you! Funny, I was wearing gloves and I never wear gloves. She got me just above the glove.

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The 8 week inspection went well. (See the video) It might be too early to tell but it looks like I may need another super for a brood box, which is good. The more bees to defend the hive the better. It helps them make it through the winter too.

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The girls adapted well to the extra box I placed on top! Only thing is today they were flying around a lot. I even got stung for the first time just trying to replace the feeders. I guess we are not dating anymore…Anyway!

It may be time for me to open up the entrances on each hive. I have an entrance reducer which is a piece of wood that plugs the entrance and leave just a small hole.  You are supposed to do that so the bees can defend their hives. When they are just starting out in a new hive, it’s easier to defend a smaller entry. It’s like only having one door where you have to check ID’s. If you don’t have ID, ya can’t get in! Is that why I got stung?

After some time you need to open the entrance so the bees have an easier time coming and going. Starting to look like Detroit rush hour. Guess I would be mad too if had to fly around with pollen on MY legs waiting for some malcontent ID checking bee to check me in!

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Just added another super as a brood box. Both hives are doing really well and need more room for eggs and larvae. At 25 days they are still feeding from the external feeders. Can’t call them lazy bums yet! The summer is young.

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25 days, another box added

I did a 21 day inspection and posted the results on a forum. The consensus is its time to add a super frame to my brood boxes. Some fancy words I’m learning to use but it means queens are laying eggs and running out of room. Time for a super. I’m pretty proud!

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A few cells with honey

 

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Burr cells. Running out of room!

This was my first inspection of both hives, QUEEN LATIFA and QUEEN ANNIE. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. The forum I have been asking questions to (and have been so kind to answer) said that the hives are doing OK so far! I was happy to hear that, albeit, I think one hive is doing better than the other!…

 

Queen Latifa week three

Queen Latifa’s Hive

Queen Annie week three

Queen Annie’s Hive

Taking a quick peak!

Taking a quick look see!

I just checked my Queens after starting my new hives. It went well! (Check out the video on the video page) I have a lot of questions that I will ultimately find the answers to…I hope!

3 day insp cell questions

Wondering what the dark caps, clear caps and clear clumps are? Pollen, Nectar?

What a rush! I made so many mistakes but who’s counting? (I’ll show ya later) I did take some pictures of the first hour and I’m curious as to what these gals are doing…

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Ok Missy. Why is your tongue out and what’s going on behind you???

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…and you got your butt way up in the air???