This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Looked at my bees today

I looked at my 2 lb packages of bees today. Most of them looked great. I hived the package on drawn comb. The bees are now covering 6 to 7 frames. They really needed a second box, but with the upcoming cold weather I decided to put the new boxes on Thursday or Friday, when it can warm up a little more. I fed every hive and gave them fresh pollen. Most of the patties were almost gone. The cool upcoming week will lead to very little foraging so most colonies will be using their stores of pollen. Having a pollen patty on will cover any extra needed pollen.
The 2 lb package hives are packed with bees. I use a cap and ladder feeder on some hives that I move around to new locations.
I looked at a few overwintered colonies. I did find one colony queenless with no brood. What I tell beekeepers, if you find a colony with no brood and you have other colonies. The first thing you do is put in a frame of brood. This prevents a colony from turning into laying workers. I then went and got a queen and installed her. The presence of brood actually helps queen acceptance. I put the new queen right next to the brood. I will check it in a week.
 The one thing I do when running all my hives is I write down on the telescoping cover what I have to do to a hive. I use a black sharpie. This reminds me what I had going on. The sharpie marking always fades away by the start of the next season.
This hive was queenless, added brood, new queen. Writing with bee gloves on, leads to poor penmanship. I still have a full cover to work with, as the season progresses.