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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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Queens and whats up in the hive right now

We do have some queens available right now. Italians and a few Saskatraz.
 On Friday we will be getting our last shipment of queens for the year. They will be marked Italians and marked Carniolans.
 Colonies are building up for the upcoming nectar flow. Most package bee colonies should be having a big populations. The next two weeks, package bee colonies will be having many frames of emerging brood increasing the hives population quite a bit. If you are running three deeps and have just put on or close to putting on your third box, the large population of bees will draw out a new box in about 10 days. Make sure there is syrup on the hive so the bees can finish out any undrawn comb.
All package bee colonies should have at least two deeps on them right now. Don't get hung up on if the bees haven't drawn out the outside frames in the first box. Put on the second box if you haven't done it already.
 If you have good populations in both boxes you can remove the entrance reducers. If your package bees are done drawing comb, do a reversal. Bottom box to the top, top box to bottom. No reversals should be done on any colonies after June 10th. The top box may be getting heavy with honey. That is the winter food for the bees. If the top box is very heavy with honey do not do a reversal. Leave the top box the way it is for the rest of the season.
 Swarming is a concern for all colonies this time of year. All colonies should be checked for swarm cells. Remove swarm cells before they are capped. Check the hive every seven days. Check all the boxes. If you just check the top box for swarm cells you are wasting your time. Swarm cells can be on any frame.
Over wintered colonies are bursting with bees. Swarming is going on around the Midwest.
Black Locust trees are blooming around the Stillwater area. Hay fields will be blooming now or very soon. Farmers are or will be cutting the first crop of hay in the next week to 10 days. There may be a nectar flow if the hay is not cut right away. The main nectar flow should be starting in about two weeks.  Overwintered colonies and any package colonies that are done drawing comb, should have supers on now.
 All hives are now getting large populations. The main nectar flow is on the horizon. Keep the bees from swarming and you may end up with a nice honey crop.