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Queen Angela

Meet Queen Angela, named after my oldest sister. That’s her. On the end furthest away. The one with the least amount of bees. Mean. Just like my sister. Queen Angela!

Ordinance NO. 17-96

Delta TWP Chicken Raising and Beekeeping ordinance passed 6-0! Beekeeping is allowed in residential areas with some minor restrictions to the number of hives allowed. Looks like I can have 2-4 hives. Last year, I spoke at the meeting in favor of the ordinance. I already have my hive trap in place!

 

A Nuc box is box that hold a nucleus colony, like a queen and about 1000 bees. Beekeepers use these for catching swarms or removing extra bees from an overcrowded colony. I don’t have extra bees in my hives but I did recently catch a swarm. If I catch another one, I’ll use this Nuc to hold the swarm to either replace a weak hive ( I have one of those) or start over. Besides, Nucs look really cool and a lot easier to make than a full hive. I painted mine today. Five frames ready to go!

 

I have three new hives. Two are mail order (Queen Nefertiti and Queen Victoria) and one local from Mason, Michigan (Freddie Mercury of Queen)

 

The New Neighborhood

 

Queen Victoria was a struggle because the workers she was delivered with never released her. After 6 days, all the helpers were dead and Queen Victoria, (God Save Her!) was alive and trapped.  I released her myself and hoped for the best. This is my weakest hive.

 

Dead Helpers In The Queen Box

Queen Nefertiti is doing well and so far had not swarmed. Not the same story for Freddie Mercury. Ten minutes after I added an additional super, she swarmed. She landed 20 feet in the tree right next the hives and about 5 feet from my swarm catcher. They were too high up in that tree for me to get them down easily so it was a disaster. BUT after the swarm which by the way, happened right in front of my eyes, Freddie has  more productivity than the other two hives combined. Could it be she left me and came back?  Let’s hope that’s possible!

 

Swarm Catcher

Freddie Mercury of Queen!

On April 17, 2017 Freddie Mercury of Queen was placed in the hive. On April 20, 2017 she was was released. On April 29, 2017 I noticed bees returning to the hive with legs loaded with pollen. I think it’s going to be a good year. Long live Freddie!

Total hive lose with honey still available

Time to start all over again with the loss of two hives. This one I believe was doomed in the Fall. It wasn’t the cold that killed them, per se but it looks like they lost their Queen in the Fall and just didn’t know what to do to stay warm. If their Queen was living, they would have all huddled around her and rotated through a ball cluster. The fact that there are no signs of eggs, larvae or disease makes me think this is the way the end was inevitable.

I have been a resident of Delta Township, MI. since 1988 and I have never been to a Delta Township Board Meeting. What a better way for my first one to be to support the growth of Honey Bees! Me and my wife Marcia went to a Board meeting seeking more information to revise the current ordinance that allows bees in the township but only in agricultural areas. It’s the reason I have my bees 30 miles away because they are not allowed at my home.

I’m pretty sure the ordinance will be changed to allow bees in the residential areas in the township. I’m absolutely sure there will be restrictions. Hopefully, my first meeting (and I gave my talk during the open comment session!) will influence the board to make the right decision. Save the bees!

 

 

Queen Annie up for the Winter (Oct 2016)

 

January 2017

 

Playing the waiting and wondering game. Waiting for Spring and wondering if my bees are alive. Only time will tell!