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Jacksonville - this week.

3.19.2009

Healthy Bee Report

Since today was forecasted to be the warmest day of the week, I had a look at my hives. My first task was to replace the brood box on my "Russian" hive. I had a mismatch of manufacturers with my brood box and super (where the honey storage is) and it was causing the bees to build comb from the brood frames to the super frames. Basically, when bees have a space wider than 3/8" they will typically fill it with comb. After I finished with that annoyance I moved on to the other two "Italian" hives. The photos that I've posted are the Italians. You can tell the Italian bees by their lighter yellow appearance. Russians tend to be darker on the abdomen.
Both Italian hives seem to be in good shape. If I don't have any swarms (queen takes off with half of the workers to start a new hive) I might actually get some honey this year.



The photo above is a close up view of the image below. The image shows capped brood with the worker bees tending to them. Capped brood are bee pupae turning into adult bees. They are capped with a mixture of wax and propolis. Once the adult bee is ready to emerge, the bee will chew its way through the cap and immediately clean out that cell so it is ready for another egg.

Below is a larger view of the brood frame with capped brood. Notice that there are very few missing cells or blank cells on the frame. This indicates that I have a strong queen and therefore a strong hive. I'll have to pay close attention to this hive so they don't get overcrowded and swarm on me.
















The photo below shows a frame mostly filled with pollen. It is easy to see the yellow pollen on the top middle of the photo where there is a void of bees. Pollen is crucial to brood production as it is the sole protein source for the youngsters. It takes one full cell of pollen and two cells of honey to raise one bee.











3 comments:

Joanne said...

I LOVED that update. So interesting. Really like the pictures, it actually helped me understand what u were talking about. Not a big bee fan but reading about them is interesting. :-)

How do the dogs like the bees? A couple of stings no doubt.

Ken said...

i love reading this....absolutely educational.

Luc said...

I agree ... not like that other site where all you read about is political rant ;-) ... and I think labs are cool too.