Just thought i would share what we are seeing in the bee yards. We are looking at bees all over the area and have many packages set out.

Monday Jan 13, 2014- 48 degrees at 2pm and check the hives on the river.12 double brood hives and 8 nucs all flying and cleaning out dead bees. I checked 4 nucs and 1 full size for stores and brood. Cluster was completely broken not tight at all and bees were moving around on frames. Full size hive was a carniolan queen with two patches of brood about 4 inches in diameter and the cluster was about 6 plus frames. Check 4 nucs they all had had brood. One was an Italian and she clustered about 5 frames and had 2 patches of brood about 4 plus inches capped. Fresh eggs and young larve around outside edge of brood. One other was about 4 frames of bees but she had 3 patchs of brood about 4 inches in diameter. The others were Carniolans with only two patches of brood about 4 inches. Stores looked good. So if the brood is capped it means the queens started laying in the last 15 days. We will continue to have mild weather with daytime in the valley of about 41 to 44 degress with night time barely freezing. The bees looked very healthy.

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Sunday July 21: Wow have we been busy....checked a hive for my son down the street and we had a queen but she was laying drones...the bees weren't upset or cranky...I killed the old queen and left her on the top bars and went back to the house and got a new queen we just raised and took the two frame nuc and queen and installed her in the hive i put the queen on a frame in the number one position and then put a frame of brood and bees in the number 2 position to help protect her for a few hours as the hive got used to old queen dying and new queen install...shoulb be ok will check on thursday.

Then the two grandsons and i headed for blanchard and check our yard there. we had 11 colonies 9 were doing great and 2 were just getting bye. 9 have min of 2 fully capped supers of honey and number two brood box was 50% honey...needed a couple of two frame nucs so i took about 9 frames of brood and bees out of 4 strong hives. added foundation. The yard is a nice honey producer for the last 3 years. All black queens in this yard and all hives had lots of drones.

Friday July 19: had two swarms leave and IEBA hive that we had removed the queen forcing queen replacement...shouldn't of swarmed. we think two mated queens came out of the hive as we had to two separate swarms and found two queens.    Queens were acting like they were mated and looking for a cell to lay eggs in. frames hadn't been cleaned up for her to lay in yet. Go Figure this one.

July 13 we had our first Northwest Queens to sell. sold out in hours. most were mated between 7 and 10 days and they laid heavy brood real fast...i had two frames of capped brood in each nuc and the new queens laid it out as soon as it the workers hatched.

Friday June 21: Created 10 nucs for queen cells. Moved them to the river bank so we can watch them better. Plus we have lots of Carnolian   Drones within a 2 block radius. The cells looked real good. Looks like Ted grafted 1 day old larve so they should start hatching sat. The nucs are justs 2 frames of bees with honey. I don't want to invest a lot of brood and bees until i have a queen laying then if needed i added more brood and bees. I have been making nucs out of any hive that has not built up properly...had one at Mead. Made two nucs out of the bees. Up by Mead notice lots of vetch and sweet clover starting to bloom...a lot of the alfalfa has already been cut down.

Thursday June 20: Ted brought me 24 queen cells to be installed in two frame nucs to mate and hatch out. My granddaughter Amanda is raising the queens to sell...Part of her Decca project at school. We will let you know how it words out. We are planning on setting up a separate tab on the web site so everyone can see her progress...yesterdays rain didn't allow us to install the queens but the should start hatching today or sat...we have them in a bank now with roller cages over the queen cells so they can get out...i will get some pictures for you...

Saturday June 15: about 1030 one of the IEBA hives swarmed. Couple clips of us getting the did we miss this queen cell. There were 3 balls of bees like this...

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Another view

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Clipping the branch....easy way

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Lots of bees

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Thursday June 13: Put supers on 18 colonies at my Hippler yard by Elk. Had one with hatching queen cells, just closed it up and let them do there thing anded two hive weak needs requeened and brood added and a third one was weak but seemed to be building up...will make a decision on this one next week. Rest were 10 to 12 frames of brood and doing fine...good pollen and some nector...they had consumed the honey frames i gave them in April. Cold weather was retarding new brood. Good yard.

Friday June 7: Put supers on the yard at Blanchard, Id, one very weak hive there just took off and looked great...requeened this on last fall and it never seemed to get going...just needed lots of pollen and it went...9 hives in there are packages and they were looking great...lots of pollen and some nector coming in. 3 wintered over hives 1 was 12 frames of brood and i had already taken three frames of brood about 4 weeks before. another hive was ok started out with only 4 frames of bees from winter and the last one had only two frames of bees from winter and it now was about 9 frames of brood and bees...lots of pollen in this yard.

Friday May 31: Added 50 queens to the queen bank. Check five hives and found in the last week they had consumed a lot of honey, half frame or more. very little honey left in the corner of the brood frames...again overall brood growth was slow or non existant. They were bringing in lots of pollen today and there was lots of bee flight. Things are looking up...

Thursday May 30: Worked hives at the house on the riverbank. My bees pulled from the orchard, the brood laying had slowed down with the cool weather...didn't see any growth in more brood but the frames of bees increased. They were holding on about 8-12 frames of brood but had about 16 frames of bees. looking good...warm weather next week should set the off to the races again...The nucs looked good...they were using up the frames of honey i gave them quickly. I started transfering them to full size boxes. All had at least 3 frames of capped brood. I will move them out as singles and add a second box early next week. Next week the plan is to check every hive put the queen down and add a honey super. Because of the amount of bees we have we need to super a little earlier to get ahead of the game. Did have a wintered over hive queen fail...they tried to supercede and i just installed a new queen, had about 12 frames of bees and 8 frames of capped brood no eggs. i don't want them to slow down so i added a queen ready to lay rather than raise one at that time.

Saturday May 25: Started checking hives at the house that were brought in because they needed requeening or weren't doing well, should finish up Sunday. There that we requeened the queen is laying but if i want them to be a producing hive this summer i will need to add bees and brood to get them caught up. so as we go through the orchard bees we should pull at least one frame of brood and bees to add to these hives. By adding about 3-4 frames they will take off.

Monday May 13-May 20: we were moving bees from the orchards. Lot of heavy lifting and late nights. We finished up May 25 with our last 8 hives moved from Greenbluff. Now we need to go through every hive to insure they are queen right and everything is ok. I will be adding at least one honey super to each hive.

Sunday May 12: Happy Mothers day to all you moms keeping bees. You are special.

Saturday May 11: checked the association 8 frame standard and the 8 frame western. Standard has brood hatched and is about 6 franes if brood with them just moving into the second deep. The western is working the second western very well. don't need the 3rd box yet...lots of pollen and nector.. haven't feed them in 2 weeks....looking great...Ted check the rest sat also. All but one has second box.

Wednesday May 8. Checked the rest of hives at the house and especially checked for laying queens as most of them had been requeened. Bringing in lots of pollen and nector.

Tuesday May 7: Check two hives at Blanchard and mowed the grass getting yard ready to move hives into it. As i was driving into yard the about 50 acres of Dandelions in bloom. Started checking the strongest hive and found the queen being blocked out by pollen and nector. I took about 4 frames of brood and bees home in a nuc box and gave the queen additional room to lay...moved all brood to the bottom box. Will need to add a super soon. Moved 11 colonies that night 6 as singles and added the second box at night after we set them. I don't advise this but it worked for us as i had 3 grandkids to help which makes it go real fast. Used my smoker.

Saturday May 4: Ted check the 12 association hives today and we had to add 2nd boxes to 8 of them. The reason was that we had a feeder in them with at least 2 frames of honey which got us down to 7 frames for brood. We had 4 to 5 frames of brood with most of that capped. 3 hives had brood hatching by afternoon. These 3 had 5 plus frames of brood. With the hatching brood we would be crowded by next Sat. Today was day 21 for the brood so the queen had to of started laying on Sat. of package bee day....those of you with 8 frame standand hives we added a second brood box to that also. we had one frame left in the bottom to finish drawing out. So check your 8 frames this week. Second item that came up for wintered over hives is the number of folks with with high varroa counts this spring...

Friday May 3: Check 2 nucs we split from large is doing great, the other seems to be a little dragging it a little bit. Heard of a swarm today so anyone with a very strong hive should  be looking out for queen cells. This next week is going to be very warm, will blow out the bloom and bring on the dirth period. Lots of pollen coming in looks very nice. We also had small amounts of nector. I'm going to work some pollen traps as soon as we are done in the orchards. I notice some hives today had pickuped some drift from other hives....had one package today with about 5 1/2 frames of brood. The queens are looking very good. They are long and round...I like fat queens. All hives are raising some drones.

Thursday May 2: Scott and I had farm day all day today went great. Think we had over 700 kids. Scott did a great job of setting everything up and giving us the aids to teach. This display is better than what we show at the fair. With a little planning we can make the fair a lot better....IEBA looked good...Thanks Scott.

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I think Scott was praying here. One of our big groups.

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This was one of our small groups.

Wed May 1: Scott Engles and I had farm day at the fairgounds. The kids were great.
Got home and Emma my granddaughter poured honey while i worked some more packages. Again they are looking great, 3 1/2 to 4 frames of brood mostly capped.  We moved seven colonies to Greenbluff for pollination.

Tuesday April 30: Checking package queens, which are looking real good. Found one with 5 frames of brood 4 capped 1 open brood. Carniolan queen.

Monday April 29: Tried to workthe bees but the weather made it tough....they were down right hostile.

Sunday April 28:

Sorry for the break here but we made a quick trip to California. Today my son Jason and i check several of his hives for splitting. He had to hives that we could split. Early this week 4/24 one had about 12 frames of brood but checking today half of that had hatch out. Lots of bees less brood so we made a 5 frame nuc, 3 nice frames of capped brood, 1 frames brood and honey and last frame was honey. The second hive on 4/24 was 10 frames of brood so again we made up a nuc with 2 large frames of capped brood, a light honey frame with bees and empty and a honey frame from our honey bank. Package have been running 2 frames of capped brood and one frame of larve and eggs. By may 8 we should have brood hatching. The queen will then lay back over the hatched cells. The 12 club packages were checked by Ted and Bill Sat and we need to replace one queen....couldn't find her and no brood....How did we miss this on field day....looks like one hive didn't get worked. They all looked good and they were bringing in pollen. We feed them again. The 8 frame western had about all frames in the bottom box pulled out. Fun to watch this one.

Sunday April 21:

Checked queens in between rain storms all looked good. It was 41 degrees and the queens were covered up good. Saw larve in all the hives but we had to move real fast so the brood didn't get chilled. Working on getting hives ready for pollination on green bluff. It is critical that we have strong hives because of the foul weather. They won't get much time to work the trees. Need about 55 degrees for the bees to get serious about the trees. I'm lucky that we have really nice orchardist we work with. They care about our bees. We have had long term relationships with most of them for years....if you pollinate you need to make sure they don't spray your bees. You could lose the whole hive or it can be weakenend for the season.

Saturday April 20:

We had the first beginner class field day and it went great...lots of folks for both sessions. Interesting observation was that the bees on foundation with two feedings had as much brood or more than the ones started with drawn comb. Next year i would like us to start 10 of twelve on foundation. Most hives had larve at the 5 to 6 day old stage. Looks like the queens were released by Monday and that the queens started laying monday or tuesday. The bees were moving syrup around the new brood which is good. Association hivess look good.

Thursday April 18:

Checked queens on 14 packages today and i found them all to be laying eggs. No Larve yet. Workers had already removed the red dot on one queen. Queens are swelling up very nice and getting longer. I love big fat queens. Looked at the IEBA western hive whick we installed the queen on foundation, the queen and feeder were in the bottom box at install. But today the feeder was empty and we have feed it twice, once on sat and once Wed. empty today. Queen and bees had moved up into the second western and seemed happy. I relocated the bees and queen to first western and moved the feeder to the second box. They had drawn out 4 frames and had eggs and syrup. Small amount of pollen. This hive is 8 frame equipment.

Wednesday April 17:

Pulled the cages from all the association hives at the house and feed them again. Have not check for eggs yet...all queens were release by the bees. Check 2 hives on the river bank and the brood area had enlarged to the size of my hand on one frame...looking good...Check two wintered over hives at Blanchard ID and one was 8 frames of Brood and 16 frames of bees..added a honey frame from the honey bank to be safe. Second hive was smaller about 4 frames of brood and 8 frames of bees with lots of honey left over from winter. Moved all the brood to bottom box...both hives bringing in pollen.

Tuesday April 16:

We started removing queen cages from packages which we installed on Sunday....I found small palm size area with fresh eggs with some starting to lay over. That means this queen started layin on Monday. These packages were on the river bank at the house. Moved some bees to greenbluff getting ready for pollination.



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Last modified: February 07, 2011